Dentistry in prehistoric times

(ORDO NEWS) — 1- Beeswax as a dental filling in a Neolithic human tooth.

The discovery of a partial lower jaw of a 6,500-year-old human associated with modern beeswax covering the occlusal surface of a canine can represent a case of therapeutic use of beeswax in the Neolithic era in Slovenia.

Although the possibility of treating sensitive tooth structure with some type of filling has been suggested, there is no other published evidence for the use of palliative agents in prehistoric dentistry.

2- Researchers have found that the drilling of teeth dates back 9,000 years ago.

Ancient dentists drilled near-perfect holes in patients’ teeth between 5500 B.C. and 7000 BC, according to an article published in the journal Nature. Researchers have carbon dated at least nine skulls with 11 holes found in a cemetery in Pakistan.

This means that dentistry is at least 4,000 years older than previously thought, and much older than the useful invention of anesthesia.

3- Prehistoric dentists used drills to treat cavities up to 9,000 years ago, a group of archaeologists have discovered.

Excavations in Pakistan have unearthed skulls with teeth studded with tiny, perfectly round holes. Under an electron microscope, they showed a pattern of concentric grooves that almost certainly formed as a result of the circular movement of the drill.

The find, made at the archaeological site at Mehrgarh, in the province of Balochistan, is the earliest evidence of human dentistry.

The excavated village belonged to a civilization that flourished between 8,000 and 9,000 years ago, whose members cultivated crops and made jewelry from shells, amethysts, and turquoise.

Andrea Kuchina of the University of Missouri-Columbia, who found the molars with distinctive marks, said: “It’s very exciting to think that they had such knowledge about health, caries and medicine to do this.”

Dr. Kuchina, whose research is featured in the New Scientist, says the holes were likely filled with an herb to treat cavities. Any filling would have decayed long ago.

The dental discovery was made when Dr. Kuchina was washing the teeth of a mehrgarhing and noticed a tiny hole in the biting surface of a molar. The hole was too perfectly round to be caused by bacteria, and the tooth was found in the jawbone, excluding the possibility that it was pierced to fit on a necklace.

The top of the hole was rounded from chewing, suggesting that it was made while the owner was still alive.

4- In ancient Egypt, external applications consisting of honey mixed with mineral ingredients were used to fix loose teeth or to reduce pain, as reported in the Ebers Papyrus dating from the 16th century BC.


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