the upper gallery are fifteen cabinets, many of whose contents would
delight S&M practitioners. There are hundreds of instruments of early
dental torture such as pelicans (with little metal beaks), root screws
and metal keys - a quick turn and out pops the stump - maybe. Gleaming
old dentures made from walrus or hippo ivory, porcelain or corpses'
teeth (these, unsurprisingly, were a common cause of bad breath), grin
in a friendly fashion. Some smiles however, seem a little strained as
the dentures' connecting springs look ready to propel them across the
room. Wearers had to keep their jaws firmly clenched to prevent this
common social gaffe.
Special attractions are the Wilcox-Jewett Obtunder, the "Speclite", Dr. Edward H. Angle's Chin Retractor and Hickley's Archimedian Drill. In the lower gallery are wonderfully complicated X-ray machines, dentists' chairs made in walnut and velvet, Queen Victoria's spittoon, and, just in case you lack faith in scientific dental aids, a little scabby relic of St. Apollonia, patron saint of sufferers from toothache.
BRITISH DENTAL ASSOCIATION
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