Jul 21, 2009




The glittering teeth (Grills) of some hip-hop stars are not exactly unprecedented. Sophisticated cosmetic dentistry allowed Native Americans to add splash to their teeth as far back as 2,500 years ago, a new study says. Drills made of obsidian were used to embed jewels into the teeth of these ancients. I came across this very interesting article about gem-studded teeth in the Implant blog which I follow. Early Cosmetic Dentists exhibited rather amazing technical skills. Some of the ancient civilizations made false teeth by using beautifully polished abalone shells made into an elongated triangular shape that had the pointed end notched. These new notched teeth were then hammered into the jaw bone with multiple teeth being implanted in some cases. Also, some ancient civilizations used silver wire and gold wire to make artificial bridges. As far back as 2,500 BC, extensive gold bridgework was made with gold bands running across the front of the teeth and would have been very apparent to onlookers. People of high status, wealth and positions of power who had the money would most likely have had these golden cosmetic dentistry bands and other types of cosmetic dental work performed. Interestingly, according to the original National Geographic article about the jeweled teeth, they were only meant for decoration and not to represent status. Before the Spanish conquests of the 1500s, the ancient people of Mesoamerica sought to beautify their teeth with gem stones, such as the skull from Chiapus, Mexico, shown in the original article. So based on this information, it is logical to say that the first American Cosmetic Dentists were practicing their dental arts somewhere in Mexico or Central America.

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