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Double ended tooth key, 19th century

Double ended tooth key, 19th century

C017/8384

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Unusual double ended tooth key. Tooth extraction is the earliest known dental procedure, it was used as a last-resort cure for toothache. From around 1750 the tooth key, whilst still brutal, overtook the less-effective pelican tooth extractor as the instrument of choice for tooth-drawing. One of the claw ends would be placed over the crown of the tooth and the device would be twisted to dislocate the tooth (often following prior loosening by an elevator tool). This tooth key is continental and dates from the early nineteenth century.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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