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​BDA Museum showcases Waterloo teeth to mark bicentenary

A new exhibition at the BDA Museum showcases its collection of Waterloo teeth to celebrate the Battle's bicentenary on 18th June. The exhibition explores the popularity of ivory dentures In Georgian England prior to the battle and the introduction of natural teeth onto these ivory bases.


This small exhibition aims to show the skill of the technicians in making early dentures with the different ways in which the human teeth were attached.

Put in historical context, the rather gruesome idea for us today, of taking human teeth from dead bodies to be used to implant into the living, doesn't seem so odd when faced with the poor state of many peoples teeth in the 18th Century, and the lack of available expertise and materials to be able to fix them.

Dentists continued to use human teeth, in fact the BDA's first President and leading dental reformer and researcher Sir John Tomes continued to use human teeth for his partial dentures as late the 1870s. The source of these human teeth is not fully documented and historians suggest Crimean and American Civil war battlefields.

More images are available on the BBC's website.

The BDA Museum is free to visit and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4pm. All other times by appointment. Please contact 0207 563 4549 or email for more information.