Iron mouth dilator

Made:
1501-1600 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dilator, mouth, probably 16th century, iron, from Tower of London after fire of 1841

Keeping the patient’s mouth open during treatments and surgery required an instrument like this mouth dilator. It was common for surgeons to perform tooth pulling as dentistry did not develop as a specialised discipline until the 1800s. This object was acquired from the Tower of London in 1841 after a fire destroyed most of the Grand Armoury.

Details

Category:
Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
A14485
type:
mouth dilator
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
  • surgical instrument
  • dilator
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust