Old dental equipment cast-off is an eBay antique

A dental charity that farms out old dental equipment to developing countries is auctioning a donated 1916 dental air compressor on eBay as it’s too old – and valuable – to pass on.

Dentaid, based in Salisbury in Wiltshire, is one of the leading oral health charities in the world, supporting 210 oral health programmes in 58 countries.

It provides equipment, training, and oral health services to hospitals, clinics, and dentists in the developing world and relies on donations from dentists and practices of equipment no longer needed in surgery.

The Ritter air compressor, made in 1916 in Baden, Germany, was donated to the charity and turns out to be a rare piece of antique dental equipment.

It was manufactured by the Ritter company, founded by Frank Ritter in the late 1880s, and weighs approximately is 40kg.

The charity says it’s ‘used, but in excellent condition’ and the starting bid on eBay, the online marketplace is £199.


Any bidder willing to ‘buy it now’ would need to fork out £350, plus a £70 delivery charge.

Experts keen to snap up the unusual item can click here.

The bidding ends 23 July.

A spokesperson for the charity says: ‘Unfortunately, we are unable to use this product in any of our current projects. However, we do want to make sure that all our donations are beneficial. The sale of this compressor will contribute towards helping to sustain the oral health overseas.’

£15 raised in aid of Dentaid can pay for:
• An oral health education pack to help hundreds of children in low income countries learn about diet and tooth brushing with the aim of reversing the deterioration of their oral health
• Enough toothbrushes and toothpaste for a whole village
• Dental instruments. In some areas of Africa, dental tools can consist of rusty pliers. With your donation, Dentaid can refurbish and send out good quality second hand instruments
• One pack of Fuji which can treat up to 50 people.

You will find full details of current and completed projects, how to donate equipment, volunteering opportunities at home and abroad and much more at www.dentaid.org. For further information about Dentaid, email [email protected] or call 01794 324249.

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