Gillette Hayden

Gillette Hayden

Gillette Hayden (1880-1929) was the great-granddaughter of Horace Hayden, one of the founders of the first dental college in Baltimore, and she gained fame for her achievements in periodontics.

Dr. Hayden was valedictorian from East High School in Columbus, Ohio.  She went on to become the third woman to graduate from the dental department of Ohio Medical University in 1902.  After taking some post-graduate work at Northwestern Dental School, she began a general practice of dentistry in Columbus in 1903.  In 1905 she traveled to Europe to introduce methods and treatment of periodontal diseases developed by the late Dr. D.D. Smith of Philadelphia.  In 1908 she returned to Columbus, devoting her practice exclusively to periodontia.

In co-operation with Dr. Grace Rogers Spalding of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Hayden helped form the American Academy of Periodontology in 1914.  Dr. Hayden was president of the group in 1916, was later elected fellow, and served almost continuously on the executive council until her passing.  She also served as president of the Federation of American Women Dentists in 1923 and was elected secretary of the periodontia section of the International Dental Congress in 1925.  In addition to being a member of the National Dental Association, she was also a member of the Ohio State and Columbus Dental Societies, the Northern Ohio Dental Association and the Central Ohio Dental Association.

Dr. Hayden also worked in the equal rights movement and helped found the Columbus branch of the National Altrusa Club.  In 1925 she was elected president of the National Association.  She was a vibrant member of the community and was actively involved in many more groups and organizations.

The Medical Heritage Center has an archival collection of Dr. Hayden’s and the finding aid for it can be viewed at