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Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

KU prof: Dentistry dates back 9,000 years

April 6, 2006

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It's enough to make your teeth hurt.

The practice of teeth drilling dates back at least 9,000 years, according to research co-authored by a Kansas University professor and published in the current issue of the journal Nature.

The prehistoric dentistry, though effective in producing round holes in teeth, came from crude methods long before Novocain.

"It must have hurt like hell," said David Frayer, KU anthropology professor. "My guess is if you tied anybody down and did this to them today it would be painful."

The findings indicate dentistry dates back at least 4,000 years earlier than previously believed.

"We had nine individuals that showed this pattern," Frayer said of the reported findings.

The scientists discovered 11 drilled holes in the teeth of nine skulls found in burial grounds in Pakistan. The teeth come from a site that is 7,500 to 9,000 years old.


David Frayer, an anthropology professor at Kansas University, holds up a tooth that came from a dig in Pakistan. Scientists discovered 11 drilled holes in the teeth of nine skulls found in burial grounds in Pakistan. The site is 7,500 to 9,000 years old.

David Frayer, an anthropology professor at Kansas University, holds up a tooth that came from a dig in Pakistan. Scientists discovered 11 drilled holes in the teeth of nine skulls found in burial grounds in Pakistan. The site is 7,500 to 9,000 years old.

The scientists reconstructed a drilling method. The prehistoric "dentists" may have used bows with flint tips to bore the holes in the teeth. That process, when reconstructed and applied to a modern tooth, required less than one minute to produce similar holes.

"We're not advocating this is the way to drill holes in teeth," Frayer said.

The holes were found in the upper and lower jaws, in both men and women. All were adults, and some had evidence of tooth decay.

"It must have produced a lot of noise and a lot of heat," Frayer said. "They did this while the people were alive."

He said there was no remaining evidence of what may have filled the holes, which ranged in depth from 0.5 mm to 3.5 mm.

Scientists believe the "dentists" used the same technology for drilling teeth that was developed by skilled artisans for drilling holes in beads.

Comments

bearded_gnome 8 years ago

The prehistoric dentistry, though effective in producing round holes in teeth, came from crude methods long before Novocain.

"It must have hurt like hell," said David Frayer, KU anthropology professor. "My guess is if you tied anybody down and did this to them today it would be painful."

"it must have hurt like hell" ya' think?

"made a lot of noise and heat..." whatta visit to the DENTIST!
and, if this is what he does for work, then what does he do if you don't pay your bill?
youch!

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75x55 8 years ago

6000 years ago? Still stuck on that old foolishness are ya.

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Soapdish 8 years ago

People don't manage pain the same. That's not in reference to either of the above comments, that's in reference to the fact that when the patient says, "Hey guess what! That drill you have in my mouth? IT HURTS. So don't react to me like I'm the biggest pain in your tail because I want a shot. I'm paying for it pal. Bite me. Oh and tell your 16 year old dental assistant to not look annoyed that I'm nervous. I hate it here and am being as locked down and polite as I can."

Did that sound bitter? Heh.

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Arminius 8 years ago

SpeedRacer:

I had four wisdom teeth pulled in preparation for braces when I was a kid. I went out several hours later and dug post holes for a fence. Suck it up.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years ago

That's not a fish. It is a dragon-demon created by Satan to tempt us.

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SpeedRacer 8 years ago

I had a wisdom tooth pulled this week. I am now considering shifting my support to euthanasia.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years ago

But God created man 6000 years ago. This makes no sense.

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