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The American Dental Association symbol was adopted in 1964
from a dentistry symbol designed in 1940.
The official emblem for dentistry in the United States was reinstated officially in 1965 from a design initially described and portrayed in 1940. The design uses an ancient Arabian dental cautery instrument as a central figure with a single serpent coiled around the cautery. This is similar to the ancient symbol of medicine, the Staff of Asclepius, where the serpent is coiled around the staff. The cautery and its entwined serpent rest in the center of the Greek letter O (omicron) and the Greek letter D (delta), with the O standing for odont (tooth) and the D standing for dentistry. In the background, on each side of the serpent entwined cautery, is a branch with 32 leaves and 20 berries representing the 20 primary and 32 permanent teeth.
In 2019, a retired dentist was visiting my home and, after seeing my work, asked if I could make a gold pendant of the symbol for dentistry. He wanted it for personal use, and I thought it was an excellent idea for gifts for dentists and an even better idea for gifts for dental students. However, he did not know what the symbol looked like, so I went online and found a drawing of the dental symbol.
I searched online for jewelry made with the symbol of dentists and could only find a thin metal pendant of the dental emblem stamped from thin silver. I could find no handmade or custom designs of the dental emblem, so I decided to try it and make an original custom dental symbol carved from wax and cast in gold. After several days and many hours of wax carving design failures, I almost gave up. However, I then tried a different method, and produced an intricately designed pendant of the dentistry symbol that was the quality that any dentist or dental student would be proud to wear.