The Section of Odontology was established in 1950. As with the other sections this section is governed by a President and council, and hold regular meetings at which members present cases.
Here is the opening address from the first meeting of the Odontology Section held on 11th October 1950:
President – G Yeates
Sectional Secretary -William Stokes, F.R.C.S.I.
The President (Mr. G. Yeates) : I am very glad indeed to see so many members of our profession at this inaugural meeting of the Section of Odontology of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. It is an auspicious and an important occasion. Some years ago a great need was felt amongst members of our profession for a truly instructive and scientific centre at which various subjects concerning our everyday work could be discussed: this led to the foundation of the Odontological Society.
From a very small beginning, our meetings during recent years have been very well attended and many subjects of great interest have been discussed. Our present membership is most satisfactory, but I would like to see it grow in numbers. There are very definite reasons why it should do so. “Great things,” it is said, “often begin in a small way,” and so it has been with us. Starting with a few original members, our Odontological Society has shown a steady growth, and last year we had the honour of an invitation to form a Section of Odontology in the Academy of Medicine in Ireland, similar to the Odontological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine in London. This suggestion, we consider, was a great honour, and one which adds greatly to the prestige and status of our profession.
This is the first time, so far as I am aware, that our profession has been externally and officially recognised as a body of scientific men. Hitherto, all our societies and associations have been strictly confined within a narrow professional circle. We are now recognised as a branch of the medical profession; as members and fellows of this Academy, we may take part in its scientific meetings and bring our views and experience to bear on those subjects in which we find a common interest. The medical members, too, may attend our meetings and very probably learn something from us. This is a very desirable situation; as the years go by, the profession of dentistry is more and more becoming integrated in practical medicine – we share in the new anaesthetics, new sedatives, the use of vitamins and antibiotics, the study of co-related diseases, and so on.
May I ask you for a moment to consider our suggested programme for the coming session? It deals with such subjects as the use in dentistry of trilene analgesia, the study of antibiotics, the cold curing acrylics (which I believe will revolutionise filling materials), absorbable haemostatics and their therapeutic action, and the role of dietetic factors in dentistry. Many of these subjects are not to be found in the textbooks as yet, and I ask you if any dentist who wishes to keep himself abreast of the modern advances in dentistry can properly neglect attendance at these meetings. I can assure you they will be of intense interest, with up-to-the-minute information on recent advances and new technical processes.