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J Hist Dent. 2000 Jul;48(2):65-9.

C. Edmund Kells (1856-1928).

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  • 1Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA.


Dr. C. Edmund Kells, a dentist practicing in the deep South became a pioneer in the profession of dentistry and medicine with his numerous inventions and publications. His most significant invention was the surgical aspirator for dental and medical surgery, still utilized today. Kells was also one of the first dentists to hire a female dental assistant and the first to expose a dental radiograph in the United States. Although controversial at times, he fought for his convictions and beliefs in the advancement of dentistry. Kell's theories on conservative cavity preparation and 'saving' pulpless teeth are scientifically validated almost one century later. Because of Kells persistence, dental professionals today continue to benefit from his inventions and procedures.

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