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Why going to the dentist still seems stuck in the Stone Age

Who among us hasn’t had this thought, as a dentist industriously and cheerfully chisels and scrapes and drills away at your teeth: Surely there is a better way.

When anthropologists last month discovered evidence of dental handiwork in a 14,000-year-old tooth, the surprising thing about it wasn’t the fact that people in the Stone Age had cavities and tried to do something about them. It was the fact that the procedure seemed so… familiar.

“The earliest dental caries manipulation entails an adaptation of the toothpicking technique … to scratching/levering activities within the carious lesion using microlithic points,” the authors wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.


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Last Updated : Monday, March 23, 2020