Etruscan Teeth and Odontology

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Luigi Capasso
Gabriella di Tota


The results of a paleopathological examination of the teeth and supporting structures of a 4th through 2nd century BC Etruscan sample of 119 crania from central Italy reveals a relatively low incidence of caries (27.7%) and high frequencies of antemortem tooth loss (49.6%) and alveolar bone infection (27.7%). The mandibular anterior teeth of one individual were partially covered with a gold strip. The function of this strip may have been ornamental or possibly odontoechnical to cover a diastema which resulted from antemortem tooth loss. Previous studies have shown that the Etruscans were renowned for their skill in odontotherapy.