Dental Treatments

By Address all communications to the Department Editor C. B. Warner, A. M., D. S., Biloxi, Miss.

VACATIONS-Do you remember that old nursery rhyme which you recited when you wore rompers? “Work while you work and play while you play. This is the way to be happy and gay.” It is more necessary for you to recall it now; for then you were playing most of the time. August is a vacation month. Give the little gray cells a rest. There are too many fish swimming around! so do your duty. Besides that will give something else to brag about. Some of my readers have been asking for information as to how they can get some socialist literature. To these I might make a few suggestions, for they may wish to read while they are recreating. As a starter get Bellamy’s Looking Backward, and Equality. As they are in story form they serve as a good introduction. For periodicals, write to The American Guardian, Oklahoma City, Okla. This weekly gives a sane digest of national events. The magazine, Ken, to be found on all news stands is one that everyone should read.

RADIO ADVERTISING– Writing, concerning periodical advertising, J. Donald Adams has this to say in the January issue of The Atlantic Monthly: “I contend that personal conscience in the United States has fallen to a new low in our history as a nation… Let your mind run over for a moment, before we turn to its graver manifestations, the little ways in which that sapping has been going forward. Every day, in every newspaper and magazine that you pick up, it is spread before you in advertising testimonials endorsing a product never used by the endorser, a fundamentally dishonest practice which has received the cachet of the socially elect… We observe a steady mounting of dishonesty in advertising copy, claiming qualities for a product which even the chicken-brained must sometimes realize have not the slightest basis in fact. But we laugh it off because ‘nobody believes it anyway’. In our callous acceptance of these and kindred deceptions is a measure of how far the decline has progressed in the value we set upon integrity.” Such an indictment is very severe. My idea is that the evil is worse in radio, especially in advertising dental accessories and preparations.

A REMEDY– It would be a splendid thing if the A.D.A could establish a free service to aid these advertisers in preparing their copy, or addresses. then those who had taken advantage of this offer could mark in fine print at the bottom of their printed advertisement: “This product and this advertisement has the approval of the American Dental Association.” If you readers can see that my suggestion reaches these advertisers, and the officials of the A.D.A, you can be spared the nausea that you often have after hearing some of the dental rubbish going over the air. You will also be saved many questions by your patients in asking, “Is such and such toothpaste as good as a powder?”

ANOTHER PROPOSAL– Dental societies often contemplate spending good money in radio addresses on the care of the teeth. It appears to me that such money could be saved and all such matters taken care of through these radio advertisement talks. For instance, a speaker might make a statement like this: “In selling our tooth brushes we realize that our business comes from those who have their own teeth rather than those with artificial teeth, but it is not as a matter of business alone that we advise you to consult your dentist often, for we really know that you should keep your teeth. A little break in the enamel may be filled for trifling amount and last a lifetime, but you may not discover it for a year or more and then the cavity may be so large that the dentist has difficulty in saving the tooth, and your expense is considerably increased. Another thing, I notice many going to cheap amusements, or blowing their money in gasoline, and they have diseased teeth. They often say that they cannot afford to go to the dentist. What they mean is that they would rather be amused for a  little while than to have their teeth taken care of. Good teeth are essential factors in health, comfort and long life. This radio talk has been approved by the American Dental Association and our tooth brushes are on their accepted list.”

COMPLIMENTS
– A letter from a dentist from Champaign, III., says, “Keep up the good work, and may this G.O.P., Grand Old Profession keep its head above water, and remain free from political interference.”

One from New York City says, “Your timely Watch Look and Listen articles have saved our profession…If you have never done another lick for the profession you are among the elect.” “Give Socialized Dentistry another swat.”

Spare my blushes.

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BIRTH CONTROL

We have received from The Committee on Public Progress, 17 W. 16th St., New York, an appeal for publicity regarding birth control and a request that our readers write for information.

There is a long list of eminent people on its Board of Trustees, including such names as Kermit Roosevelt and Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, so you will be in good company if you wish to write.

Since The American Medical Association has taken favorable action economists have awakened to the idea that large families are contra-indicated in these depressed times when thirteen million are unemployed and one third of our population are undernourished. It will not be long before any opposition to this movement will be as extinct as the dodo.

In the course of time its leader, Margaret Sanger, will be grouped with the other great women of America, who sponsored unpopular causes, among whom are Mary A. Livermore, Frances Willard and Jane Addams.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Please communicate with the Department Editor C. B. Warner, A. M., D. D. S., Biloxi, Miss.
A Fireside Chat
When the moon happens to be in the right quarter, and events are transpiring in the economic field, we will draw our family circle together and discuss informally those elements of business, and of social welfare, that means so much to us in our profession.
As a general rule our dental magazines are crowded with scientific and technical articles so as to increase, or improve, our services. When it comes to matters pertaining to the marketing of our services, or methods of protection from the encroachment of external interests against our profession, we find a dearth of news. There are many economic angles in the dental field which have never been explored, and it is to this interesting investigation we invite your cooperation.
Dentists, like those in other lines of business, often are so interested in their affairs at hand that they neglect the larger issues which are of greater experience. You may have seen it happen where a labor union was so interested in a wage scale that it neglected to observe a huge sales tax imposed by the state; and those who had the least were forced to pay the heaviest tribute through a lack of foresight.
Whether you believe it, or not, it is a matter of interest to the dental profession to learn to the dental profession to learn that Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt visits the cooperative medical headquarters, or whether Jeanette Rankin heads a cooperative group to visit the President. We wonder whether the eight trailer dental cards recently installed in Louisiana, are operating successfully and whether they have chiseled into the private practice of the rural dentists of that state.
When we read that the House of Representatives voted to marl off two and a half billion dollars as uncollectible of RFC money loaned to banks, railroads and states, that is a matter of concern to us, for it is a tidy little sum for which we must pay the taxes. It also demonstrates the power of organization which the capitalist enjoys in politics.
Since my articles concerning socialization of dentistry have been appearing in various magazines there has been a flood of letters this way. This demonstrates that the profession is becoming aroused over the situation. Mostly there is an inarticulate cry of helplessness of the inability of the individual dentist, who wishes to help to stem the tide but does not know what to do. Unfortunately I cannot take the time to answer these letters but I am always glad to get them, and read them very carefully.
Dentists’ Reactions
One letter brings up a very pertinent point. The writer says, “If the Government, in TVA, pays out good money to power companies for the equipment it is going to take over, what is it going to pay me for my equipment, and education, when it establishes a Federal Clinic in my locality?” Will someone please answer?
Another writes, “What I am afraid of is that the great body of dentists will be kept ignorant of what is going on behind the scenes. Our dental societies should investigate and keep us fully informed on all developments so that we will have a few months to consider any vital proposition, or questionnaire. You know how it is with the farmers, everything is cooked and dried in Washington. The brought out with a big hurrah and the farmers are voted like sheep by their county agents.” Well it is not quite as bad at that. However, the dental profession belongs to the dentists and they should know what is going on.
As a matter of fact most legislation is a matter of compromise, and its execution in the hands of political appointees, so we cannot expect too much. I recall that I was in Warm Springs in April, 1933, working on the AAA along with Raymond Moley, and Henry Morganthau, who was at that time Chairman of the Farm Board. When asked what I thought about the AAA I told them that “it was unconstitutional, was expensive to operate and wouls antagonise industry.” One of the brain trusters (I will not mention any names) replied. “Probably so, but we have gone along too far now and cannot pull back.” A quarter of a million new Government employees were added to the agricultural rolls, crops were destroyed, farm products were priced so high that the poor could hardly buy. If the Government enters into the dental business I hope that it can make a better record; and not be finally thrown out by the Supreme Court.
One writer quotes in his letter, “They say that we will be laughed out of Washington if we retire behind ominous phrases and nonsensical talk about communism, socialism, etc. The only thing that will make Washington laugh is because we have neglected to cultivate political power. Instead of banks always failing to get what they wish in Washington it is exactly the opposite. Watch the tax bill and see for yourself. The only loser in national affairs is the consumer, who is unorganized.”
Well this round table discussion is very good. It opens up several avenues of thought. In closing I might leave with you this problem. Dr. Edward J. Ryan in an able editorial estimates there are 64,219 dentists in private practice, with an average income (estimated four years ago) of $2787. If you multiply these sums together –I am too lazy to do so –it will hit around one hundred ninety million dollars. Now each of you play that you are a braintruster and have been given that sum of money for providing the nation with dental health. How would you go about it? When we consider the vast sums spent in other lines, a hundred and ninety millions dollars does not loom up very large.
One thing to remember is to do your own thinking and not let others do it for you. If Federal operation encroaches on your dental field you have a right to be concerned, for you have seen plenty of the New Deal alphabets fall by the wayside. Yes, there will be plenty to scoff at your fears and usually they have an axe to grind. Your position now might be the same as a patient who climbed on a surgeon’s table and listened to the comforting words of the operator. He said, “ Do not worry, all we are going to do is to cut out both your kidneys and you will be asleep while we do it.”