Modern dentistry has provided an enormous amount of preventive, restorative and cosmetic options for keeping our teeth healthy and attractive. Even still, many Americans combat issues such as gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth discoloration. With all of our modern technology, it makes one wonder, how did ancient humans take care of their teeth?
Ancient dentistry involved some fairly painful methods of tooth extraction and dental care. The fascinating world of ancient dentistry is full of both mystery and some cringe-worthy moments! If you’re not squeamish, then read more to find out how far we’ve come in modern dentistry.
Ancient Egyptians were extremely knowledgeable about the human body and medicine for their time. Dental surgery took place as early as 3000 to 2500 B.C., but the work typically involved drilling cavities and pulling teeth, all without the help of general anesthesia! However, by 1550 B.C. researchers believe that the ancient Egyptians started using medicine for dental pain.
The Etruscan civilization is the name given to the civilizations of ancient Italy. Etruscans were perhaps the first ancient civilization to dabble in cosmetic dentistry; they were known for valuing luxury and expanding their knowledge in the medical field. They even experimented with using gold fillings! Researchers found in one preserved set of teeth, gold bands were wrapped around the teeth then melted on with heat. Artificial teeth, used from human and animal teeth, were held on with gold bands also. These procedures, which took place around 700 B.C., are believed to be the first prosthetics ever used in the mouth! You could say the Etruscans were the founders of restorative and cosmetic dentistry!
Researchers speculate that the Greeks didn’t always pull teeth when they developed cavities. In one mummy, they discovered linen soaked in medicine that was stuffed inside the holes of decaying teeth, and they believe this was an attempt to relieve the pain suffered by the patient.
Today, we know a lot more about oral health care and the importance of preventive dentistry. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, you should also schedule regular dental appointments to keep your oral health in tip-top shape! Schedule an appointment with Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry today to get a bright and healthy smile!
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