A Brief History of Dental Practices Throughout the Ages

While it is easy to think of dentistry as a very modern practice, it has a long history – one that dates back to ancient times. What we now know as modern dentistry didn’t come about until much later, and is definitely something we can all be thankful for today! Here’s a brief rundown of the history of dentistry.


Oldest known dentistry

  • An ancient decayed and infected molar that had been cleaned with flint tools was found in Italy in 1988. The tooth is considered to be up to 14,000 years old.
  • 9,000-year-old teeth from a graveyard in Pakistan showed evidence of having been drilled to remove decay.
  • A tooth from 6,500 years ago containing beeswax filling was discovered in Slovenia, and is believed to be the earliest evidence of teeth-filling.
  • Ancient texts from as far back as 5,000 BC describe tooth ‘worms’ as the cause of decay – a belief that continued for several centuries throughout many parts of the world.


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