The establishment of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery is seen as one of the three crucial steps in the foundation of the dental profession in the United States.
A true profession is built upon a tripod: a formal organization, formal professional education, and a formal scientific literature. The United States was the leader in all three. In 1839-40, the American Society of Dental Surgeons was organized, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was established, and the first dental journal in the world, the American Journal of Dental Science, was founded. At that time there were only about three hundred trained and scientific dentists in the entire country; the rest were relatively untrained operators, outright quacks, or charlatans. In 1898, a list of the first subscribers to the first journal was discovered and published by G.V. Black. These initial subscribers may be considered the core group of truly professional American dentists. They became the leaders of the newly born profession of dentistry.
Today, the University of Maryland School of Dentistry enjoys one of the most advanced dental education facilities in the world. The new 12-story building in downtown Baltimore was completed in October 2006. The total cost for the establishment amounted to over $140 million, the highest spent on an academic building by the State of Maryland.