The professional need to organize and share information surfaced for military dentistry with the Association of Military Dental Surgeons of the United States from 1917 to 1924.  Members included dental officers of the Army,  Navy and Public Health Service. The Association’s quarterly publication, the Military Dental Journal, was a source of sharing professional information and became the voice of opinions about Corps operations and policy.  When this Association terminated in 1924, its Journal was missed.

Apparently this void was recognized by Colonel Rex H. Rhoades, the Director of the Dental Sub-Division of the Office of the Surgeon General and plans were made to implement a professional publication within the Army. Although Colonel Rhoades moved from this position before the Dental Bulletin’s first publication on 1 January 1929 the historical evidence that it was planned on Rhoades’ watch is the accompanying article by Colonel Rhoades.

Most of the issues of The Dental Bulletin are accessible on the Stimson Library digital collection.

Some point out that the websites concerned with Army dentistry are the legacy of the Dental Bulletin and Colonel Rex H. Rhoades.

Dental Bulletin Announcement

by Rex H. Rhoades

“A very determined effort will be made to publish the Dental Bulletin every quarter. Its value as a medium for disseminating dento-military information is recognized and full advantage is to be taken of it. The dental sub-division of the Surgeon General’s Office will continue to furnish administrative notes and publish policies consistent with the best interests of the service.  Officers having assignments which offer favorable opportunities for development of particular phases of the dental service, professional, research, supply, administrative and training, will be expected to make contributions covering the scope of their activities and achievements in the interests of the service. The Bulletin is to be a “service builder” and with that end in view all members of the Corps are authorized to correspond directly with the editor on all matters pertaining to the dental service in so far as these matters relate to material published, or available for publication, in the Dental Bulletin and are in the general interest of the service.

“All columns are open to all members of the Dental Corps and your contributions are solicited. It need not necessarily be a finished article, just a hint, a suggestion, a question, a comment, a personal mention. It will be the editor’s duty to correlate all available constructive information and disseminate it to the Corps.  Major W. D. Vail, D.C., Office of the Surgeon General, is designated “Editor”. Write him any ideas you have for making the Bulletin serve its purpose better. Your name need not appear in connection with your contribution unless it is an article and it is believed the author’s name should be published therewith.

“It may be a very good policy, at times, to withhold publication of an item unless the author’s name appears with it.  In such cases your consent will be obtained before publication.  Otherwise your name will not ordinarily be used.  When dentists get together they frequently talk “shop” and the exchange of ideas or experiences is usually beneficial.

“Let us get together.

REX H. RHOADES,
Colonel, Dental Corps,
Dental Sub-Division
Office of The Surgeon General”.

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