Notable People

View a list of Notable People

Edward Oswald Fergus

Born 1861, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 1946.

A forward thinking dentist who developed a simulated head for training dental students.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Student

Discover more dentists on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievement is associated with Edward Oswald Fergus:

Inventing the phantom head to train dental students
Edward Oswald Fergus developed a stimulated head for teaching dental students. Although it has undergone some refinements, it is still used around the world to train and educate dental students.


The following honour is associated with this person:


Edward Oswald Fergus (1861-1946) was an alumnus of the University and a pioneering dentist, famous for inventing the dental 'Phantom' head, which was used for simulated dental teaching.

Born in Glasgow in 1861 to Dr Andrew Fergus, he trained in dentistry and qualified as a Licentiate in Dental Surgery of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1884, having taken classes at the University. He worked as an assistant dental surgeon at the Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, as well as running a dental practice in Glasgow, before a period of postgraduate education in the United States. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1892 and returned to Glasgow to take up dental practice again.

He presented his invention at the Annual Meeting of the British Dental Association in 1894. Although it has been modified over the years the 'Phantom' head is still an important teaching aid for dental students today.

Fergus was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1906. He died in 1946.