Mystery Drilling: Ancient teeth endured dental procedures | Science News

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Mystery Drilling: Ancient teeth endured dental procedures

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10:58am, April 5, 2006

Welcome to a time so long ago that people with no dental insurance still could get their teeth drilled, and perhaps filled. Flint-wielding specialists performed the work between 9,000 and 7,500 years ago. A total of 11 teeth from nine adults who lived during that period contain holes drilled with sharpened flint points, according to a new report.

The teeth came from residents of a prehistoric farming village called Mehrgarh in what is now Pakistan.

These discoveries represent the earliest known examples of dental work, say Roberto Macchiarelli of the University of Poitiers in France and his colleagues. Drilling occurred in cheek teeth, indicating that the dental alterations weren't intended for display or decoratio

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