Italian researchers working in Slovenia recently published the earliest known example of a dental filling. Traces of a beeswax filling were discovered in a 6,500 year-old left canine crown embedded into a calcite cave wall near the village of Lonche. The study, published in the open-access, peer reviewed journal PLOS ONE, includes descriptions of a variety of analytical techniques including synchrotron radiation computed micro-tomography, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon dating, Infrared Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The researchers report that if “the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth: this would provide the earliest known direct evidence of therapeutic-palliative dental filling.”
New Evidence of Neolithic Dentistry
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