Dental instruments used for tooth pulling, France, 1700-1800

Made:
1700-1800 in France
maker:
Unknown

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Dental instrument set comprising five pelicans in tooled leather case, 16th-17th centuries, French, Dr. Hamonic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Dental instruments comprising five pelicans in tooled leather case, 18th century, French, Dr. Hamonic Collection, leather, steel and wood

These dental pelicans are so-called because they resemble a pelican’s beak. The instruments were used for tooth pulling – the tooth was removed sideways! The claw was placed over the top of the tooth and the fulcrum, the semi-circular piece of metal at the end, was placed against the gum. The pressure from the lever would remove the tooth. This was undoubtedly painful for the patient and possibly caused damage to the gums and surrounding teeth. Tooth pulling was the only cure for diseased teeth and toothache which was carried out by barber-surgeons and travelling practitioners.

Details

Category:
Dentistry
Object Number:
A121693
Materials:
cotton, incomplete, leather, steel and wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (largest pelican): 33 mm x 20 mm x 33 mm, 0.062 kg
overall (case): 60 mm x 176 mm x 75 mm, 0.096 kg
pelican: 130 mm
type:
dental instrument
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • dental equipment
credit:
Hamonic Collection

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