Archeologists working in Pakistan determined that individuals 9,000 years ago (predating the Egyptian dentists of 4,000 years ago) were drilling nearly perfect tiny holes. The work described in the journal Nature were complicated even to drilling on the distal aspect of molars. The "burs" were fl int bits driven by a small bow. Simulated experiments by the archeologists demonstrated that this could be done easily in under a minute. This technique was everyday dentistry for the time in the Baluchistan region and probably evolved from ornamental bead drilling practiced in the area. But the location of several holepreparations were not decorative and must have had some dental purpose.
The holes were as deep as 3.5 mm. Skulls with "drilled" teeth were dated up to 5500 B.C. and were thought to be done to relieve the pain of cavities as well as ornamental. A purpose was served other than ornamental since a few of the holes were on the backs of teeth where they would not have been seen.