Norman Thomas graduated B.D.S. (Hons.) in Bristol in 1957 and went on to gain a B.Sc. in 1960 and Ph.D. in 1966. He was appointed a lecturer in dental medicine in 1962, working under Professor Darling, and remained in Bristol until 1968 – contemporaries will remember him as an energetic and very popular member of staff. In 1968 he moved to Canada on being appointed a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, where he was made Professor Emeritus in 1990. In 2004 he was appointed Research Director at the Las Vegas Institute of Dental Studies which, on his retirement in 2015, honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is now living in Edmonton and is Chancellor of the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics.

A son and grandson followed Norman to study dentistry in Bristol: Martyn, who qualified in December 1984, and Trystan who graduated in July 2008.