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Dental forceps, Europe, 1601-1850

Dental forceps, Europe, 1601-1850

Credits: Science Museum

Dental forceps used for tooth pulling have been around for centuries. This example (one the right) is very crudely constructed and was probably made by a blacksmith. 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. The forceps are shown here with a pair of crow's bill forceps (A86892).

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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.