When it moved to 688 Boylston Street in 1883, the Harvard Medical School donated its old building on North Grove Street to the Harvard Dental School. The Dental School flourished in the succeeding years, erasing its deficit, tripling its student body, increasing the number of its departments and faculty members, and benefiting from clinical opportunitites of the nearby Massachusetts General Hospital. Well before the turn of the century, however, the Dental School outgrew the North Grove Street building. The healthy financial situation of the school permitted the purchase of a lot for the construction of a new facilty and, not surprisingly, in 1906 land was procured on Longwood Avenue, adjacent to the Medical School.
During WWI, faculty and graduates of Harvard Dental School helped establish the first organized dental unit of the British Expeditionary Force in France. At No. 20 General Hospital, the specialty was oral and plastic surgery to repair fractured jaws and mouth wounds. The pioneering work of Dr. Varaztad H. Kazanjian, in particular, drew the attention of British surgeons, who came to observe his technique in maxillofacial surgery.