Saint Apollonia was born in the third century and lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Apollonia spent her whole life preaching the word of God. She took a big risk doing this because Christians were being persecuted during the reign of Emperor Philip. Even into old age, Apollonia still preached and bravely risked her life to visit Christians in prison to comfort them. In 249 AD she was captured and brought before a court.
When the judge asked her name, she replied, "I am a Christian and I love to serve the true God". People who were trying to force her to give up her faith then tortured her. All her teeth were smashed with pinchers and then knocked out. Even this painful ordeal did not shake her faith, when she was given the choice of rejecting Jesus or being burned alive she jumped into the burning fire herself. When the pagans saw how heroic she was many were converted to Christianity. A church was erected in her honour in Rome, it no longer exists but the square where it stood is still called after her "Piazza Sant' Apollonia". The Catholic Church celebrates Saint Apollonia's Feast Day on 9th February.
Because of the torture Saint Apollonia endured people frequently pray her when they have a toothache and hence she has become the patron saint of dentistry. She is generally depicted in art holding a gold tooth with a pincers.