As with most things, the first try is not always a success.
The same can be said about dentistry. The earliest writings we have on the subject are from about 5000 B.C. Way back then all we have is people speculation on what in the world was the cause of a toothache.
Later on, about 300 B.C. we start to get treatments for toothaches listed. Even such noted historical figures as Hippocrates and Aristotle got in on the act.
In the old west it is recorded that the barber doubled as the local dentist. The word "dentist" being very loosely used as most of what the barber did was to simply take teeth that had gone bad.
Personally I can't imagine what it must have been like. I know how my teeth feel after just one day of not brushing them. What must they have felt like after not brushing them for YEARS?!
Oh well, over 7,000 years after the first recorded ideas of dentistry we now have amazing new technologies that make going to the dentist a
whole lot better then it used to be.