Dentistry is now a lot less painful than it used to be. Many of the techniques used have become less invasive. Children and curious adults alike might be wondering though, how dental procedures developed—especially cosmetic dentistry Scottsdale AZ dentists practice—and how dentists found ways to make them less painful. Dental history goes further back than most people might expect.

Medical technology started as soon as humans developed society and culture in the first fluvial and thalassic civilizations. Ancient graveyards of the first Indus Valley civilization dating as early as 7000 BC in what is now modern-day Pakistan showed nine skulls with teeth drilled through—evidently an ancient-time root canal. Scientists speculate that dental drilling was used to ease toothaches, but no fillings were used.

In Egypt, many mummies were found to have suffered various dental and periodontal diseases, worn teeth, and cavities. While dental problems abounded in Ancient Egypt, the dentists were quick to replace teeth lost from severe diseases. Like gold and silver crowns and transplants of modern times, ancient Egyptian dentists provided their patients some luxury by using gold wire. The earliest known dental health care practitioner was found as a mummy in Egypt.

On the opposite side of the globe, ancient Mayans civilizations also show evidence of cosmetic dentistry. Skulls of people of no particular social class bore teeth filed to make perfectly round grooves just deep enough to fit jade or turquoise beads without penetrating the dental pulp. Scientists found no evidence that these people had any particular dental problems, so the beads were “purely for decoration,” according to an anthropologist from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The first implants can also be attributed to the ancient Mayans. An ancient woman was found to have implants made with shells and ivory fashioned in the shape of human teeth. Scientists believe that the ancient dental patients only had topical herbal analgesics, which were not strong enough to ease pain the same way as cosmetic dentists Scottsdale patients consult these days, can.

Greco-Romans were the first to comprehensibly identify dental patterns and ailments as people know them today. They also independently developed dental implants made of iron. The Etruscans, another Mediterranean nation, also used dental crowns and fixed bridges or partial dentures.

Dentistry as we know it today was first developed in the medieval period. A barber invented the dentist’s chair, and nitrous oxide or laughing gas was first used as an analgesic in 1794. Over the centuries, dentistry has become more complex, yet faster and safer. Things like biocompatible titanium dental implants Scottsdale dentists provide today will one day also be just a part of dental history.