Discovery of the oldest tooth filling.
The people of today are all too familiar with the dentist’s chair. Some of us cringe at the thought of a trip to the dentist. So we all try to do our part to take care of our teeth. Most of us floss regularly, brush and gargle with mouthwash, because we really hate that stinking drill sound.
But, what on earth did they do thousands of years ago, when someone had a cavity? We do know that many people died because of poor oral hygiene that eventually turned into a systemic infection or took its toll on the heart.
Scientists have now discovered what they believe to be the earliest evidence of therapeutic dentistry performed on a human.
Displayed in the Natural History Museum of Trieste, Italy, is a 6,500-year-old human jawbone, with a beeswax filling in the left canine. The jawbone was initially discovered partially embedded in some calcite on the wall of a cave close to the village of Lonche, Slovenia.
It was actually by accident that scientist discovered the filling while testing analytical methods. They were able to obtain a 3-D image of the tooth, using a particle accelerator.
They are unsure of when the beeswax was added to the tooth, but believe it to be shortly before or after the human’s death.
The very earliest dentistry was discovered in a graveyard in Pakistan, that dates back 9,000-years. But the dentistry found there had no evidence of any tooth fillings.