Doctors claim that they can identify the jobs some people do for a living the moment they open their mouth.
Showing one tooth from the collection, Dr Nizar Abdul Rahman, 39, and Dr Simi Nizar, 34, said it belonged to an electrician. Pointing to a v-shaped cut on the tooth, they said that was the result of electricians’ habit of opening the insulated cover of the electric cables using their teeth.
“This one is of a tailor,” Dr Abdul Rahman said, showing a minor abrasion in the middle of another tooth. Because tailors often hold the needle in their mouth during work.
More than 7,000 teeth tell many such characteristics of his patients of almost all nationalities of Asians, Arabs, Africans and South Americans. “We did not have patients from the West,” they said.
“Apart from your partner, one more person will also know if you are suffering from bruxism [involuntary habitual grinding of the teeth, typically during sleep]. Attrition on the teeth [caused by this habit] will be visible the moment they open the mouth,” Dr Abdul Rahman said.
As a chief dental surgeon, Dr Abdul Rahman is also the director of Baniyas Ahalia Medical Centre.
He started collecting teeth about 13 years ago and his wife also started contributing to this hobby when she joined him in Abu Dhabi two years ago.
It all began in the initial days of his profession when some patients doubted his professional capability. “Some of them began asking whether the young man could extract their teeth properly.”
Dr Abdul Rahman started collecting extracted teeth as a testimony to his professional experience. He put the teeth in a jar and started showing them to patients who were not comfortable with the ‘young doctor’ and thus was easier to convince them. Teeth being the hardest part of the body can be kept for many years without any chemical preservative. Teeth can be preserved after washing them in hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant.
But not all extracted teeth are in his collection. Some patients take the extracted tooth with them to dispose it of with some rituals. Some others take the tooth with them to confirm that the dentist has done the job. The couple have also given many teeth to medical students for their practical sessions.
Some people have large teeth. But it is not size of the teeth but the patients’ food habits that give a tough time to dentists.
Those who eat a lot of meat and similar foods have hard teeth that are difficult to be extracted.
Fast foods are obviously harmful to people but dentists inadvertently like it.
“Those who regularly eat fast food have the softest teeth that are easy [to extract],” Dr Abdul Rahman says.
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