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    Peabody Museum, Harvard, possesses a Mayan dental artifact identified at the time of its initial examination as a dental implant. In spite of this early claim the Peabody catalogue lacks any such appellation applied to the artifact, nor does it note another significant aspect of its original description, namely that it bore dental deposits. The skeletal relationship of the artifact in its original archaeological context is not to be found in written dig records or among photographs of skeletons taken in situ, nor are the exact circumstances of the physical examination that was the basis of the initial description fully revealed. We have only the describer's expressed opinions and quoted correspondence with the finder of the artifact. Although modern forensic record taking would be more rigorous the author's written words leave no doubt as to what he was describing. The argument for accepting it as a dental implant is strengthened in the light of other archaeologically identified, possible attempts at dental implantology wherein a slowly growing number of such artefacts strengthens the argument for ancient precedents for what is generally thought to be a modern innovation. At this time the Mayan stone tooth is the earliest unambiguous dental implant in the history of dentistry. Copyright 2020 © American Academy of the History of Dentistry.


    Michael Maccheroni. A Little Recognized Dental Implant: The First Unambiguous Example Recovered Archaeologically and Its Relevance Within the Story of Implantology. Journal of the history of dentistry. 2020;68(3):169-179

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    PMID: 33789787

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