The Dental Journey: From Tusks to Teeth to the Vulcanite

Thursday, July 16, 2015 to , ,

The exhibition considers the dental journey, starting with the primary historic role of the dentist to relieve the troubled subject from the unpleasantries of dental pain. Drawing on the museum’s rich and extensive collection, the exhibition explores the progression of dentistry from one of treatment based on charms and spells, through extraction, conservation and restoration of teeth, to the emergence of dentistry as a profession, and the vulcanite age. Significant items on display include an extensive range of dental extraction keys, early instruments for plugging and cleaning teeth; a fascinating collection of dentures made from bone, ivory, porcelain and human teeth, some with springs for retention; an 1890s dental chair and other ‘fitting room’ furniture, as today’s surgery was then known. Ground floor, Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, 720 Swanston Street, Melbourne