Dawn of the ODA
Petition for the Act Respecting Dentistry – 1868
Act Respecting Dentistry (1868)
Just six months after the July 1867 Cobourg meeting, the Dental Association of Ontario held a meeting in Toronto at St. Lawrence Hall to discuss a petition to the province for an act to regulate dentistry. Day and others went to work, and by 1868 Day and his supporters marched to the legislature to watch Dr. George Boulter, MPP for Hastings North (pictured right), present a proposed bill to the house. The petition had the signatures of 68 dentists, 25 physicians, a pharmacist, a judge and the mayor of Toronto. An Act Respecting Dentistry received third reading in the Ontario legislature March 3, 1868.

The provincial An Act Respecting Dentistry put control of the profession into the hands of just 12 people ‒ the members of the Board of Directors of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. They had the right to self-govern and were the sole authority to grant licences to practise dentistry in Ontario, control dental education in the province and enforce the standards required for practicing dentists. Critically, the board also had the right to hold dentists criminally liable if they remained unlicensed.

Photo: Courtesy of the Legislative Library & Research Services, Legislative Assembly of Ontario
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