Beeswax Filling May Be Oldest Hint of Dentistry
By Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor
A tooth found in Slovenia seems to have been filled with beeswax to reduce pain from a cavity.
(Shown here, a micrograph of the tooth crown showing the beeswax-covered surface, within the yellow dotted line.)
Credit: Bernardini F, Tuniz C, Coppa A, Mancini L, Dreossi D, et al. (2012) Beeswax as Dental Filling on a Neolithic Human Tooth. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044904
An ancient cracked tooth repaired with a filling made of beeswax may be the earliest known example of therapeutic dentistry, researchers say.
The tooth is 65 centuries old and was part of a man’s jaw found more than 100 years ago in Slovenia.
Definite evidence of ancient dentistry is rare. The oldest examples are 7,500- to 9,500-year-old molars found in Pakistan that had regularly shaped cavities with concentric ridges drilled into them. Other, more questionable finds include a 5,500-year-old artificial tooth from Egypt.
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* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.