The Operator for the Teeth: Charles Allen 1685
The first English Dentistry Text-book.
Of the Restoration of the Teeth.
When our decay'd Teeth are too far gone before we think of any Remedy for their preservation , that whatever we can do proves but fruitless : And that not withstanding all our best indeavours they perish, and rot quite away , or that some intolerable pain has made us to draw them: we are not yet to despair , and esteem our selves Toothless for all the rest of our Life; the loss indeed is great, but not irreparable , there is still some help for it ; the natural want may be supplied artificially, and herein Art imitates nature so nicely : that when the Succedaneous Teeth ( if I may so speak ) are well set in, they cannot be distinguished from the Natural ones ; (neither in colour firmness nor proportion ) but by them that know of it: being thus exactly fitted to their place, they will keep the next to them, and by consequence all the rest of that jaw abundantly firmer and stronger then they would otherwise be.
The Advantages that may be attributed to the Artificial teeth are many ; as that they keep the others fast , as we said just now , that they are of a great Ornament , and help Pronounciation extremely, etc, But all that is with a proviso that they be well made, and according to the best Art ; for otherwise they might prove quite contrary.
Besides this Artificial way of Repairing the loss of Teeth, there is another that may be called Natural : which is done by takeing out the rotten Teeth or Stumps, and putting in their places some found ones , drawn immediately after out of some poor Body's head : which thing ( tho' difficult ) I know to be feasible enough, not only by my own Reason that tells me so, but