Washington, May 19 (ANI): Skilful dentists existed as far back as 2,500 years ago who helped ancient peoples of southern North America beautify their teeth with otches, grooves, and semiprecious gems.
This finding comes from a recent analysis of thousands of teeth examined from collections in Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The collections belonged to people living throughout the region, called Mesoamerica, before the Spanish conquests of the 1500s.
Jose Concepcion Jimenez, an anthropologist at the institute, has revealed that the research team did not know the origin of most of the teeth in the collections.
However, Jimenez added, it was clear that people-mostly men-from nearly all walks of life opted for the look.
The researcher also revealed that the early dentists used a drill-like device with a hard stone such as obsidian, which is capable of puncturing bone.
"It's possible some type of [herb based] anesthetic was applied prior to drilling to blunt any pain," National Geographic News quoted Jimenez as saying.
Jimenez said that the ornamental stones-including jade-were attached with an adhesive made out of natural resins, such as plant sap, which was mixed with other chemicals and crushed bones.
He also said that the dentists likely had a sophisticated knowledge of tooth anatomy. For example, they knew how to drill into teeth without hitting the pulp inside, he added.
"They didn't want to generate an infection or provoke the loss of a tooth or break a tooth," Jimenez said. (ANI)