Medicine has been taught in Newcastle since 1834, but it was not until 1852 that the Newcastle School of Medicine and Surgery came under the umbrella of Durham University.
Dental education was instituted in Newcastle in 1895. The original Dental School and Hospital was founded by six dentists and opened in Nelson Street by the Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne on April 22nd 1895 ‘to give gratuitous (dental) treatment to the necessitous poor’.
The Dental School and Hospital became affiliated with the College of Medicine in 1911 when the University of Durham instituted an examination for the Licence in Dental Surgery. In the following years, the degrees of Bachelor of Surgery (BDS), Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) and Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) were established.
In 1937, the College of Medicine (including Dentistry), united with the Science-based Armstrong College to form King's College, University of Durham – all based in the City of Newcastle. King’s College broke away from Durham University in 1963, with the establishment of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The School of Dental Sciences and Dental Hospital occupied a number of city-centre locations from 1895 before moving to it’s current and purpose-built premises on Richardson Road in 1978. University and Hospital functions are integrated in the current building and are linked both physically and administratively to the Medical School, where the School of Dental Sciences is one of nine Schools within the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
The Dental Hospital became part of the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Associated Hospitals Trust in 1992. The Trust as a whole has embarked on a major rebuilding programme, and along with the Faculty of Medical Sciences, has created perhaps the most modern and integrated medical/dental campus in the country. In 1998 the RVI and Freeman hospitals merged to form the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust.
Our gallery provides a glimpse of the journey we’ve travelled in the last century, moving from a small clinical facility with just one ‘pupil’ dentist, to our current position as one of the largest dental teaching hospitals in the country, with a rolling programme of re-equipping and refurbishment to help us meet the demands of contemporary teaching, research and clinical practice.
For those interested to find out more, see: Newcastle Dental School and Hospital 1895-1995 by Murray JJ, Murray ID, Hill B. ISBN: 0-947678-069. Published by the Medical Faculty, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.