Name of Object:
Implement to remove teeth
Museum of Islamic Art
Date of Object:
Hegira 3rd century / AD 9th century
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Length 10 cm
Period / Dynasty:
An implement similar to a pair of pliers that originally would have terminated with a saw-like edge, to facilitate a dentist in pulling, for instance, a septic tooth. The metal ring around the middle of the instrument would have moved and facilitated the doctor in manoeuvring the instrument, thus allowing him a better grip on the tooth. The early Muslims excelled in medicine and surgery, including dental medicine, and they created a number of instruments, which assisted them in carrying out different surgical operations, one of which is this.
View Short Description
Not only did Muslim physicians excel in diagnosis and treatment but they also invented tools that would help surgery in general and dentistry in particular. They used different kinds of anaesthetics and sterilised their surgical tools.
How date and origin were established:
This instrument was dated based on its discovery, along with a number of other surgical instruments, in the city of Fustat. During the Abbasid period the city was well-known for its flourishing scientific movement, especially in the fields of medicine and surgery. Al-Fatih ibn Khaqan, a minister of the Abbasid caliph, al-Mutawakkil 'ala Allah (r. 232–47 / 847–61) built a hospital in Fustat in 247 / 861. Ahmad ibn Tulun (r. 254–70 / 868–84) also built the al-'Alaa Hospital in 254 / 868 in Fustat.
How Object was obtained:
The instrument was donated to the museum by Doctor Henry Amin 'Awad in 1975. He is a well known Egyptian specialist of skin diseases and has a wide range of interests in Islamic archaeological artefacts; he has written a number of works in this field.
How provenance was established:
It is likely that this instrument was produced in Egypt as it was discovered during archaeological excavations in Fustat along with a number of similar surgical instruments.
–––––––, Quand les sciences parlent arabe VIIIe-XVe ap. J.-C./IIe-IXe siècle H,exhibition catalogue, Cairo, 2003.
Citation of this web page:
Al-Sayyed Muhammad Khalifa Hammad "Implement to remove teeth" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;eg;Mus01;48;en