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.
Inspiring the future of oral health through celebrating the heritage of the dental profession.
- Improving oral health through education.
- Serving as the leading steward of dental history.
- Being the cultural bridge between the dental profession and the public.
NMD Core Values
- Oral health is integral to overall health: Oral health is not just about healthy teeth; it includes the health of the gums, bones, ligaments, muscles, glands, and nerves of the craniofacial complex (your head, face, and oral cavity) and how they support and are indicators for the overall health of your body and mind. We are dedicated to enhancing the understanding of oral health through our educational programming, diverse exhibitions, and growing permanent collections.
- Everyone deserves a healthy smile: Our mouths are an essential part of our lives and our community. They allow us to speak our minds, taste the wonders of our cultures, kiss the ones we care for, and convey a world of feelings and emotions. An unhealthy smile can keep us quiet, take the enjoyment out of food, diminish our confidence, and create a world of constant pain. There are underserved and underrepresented communities that suffer from lack of access to oral health care and a lack of proper oral health education resulting in the increase of preventable and treatable oral diseases. We are dedicated to creating, providing, and supporting the improvement of oral health equity for EVERYONE through our programming and partnerships.
- Dentistry goes beyond the dental office: Dentistry is a fascinating part of our daily lives and cultures. The dental profession has made an impact on art, entertainment, toys, sports, politics, civil rights, history, science, and so much more. It has changed how we study ancient cultures, determined how we identify countless species, enhanced how we drink water, and incorporated itself into our daily lives with brushing twice a day. We are dedicated to celebrating the impact and inclusion of the dental profession in every part of our society through our innovative programming, engaging exhibitions, and unique collections.
- Dentistry is nothing to be afraid of: Throughout much of history, dentistry has been reactive to the patient’s problems causing numerous individuals of all ages to experience unbearable pain and crippling fear that was then associated with the dental profession. Since the founding of the world’s first dental school, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, in 1840, dental professionals have drastically improved their ability to properly deal with pain and even prevent pain for countless individuals thanks to advancements in the understanding of oral health issues, technology, and education. We are dedicated to enlightening our audience on the benefits of proper oral health care and the progress dentistry has achieved through our outreach, exhibitions, and programming.
National Museum of Dentistry
31 S. Greene Street,
Baltimore, MD 21201
Dr. Scott Swank
Wed-Friday 10am to 4pm
There are a number of ways you can show your support for the National Museum of Dentistry.
In addition to cash donations, which can be pledged by check or credit card, the NMD happily accepts gifts of stock, planned or deferred contributions, and in-kind services. To discuss giving options, please contact the SOD Development Office.
Looking to donate items to the NMD's collection, please visit our Collections and Archives page for more information.