17th-century Frenchwoman’s ‘innovative’ gold dental work was likely torturous to her teeth

An aristocratic woman at the peak of French modern society at the transform of the 17th century preserved her alluring smile by getting her tooth secured with gold wires — a painful technique that may well have produced her affliction even worse.

The continues to be of the woman, Anne d’Alègre, who lived from 1565 right up until 1619, had been discovered in the course of archaeological excavations in 1988 at the Chateau de Laval in northwestern France. She had been embalmed and then buried in a lead coffin, which intended that her bones — and her enamel — had been remarkably well preserved.