Poor Liz. One of her molars flared up on New Year's Eve but because her regular dentist was away for the holidays, she's had to tough it out on antibiotics and nurofen for seven long, painful days. She finally got it got it sorted today. Root canal. Ouch.
How did people manage in 'the olden days'? I'd thought that until quite recently it was limited to just yanking out rotten teeth, but apparently there's evidence of basic dentistry, including - amazingly - a form of drill, going back to 7,000BC (in what is now Pakistan). But really it didn't get going until around 1650, the introduction of some kind of anaesthetic (gas) in the 1840s, and the invention of the high-speed electric drill in 1875.
Nevertheless, I wouldn't want a dental problem in some of the more remote places in China - like Kashgar where I saw this street ad.