Women activists who had been working as hygienists for years help get the state of Washington to recognize and license the profession. 


The University of Washington launches one of the first endodontics programs, focusing on root canals and the health of dental pulp, in the world. 


The state becomes the first to allow hygienists to practice restorative duties and administer anesthesia and nitrous oxide


The Dental Fears Clinic is the first on the West Coast to treat people with dental anxiety through behavioral therapy. 


Two local dentists and an engineer develop the first electric toothbrush to use sonic vibrations to loosen plaque. It’s bought by Philips and sold as the Sonicare.


Washington’s Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program, designed to provide care to low-income children under six, is the first of its kind in the country. Other states follow suit.


John West, a Tacoma endodontist, cocreates the ProTaper Gold, a super accurate drill used to prepare a tooth for filling during a root canal.


Local maxillofacial prosthodontist Jeffrey Rubenstein is among the first to use virtual 3D modeling to rebuild jaws and implant teeth after traumas like car accidents. 


Bills in the state legislature seek to certify dental therapists, increasing patient access to oral care. Therapists would be to dentists what physician assistants are to doctors.

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