History of the School

In 1884, a group of dentists formed the Odontological Society of Victoria with the aims of the regulation and education of dentists in the state of Victoria. Mr John Illife (1847-1914), a member and later President of the Odontological Society of Victoria, was the driving force in negotiations for the regulation of dentistry in Victoria and the establishment of a hospital and college in Melbourne.

Thanks largely to his efforts, the Melbourne Dental Hospital opened its doors in 1890 and was followed in 1897 by the Australian College of Dentistry devoted solely to the education of dentists.

In 1904, a Faculty of Dental Science was established and the College was affiliated with tthe University of Melbourne. In 1963 the Faculty and the hospital moved from 193 Spring Street to 711 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

In 1989, the Faculty of Dentistry merged with the Faculty of Medicine (established 1876) to create a new Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry comprising a School of Medicine and a School of Dental Science respectively. To reflect additional responsibilities, the faculty expanded in 1991 to become the present Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

The growth and development of the dental school and the need for improved facilities led to the most recent relocation from Elizabeth Street to the current address at 720 Swanston Street. Here the school changed its name from the School of Dental Science to the Melbourne Dental School and with the implementation of the Melbourne Model in 2011, introduced its graduate program leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery whilst continuing to offer the Bachelor of Oral Health.

In 2012, the Melbourne Oral Health and Training and Education Centre (MOHTEC) at 723 Swanston Street commenced operations. The Centre includes a Preclinical Simulation Laboratory, the Haptic Virtual Reality Simulation Laboratory and the Melbourne Dental Clinic, all representing an exciting new era in dental education at the Melbourne Dental School.



Emeritus Professor Henry F Atkinson,
Honorary Curator,
The University of Melbourne's Dental Museum

To find out more about the history of the Melbourne Dental School visit our Dental Museum.

Dental Museum