bda dental museum
BDA Dental Museum. Westminster. 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS.
The Museum of the British Dental Association holds 25,000 items illustrating the development of the dental profession in the UK from the 17th century to the present day. The collection includes dental chairs, dentures, drills, oral hygiene products, and Waterloo teeth.
Replacement teeth were traditionally made from ivory (hippopotamus, walrus or elephant). But such teeth did not always look natural and deteriorated more quickly than real teeth. If you wanted a really good set of dentures these were made with an ivory base and then set with real human teeth. These were expensive as it could take six weeks to make a complete set. They have subsequently become known as 'Waterloo teeth', as some were scavenged from dead soldiers on battlefields.
The BDA Museum was started in 1919 when Lilian Lindsay, the first woman to quality as a dentist in the UK, donated several old dental instruments to the BDA. The collection has been freely open to the public since 1967.