These days, metal fillings have been the go-to option for treating minimal tooth decay. Recently, composite-resin fillings have served to replace metal fillings as a safer and more discrete solution. Beeswax, therefore, would probably not find a secure footing in the dental filling market today. Several thousand years ago, however, was a different story, although experts can only be sure of the one example they’ve found. Aventura dentist Dr. Arun Garg discusses the finding.
Evidence of dental work in the ancient world is sparse, at best. When researchers Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz led their team to find a 6,500-year old human jaw with evidence of dental work, it provided a welcomed insight into the dental practices of our ancestors. The jawbone, which was found in Slovenia, held a tooth that showed traces of a beeswax-filling that was applied around the time of the individual’s death. Experts are not sure whether it was placed before or after death; however, if the individual received the filling while still alive, it was likely intended to reduce pain from a vertical crack in the tooth’s enamel and dentin. The finding may be the oldest example of dentistry in Europe, and is the earliest known example of a therapeutic dental filling to date.
Luckily, we have evolved over the last eight or nine thousand years, but we’ve only done so by building on the knowledge of our ancestors. Finding more examples of ancient dentistry may lead to even greater innovation in our own time. Today, there are a plethora of dental options that are infinitely more durable than beeswax, including dental crowns to cover and protect a tooth that has been damaged by cracks and fissures.
To learn more about advanced dental options, contact your Aventura dentist at the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Aventura, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.