Dr. Harry Gilbert was born and raised in western Kansas. He attended Fort Hays State University until he was accepted as a three-year candidate at the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry (UMKC). On graduation from UMKC in 1971, he was accepted as a general practice intern at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital (USPHS) in New Orleans. After serving two years with the USPHS, he opened a private dental practice in Plainville, Kansas. After seven years of general dentistry practice, he was accepted as an oral and maxillofacial surgery resident at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Detroit, Mich. On completion of his residency in 1980, Dr. Gilbert opened a specialty practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery in Great Bend, Kansas.
In 1985, Dr. Gilbert accepted the position of oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Gilbert was also accepted as an associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (formerly The University of Texas Dental Branch). Dr. Gilbert spent the next 29 years treating patients and training oral and maxillofacial surgery and general practice residents in the art of oral and maxillofacial surgery. In 1998, he was selected as Chief of Dentistry at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, where he supervised all dental care provided by the 52 employees and residents of the VA Dental Service.
In June 2014, Dr. Gilbert retired from the VA hospital after a total of 37 years of federal service. He accepted a full–time position at UT School of Dentistry as Director of Undergraduate Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training.