For centuries, the activities of dentists and the symptoms of tooth disease have been used as themes in works of art, drawings, cartoons, paintings, sculpture and woodcarvings. These images are a valuable source of information about providers of dental care and different treatments for toothache.

Dentistry has long been a subject for humour in cartoon-art. The golden age of political and social caricature and satire was between 1780 and 1830 when three artists were active Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray and George Cruikshank. Each tackled the topical subject of dentists during their careers.