Who Shall Advise

Who Shall Advise Dental Health Treatment

BY ROBERT A. STEVENSON, D. D. S., R. Ph.

Dental Therapy Editor

 

                For several months we have stressed the importance of prescribing for the dental welfare of patients. We have endeavoured to point out the advantages the dentist derives from this practice and the service rendered to his patients.

Who should give specific instruction on dental health matters, if the dentist does not prescribe and advise the public on this phase of dental hygiene?

A patient, failing to procure the desired knowledge of preventive dental measures falls victim of advertising campaigns of misrepresentation, and of the eager drug clerk who is well supplied with spiffs, and long profit merchandise.

Dentists must guard the public against opportunists by correctly informing them as to reliable therapeutic agents.

We are not often called upon to write prescriptions dealing with original formulas, but we are daily requested to aid patients to segregate the worthy and unworthy dental therapeutic agents. A neglect of this duty forces patients to use their own “judgment.”

It is a well known fact that many of the products used in dental treatment fall short of their intended purpose, and some are actually injurious.

In recent studies of Vitamin D products, it was discovered that some were much more efficient than others. Claims for certain properties of a preparation are often absolutely unfounded. Prophylactics of questionable origin have been found to contain ingredients of a highly abrasive character, deleterious to human teeth, and some have been found to contain hydrochloric acid and other harmful ingredients. It is common knowledge that numerous other therapeutic agents, marketed under unknown names, are often of questionable value.

It is a serious situation when those outside our profession, persons with no regard for public welfare, prescribe for patients’ dental health. Substitutions are the rule rather than a coincidence. Many merchants make it a practice to substitute products having unknown value for those prescribed. The advice of physicians and dentists is often ignored by the unscrupulous drug clerk who tries to pawn cheap substitutes on the public.

Dentists are highly educated and trained and are perfectly capable of deciding safe procedure for dental health treatment. They understand the dangers of certain forms of treatment and practice. They have seen false methods come and go, and their long experience has taught them to instinctively evaluate the false and the true.

The value to the patient of specific dental therapeutic advice is inestimable.

Dentists who form a definite policy of advising patients specifically, are held in high regard, and raise themselves above the level of the average man.