Looking back on a legend: the contributions of Dr. Esther Wilkins

All too often when the world loses one of its pioneers, leaders or luminaries and we reflect back on their life, it is then we learn so much more about the incredible contributions they made over the course of their lifetime.  As our team at Dental City read more about the extraordinary contributions Dr. Esther Wilkins, RDH, DMD, made to the dental industry, we too learned so much more about the “godmother of dental hygiene” and her lifelong work to positively affect the dental community.

Dr. Wilkins passed away on Monday, December 12, three days after celebrating her 100th birthday.  If you aren’t familiar with her work to the dental community, we offer the following links to two articles that tell a little more about her story and the predominant work and draw she had.

Esther Wilkins, Who Set Standards for Dental Hygienists, Dies at 100 (New York Times)

Dr. Esther Wilkins, a dental hygiene icon, passes away (www.dentistryiq.com)

We also learned that Dr. Wilkins was slated to receive the Tufts School of Dental Medicine’s Dean’s Medal on Friday, December 16, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated loyalty, service and generosity, along with her classmate Hilde Tillman, D49, clinical professor emerita of public health and community service, at a ceremony at the dental school.  The Tufts dental community celebrated Wilkins’ life and career during the event and awarded Dean’s Medal to her posthumously.