Providing Care

Starting Monday, March 25th, the National Museum of Dentistry will be closed to the public on Mondays for the summer. We will be utilizing these days to develop new exhibits and resources for the upcoming year, as well as utilizing this time to make our collection of over 40,000 objects and archival materials more accessible to the public. If you'd like to volunteer to help us with our collections or exhibitions on Mondays, please contact Patrick Cutter at 410-706-0600 or by visiting our Volunteer page.

The museum will remain open Tuesday through Friday during our normal operating hours, 9am-4pm, for walk-ins and group tours during this time. 

Photograph of antique x-ray machine in display case

From ancient cultures to the modern dental office, unearth the progression of people and their teeth.  Learn about the world’s first dental college, the “Father of Modern Dentistry,” and what dentists have done in their free time.


Etruscan Bridge – Everyone wants a perfect smile with no missing teeth, even the Etruscans, an ancient civilization from Italy that predates the Romans.  Instead of dentures, they would “bridge” the gap between teeth by connecting replacement teeth to the remaining teeth using gold bands.

Antique Anesthetic Needles – Laughing gas and Xylocaine were not always options for numbing the pain.  Different anesthetics from the drug cocaine to different chemical combinations were used to numb the mouth before painful procedures.


To the left: Robert H. Machlett. X-ray tube. c. 1913.


Become a Member, Support the National Museum of Dentistry
Support the engaging exhibitions and innovative programs that promote the importance of oral health in a healthy life to audiences across the country by becoming a member.


Support the Museum
Inspire people to make healthy choices about oral health by supporting the museum.


Smithsonian Affiliate Membership
The University of Maryland, Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry is a proud affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.