» May 5th 2018:

Three hundred years of false teeth – in pictures

A new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection covers the past 300 years of dentistry: from blacksmiths removing rotten teeth with pliers, and dentures made with teeth stolen from corpses or – for the very wealthy – out of walrus ivory, to the pure white Hollywood smiles of Cary Grant and Shirley Temple. Objects on display include Napoleon’s toothbrush, a Mayan tooth inlaid with a jade stone, and a cockerel head into which surgeon John Hunter transplanted a human tooth. “The exhibition puts in context that the dentistry we experience today is a lot less invasive, quicker and more heavily managed in terms of pain,” says curator Emily Scott-Dearing. “It certainly made me hugely grateful I live in the era that I do… But I’m definitely brushing my teeth more these days.”Teeth is at the Wellcome Collection, London NW1, from 17 May

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