The Dental School in Cork was established in 1913 as a combined initiative of University College Cork and the North Infirmary Hospital. Students were taught in a purpose built facility adjacent to the North Infirmary hospital and for the first time in Cork provided conservation care to those patients without private means. The Dental School was intiitally staffed by local dentists who gave freely of their time and expertise but full time staff were soon appointed. An early Dean of the School was J.C.Butterfield who was also Lord Mayor of Cork during the 1916 rebellion.
The Dental School grew steadily increasing the number of its graduates and extending its activities into postgraduate and continuing education. Whilst poorly resourced in the early years staff kept up with developments in dental technology and the Cork Dental School introduced the first dental x-ray unit in the country.
University College Cork took over the operation of the Dental School in 1967 and the School moved to a new location on the site of the Cork University Hospital in 1982. The new location allowed the school to continue it's tradition of serving the community and educating dental care staff whilst increasing it's capacity to expand into the area of dental research.