India’s Earlier days’ Dental Ornaments

Holes for Retaining Gold

This is the photograph of a 60yr old female in which you can notice some holes in the upper central incisor teeth – one on each of the front two teeth. Do you know why these holes are there?

About 40years ago this lady had got these holes filled with gold during a village fair. I rarely come across ladies which have got such gold “ornaments” fixed on the front teeth.

This practice had been quite popular in some parts of India –more so in the rural areas. However, it is unheard of since so many decades. In this lady also, the gold just fell off from these holes many years ago. But she says there is no problem of sensitivity to hot and cold.

The lady was narrating that in the village fair it used to be very fashionable to get such dental gold work done. The artisan used to drill the hole using some hand-operated  rotary instrument and then gold was packed/impacted  into those holes.

It is nice that this tradition had almost died – in earlier days, people used to bother little about the asepsis and such procedures being performed on the street by artisans. Apart from the sepsis part, it was a dangerous practice because those artisan must have damaged a lot of healthy teeth by excessive drilling and accidently reaching the dental pulp (ie nerve of the tooth).

Anyway, now-a-days it is not much of a problem. Just once a while we get to see such cases with “lost gold” and in such cases it is always indicated to fill those holes with a tooth-colored restorative material.

I remember years ago when I had extracted a lady’s tooth, she demanded that it be returned to her. Reason ?—it has a gold stuff like this. And I want to tell you many old ladies start blushing once they are being asked about these “dental ornaments”.  I have seen an old lady with these holes and the gold packed in these holes in the form of a “Heart”. Indeed people of all ages had a number of sexy ideas !


About drparveenchopra

Dr Parveen Chopra is Masters in Dental Surgery.. with 35 years of experience in dentistry. For trying his hand in health writing, he studied Communication for seven years. He is a blogger since 2007- he enjoys writing in conversational style.
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