Alumni Services

50 years a dentist

In October 2015, 18 Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) alumni joined together for their final reunion to celebrate 50 years since their graduation.

Dental School
Edinburgh Dental School. Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Edinburgh University Library.

2015 saw the 50th anniversary of the Batchelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) class of 1965 which they celebrated with a dinner in Edinburgh. They group had set an example by arranging a reunion to celebrate the 10, 20, 30 and 35 years since graduating and the 50 year mark was not one to be missed.

A total of 18 BDS classmates attended, mostly from Scotland but three made the trip up from the south of England. They celebrated with a dinner in the Douglas Room at the Royal Scots Club on Abercromby Place.

Dinner and dentistry

It was decided that this year's reunion would be a simplier affair; as in previous years it had involved a large weekend away.

The more intimate gathering allowed the former students plenty of opportunity to talk and reminisce with old classmates. Neil Taverner also took the opportunity to share his selection of antique dental items which was extremely well recieved by those present.

One of the strongest, and funniest, memories was of the yearly Border Raid, when medical and dentistry students dressed up in fancy dress, took a bus down to the borders, and ran wild under the guise of fundraising.

Whilst the primary aim was to collect money from as many people as they could -some even climbing up scaffolding to ask builders to donate - the group could not recall who or what they were collecting for!

It was decided that after 50 years this would be the last reunion but the friendships and relationships will continue regardless and, who knows, maybe they will change their minds and celebrate 60 years?

We had a good reunion and, at the half century, was not a milestone to allow to pass by.

Robin Wild2015 Reunion Organiser

Dentistry at Edinburgh

Dental students at work
The Edinburgh Dental institute. Photo by Helen Carolan-Cullian.

Dentistry first became part of the University of Edinburgh in 1948 and graduating students were awarded the university degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). Based on Chambers Street, the building was rebuilt and modernised between 1952 and 1956.

In 1989, as part of an overall review of dentist numbers in the UK, a decision was made that undergraduate training should cease. The last undergraduate student qualified in 1994.

In 1997 the Edinburgh Dental Institute for post-graduate education opened in Lauriston place. The Institute now offers undergraduate study by way of a BSc (Hons) in Oral Health.

Related links

Edinburgh Dental Institute