Remembering the Titanic

There was not a dentist aboard the Titanic. The medical care on the Titanic was set up to be the best. The physician on the Titanic had dental forceps on board and was prepared to extract teeth if necessary. In the early 1900’s, it was not unusual for physicians to treat patients with toothaches. There is no record of anyone having a dental problem on the Titanic. The only dental episode recorded is that of a woman who had a toothache in a lifeboat as the ship was sinking. In fact, she had the toothache all the way to New York, where she finally had it extracted.

When it sank on April 15, 1912, the Titanic took the lives of 1,497 of the 2,209 people aboard with it. Some bodies were recovered, but names remained elusive, while others are still missing. The body of an unknown child found following the sinking of the Titanic was finally identified using mitochondrial DNA from 3 baby teeth. Sidney Leslie Goodwin, a 19-month-old English child, was traveling to America with his parents and five siblings. He was the only family member found and indentified after the sinking. In this age of forensic science, dental records are often used to identify unknown human remains.

At Alouf Aesthetics Dentistry we take x-rays to check for unknown problems with your teeth. Like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, an undiagnosed cavity or impacted wisdom tooth can cause your oral health to sink quickly. Keep up with your regular dental exams to avoid that sinking feeling of a toothache and impending disaster.