5 London Museums Every Dental Professional Should Visit

Are you a bit of a dental and medical geek like me and are looking for some inspiration for cool places to visit and drag your loved ones? There are some really cool museums in London which might tickle your fancy....

The Old Operating Theatre

1. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret 

The first museum on the list is the Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret. Located in the attic of a historic church by London Bridge, this museum is a perfect blend of history and medicine. It is one of the oldest surviving operating theaters in Europe and showcases the development of surgery over the centuries. Here, you can see medical instruments of the past, as well as a collection of herbs and botanicals that were once used to treat patients.

2. BDA Museum 

The British Dental Association (BDA) Museum is a must-visit for every dentist. I bet you didn't know that at our Trade Union's HQ in Wimpole Street is one of the largest collections of dental history in the world. From the early days of dentistry to the modern era, you can explore the evolution of dentistry through the exhibits. The museum also holds some of the earliest dental chairs, instruments, and dental advertising from around the world. You can access this for free and why not check out the BDA library while you're there. Contact the BDA before visiting as it was closed during the pandemic. 

3. The Science Museum 

The Science Museum in South Kensington is a popular destination for science enthusiasts from all over the world. This museum has a dedicated section on medicine and dentistry, tucked away on the top floor, which features some of the most exciting exhibits for dental professionals. You can learn about the history of dentistry and the development of dental materials, and see how dentistry is making strides in the modern era. 

4. The Wellcome Collection 

The Wellcome Collection is another popular museum in London that focuses on the history of medicine and health. Here, you can explore the intersection of science and art, and learn about the history of dentistry in a unique and engaging way. The museum houses medical and dental artifacts, including the earliest dental X-rays and some of the earliest toothbrushes (including Napoleon's!). I remember going here as a school girl and being fascinated by the collection. A few years ago, it hosted an exhibition called Teeth focusing on the history of dentistry. I also really enjoy the giftshop and cafe which you can access if you're just passing by Euston station. 

5. Bedlam Museum 

The final museum on our list is the Bedlam Museum in South London. This museum is a must-visit for any dentist who wants to explore the history of mental health and dentistry. Bedlam was one of the earliest mental institutions in the world and played an essential role in the development of dentistry. Here, you can learn about the role of dentistry in mental health, as well as the history of the institution itself.

So when will you be planning a trip to London and explore these museums for yourself? You never know what new knowledge you might gain that could help you in your own practice! 

Do you have any other museums you'd recommend visiting? Please leave them in the comments below.

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