Forceps, Dental

Production date
Circa 1840-1850
A set of dental forceps with a round thin metal rod at one end with a movable semi-circular piece of metal horizontal to it. A tapering wooden handle is attached to the metal rod.
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Object detail

Production date
Circa 1840-1850
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A visit to the dentist may still be scary for some but spare a thought for those treated without the benefits of modern technology. Until about 1800 it was the local barber who extracted teeth and offered blood letting services. The removal of all of your teeth by the age of 25 was not unusual. This dental “key” was invented during the 1770s and provided a speedy yet brutal method of tooth extraction at a time before local anaesthetic. The claw was wrapped over the crown before a simple brisk turn of the handle removed the tooth. Unfortunately it was not unknown for part of the jawbone to come away as well. The use of the “key” continued well into the nineteenth century.
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