Monday, November 5, 2012

Ancient Dental Find

(National Geographic Photo)
Researchers in Italy believe they have uncovered evidence of ancient dentistry in the form of a 6,500 year old human jaw bone that actually holds a tooth containing traces of beeswax filling.  

The scientists who discovered the prehistoric example of dentistry suspect that the beeswax may have been applied to reduce the pain and sensitivity of an apparent vertical crack in the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth.  Even more fascinating is what scientists believe was the cause of the tooth damage:  most likely, weaving.  Our prehistoric ancestors used their teeth for many things other than just eating.  Weaving was a common practice among Neolithic women who used their teeth to cut and hold the thread.  

Evidence of prehistoric dentistry is sparse, and this new specimen, found in Slovenia, a country bordering Italy, is the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling.  Researchers say it will be extremely useful in understanding ancient European dentistry.  

But Wilmette Dental believes the biggest impact of this find is to make us appreciate all that modern dentistry has to offer, including far better filling options than beeswax!

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.   Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at

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