Gem-studded teeth were popular among people (mostly men) from all walks of life in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, purely for decorative purposes, a new study shows. As far back as 2,500 years ago, skilled dentists could drill teeth using obsidian drill-like devices, which are capable of penetrating bone. They may even have used some kind of herbal anesthetic. Then they attached the gemstones using plant resin adhesive. The ancient drillers knew enough to avoid the pulp inside teeth, and so managed to avoid an infection or broken tooth.
(image credit: José C. Jiménez López)
From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.