This Will Hurt: A History of Dentistry – in Pictures

Discussion in 'Dental Medicine' started by dr.omarislam, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. dr.omarislam

    dr.omarislam Golden Member

    Apr 30, 2017
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    Medicine and dentistry have massive improvement recently due to the new technologies and researches, here we are sharing old photos that describe how dentistry was in the past.


    Aggressive growth … on the left, facial tumours, filed and pointed teeth, and various instruments for extraction, taken from Joseph Fox’s The Natural History and Diseases of the Human Teeth. On the right, the progression of an aggressive facial tumour in a 13-year-old girl admitted to Guy’s Hospital, London


    Bridge building … a copy of a Roman dental bridge, made of metal and containing replacement teeth, fixed in place with a pin. The original was found in Teano, southern Italy


    Hippo mouth … a group of full and partial dentures now held in storage at Blythe House, London. Some dentures were made of hippopotamus ivory, cut and carved to look like teeth. Ivory was expensive, difficult to clean and would deteriorate over time, smelling quite unpleasant


    Gripping moment … a tooth being extracted by a blacksmith, in an 18th-century oil painting. The blacksmith-cum-dentist seems to be enjoying himself as he uses giant pincers to remove a tooth – or teeth – from the mouth of a distraught patient


    Picture perfect … dental wrenches and extraction techniques, from a hand-tinted edition of Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery’s Traité Complet de l’Anatomie de l’Homme (1831-54), regarded by many as the finest work of medical illustration in the modern era.

    Something to chew over … an advertisement for a dentist’s window display unit, using finely detailed gold-coloured holders to showcase ivory work and extracted teeth. This one, dating from the 1880s, belonged to J Petit, a Parisian dentist.

    Posthumous milestone … images of pliers, pelicans, probes, pokers and other dental paraphernalia, from Armamentarium Chirurgicum by Johannes Scultetus. The textbook was published in the 1650s, a decade after the death of Scultetus, a German physician and surgeon. The work, which was to prove a medical milestone, sold in translation all over Europe and features a complete catalogue of surgical instruments.

    More herbs! … a 17th-century statue, made of wood and ivory, showing a tooth removal. At the time, taking out a tooth was a painful and sometimes physically damaging process with, at best, only alcohol or herbal concoctions to numb the pain. Tooth-pulling was viewed with some disdain by the established medical profession. Teeth were often extracted by travelling practitioners whose skills were dubious.


    Hole picture … more illustrations from the Traité Complet showing the anatomy of the oral cavity in fine detail.


    While you were sleeping … an early inhaler for ether anaesthesia. Ether was first used in 1846 during the removal of a tooth by an American dentist, William Thomas Green Morton. This inhaler is adapted from Morton’s original. Ether-soaked sponges were placed in the jar and rubber tubing connected the valve to the face mask.


    Tools and techniques (extraction and luxation), from the Traité Complet. The instruments include an oral speculum, toothkeys and cutting pliers.


    If it’s good enough for a princess … advertising cards and packaging from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kolynos emphasises the scientific and economic advantages of its products, whereas Gibbs and JF Hart promote the importance of looking after the teeth and preserving the gums. Dr W Ziemer uses a portrait of Princess Alexandra to advertise his dentrifice, while fragrant and antiseptic qualities are highlighted by both Dentyl and Doctor Smoker’s Tooth Paste. The Smile Stealers: The Fine and Foul Art of Dentistry, by Richard Barnett, is published by Thames & Hudson


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