The North Carolina Dental Society was organized on October 16, 1856, in Raleigh, North Carolina, with seven dentists. Membership in the Society was limited to the graduate alumni of dental colleges residing in North Carolina, the only such society in the country placing that restriction on its membership.
Dr. W. F. Bason, the first president of the North Carolina Dental Society, graduated from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1846. He had an itinerate dental practice in North Carolina and surrounding states, and was at one time located in Raleigh. Having been a physician prior to becoming a dentist, Dr. Bason used all known medical methods to lessen the pain of dental operations, and so became known as the “merciful dentist.”
Annual meetings of the North Carolina Dental Society were held until interrupted by the Civil War, 1861 – 1865. After attempts in 1867 and 1868, the North Carolina Dental Society was reorganized on August 11, 1875, in Beaufort, North Carolina.
The Society has operated continuously since 1875, and currently has approximately 3,500 members.