Despite our rapidly advanced dental technology, the idea of dental drilling still scares many of us today. Now imagine your teeth being drilled by Neolithic tools and our ancestors suddenly appear a great deal braver than us. They must have known the true fear of a trip to the dentist.For BBC Earth, Colin Barras investigates the evidence for the existence of dentistry in prehistoric times.
... in the Victorian era (1837-1901), a small, tightly controlled mouth was considered beautiful. They took their cues from much of Europe's fine-art portraiture. Some say photographers even suggested those posing say "prunes" to heighten the effect. Smiling was something captured on children, peasants and drunkards, hardly something you'd want for your family legacy.Advances in dental care and ubiquitous technology: why people started smiling for the camera, and why we say cheese, with a whistling bird, some whiskey, and a little flash game thrown in for good measure. [more inside]
Then, there was the matter of oral hygiene.
Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
If you were a Victorian dentist, only recently raised from the barbarity of barbering, and needed some place to store all those picks and pokers and pliers and porcelain where they wouldn't panic your patients, while giving an air of aristocratic and academic authority, how might you outfit your office with adequate opulence to signify stability and sincerity? A top-of-the-line dental cabinet.
A hedgehog goes to the dentist (a story in photos)
Before and after photographs of children who have had teeth removed. Part of a exhibition showcasing behind the scenes observations of The Children's Hospital, Sheffield
How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public's Expense: Report looks at methods of corporate abuse, suggests steps toward reform [Full Report (PDF)] [Executive Summary (PDF)] [more inside]
In a heartbreakingly candid blog post, Paul finally explains his deepest, darkest secret to his friends, his family and the world:
That last photo I'm aware of that exists with me smiling with an open mouth is my eighth grade school picture. [...] By the time I was 17, I had cavities in three of my top front teeth and virtually no enamel resembling anything pearly or white when I opened my mouth...so I quit opening it.His blog now follows his progress as he goes through reconstructive dental care, shares anecdotes from his past, and encourages others to ask for help.
Eric Belanger, of the Washington Capitals defines "never give up" attitude by getting hit in the face, losing several teeth (including pulling one out with his bare hands), and returning to the ice to finish out the game.
The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia presents its collection of mysterious, terrifying antique items once used to render people unconscious.
Grow your own spare parts. At last we're regenerating properly. Scientists took stem cells from patients fat tissue, cultivated bone cells from them, crafted a nice comfy titanium cage where to grow and put the cage into man's abdomen. After 9 months, install new upper jaw.
Not cringing enough? This gallery of photos of street dentists in India should solve that problem for you.
A dental miracle?! The Japanese have invented a synthetic crystaline polymer which not only safely repairs small cavities, but can also be used to strengthen the enamel of healthy teeth. The before and after pictures are impressive. The catch?! Having it applied to your teeth whitens them at the same time.
Dental History. Anesthesia was discovered by dentists (attributed to Horace Wells and William Morton). Gold filling has been in use since the 15th century.
but does it have vibrate? A prototype tooth implant which picks up digital signals from radios and mobile phones goes on show at the Science Museum in London this week.
Everybody is blogging the intraoral camera link on Wired today. When I first saw it I was like "EEEEEEW!" I mean, it's bad enough I have to *hear* them drilling a(nother) hole in my head - I sure don't want to WATCH! I suppose as long as they don't use the same camera they use for this, it doesn't really bother me too much.