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Tooth decay is one of the oldest diseases of the human race. People had caries for millions of years and still have it today. With the appearance of sugar cane and other types of sugar prevalence of caries increased and until the modern treatments of caries, both preventive and remedial, lessen the number and seriousness of caries cases.
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.
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.
Since the ancient times, we try to keep our mouth and teeth clean. Until we found out how bacteria work, we used some pretty unsanitary methods for that but in time we learned and today our hygiene standards are pretty high. Read more about history of oral hygiene.