Fall 2017

The Inventions of Our Alumni and Faculty

Reasons 135-139 why we love this school.

By Helene Ragovin, with additional reporting by Laura Ferguson

135. The Wilkins-Tufts Explorer

This tool (also known as the TU17/23) is issued to every incoming student and was developed by longtime faculty member Esther Wilkins, D49, DG66, and Richard Saslow, former president of the Hu-Friedy dental instrument company. Wilkins, known as the “godmother of dental hygiene,” authored the discipline’s guiding textbook, The Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist.


Photo: Alonso Nichols

136. Biotene Dry Mouth Rinse

One of the many products developed by research pioneer Athena Papas, J66, in addition to Crest Pro-Health two-step whitening toothpaste, Enamelon toothpaste and gel, and others. She earned the Distinguished Scientist Award, the International Association of Dental Research’s most prestigious honor.


137. Lasting Dental Sealants

In 1967, Michael Buonocore, D45, a researcher at Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, N.Y., launched a new era in preventive dentistry with the development of sealants to prevent cavities, earning the moniker “father of adhesive dentistry.”


138. An Aspirating Syringe

In 1947, while practicing in Stratford, Conn., Theodore Spivack, D40, developed the first aspirating syringe for dental professionals that could be used with any anesthetic capsule.


Photo: Alonso Nichols

139. The Cephalostat

Research by Herbert Margolis, chair of orthodontics from 1944-60, led to the development of this instrument that helps diagnose malocclusion.

Top Stories

The Danger of Fluoride Doubt

A flood of misinformation is undermining a successful public health effort.

Coming Attraction

A dentist’s detective novel makes its way to the big screen with stars Andy Garcia, Sofia Vergara and Karl Urban.

Facing a Mystery

A novel use of 3-D imaging might help explain Bell’s palsy, a puzzling facial paralysis.

Gratitude for Where it All Began

A loyal alumnus supports a ground-floor facelift.

Editor's Picks

All the Presidents’ Teeth

Who didn’t floss? Who was a bruxer? And who could have used some whitening strips? Our faculty give some historical smiles a thorough checkup.

Filling a Need in Maine

In a state without enough dentists, postgraduate residencies boost access to care.

21st Century DMD

Educating the next generation of dentists

7 Decades of Smiles

Nancy Farris, 76, has been coming to Tufts for dental care since she was a young girl