For centuries, the activities of dentists and the symptoms of tooth disease have been used as themes in works of art, drawings, cartoons, paintings, sculpture and woodcarvings. These images are a valuable source of information about providers of dental care and different treatments for toothache. The museum has an extensive collection of fine art depicting dentistry.
Dentistry has long been a subject for humour in cartoon-art. The golden age of political and social caricature and satire was between 1780 and 1830 when three artists were active Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray and George Cruikshank. Each tackled the topical subject of dentists during their careers. Find out more below. There follows a set of three English engravings, which date from the beginning of the 19th century, showing three options available when a tooth extraction was required. Finally we see a barber-surgeon at work in the 17th century in the Netherlands. If you enjoy these prints why not visit the BDA shop on-line to buy a copy of 'Open Wide: A Series of Eighteenth and Ninetheenth Century Caricatures on Dentistry'?