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Except with dentures, missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants. People made and used dental implants since some 4000 years ago, using bamboo pegs and seashells instead of missing teeth.
Dental instruments progressed for nearly 9000 years and from very primitive tools they developed into sophisticated equipment that can still seam scary but not so much when you compare them with tools people fixed their teeth some 100 years ago.
Toothbrushes are the most important instrument in maintaining of oral hygiene. At first they were made from primitive materials that grew their own bacteria but today we have toothbrushes that do their job much better.
History of dentistry is long and ... well - painful. But since the people began using natural ingredients to treat illnesses, they used it for teeth problems also. And slowly but surely, we became more adept in treating tooth decay and other oral problems.