5 Famous People Who Were Also Dentists

You may not realize how many people who have played major roles in our nation have been practicing dentists (though none are dentists in Richmond, Virginia—yet!).  In this post we wanted to highlight some of the amazing and interesting lives of dentists.

Edgar Buchanan – Most people who remember this actor will know him for his television roles in Green Acres and Beverly Hillbillies.  However, before he was on the TV screen he was a successful dentist.  Ed Buchanan followed his father in this line of work, who was also a successful family dentist.  Before appearing in over 100 movies, Dr. Buchanan moved his dental office from Eugene, Oregon to Altadena, California.

Dr. Buchanan’s wife was also a dentist, and they met in dental school at the North Pacific College School of Dentistry, which has since been renamed to Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry.

Thomas Bramwell Welch – Thomas Bramwell Welch was a successful dentist. You may know him better as the inventor famous for discovering how to keep grape juice from fermenting, and founding the famous Welch’s Grape juice.

Bonus!  Did you know that Thomas Welch’s son, Charles E. Welch, was also a dentist? Father and son actually established a Welch’s Dental Supply Company and even a dentistry journal.

Paul Revere – Most famous to our national memory as the man who rode through the streets alerting everyone that the British were coming, what is less known about Paul Revere is that he was also a dentist.  There has been some speculation that he made teeth for George Washington, but there is no actual evidence to suggest this is true.

Mark Spitz – Okay, maybe we are cheating a little bit here.  Mark Spitz was accepted to dental school, but declined in favor of pursuing his ambitions as an Olympic athlete.  Spitz went on to win 7 gold medals in a truly amazing showing during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich (he also won two gold medals in the 1968 Olympic games).

“Doc” Holiday – Most people won’t know two things about this famous cowboy.  That his name was John Henry Holiday, and that he was also a dentist. After establishing a dental practice in Atlanta, the doc developed tuberculosis and it was suggested that he moved west to improve his health.  The rest, of course, is history.

Bonus! Famous Fictional Dentists from TV and Movies

Leading the list, and perhaps the most widely known, is Hermey the Elf from “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.”  After giving him some grief, the Head Elf eventually condones the opening of Hermey’s dental office.  And it looked like the Head Elf has been eating too many sweets and not brushing his teeth, since Hermey wants to get him in the office the following Tuesday at 4:30!

Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky played by Matthew Perry. Oseransky is a dentist with was a dentist next door to a retired mob hit man.

Noah Werner from the popular ABC comedy Suburgatory.  When not keeping everyone’s smile perfect, Noah helps his best friend George assimilate into suburban life after leaving the city.

Orson Hodge from ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

Last, but not least, the nameless parents of Hermione Granger, from the indelible young adult fantasy novels Harry Potter were both dentists.

Do you know of some other famous dentists that were real or fictional? Let us know in the comments or on twitter and facebook!

POSTED IN: Dentistry

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