If you hate the thought of going to the dentist, you should be thankful that you are alive during modern times. Things would have been a lot worse if you lived during the Stone Age!
Thousands of years ago, long before Novocain was available to help to numb the pain of a dental procedure, prehistoric dental patients were having their teeth drilled with stone drills rather than the sophisticated tools that we have today.
Scientists found 11 teeth from the skeletons of several individuals in an ancient Pakistan cemetery that all showed signs of having gone through this scary procedure. Since all the teeth had signs of wear after the holes had been made, it is clear that the drilling took place while the patients were alive.
Researchers who have studied the teeth believe that this dental work was completed in order to ease pain, as four of these teeth showed indications of decay. Another of the skeletons had a massive jaw infection. These signs indicated that these primitive methods were used for dentistry purposes rather than decorative.
Sadly, for these patients, the procedures that they went through would have been quite painful. The holes were up to 3 millimeters in diameter, and some were over 3 millimeters deep.
Even if some type of anesthetic was available the procedure would still have been excruciating, and while it may have only taken a minute, it would have felt like an eternity. It is clear that people who lived during this time were capable of facing pain that we are not used to in modern times.
So, if you are told that you have a cavity and need a filling in the future, keep this information in mind and be thankful that you have so many great sedation dentistry options available to keep you comfortable.
Please contact us if you have any questions about drills.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Dix Densley, DDS