Spring 2018

Rinse and Spittoon

Remember when the S.S. White Wilkerson dental chair was all the rage? Yeah, neither do we.

Photographs by Alonso Nichols

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Remember when the S.S. White Wilkerson dental chair was all the rage? Yeah, neither do we. But it’s not hard to see how this 1877 cast-iron chair from the School of Dental Medicine’s Dr. H. Martin Deranian museum evolved into the style we know today. Some of these nineteenth-century dental items may also seem familiar. Others—ahem, the “dental key”—not so much.

 

BLACK’S DENTAL ANATOMY

First published in 1890, this textbook by G.V. Black, “the father of modern dentistry,” was used for decades.

 

INSTRUMENTS AND MODELS

Vintage instruments and models for cavity preparation. Bone, ivory, conch shell, and pearl were popular materials for handles.

 

PORCELAIN DENTURE TEETH

The development of porcelain teeth, and the vulcanized rubber base to which they were attached, led to the first widely available comfortable, affordable dentures.

 

STORAGE CASE

Sterility was not a consideration for storing instruments, but keeping them neat and orderly was.

 

DENTAL KEY

The quickest way to extract a posterior tooth before the use of anesthesia. Hook the claw over the tooth and rotate the handle towards the cheek.

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