The dental education system in Japan was started in the middle of the Meiji Period, and in 1964 was comprised of nine schools, all of which were unevenly concentrated to the west of the Kanto region. In addition, this education was being entrusted to two national universities in Tokyo and Osaka, six private universities, and one public university. On the other hand, since the start of the Taisho Period, in the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions cries had been made for the establishment of dental education institutions locally. Since then there had been strong demands for these institutions, and finally in April 1965 a dental school was established at Tohoku University with an entering class of 40.

Later in 1967, a hospital attached to a dental department was set up taking responsibilities of dental clinical education, and the dental education system was put in place.

The hospital attached to the dental department was joined with the hospital attached to the medical department in October 2003, founding the Tohoku University Hospital. In February 2007, the dental treatment center in the university hospital (outpatient examination and treatment department) was set up to go along with the move of sickbeds to the new university hospital ward. The completion of new university hospital outpatient ward caused the removal of the integrated dental treatment center, and in January 2010, the university hospital dental examination and treatment department was re-launched.

In 1977, the adjoined dental technician school (20 students per year, study period limited to two years) was set up.

In the graduate school, the Graduate School of Dentistry Doctorate Program in Dentistry was formed in 1974. After that, in 2000 the graduate school's important point became the independence of its Graduate School of Dentistry, and it became a forerunner to other dental schools nationwide. Because of this, professors are assigned to the Graduate School of Dentistry, becoming involved consistently as both undergraduate and graduate professors.

In April 2004, the only masters program in dentistry in Japan was formed with the purpose of cultivating the necessary ability for high-level professions or the research ability of dentistry or dental science. The door was opened for dental hygienists, dental technicians, nurses of medical treatment practitioner, science, and engineering departments, nurses of food and nutrition-related departments, and professionals from health departments to do specialized teaching and research in dentistry and dental science. The International Dental Health Field was formed with the goal of training leaders in domestic and overseas communities with ample global perspective and high specialization.

Today, after about 47 years since the establishment of the Department of Dentistry, Tohoku University's Graduate School of Dentistry and Department of Dentistry keep close cooperation with the Department of Medicine and the Graduate School of Geriatrics next to them, having fulfilling growth leading Japan in dental medicine as the prominent center of dental medicine research through cutting edge teaching and research in the field of dentistry with standards of unity in specialization and academics. Tohoku University will continue in providing "dental innovation" in the future, building new dentistry and dental treatment fit for the 21st century.


1723 Pierre Fauchard (known the father of modern dental medicine) announces “Le Chirurgien Dentist.”
1728 Fauchard makes full maxillary dentures.
1840 First modern dental medicine school in the world, Baltimore School of Dentistry, established in U.S.
1844 Tooth extraction conducted under general anesthesia using nitrous oxide.
1846 Oral surgery conducted using ether anesthesia in the U.S.
1860 American dentist William Clark Eastlake opens dental clinic in Yokohama.
1876 Mizuhoya imports dental equipment from U.S. to Japan. Production of dental equipment starts in Japan.
1878 Kisai Takayama goes to the U.S. to study dental medicine at his own expense, returns to Japan after passing exam to practice medicine as a dentist.
1881 Takayama publishes first dental technical book in Japan, “Hoshishinron.”
1883 Medical practice test rules established and dental medicine becomes specialized field.
American dentist Willoughby D. Miller announces “Miller’ s chemico-parasitic theory.”
1888 First school of dental medicine in Japan, Tokyo College of Dental Medicine, established (closed the next year).
1890 Takayama School of Dentistry established. (In 1900, changes name to Tokyo College of Dentists; in 1946 restructured into Tokyo Dental College.)
1891 Fact that dental plaque causes tooth decay discovered in U.S.
1893 Dental Practitioners Association established (in 1926, changes name to Japan Dental Association).
1902 Japan Association for Dental Science established.
1903 School of Dentistry at School of Medicine, University of Tokyo established.
1906 Dental Practitioners Law instituted.
1911 Dental College established.
1916 Dental Practitioners Law revised to restrict doctors from practicing dentistry.
1928 Cavity Prevention Day instituted.
Tokyo High School of Dental Medicine (currently Tokyo Medical and Dental University) established.
Dentist training by national institutions in Japan starts.
1946 Dental Education Council begun under the General Headquarters orders.
1947 Dentist National Examination begins.
1948 Dental Education Standards Draft passed.
1965 Tohoku University School of Dentistry established, advocating the philosophies of “Training dentists who can think,“ “One mouth is a unit,” and “Holistic dentistry.”
1967 Tohoku University Dental Hospital opens.
1972 Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry established.
1975 Dental Technicians School established.
1993 Prof. Emeritus Hajime Yamamoto awarded Japan Imperial Prize for “Research into applications related to prevention of tooth decay by laser irradiation.”
2000 Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, responding to the government's educational policy of emphasizing graduate schools by educating students with inquiring minds and scientific perspective who can be leaders in dental research.
2002 Interface Oral Health Science concept proposed by Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry.
2003 Organizational integration of Tohoku University Dental Hospital and University Hospital.
Tohoku University Hospital opens.
2004 Graduate School of Dentistry establishes first Master’ s course in dentistry in Japan.
Graduate School of Dentistry starts conducting special education in oral science for people other than those in the medical and dental field.
2005 First International Symposium on Interface Oral Health Science held.
2007 Tohoku University Dental Hospital and Medical Center renamed, beds and operating rooms moved to new location.
“Living body biomaterial high-performance interface science project” begins, sponsored by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
2008 Implant outpatients accepted at Dental Medical Center of Tohoku University Hospital.
2009 Renovation of Lecture Building of Graduate School of Dentistry completed.
2010 Prof. Emeritus Shobu Hinuma awarded Order of Culture.
Medical Dental Center outpatient clinic transferred and integrated as Dental Department of Tohoku University Hospital.
2011 Liaison Center for Innovative Dentistry established.
2012 Renovation of Clinical Research Building, Graduate School of Dentistry completed.
2013 Center for Environmental Dentistry established.
Dental and Digital Forensics established.
2014 Center for Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Clinical Research established.
2015 Center for Advanced Stem Cell and Regenerative Research established.
2017 Next generation Dental Materials Research established.
Advanced Free Radical Science established.
2020 Courses restructured; Ecological Dentistry, Community Social Dentistry, Disease Management Dentistry, and Rehabilitation Dentistry established.
Liaison Center for Innovative Dentistry reorganized as an affiliated educational research institute.
2021 Dental Technicians School closed.