Artatomical: 19th Century Persian Dentistry


Demonic pain... © Michael Nicholson/Corbis

I really love these late-19th century illustrations from a Turkish medical book, especially the image above that captures the intense pain of a toothache with both internal demons and an external, gnawing dragon. It's absolutely beautiful, isn't it?

The necessary curative measure, however, is less poetic:

UPDATE: Some readers have pointed out to me that the first image is Persian and the second is Turkish. Sorry about that! Corbis Images had them both listed as Turkish.

Out with you!
© Michael Nicholson/Corbis

Yes, that's how you remove a bad tooth...


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.