Famous People You Didn’t Know Were/Are Dentists

December 6, 2022

When you book a regular checkup at the dentist or have a cavity filled, you expect to see Dr. Dhiraj Sharma, your trusted dentist. But if life had turned out differently for some famous personalities, they may have ended up being your dentist instead. Take a look at some famous people who were dentists or aspired to enter the profession.

Steve Arlin

This MLB pitcher played with the San Diego Padres and the Cleveland Indians during his career. He not only practiced dentistry after he left the MLB, but he actually worked as a dentist while playing.

Edgar Buchanan

You may recognize actor Edgar Buchanan from his roles in “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” He was also a successful dentist.

Zane Grey

Zane Grey lived from 1872 to 1939 and was the most successful novelist in the United States during the 1920s. Between 1915 and 1924, he was on the best-seller list every single year. In total, Grey wrote over 100 books. But before his success as an author, he attended the University of Pennsylvania Dental School on an athletic scholarship. He later practiced in New York City before turning to writing.


If you’ve heard of the pop, rock, and hip-hop Japanese group named GReeeeN, you may have noticed that their band symbol is an image of teeth. That’s because all four members of the band are dentists.

Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday is best known for his involvement in the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral. Before that incident, he worked as a dentist for several years. He left the profession due to declining business and poor health that sent him to warmer weather out west.

Les Horvath

If you are familiar with the name Les Horvath, that’s because he was a halfback and quarterback with the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams in the 1940s. He also worked as a dentist.

Erhard Keller

Keller was a winter Olympian who competed in speed skating and won Gold. Thanks to his profession and athleticism, his nickname was the “flying dentist.”

Paul Revere

Go back a few centuries, and you’ll find that this famous figure from the American Revolution was a dentist as well. He is even known as the first forensic dentist in the United States, thanks to his ability to recognize his friend’s body based on his fillings.

Mark Spitz

Mark Spitz is an Olympic swimmer and was a household name during the peak of his career. He earned seven gold medals, making him famous throughout the country. According to an interview with Time, Spitz knew he wanted to be a dentist as early as high school. And he got into dental school in the spring of 1972. However, the Olympics changed his career path.

Sofia Vergara

Actress Sofia Vergara was set to become a dentist before she was scouted for acting. She attended dental school and was close to finishing, but decided to pursue acting instead.

Thomas Welch

When you hear Welch, you likely think of grape juice, and that’s because Thomas Welch was the inventor of this brand of grape juice. He was also a war hero and dentist.


Dentistry is quite a popular career path, so even some famous people had the heart to get into the profession.



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