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BDA showcasing collection of Waterloo teeth for bicentenary

18 June 2015

BDA showcasing collection of Waterloo teeth for bicentenary

image credit: BDA

A new exhibition, opening today, 18 June, at the British Dental Association Museum is showcasing its collection of Waterloo teeth to celebrate the bicentenary of the battle.

The exhibition explores the popularity of ivory dentures in Georgian England around the time of the battle, as well as the introduction of natural teeth onto these ivory bases.

The aim of this exhibition is to highlight the great skill through which technicians of that era made dentures with the different ways in which the human teeth were attached.

People in the 18th century faced numerous oral health challenges due to the lack of expertise and materials with which to fix problems and, to them, the idea of taking the human teeth from dead bodies to be used to implant on the living was not such a gruesome prospect.

In fact, this practice persisted right up to the time of the recently commemorated first president of the BDA, Sir John Tomes, right up to the 1870s. 

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