Dr Tom Keppel’s ancestor fought at Waterloo and he’s using the bicentenary of the battle to remind people how lucky they are to live free from toothache.
He said: “200 years ago most people lost many teeth and experienced agony in the mouth throughout their lives.
“The solutions were not pretty or comfortable: dentures were expensive, you couldn’t eat with them and they decayed quickly, leaving a rotten taste.
“Waterloo flooded the dentures market with ‘Waterloo teeth’ – good front teeth ripped from young soldiers killed in the battle, but they still didn’t really fit properly.
“Fast forward to 2015 and we can permanently fit a full set of teeth in a single day with titanium implants and natural looking dental crowns, which is life transforming.”
Dr Keppel’s distant uncle George Thomas Keppel, who later became a general, fought with the 14th Regiment of Foot at Waterloo aged 16 and nearly became an unwitting tooth donor himself.
A bullet struck a soldier nearby who fell on top of him and in wriggling free he trod on the body, later writing: “The act, although involuntary, caused me a disagreeable sensation whenever it recurred to my mind.”
Dr Keppel is principal dentist at Keppel Advanced Dentistry in Sutton.
The Battle of Waterloo will be celebrated with a national memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral with descendants of those who fought there among the VIP guests.
You can check whether your ancestors fought at Waterloo with the Waterloo 200 Descendants Book. <<https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Waterloo/Content/TheWaterlooSoldiers>>
About Keppel Advanced Dentistry
KAD is open six days a week. Call 020 3773 5654, see www.keppeladvanceddentistry.co.uk, or drop into 1 Cedar Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5DA for more information.
About the Waterloo 200 Descendants Book
This is a remarkable collection of stories and a tool allowing users to look up the names of soldiers who fought in the battle and add comments. Created by www.theonlinebookcompany.com. For more information visit www.nam.ac.uk/waterloo200