Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource provided by the British Dental Association Museum.


This resource is one of a series created to commemorate the First World War Centenary in 2014-2018 and explores how dentists cared for soldiers in Casualty Clearing Areas in WW1.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History - Study of an aspect or theme in British history after 1066
  • KS3 History - Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

How this Resource Could be Used

'I might use this resource as a research opportunity and information gathering and then get the children to make their own WW1 version of a Horrible Histories – Historical Dentist sketch by way of presenting their findings,'
Michelle Ross, Special Needs Co-Ordinator and Year 5 teacher at St. Matthew's C of E (A) Primary School, Leeds.


Discussion and Activity Ideas

KS2 History
  • Why do you think a lot of soldiers during the First World War had toothache?
  • Look at the photo of the mobile dental surgery (see Resources) and describe what is different from your dentist's surgery; what is the same?
KS3 History
  • Some WW1 dentists were posted to casualty clearing stations (CSSs). Do some research on CSSs to find out:
    - how far were they from the front line?
    - how were they structured (what type of buildings)?
    - how many staff did each CSS have in total and what were their jobs?
    - how many casualties could be treated at one time?
    - what kind of treatment did the casualties receive?
    - how long could they stay there?
  • Research the history of dentistry and make a table or chart showing all the changes in its development from ancient times up until today. You could sort it into the following areas:
    - forms of treatment
    - tools and equipment
    - remedies and medicine
    - oral hygiene methods
  • Find out what other new technologies were developed during WW1. How did each one affect the outcome of the War?