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advice to dentists

The Arab surgeon Abul Kasim gives practical advice on the pulling of teeth and the removal of plaque, in his medical treatise (Al-Tasrif.

'Before removing a tooth it is necessary to detach the tooth from the gum, all round, with a sufficiently strong scalpel. Then, either with the fingers or a light pair of forceps, the tooth must be shaken very gently until it is loosened. Then the surgeon, keeping the head of the patient firmly between his knees, applies a stronger pair of forceps and extracts the tooth.

Sometimes on the surface of the teeth, both inside and out, as well as under the gums, are deposited rough scales of ugly appearance. It is necessary for you to lay the patient's head upon your lap and to scrape the teeth until nothing more remains of such substances.'

Quoted Ira Rutkow Surgery, 1993, page 66

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