In 1839, two prominent Baltimore dental practitioners, Dr. Horace H. Hayden and Dr. Chapin A. Harris applied for a charter from the Maryland General Assembly to establish an independent dental school that would award a new degree, the Doctor of Dental Surgery. The General Assembly granted the charter in 1840, establishing the first dental school in the world, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (now the Dental School of the University of Maryland).

More than four decades later, the General Assembly passed legislation to formally regulate the practice of dentistry.  Legislation in 1884 established the State Board of Dental Examiners to:

  •  Limit the practice of dentistry to those who are competent to engage in it;
  •   Maintain a registry of certified practitioners;
  •   Provide reasonable opportunity to qualified persons who wish to practice in Maryland;
  •  Support an acceptable standard of dental practice; and
  •  Protect the public interest. 

In 1947, the Board’s regulatory authority was expanded to include dental hygienists. In keeping with its original charges, the Board currently regulates dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental radiation technologists, and the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene in Maryland.