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Dental chair, England, 1880-1910

Plush velvet upholstered seating, cast iron feet and a separate rubber footrest make up this fully adjustable dental chair. As specialised furniture, dental chairs symbolised the emergence of dentistry as a separate profession. The quality of the chair also suggests wealthy clientele were willing to pay for dental services. The first reclining chair was invented in 1832 by London dentist James Snell. He was also a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

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    Glossary: dentist's chair

    Dentist's chairs are deeply reclining chairs to allow the dentist easy access to the patient's mouth. The reclining position adjusts as well as the overall height of the chair. Associated with the chair are usually a variety of dental equipment, often including a small tap and sink for the patient to rinse his or her mouth.

    Glossary: dentistry

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