Open Wide: The Life and Legacy of Martin Dewey

Dr. Martin Dewey was an American orthodontist, teacher and president of the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association. 

Dewey was born in 1881 in Kingman, Kansas. His father was a dentist in the small town.

He graduated from Wichita Normal School in 1899.  He got his Dentistry degree from University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1902. He later studied under Edward Angle at the Angle School of Orthodontia in St. Louis.  Dewey was also a teacher at the school. He went into private practice in Kansas City. Around that time he became a faculty member at University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry. 

Martin Dewey

He was married to Grace M. Dewey.  But you might know her by her stage name, Muriel DeForrest.  She appeared on Broadway in “Midnight Frolic” and “Demi Tass Review.”  She also worked with George Gershwin and Eddie Cantor.

Since there were not many pictures for this story, I pulled some pics off the internet of early orthodontics.


Dewey created the Dewey School of Orthodontics at the Dental School in Kansas City, Missouri. The first set of ten week classes were held in the summer of 1911. 

Dr. Dewey and Dr. C.V. Mosby established the International Journal of Orthodontia in 1915. He served as editor for 17 years and wrote many articles over his lifetime. The journal is still around. Although its known as the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics these days. 


The Dewey school moved to Chicago in 1917 and then to New York City two years later. Dr. Dewey served as faculty member at both schools. 


The Dewey school had annual orthodontic sessions until 1933.  The doctor died from a heart attack in New York on May 14, 1933.  He was 52 years old.

His memorial rests near his family at Maple Grove Cemetery.

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