Dentistry: The Limitations of Transplants

Ecuadorian Indians faced up to the problem in the days before Columbus; so did U.S. dentists around the time of the Revolution: if someone had a hole in his jawbone where a tooth had just been extracted, why not fill it with any fresh, healthy-looking tooth that happened to be available? The answer seemed especially logical since many of these transplants apparently worked.

The price paid to donors for front teeth went up to 4 guineas a tooth in New York in 1772. The trouble was that neither the Indians nor the colonial dentists knew anything...

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