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Electric dental elevator, London, England, 1932

This object looks more like an instrument of torture, rather than something used in dentistry – although some people would probably agree that they are one and the same. It was used to loosen teeth in a controlled way before they were extracted and is known as a dental elevator. Inside the handle is an electric hammer used to power the hook-like head at the end – although different attachments can be added to the hammer. The elevator is powered by battery, while the foot pedal acts as an on/off switch. The equipment was made by Tools and Machinery Supplies Ltd.

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    Glossary: dental elevator

    A dental instrument used to remove teeth or parts of teeth that cannot be gripped with forceps or to loosen teeth and roots before using dental forceps.

    Glossary: dentistry

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