Dental Treatment of the Young

When we arrive at the age of visiting a dentist, the, or course, we must consider the caries problem and the repair of teeth. The essential is early repair, and the cavities are smaller, and devitalized teeth should not exist. Fillings should be done with the greatest care and conform as near to natural tooth formation as is possible to prevent overhanging margins, faulty contacts, and such-like. This stage under ideal conditions would go on, and with perfect fillings, proper food, exercise and function of the teeth, we should have good health, high resistance and no periodontia throughout life; but, again, we must leave the ideal and keep human frailties before our minds and remember that our ideal of prevention is only as good as conditions allow. We must, therefore, reluctantly admit that teeth will be lost and dentures, bridges, etc., made to replace them. Having to admit failure of complete prevention under our modes of living, let us endeavor to suggest means of prevention at the later periods of life and attempt to make dentures that do not become orthodontic appliances or encroach on that vital interproximal area –dentures which show proper occlusal balance and do not overtax either tooth or soft tissue.

Bridges are at times indicated. If so, then let us build a bridge with ample support and not ask two abutments to carry the strain of five or six teeth, e.g., three or four dummies, and so constructed that it will permit normal movement of the teeth and not create abnormal movement with consequent bone loss, etc. The many reparative measures which have to be done should be scientifically and anatomically carried out, if periodontal lesions are to be prevented.

I have refrained from mentioning diet again during this stage of life as I feel it is part and parcel of good health, good teeth and gums. The diet mentioned in the early part of my paper, with suitable variations, could apply generally. We are all subject to disease, some of them as a result of preventive periodontia we should be informed of the resultant oral lesions and the measures to take to prevent the progressive oral breakdown. We should know that vitamin C will prevent and cure scurvy, that insulin will control early diabetes, etc. We should be in a position to assist and warn against metallic and such-like poisoning, e.g., mercury, bismuth, arsenic, phosphorus, and so help to prevent the breakdown of oral tissues from these causes.

Summary

I feel I have covered in a general way most of the ground, and would summarize thus: Prevention is an ideal we aspire to, beginning from pre-conception and carried out throughout life, and if all ideals were fostered periodontia would not exist, but as this seems impossible to realize in these times, we should aim at:

  1. Proper diet at all ages, containing the necessary food factors.
  2. In the event of breakdown, perfect fillings and dentures and all reparative measures should be the order of the day.
  3. Proper mouth hygiene and correct occlusions should be treated as all important.
  4. Knowledge of the constitutional causative factors is essential to prevent tissue destruction.
  5. Preventive measures against metallic and other poisonings should be part of our armamentarium.
  6. A desire at all times to teach periodontal prevention for the betterment of the race in general.

The Dental Journal of Australia.

PSYCHOTHERAPY

            PSYCHOTHERAPY. It is most important not to put into tight compartments any branch of medicine; you cannot separate the mind from the body in their actions upon one another and upon the whole; the reaction of the body physiological to the invasion of microbes is not only parallel to that of the body mental to the disturbances by environment, but both react upon each other.

What is normality? What is cure? What is health? What is happiness? The general practitioner has to have in his armament not only a knowledge of biochemistry, physiological functionings, endocrine disturbances, metabolic disorders, the reactions of the mind to environment, how to deal with trauma in all senses, but he has also to have a knowledge of life in its widest sense –of economics, politics, education, religion, law, in fact of everything that there is to make up life –he has to be the superman of medical profession, to work the hardest and to accept the lowest pay of anyone in the world of his scientific attainment for the services he tries to render – “A.G.P.”