World's oldest dental fillings: Italy sets world record (VIDEO)
ROME, Italy -- Researchers have discovered ancient dental fillings in northern Italy; the fillings were found inside a pair of 13,000-year-old front teeth; they were made of bitumen, a semi-solid form of petroleum thus setting the new record for the World's oldest dental fillings, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Researchers have discovered ancient dental fillings in northern Italy, the world's oldest. The fillings were found inside a pair of 13,000-year-old front teeth. They were made of bitumen, a semi-solid form of petroleum. Bitumen might have been used as an antiseptic. Photo: Stefano Benazzi (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records world record for most people brushing their teeth simultaneously in a single venue is 16,414, achieved by My Dental Plan and Delhi Public School (both India), in Karnataka, India, on 7 January 2016.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest dental health check; it involved 14,978 participants, achieved by Nootan Sarva Vidyalaya Kelavani Mandal Visnagar Dental College (India) in Gujarat, India, on 17 February 2016.
Each of the two teeth feature large cavities. Marking on the walls of the holes suggest the cavities were hollowed out and enlarged by stone tools.
While analyzing the holes, scientists found residues of bitumen. Researchers also found plant fibers and hair trapped in the asphalt.
The fillings likely served the same purpose they do today, to reduce pain and keep food out of the cavities. Archaeologists estimate the asphalt and plant matter filler was chosen for its antiseptic qualities -- used to prevent infection.
Researchers described the discovery in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Archaeologists have previously discovered the use of beeswax as filling inside a 6500-year-old tooth recovered in Slovenia.