Reno Dentists Explain Beeswax Used as Prehistoric Dental Fillings

New light has been shed onto ancient dentistry, thanks to the discovery of a 6,500-year-old human jawbone with a beeswax filling. The open access journal PLOS ONE reported a discovery that was made by researchers Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz of Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy. Reno dentists, Dr. Wager and Dr. Evans, discuss the findings.

Beeswax Fillings

The jawbone in question was in the hands of researchers for some time before the possible early filling was recognized. In cooperation with several other institutions, Bernardini and Tuniz could tell that the beeswax was most likely applied around the individual’s final days on earth. Confirmation as to whether the application transpired before or after the actual moment of death is not available at this time. However, if the beeswax was applied while the person was still living, this is extremely exciting in terms of dental history. A beeswax filling in a living Neolithic person would have no better explanation then to reduce the sensitivity and pain from a cracked tooth.

Prehistoric Dental Fillings

There hasn’t been a wealth of solid information about prehistoric dentistry, so the beeswax filling is particularly exciting to scientists and historians, alike. Found in Slovenia, the jawbone is likely to be the most ancient example of a dental filling in Europe. The tooth in question had severe wear, which Tuniz pointed out “is probably also due to its use in non-alimentary activities, possibly such as weaving, generally performed by Neolithic females.”

Cracked Teeth in the Modern Age

These days, if a patient suffers a cracked or chipped tooth, several options for treatment are available. With a molar that is mildly damaged, a regular filling will generally be recommended. If a front tooth is cracked, this can affect the appearance of your smile. Dental bonding is often the best treatment solution for such cases. With bonding, a tooth-colored composite resin is applied to the damaged tooth. The dentist is able to shape the resin before the material hardens, to match your natural teeth.

The experiences of our ancestors makes advances in dentistry possible. Tooth-colored composite resin fillings are a great choice to avoid the look of metal in your mouth, and unnecessary exposure to mercury. If you have a cavity that needs to be filled, or an amalgam filling that should be replaced, contact Wager Evans Dental. You can contact our Reno dentist office at 775-829-7700. We are happy to serve patients in the 89502 zip code, and surrounding communities.