Archaeologists Find Evidence Ancestors Drilled Decayed Teeth

In a 2,000-word article, BBC News (UK) (2/29, Barras) stated that human fossils show that “for millions of years of human prehistory” our ancestors generally had “good oral health – even though their dental healthcare consisted of little more than the use of simple toothpicks.” Decayed teeth “became a common problem...about 10,000 years ago” when our ancestors started farming. Soon after, “relatively sophisticated dentistry emerged.” According to the article, “In the last decade or so archaeologists have found evidence from cultures across the world that bad teeth were scraped, scoured, even drilled and filled apparently to remove decayed tissue.” In other words, it appears “the dental drill predates writing, civilisation, and even the invention of the wheel by thousands of years.”