Zene Artzney
Zene Artzney

Dental Hygiene

Until the early 19th century small sponges and cloths were the materials chosen to clean teeth. Toothbrushs were objects of luxury, only utilized by the wealthy and unavailable to the average person. However prior to this, from the Greco-Roman era through medieval times, toothpicks and dental scalers were used.

By the middle 1700`s the necessity to remove plaque was understood. People noticed that it made teeth dark and unsightly, produced foul and offensive odor, and caused mobility. Today we term this periodontal disease.

Cleaning instruments needed to be sharp to best perform their desired function of removing the hard deposits on teeth. They were made of polished steel and retained a cutting edge better than any known material.

Handles were usually made from ivory, mother of pearl, silver, or ebony wood. Five to twelve different types of instruments could be screwed on one handle. Sets of this type were manufactured until the middle 1800`s after which specific sets for dentists were produced. These were composed of five to ten instruments, each mounted on its own handle, and kept in a small chest. Sometimesthey were part of a large instrument box. The French manufacturers Garengret and Charriere produced decorative and remarkable sets of the highest quality.

Exceptional cased set of dental instruments with royal inscribtion dating from the early 19th century. It was made in Paris by Grangeret. He became cutler to the French Marine in 1795 and to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805. There is no further information after 1815. This set contains a superb dental pelican, two toothkeys with ivory handles, twenty two scaling instruments with gold collars and shields, four extracting forceps and various instruments for throat and nasal operations.

A magnificant 19th century dentistry set made by Aubry of Paris. The set contains 27 pieces including : root canal and tooth extraction instruments, concave dental mirror, scrapers and scalers with ebony handles. Two " Clef Anglais " ( toothkey ) with cross ebony handle and 8 replaceable claws of different sizes. Four dental forceps with crooked and cleft blades. The case is made of dark mahagony wood with brass fittings, ca. 1870.

dental hygiene