About Us

The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry celebrates the past, present, and future of dentistry while sharing the importance of a healthy mouth in a healthy life. Our exhibitions, programming, and collections capture the often-overlooked history hidden behind your smile and the scientists, tradesmen, and professionals that have shaped the field throughout history.

Located on the site of the University of Maryland’s first “Dental Infirmary and Laboratory Building,” which was then part of the Dental Department in the School of Medicine in 1882, and housed in the University’s second Dental School building erected in 1903, the NMD is located at the heart of the University System of Maryland’s founding campus in Baltimore and at the epicenter of the beginnings of professional dentistry.

The NMD’s extensive 40,000 object collection of dental instruments and equipment, pop culture and personal oral care items, artwork, and everything in between is one of the largest and oldest collections in the world related to dentistry, and one of the reasons Congress designated the museum as the official museum of the dental profession in the United States.

The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry is also a proud Smithsonian Affiliate. To learn more about Smithsonian Affiliations, visit affiliations.si.edu.

NMD Mission

The National Museum of Dentistry inspires healthy choices about oral health by creating and sharing learning opportunities that celebrate the heritage and future of dentistry, the achievements of dental professionals, and the importance of oral health in a healthy life.

NMD Priorities

  • Providing access to information about oral health.
  • Serving the dental profession as the leading repository of dental history through our collections, archives, and expertise.
  • Developing exhibitions and programs that engage audiences in learning about oral health.

NMD Vision

  • We will be a lively center for interactive exhibitions and engaging programs that communicate information about oral health and dentistry to the public.
  • Through strategic partnerships and the creative use of technology, the museum will reach national and international audiences with its message about the importance of oral health in a healthy life.
  • The public and dental professionals will support the museum as the national museum of the profession and a leading authority on the history of dentistry.
  • Through the museum's work, people will have a greater appreciation for the power of a healthy smile.