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The Dentist's Chair

picture of dentist's chair
Dentistry circa 1880 (reconstruction)
One early obstacle to the wider acceptance of anaesthesia was the lowly social status of dentists. One rueful practitioner of dental medicine claimed: "Physicians have opposed it for a very cogent reason, that it was the discovery of a dentist".

Liddell's Living Age (June 12, 1847) warned its readers: "Should itinerant tooth-drawers take to ether, and the public, and the public foolishly take to them, we advise the unhappy victims to look to their pockets, and leave all their personal movables, of any value, at home."

Fortunately, the reputation of dentists has since improved.


Utopian Surgery
Refs and Further Reading
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics