Kōrero: Dental care

Filling the gaps, Christchurch, 1878

Filling the gaps, Christchurch, 1878

S. B. Seymour advertised his services as a 'surgeon dentist' in the Christchurch Star in 1878. He combined the extraction of decayed teeth with customised false teeth in gold, silver, alloy and vulcanite. The availability of vulcanite (processed rubber) from the mid-19th century made false teeth available to ordinary people who could not previously afford false teeth. The vulcanite base for a full set of the cheapest false teeth was moulded to fit a particular patient's palate and gums. The rubber was light and very durable, but its colour did not resemble human gums. A thin layer of lighter-pink porcelain was used to cover up the dark red vulcanite, and porcelain teeth were then inserted in the vulcanite base.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Star, 26 October 1878, p. 2

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, 'Dental care - Early dental care', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/document/30580/filling-the-gaps-christchurch-1878 (accessed 24 September 2019)

Story by Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 6 Nov 2018