Friday, 1 March 2013

The Vintage Dentist

Today's dental rooms are clean, neat and sterile.  Usually they are white. And boring. I know, I have been at the dentist three days in a row now!  I much prefer this dental room from about 1935.  The yellow walls were meant to have a calming effect.

1935 dental room, source
The light, chair, sink, drill, stool and x ray machine are all very similar to what is in use now.  The free standing side board and curtain are not, and these days the flooring often curves up the wall slightly to make cleaning easier.

Compare this to a dentist's office from 1895.

dental room, 1885 source

What a difference forty years makes! No plumbing, no hydraulic dental chair, no stool for the dentist and very little tools.  The major difference, of course, is no electricity. The would have had nice big tooth pulling pliers though.

Here's an usual dentist room - on board the HMAS Australia in 1913.

HMAS Australia, 1913, source
And here's a rarity - a lady doctor in 1909.  I love the painting on the wall-papered wall in this photo!

lady dentist, 1909 source

Today I had a mould of my teeth made, to be sent off to the lab so a crown can be made. The dental impression tray was made of grey plastic.  Not quite as beautiful as this antique one from France, made of bronze.

French bronze dental impression tray, c. 1840

Well the rooms and instruments may not be as beautiful as they once were, but thankfully pain killers and techniques have improved somewhat. 

My next visit to the dentist is in about two weeks time, to have the crown fitted, so I might actually get onto another topic tomorrow!

Deb xxx

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these vintage photos with us! It's difficult to imagine how dental procedures were done without electricity and modern devices. Those make dental procedures easier and bearable for the patients today. Anyway, I hope yours went smoothly. Clinton Zelman


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