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The smile stealers : the fine + foul art of dentistry / Richard Barnett.

  • Barnett, Richard, 1980-
  • Books

About this work

Also known as

Fine and foul art of dentistry


This achingly jawdropping book follows the evolution of dentistry throughout the world from the Bronze Age to the present day, presenting captivating and grim illustrations of the tools and techniques of dentistry through the ages. Organized chronologically, The Smile Stealers interleaves beautiful and gruesome technical illustrations and paintings from the Wellcome Collection's unique archive of material from Europe, America and the Far East with seven authoritative and eloquent themed articles from medical historian Richard Barnett. A comprehensive review of the development of the trade and discipline of dentistry, it covers topics as diverse as the very first dentures (produced by the Etruscans in the seventh century bce); the smile revolution in 18th-century portraiture; and the role of dentistry in forensic science - all in one beautifully illustrated volume. Extending the cult of the medically macabre begun by its predecessors The Sick Rose and Crucial Interventions, The Smile Stealers is guaranteed to appeal to lovers of the horrific and the beautiful alike as it probes the growth of dentistry - from pulling out bad teeth to reconstructing jaws, and from painful action to pain-free interventions and the pursuit of the perfect smile.


London : Thames & Hudson, 2017.

Physical description

255 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 25 cm


'This book is published in partnership with Wellcome Collection and the Wellcome Library' -- publishing information.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Introduction: you know the drill -- The natural and ancient history of the teeth -- Pulling teeth in Medieval Europe -- Fauchard and the dentistes -- Enlightened extractions -- A new era in tooth-pulling -- The skull beneath the skin -- The smile of success.



  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    W /BAR
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9780500519110
  • 0500519110