London really does have a museum for everything, and if you take the time to visit this more obscure one you will certainly leave rewarded with some great insights into the history of dentistry in the UK. It is based within the British Dental Association’s headquarters in Marylebone. Inside you will gain perspectives on dentistry’s history - starting as a market based curiosity to the high-tech medical procedures of today. Information on various dental items over the years is also presented - such as dental floss from the 1800s, to toothache cures, clockwork drills and advertising. Also on exhibit are dental furniture, related art and photographs, and for the mildly squeamish, a great collection of tools of the trade! Just be glad you didn’t live during Victorian times. It is a fascinating small museum worthy of a visit.
History: The museum was started in 1919 by Lilian Lindsay - the UKs first female dentist - when she donated a collection of old dental instruments to the association. Since then the museum’s collection has grown to over 30,000 dentistry related items. Initially the museum’s purpose was to act as an education resource for the BDA’s members. In 1967 the decision was made to open the collection to the public. Then in 2005 the museum was repurposed to make it more interactive and appealing to the general visitor.
The museum is open Tues & Thurs: 1pm–4pm. Other times by appointment. Admission Free. The museum generally closes for 1-2 weeks over the Christmas to New Year holiday period. Visit their website for more details: http://www.bda.org/museum/
Located at: 64 Wimpole Street, W1G 8YS
Closest Tube: Bond Street or Regents Park