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The British Dentist

The British Dentist

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The British Dentist

Lungime:
95 pages
33 minutes
Lansat:
Jun 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781784420796
Format:
Carte

Descriere

Though the prospect may fill us with dread, most of us need dental treatment at some stage – and the reality is that better care has never been available, as this fully illustrated book shows. Early dentistry was amateurish and limited to barber-surgeons, travelling tooth-pullers and blacksmiths, with patients often suffering as much from the cure as the malady; and even as things improved in the eighteenth century, fashionable dentures were still made from the teeth of dead soldiers or even of the poor. This authoritative introduction looks at this whole grisly history as well as at the increasing professionalism seen from the late nineteenth century onwards, which has led to very dramatic improvements in dental treatment, including modern dentures, amalgam fillings, anaesthetics and orthodontics, and to the current boom in cosmetic dentistry.
Lansat:
Jun 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781784420796
Format:
Carte

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The British Dentist - Rachel Bairsto

Full set of ivory dentures with piano wire springs, dating from the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century.

Instruments used for preparing and carrying out a gold foil filling including gold foil sheets and gold foil pellets, annealing lamp, a variety of pluggers and early automatic mallets.

CONTENTS

FROM TOOTH DRAWER TO DENTIST: 1700–1800

FROM A TRADE TO A PROFESSION

A VISIT TO THE DENTIST

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

FURTHER READING

PLACES TO VISIT

FROM TOOTH DRAWER TO DENTIST: 1700–1800

PRIOR TO THE increased availability of sugar in the eighteenth century, tooth problems were most often a result of excessive wear of the teeth from grinding hard, coarse food. In medieval England it was thought that toothache was caused by worms living in the teeth. This was a theory that was to persist until the mid-nineteenth century. It was said that tooth worms could only be eliminated through the fumigation of the mouth by burning henbane seeds over hot coals. No doubt the patient felt temporary relief but the throbbing pain would soon return. Praying to the patron saint of toothache, St Apollonia, was also believed to help the pain and is exemplified by the frequent depictions of her in churches across the country and Europe.

The Tooth Ache, or, Torment & Torture by Thomas Rowlandson, 1823, depicts Barnaby Factotum, who offered the following services: ‘Draws Teeth, Bleeds and Shaves, Wigs made here, also Sausages, Wash Balls, black puddings, Scotch Pills, Powder for the Itch, Red Herrings, Breeches Balls, and small Beer by the maker’.

Worn teeth with calculus of an adult male from the Roman period.

Fumigating the teeth with henbane seeds.

A nineteenth-century plaster representation of St Apollonia – the patron saint of toothache sufferers.

However, it was the introduction of sugar that was to have a major impact on our oral health, bringing with it a sharp rise in caries (rotting/decay of the tooth) and periodontal disease (disease of the gums and tissues supporting the teeth). Sugar was at first a luxury and so it was often the upper classes in society that would suffer as a result of its use. Queen Elizabeth I herself was said to have blackened teeth caused by her particularly sweet tooth, and also foul breath. Sugar consumption rose dramatically in the eighteenth century as jams, toffee, and other processed foods began to appear more widely on the market. Our delight of sweet food thus created an unprecedented demand for dental treatment.

Ultimately it was the physical pain of toothache that pushed people into seeking out swift treatment. This could be from the local blacksmith – always willing to extract a tooth with the tools available to him. In addition barbers and barber-surgeons would not only perform blood-letting, cut hair and shave clients, but also extract teeth. The work of barbers and barber-surgeons was controlled by the guilds, and by 1540 a clear separation was made between the two groups: no surgeon was to practise as a barber and the barbers were to be restricted in their surgical procedures to the extraction of teeth.

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