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Dental Instruments - Jacques Guillimeau

There's nothing quite like the crude instruments of the Golden Age of Piracy! (Something for which you should be most grateful.) This page features an assortment of fun dental instruments as featured in the English translation of Jacques Guillimeau's The French Chirurgerie, printed in London in 1683.

While the book is not paginated, this information is from the section "The Thesaurarye, or Storehouse of Chyrurgereye," on the 21st page of that section. The spelling and grammar have been preserved, although I have inserted some material insquare brackets to make it more meaningful to modern audiences. I have inserted lettering into the diagrams because the original letters were often not easily read. I have also moved the original images around so that they work well with the display area on this web page, although I have not altered the actual images in any way other than adding the red lettering that appears on the instruments, as mentioned.

Guillimeau on Dental Instruments

"Explanationof the Characters contaynede in the figures of the Instrumé[n]tes todrayne, breake, and cut of teeth.

L,L, Demonstrate the tonges, vvhichare verye conveniente, to cut of all superfluouse teethe or at the leastthose which are to longe: they are internally inflectede, by that meanes the better to fasten on the teeth.

e, A superfluouse tooth which is halfe of.

M, The Polycampe [Pelican?], L, Polycampus, G, Odontagra, and Odontagegon. It is an Instrument with divers brá[n]ches, which are all of them intrudede in one handle, thoughe a little scrve.

N, The scrue vvhich is on the Instrumente.

O, One of the braunches of the Polycampe.

P, An other extendede braunche.

Q, The thirde braunche

b, The vise beinge taken out. [I believe this is referring to the screw, N]


Guillimeau's Dental Instrumens S - X

S,S, Demonstrate the Instrumente, callede the Patretes bille [Parrot's Bill?]: L, Denticeps, Dentiducum Celsus calleth it Forsex [Forceps?]: G, Rhixan

d, The tooth vvhich is helde fast betvveene the teeth of the Instrumente.

T, An Instrument vvhich loosene the gummes fró[m] the teeth, callede in Latine Dentiscalpium, G, Peri-character

V, The expulser, or thruster out L, Pulsatorium, G, Oterion.

X,X, The Roote dravver, G, Rixagra, It is an Instrumé[n]te verye necessary to dravve out any roote of a toothe, vvhich remaynethe in the Chawwe [Jaw] vvhen the tooth is broken, or corruptede, and rotten."

(Guillemeau, The French Chirurgerie, Translated out of Dutch into English by A.M., "The Thesaurarye, or Storehouse of Chyrurgereye," p. 21)

While these may look and sound horrible, I find it fascinating that many of these instruments are still in use today, not much altered from their original function.