DENTISTRY THROUGH ART. PART 3 The following images and descriptions are taken from dental students Rebecca Little and Lorna Hopps’ fourth year elective project. A French dentist shewing a specimen of his artificial teeth and false palates Figure 1. The French dentist, Nicolas Dubois de Chemant, demonstrates porcelain dentures to a potential client. His mouth is open, revealing a dentition desperately in need of restoration. The female patient’s mouth is very large, resulting in a good view of the dentures which are also in the centre of the image – highlighting them as the focus of

Fig. 1 A French dentist shewing a specimen of his artificial teeth and false palates. Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827). 1811 Print. Reproduced with permission from the Wellcome Collection, London

FACULTY WELCOMES NON-ROYAL GRADUATES From 1 January 2014, anyone holding a postgraduate diploma (or higher) in a dental subject from a UK Higher Education Institution is eligible for Full membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK). Previously, applicants were required to possess a qualification from one of the surgical Royal Colleges. Applicants joining the FGDP(UK) under this new route will be entitled to use the post-nominals ‘MFGDP’ for the duration of their membership, or until they obtain the Faculty Fellowship (FFGDP) award.

the caricature. The ugliness of the woman probably suggests that anyone’s appearance can be improved with good dentures. This caricature is mocking the work of the dentist and back then, there were no restrictions on who or what could be made the subject of ridicule through caricature art.1-5 Out hunting for teeth (A Caza De Dientes) Figure 2. Francisco de Goya lived through the peninsula wars (18121814) and witnessed their horrors. He made a series of etchings about the disasters of war which weren’t produced until after his death. Here we see a woman plucking a tooth from a hanging corpse. She covers her face and looks afraid – clearly distressed by her ordeal. There are three main reasons as to why she may be doing this. One – it was believed that possessing the tooth of someone who had died a violent death could cure toothache. Two – people used to use them in potions and thus, she is practising witchcraft. Three - people would use human teeth to construct prostheses. The hanging man in the centre of the etching draws your eye down, to emphasise the fact that he’s hanging.2,6,7 1. Trevers J, Orskey M. Open wide! A series of eighteenth and nineteenth century caricatures on dentistry. Wychwood Books, 2009.

Fig. 2 Out hunting for teeth (A Caza De Dientes). Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). 1799. Reproduced with permission from The University of Maryland Digital Archive 2. Discussions with Dr Maureen Park and Professor David McGowan. 3. Menzies Campbell J. Articles on Menzies Campbell Collection – Dental Pictures (articles reprinted from The Dental Magazine and Oral Topics June 1964). 4. Ring M E. Dentistry - an illustrated history. p 172. Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1992. 5. British Dental Association website. A French dentist showing his artificial teeth. Available at: museum/collections/dental-art/porcelain-teeth.aspx (accessed 7 February 2014). 6. Pindborg J J, Marvitz L. The dentist in art. p 100. Quadrangle Books, 1960. 7. Curtis E. Hand to mouth: essays on the art of dentistry. p 34. Quintessence, 2002.

FROM THE ARCHIVE The following notice was published in the British Dental Journal on 2 February 1914 in Volume 35 page 167. With thanks to Helen Nield, BDA Library Manager, for sourcing gems such as this one from the BDJ archives.

THE FIRST WOMAN CHLOROFORMED Mrs. Agnes Thomson, the first woman to inhale chloroform, has died at Streatham, at the age of 83. She was a niece of Sir J. Y. Simpson’s wife, and, with her father, Commander Petrie, was present at 52, Queen Street, Edinburgh, on the eventful night, November 4, 1847, when the great discovery was made of the use of chloroform by Sir James (then Professor) Simpson. On that occasion (says the Morning Post), after Sir James and his assistants had recovered from the effects of the experimental doses upon themselves, Miss Petrie came forward to be experimented upon and proved a most happy subject under the influence of the drug, as, when falling asleep, she made the remark: “I am an angel, a beautiful angel! How are you all down there?” At the chloroform parties held in those early days of the discovery Miss Petrie was often chloroformed to show the pleasing effects the drug had upon a patient. She invariably made the same remark about being an angel.


BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL VOLUME 216 NO. 5 MAR 7 2014 © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

Dental art: Dentistry through art. Part 3.

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