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Willoughby D. Miller (1853-1907): Scientific Pioneer of Dentistry


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The final version of the slides from the WD Miller 100th anniversary exhibit. Persons interested in this presentation may also want to visit the image archive from the exhibit.

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Willoughby D. Miller (1853-1907): Scientific Pioneer of Dentistry

  1. 1. Willoughby D. Miller (1853-1907) Scientific Pioneer of Dentistry A joint presentation by Shannon O’Dell, Curator, Sindecuse Museum & Patricia F. Anderson, Dentistry Library Willoughby Dayton (W. D.) Miller A.B., D.D.S., M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D. © 2007 Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. W. D. Miller (1853-1907) Scientific Pioneer of Dentistry Shannon O’Dell, Curator, Sindecuse Museum Willoughby Dayton (W. D.) Miller A.B., D.D.S., M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D. © 2007 Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Miller Exhibit
  4. 4. Front of Exhibit
  5. 5. Back of Exhibit
  6. 6. Personal Life and Education <ul><li>Born in 1853, Ohio </li></ul><ul><li>Family background </li></ul><ul><li>Childhood </li></ul><ul><li>College </li></ul>
  7. 7. Personal Life and Education <ul><li>Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Why Germany? </li></ul><ul><li>Post Graduate Education </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming a dentist </li></ul>
  8. 8. Caroline Abbott and Willoughby <ul><li>Love changes everything </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Abbott’s decision </li></ul><ul><li>Off to Pennsylvania </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mrs. Willoughby D. Miller <ul><li>Her role in the scientist’s home </li></ul>
  10. 10. Miller at University of Berlin
  11. 11. Seminal Publication, 1890 <ul><li>Carbohydrate foods mixed with saliva and incubated at 37 ° C generated lactic acid which could decalcify entire crown </li></ul><ul><li>Identified several bacterial organisms involved in creating acids </li></ul><ul><li>Different bacteria invaded dentin </li></ul><ul><li>18 propositions were posed, most valid today </li></ul><ul><li>A classic in dental literature and a landmark in dental education. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-orientated the dental profession from one of treatment to the idea of prevention. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Miller’s career in Germany Cover, Prof. Miller’s notebook, University of Berlin laboratory, ca. 1904 School of Dentistry Collection, Bentley Historical Library
  13. 14. Recognition <ul><li>Considered the outstanding scientist of his day </li></ul><ul><li>Honorary PhD by University of Michigan in 1885 </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Extraordinarius (1894) University of Berlin </li></ul><ul><li>Honorary Doctor of Science degree by University of Pennsylvania (1902) </li></ul><ul><li>German Emperor bestowed title of Geheim Medizinalrat (Privy Medical Councilor)(1906) </li></ul><ul><li>Elected to honorary membership to more than 40 dental societies </li></ul>
  14. 15. UM College of Dental Surgery & Dr. Miller <ul><li>Dr. Taft retires, 1900 </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Hoff’s role </li></ul><ul><li>Visits faculty here </li></ul><ul><li>The shocking news </li></ul>
  15. 16. His impact <ul><li>Preventative Dentistry  new subfields </li></ul><ul><li>Hygiene Program </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific basis for developing lifelong cleanliness </li></ul><ul><li>New products </li></ul>
  16. 17. Memorials <ul><li>University of Michigan, School of Dentistry, 1940 Sculptures by Samuel Cashwan </li></ul><ul><li>University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine, 1981 The W.D. Miller Clinical Research Center (CRC) was established to develop a program that would foster interdisciplinary clinical research. </li></ul><ul><li>Ohio State Dental Society commissions 8 foot high sculpture of Miller completed in 1915. It now resides near the Dental campus, Ohio State University </li></ul>
  17. 18. Sculptures by Samuel Cashwan
  18. 19. Ohio Memorials <ul><li>Campus of Ohio State University </li></ul><ul><li>Commissioned by Ohio State Dental Society </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated in 1915 </li></ul><ul><li>Artist: F. C. Hibbard </li></ul>
  19. 20. Marker in Alexandria, OH
  20. 21. Laid to rest <ul><li>Willoughby D. Miller is buried in Alexandria, OH in 1907. </li></ul><ul><li>Caroline moved to Middletown, CT with her two daughters, to be closer to her mother. She lived there until she dies in 1949, never remarrying. </li></ul><ul><li>Kathrin (Miller) Cady, eldest daughter, died in 1909 after suffering some time with heart trouble. Her son was age 2. </li></ul><ul><li>Amy Miller, youngest daughter died of polio in 1910 while a senior in high school. </li></ul><ul><li>WD Miller’s eldest son, Dr. John W. Miller, was still living in Germany in 1949. </li></ul><ul><li>Grandson Willoughby Miller Cady was born in 1907. He becomes a physicist like his father and dies in 1953. </li></ul>
  21. 22. W.D. Miller: The Impact of His Research Patricia F. Anderson December 5, 2007 [email_address] © 2007 Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
  22. 23. Research during Miller’s Life
  23. 24. Miller’s Basic Research Laboratory Specifications <ul><li>Image of Miller’s microscope. Text from his book. </li></ul><ul><li>For one hundred and twenty-five dollars a laboratory may be furnished with about all the apparatus necessary … but not the microscope. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Miller’s Basic Research Laboratory <ul><li>Pipette </li></ul><ul><li>Test tubes </li></ul><ul><li>Bottles of various sizes for holding preparations </li></ul><ul><li>Bottles with ground stoppers for staining materials </li></ul><ul><li>Wash-bottle </li></ul><ul><li>Object- & cover-glasses </li></ul><ul><li>Pincers </li></ul><ul><li>A few hollow object-glasses for drop-cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Various-sized porcelain evaporating dishes </li></ul><ul><li>Two platinum needles </li></ul><ul><li>Brushes </li></ul><ul><li>Spatula </li></ul><ul><li>Filter, filter paper </li></ul><ul><li>Cotton, wire baskets for culture-tubes </li></ul><ul><li>Scissors </li></ul>
  25. 26. Miller’s Basic Research Laboratory <ul><li>Microscope, magnification of 200-300 diameters </li></ul><ul><li>Oil-immersion lens </li></ul><ul><li>Incubator, zinc or copper </li></ul><ul><li>Hot-air sterilized </li></ul><ul><li>Steam sterilizer </li></ul><ul><li>Spiral burner </li></ul><ul><li>Thermo regulator </li></ul><ul><li>Microtome with freezing arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Two gas burners </li></ul><ul><li>Two dozen glass plates and benches </li></ul><ul><li>Six damp chambers </li></ul><ul><li>Leveling apparatus for pouring cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Pair of scales (0.1-20.0 grams) </li></ul><ul><li>Water-bath </li></ul><ul><li>One dozen small glass dishes and watch-glasses </li></ul><ul><li>One dozen Petri-sche Schalen </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring-glass </li></ul>
  26. 27. Laboratory Accoutrements of the Age
  27. 28. The Man As Researcher <ul><li>“ Each sense, as each hair, is off on a quest of its own. Each one is pursuing investigations in its own direction. Dr. Miller is always deferential to others, but he thinks for himself.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Barrett WC. W. D. Miller, A.B., Ph. D., M.D., D.D.S. Dominion Dental Journal March 1891 3(2):45. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Miller’s Most Significant Research <ul><li>Microorganisms of the Mouth, 1889 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cited over 200 times in past 50 years </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>Selected images from Microorganisms of the Mouth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actinomyces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rasen von Bacillus maximus buccalis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data table </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. The Human Mouth as a Focus of Infection <ul><li>Cited over 20 times in past 50 years </li></ul><ul><li>Selected images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacillus buccalis septicus. From the blood of a mouse. Methyl violet 1000:1. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacillus buccalis septicus. Pure culture on gelatine, one day old. Methyl violet. 1000:1. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. Experiments and observations on the wasting of tooth tissue …
  32. 33. <ul><li>Cited over 100 times in past 50 years </li></ul><ul><li>Selected images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cupping of gold filling … produced by friction of brush ad powder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortening of the teeth … produced by immoderate use of brush and powder. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excessive action of brush and power on tooth tissue compared with gold filling </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. Miller’s Research in His Own Life <ul><li>“” He is greedy of but one thing, and that is work. There are not enough hours in the day for his labor, and he borrows much of the night.” </li></ul>
  34. 35. Friends and Family as Research Subjects
  35. 36. Problem <ul><li>1. Microorganisms grow in the mouth </li></ul><ul><li>2. These cause dental decay </li></ul><ul><li>3. How do you prevent dental decay? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Kill the microorganisms </li></ul><ul><li>5. How to best kill the microorganisms? </li></ul>
  36. 37. Solution <ul><li>A mouthwash made from a Colorado Claro cigar proves very effective at killing bacteria </li></ul><ul><li>Surprising to us, but logical at the time </li></ul><ul><li>Miller used this distillation himself with no observed ill effects </li></ul>
  37. 38. Miller, Giant Killer <ul><li>That “Giant Killer,” our own Miller, </li></ul><ul><li>Pursuing the germ to his lair, </li></ul><ul><li>Has driven the picket from the thicket </li></ul><ul><li>and laid his hiding-place bare. </li></ul><ul><li>And the the &quot;Lactic,&quot; which our old tactics </li></ul><ul><li>Did so disastrously ignore, </li></ul><ul><li>Were so dammed in with germs jammed in, </li></ul><ul><li>Only ruin wrought the more. </li></ul><ul><li>Signs of acidity we scan with avidity, </li></ul><ul><li>And follow to their sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Our lines we lengthen and doubly strengthen, </li></ul><ul><li>to defend the vital forces. </li></ul><ul><li>O ye untactical, so called practical, </li></ul><ul><li>That see nothing beyond the sight, </li></ul><ul><li>Proof of existence is in persistence -- </li></ul><ul><li>The undefeated still will fight! </li></ul>
  38. 39. Impact of Miller’s Research Then <ul><li>Antisepsis: Borolyptol </li></ul><ul><li>“ Most human mouths are veritable ‘Septic Nurseries’ … “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Formaldehyde and the balsams is the ideal mouth bath” </li></ul>
  39. 40. Miller’s Last Year of Research <ul><li>From the Index of Dental Literature </li></ul>
  40. 41. International Miller Prize <ul><li>Awarded by the F édération Dentaire Internationale (FDI, World Dental Federation) </li></ul><ul><li>The first medal was awarded in 1910 to GV Black of Chicago by Dr. Florestan Aguilar for Dr. Black’s contributions to international dental research. </li></ul><ul><li>2nd awarded in 1912 to Charles Godon of Paris </li></ul>
  41. 42. The Willoughby D. Miller Memorial <ul><li>“ To be Unveiled in Columbus, Ohio. at the next Meeting of The Ohio State Dental Society, At Columbus in December, 1915” </li></ul>
  42. 43. Impact of Miller’s Research Now <ul><li>THEN: Caries treatment and management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOW: Prevention, antiseptic, dental prophylaxis (hint, hint - dental hygiene?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>THEN: Focal infection theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOW: Relationship between periodontal health and systemic diseases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>THEN: Saliva as a research fluid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOW: Salivary diagnostics </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. Examples of Recent Articles Citing Miller’s Works
  44. 45. Most Cited Years for Miller <ul><li>Since 1950 </li></ul>
  45. 46. Journals Citing Miller Most Frequently
  46. 47. W. D. Miller <ul><li>“ There are few who even now know the extent of his observations and the value of his discoveries.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Barrett WC. W. D. Miller, A.B., Ph. D., M.D., D.D.S. Dominion Dental Journal March 1891 3(2):45. </li></ul></ul>