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Crow's bill dental forceps, Macedonia, 1801-1910

Crow's bill dental forceps, Macedonia, 1801-1910

Credits: Science Museum

Dental forceps used for tooth pulling have been around for centuries. These crow’s bill forceps (on the left) are crudely made and are so called because of their shape. They would have been used to remove the roots of the teeth and were owned by a barber-surgeon located in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly part of Yugoslavia. Tooth pulling was carried out by a range of people including barber-surgeons and travelling practitioners and was the only remedy for diseased teeth. Dentistry did not become a regulated and licensed profession until the late 1800s. They are shown here with another pair of dental forceps (A621720).

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    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: dental forceps

    Forceps used specifically to remove teeth.

    Glossary: tooth pulling

    The removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are also routinely performed.

    Glossary: dentistry

    The study, treatment and management of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, gums, teeth and their supporting tissues.