Dentistry is not a modern invention but an ancient form of medicine practiced by our ancestors.
About 100 years ago, a 6,500 year-old man’s jaw was found in Slovenia. However, it was only recently that close examination revealed a layer of beeswax lodged in one of his teeth. Although this is not the first known evidence of dental work, this is the oldest discovery of a therapeutic dental filling to date and possibly the most ancient example of prehistoric dentistry in Europe.
Researchers are now searching for similar cases in other Neolithic remains. If evidence can be found showing that this dental intervention was widespread, we will have another tool to understand prehistoric populations better.
Experiments testing beeswax as a therapy for cracked and sensitive teeth will also proceed as a result of this discovery. We cannot comment on its effectiveness so don’t try it at home yet; we whole-heartedly recommend seeing your dentist should you encounter any situations of discomfort.