Pelican tooth extractor, circa 1750

Pelican tooth extractor, circa 1750

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pelican tooth extractor, made of steel with screw adjustment. These were an early type of dental forceps, so named due to their claw which was thought to resemble a pelican's beak. Tooth extraction is the earliest known dental procedure, it was used as a last-resort cure for toothache. Pelican extractors originated in the fourteenth century and by the 1500s they had become the most popular tool for tooth-drawing amongst barber surgeons and practitioners. No two alike, each Pelican extractor would have been individually designed to order. This example is continental and dates from around 1750.

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Keywords: 1700s, 1750, 1750s, 18th century, antique, continent, continental, dental, dentistry, eighteenth century, europe, european, extract, extraction, extractor, extractors, forceps, historical, history, instrument, instruments, mainland, medical, medical instrument collection, medicine, odontology, off-white background, pelican, teeth, tool, tools, tooth, tooth-drawing

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