Dental care has come an incredibly long way from ancient times, though for the lack of technology, there were some very advanced practices in the history of dentistry.
As archaeologists continue to reveal what is buried beneath the surface in ancient Egypt, they find more and more advanced ideas. This includes very intriguing dental practices, like reconstructive surgery. A jaw has been found that has a line of teeth, taken from a donor, that are connected by a wire to other teeth, essentially creating what in today’s modern dentistry would be a bridge. The work is extensive and quite well done.
But ancient dentistry doesn’t stop there. Recently, a jawbone was uncovered that dates back somewhere around 6500 years ago and provides evidence of corrective dental work. A very deep cavity that could have otherwise been very painful to the individual had been filled with beeswax, which likely reduced pain and swelling for the afflicted individual.
Even cosmetic dentistry has a history, with the Mayans – in all their innovative designs – leaving behind artifacts in their skeletal remains. It appears that the fashion was to have small spots chipped out of the front teeth and small jewels embedded and glued in place, creating a ‘bling-grill.’ While today’s cosmetic dentistry revolves around technology, including the use of lasers to brighten and whiten your teeth, you have to admit that this practice in ancient dentistry was likely the first type of cosmetic dental work.
Of course, today’s solutions are often more permanent, and they allow for reconstruction and renewal that actually preserves the smile for years to come. Cosmetic dentistry especially has come a long way since ancient dentistry practices. Braces are now clear in many cases, allowing you to have your teeth straightened without metal covering all your teeth.
Perhaps one of the most well-loved advancement in dentistry however is laser treatment, which helps restore that natural white shine to your teeth without damage. Whether they are stained from taking iron supplements, eating incorrectly without brushing properly, smoking, or something else, laser whitening can restore the youthful appearance of your teeth, giving you confidence in your smile.
Of course, in ancient dentistry, it’s highly likely that beautiful jewels gave Mayans the same satisfaction, and restorative surgery that included donor teeth and metal wire made ancient Egyptians quite happy. Modern technology has built upon these practices, and today, we can do the same great things for our teeth without rudimentary practices. Have some appreciation for the evolution of dentistry, while also being thankful for the innovators of the past. Without them, there would be nothing for modern dentists to build from, and we’d still be back in the dark ages of ancient dentistry today.