Already in earliest time there were attempts to replace failed or drawn teeth. For example, materials for the dentures were ivory, wood or teeth of animals or deceased, which were fixed with wires to the healthy teeth. However, they could not replace the chewing function. Apart from that, these artificial teeth, which were already known during Etruscan times, often caused painful inflammation.
In Balochistan, Pakistan, archaeologists found skulls of people from the Neolithic period 7500 to 9000 years ago, whose teeth showed clear traces of drilling. This is the oldest indication of dental treatment.
Dental care in ancient times
Dental care was also practiced in antiquity. This has meanwhile been proven by numerous indications. Most of these were done with the help of fingers, plant extracts and chewing gums.
However, anyone who had tooth decay at an early age did not have it easy. There were only two possibilities: Either he stood it firm and with it the agonizing pain or he started the walk to the so-called breaker so as not to gently remove the aching tooth.
Pumice stone in ancient Rome
The oral hygiene differed from country to country. So Romans made their teeth shine with powdered pumice and marble dust, the Greeks cleaned their teeth with a rough linen cloth and in Mesopotamia mixed mint, mandrake and tree bark to a dentifrice.
Dental treatments in the Middle Ages
In the 9th century, there were already first steps in dental medicine in Arab medicine, such as the cauterization of the tooth nerve with hot oil or glowing needles.
In the Middle Ages in Europe hot iron hooks were used for this purpose. This killed off the nerve of the tooth being pulled - at least it ended the toothache, even though the hole was still there.
As the cause of the black holes in the teeth long a tooth worm was adopted. This and the pain should be expelled by the inhalation of burnt henbane weeds which are hallucinogenic and anesthetizing.