tooth key

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An instrument which was formerly used for extracting teeth. It superseded the pelican and was first described by Alexander Monro in 1742. It consisted of a bolster, shaft, and claw. The bolster was placed against the root of the tooth and the claw positioned over the crown. On rotation of the key, the intended tooth was dislocated. Forceps replaced the tooth key as the principal extraction instrument in the early 20th century.

Subjects: Dentistry.

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