This achingly fascinating book follows the evolution of dentistry throughout the world from the Bronze Age to the present day, featuring captivating, grim illustrations of the tools and techniques of dentistry through the ages. It charts the changing social attitudes toward the purpose and practice of dentistry from the crude and painful endeavors of early civilizations to the fluoridated water, cosmetic surgery, and heightened expectations of today.
Organized chronologically, The Smile Stealers interleaves beautiful and gruesome 3D objects, technical illustrations, and paintings from the Wellcome Collection’s unique medical archive of material from Europe, America, and the Far East with seven authoritative and eloquent themed articles from medical historian Richard Barnett. Including previously unseen illustrations, this comprehensive review of the development of the trade and discipline of dentistry covers topics as diverse as the very first dentures, the smile revolution in eighteenth-century portraiture, and the role of dentistry in forensic science.
The Smile Stealers is guaranteed to appeal to those who see the beauty in medicine and biology as it probes the growth of dentistry.
In The Smile Stealers, Barnett presents a stunning visual history of dentistry… Though Barnett includes a broadly written history of dentistry through the ages, the strength of the book is the design and presentation of the art and imagery… This book will appeal to all readers with an interest in history, medicine, and art and design.
Richard Barnett is currently the director of studies in history, Pembroke-King’s Program, University of Cambridge, and honorary research fellow, UCL. His writing has appeared in The Lancet, The London Magazine, and The Natural Death Handbook. He is the author of Crucial Interventions, Medical London: City of Diseases, City of Cures and The Sick Rose.