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30 The Somerton Man’s missing teeth: why they matter.

Professor Cleland couldn’t find any signs on the surfaces of the Somerton Man’s remaining teeth that indicated he was a denture wearer, ergo, his call was that SM had no false teeth.

Paul Lawson found signs on the Somerton Man’s physique that showed he must have eaten regularly and well, ergo, my call is that you need more than half your teeth to get that way.

SM was a physical nugget, no doubt about that, he was medium height, solid in the upper torso and shoulders with the legs and thighs of an athlete. Eating well for him may have included a strong meat component, and fruit, a fit man needs his apples, needs his raw veggies because there’s nothing like the crunch of a fresh carrot. And don’t forget the nuts, excellent tucker, nuts, prawns too, fresh, firm prawns, deep fried.

Submitted to the inquest by Dr Dwyer. The numbered teeth were missing.

You don’t have to be a dentist to figure out exactly what SM was missing here – nearly every chewing tooth and his two front teeth’s nearest onside neighbours. At least he could get in a bite but what happened when he shifted the contents down into the cutting and grinding department. Nearly everybody’s gone.

Try eating an apple under those circumstances, or a steak, or a handful of nuts. A carrot.

Perhaps Professor Cleland’s knowledge of the components used in denture manufacture was restricted to whatever was available in Adelaide. Perhaps the orthodontists in Sydney or Melbourne were building softer dentures using non-scratch materials, like Vulcanite, or plastic.

You know it makes sense.

Header pic lifted from GC’s blog.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Byron Deveson #

    In the 2001(2?) Weekend Australian story re: SM one of the SA detectives was qoted as saying that they suspected SM was Eastern European because of his “dental work”. What dental work????

    September 4, 2022
    • Byron! I was told you went mad and the coppers shot you. And speaking of not having a lot of teeth, I only wish I was as buff as Webb …

      September 4, 2022

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