Journal Article

  • Curious specimens in the collection: Comparative dental anatomy, skulls and historical catalogues
    Ryder, S., Sales, G. D., Fischer, E. E.
    Journal of Natural Science Collections, Volume 11, pages 38 - 46

    In the Museum of Life Sciences at King’s College London is a series of craniofacial specimens which were originally housed in the Royal Dental Hospital of London and the London School of Dental Surgery. These sagittally-sectioned skulls and mandibles are distinctive in their preparation. One half skull and mandible have been dissected out to show the roots of each tooth. This made these specimens particularly useful for teaching dental students about different dentitions, which was a required part of the curriculum for becoming a dental surgeon. However, the sectioned component parts had become separated over the decades, and we searched the collection with the intention of reuniting these parts into a complete specimen. Using historical documents from the Royal Dental Hospital and the London School of Dental Surgery, we traced specimens through their early histories, matching specimens with their identifications, catalogue entries, and donors. A selection was then mounted and labelled for preservation as part of a trial to develop a system for handling these delicate specimens.

    Keywords: Royal Dental Hospital of London, Odontological Society of Great Britain, handling collection, Museum of Life Sciences, KCL, dentistry, education, history of dental surgery