Current Exhibits

That's Incredible with Dr. Irwin Smigel on tv

The Smile Experience

This dazzling multimedia presentation reveals the amazing power of a smile, from an historical look at how people have sought to enhance their smiles since ancient times to the impact that modern cosmetic dentistry now has on creating healthy smiles that give people confidence and change lives.

Cropped cover of March 1967 Mad magazine

Teeth in Popular Culture

Witness amazing teeth feats, marvel at unique cultural teeth traditions, and trace what humans have done to their teeth throughout history. Through traditions, folklore, and popular culture, learn how important smiles are for recognizing people and how much impact teeth have had throughout history.

Lower jaw of a shark

Origins of Teeth

Teeth first appeared in the hinge of the small mollusk’s shell 420 million years ago. From these early beginnings, teeth have continuously evolved and adapted. Explore the difference between human and animal mouths and how diet and survival shaped the mouths every species.


Dental Hygiene Instruments

The Prevention Gallery

For most of history, dentistry was focused on repair-oriented techniques until the factors causing tooth decay were clearly understood. Until the mid-20th century, Americans often suffered diseases of the gums and teeth, frequently losing their teeth as a result. Brushing teeth "up and down, the way they grow" and hoping for the best was the extent of routine home care.

Photograph of Mouthpower exhibit

MouthPower®

MouthPower® helps young people discover the power of a healthy smile and the importance of oral health in a healthy life. Children learn how to brush and floss the right way, why to say no to tobacco, how to make healthy food choices, and what kinds of careers are possible in the world of dentistry.

Handmade dental extraction kit on display in History of Dentistry Exhibit

History of Dentistry

From the earliest ancient practices and applications through the Enlightenment and into the modern era, the practice of taking care of teeth has been around for millennia. Learn about the first prosthodontic practices from around the Mediterranean Sea, the toothworm as the root of all dental pain for centuries, and the people, innovations, and inventions that shaped dentistry into the profession it is today.


Screenshot from Celebrating Dental Education Interactive Exhibition

Celebrating Dental Education

Dental education, long focused on the mechanical aspects of treatment and repair, today has accelerated its efforts into new areas - prevention, research, treatment of the whole patient, and improved techniques. Dental schools throughout the United States and Canada are leading the way in providing innovative, comprehensive professional education.

American College of Dentists Stoles on Display

American College of Dentists

Celebrate the history and achievements of the organization commonly referred to as the "conscience of dentistry." Founded to elevate the standards of dentistry, to encourage graduate study, and to grant Fellowship to those who have done meritorious work, the American College of Dentists empowers the dental field through its mission to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism, and leadership in the field.

Bronze relief plaque of Greene Vardiman Black on display

Greene Vardiman Black

G. V. Black is known as the “Father of American Dentistry,” but the impact of his work was worldwide, and his influence continues to this day. Follow his journey from Illinois farm boy to becoming a brilliant scientist, scholar, teacher, and dean of the Northwestern University Dental School.


Fact or Fable Panel in George Washington Exhibit

George Washington Gallery

Focused on one of the most famous sets of teeth in history, explore how tooth and gum loss shape your face, and how Dr. John Greenwood's not-so-wooden dentures worn by the first president of the United States were integral in the advancement of dental prosthetics, helping to shift dentistry's use of human and animal teeth to more sustainable, durable, and ethical alternatives.

Screenshot from ADA Theater

ADA Theatre

Enjoy vintage public service announcements from the American Dental Association and educational animations from the National Institute of Health, among other fun activities in this interactive experience focused on learning about common oral health issues and topics for all ages.

Background colors for Your Spitting Image Exhibition

Your Spitting Image

An innovative and interactive three-part exhibition highlighting saliva, forensics, and bioengineering that explores how emerging science and research will affect dentistry and overall well-being in the not-so-distant future. Learn what makes your mouth water, how to analyze skull structures, and the history and future of tooth replacement.


Changing Faces Exhibit

Changing Faces

An ever-adapting digital experience chronicling the stories of dentistry's trailblazers and ongoing progression into a more inclusive field. Currently featuring an overview of the history of diversity in dentistry and an oral history from the first female and first female African American dean of a dental school in the world, Dr. Jeanne Craig Sinkford, the exhibition will grow and continue to preserve the stories of past, current, and future influential figures.

Marvelous Mouth interactive title screen

The Marvelous Mouth

Explore how to take care of braces, how mouth guards protect teeth during sports, why oral piercings and tobacco use can lead to tooth trouble, and what careers are possible in the world of dentistry with hands-on models and a fun interactive computer game that reveals tooth truths that will keep you smiling for a lifetime.

Carved soapstone Narwhal on display at museum

Narwhal: A Whale of a Tooth

Immerse yourself in the world of narwhals. Discover ancient myths and recently uncovered facts relating to this curious creature with a single straight tusk that can grow up to 9 feet long.


Bookcase with childrens books about dentistry

Terrific Tooth Tales

Our reading corner invites you to pick up your favorite tooth tale and take a moment to experience the joy of reading. Go on adventures to the dentist with the Berenstain Bears and plenty of other whimsical characters or learn about why different animals have different teeth and what to do when you lose a tooth with a number of options enjoyable for readers of all ages.