Interest In Dentistry


                 The month of February was a month crowded with events of especial interest, emanating from two important dental conventions, which I had the good fortune to attend. These conventions were the annual Mid-winter meet in Chicago and our own Minnesota State Dental Association. Both meetings had their specific points of benefits in their educational aspects. The Chicago meeting maintained its usual high order, in both scientific and constructive departments and exhibits. Likewise the Minnesota State Dental Association continued its high standard with added health educational features.

However, I do not mean to dwell upon these points, but on one of more common interest, one that made a particular impression upon me. This was the great attendance of dentists from both near and distant in opposition to unusually severe and forbidding weather and almost hazardous transportation. This observation alone attracted my notice but it was not so much the consideration of this fact as the motive or inducement, behind the fact. I believe there can be no other conclusion than a true manifestation of a desire for progressive development; and also a realization of the advantages derived from the accumulated experiences and researches of scientific men of the profession.

It is a most hopeful sign that there is a rapidly increasing number of dentists who seek a vision far beyond the boundaries of their offices and believe in the old adage “Where there is no vision the people perish.”

It is certain that a continuance of this interest will develop an education within each dentist that will enable him to take his part in building an organization that has reached a stage where progress is taking place in so many different directions that one must be constantly alert to keep apace. “Education is Revelation Coming to the Individual Man; and Revelation is Education which has come, and is yet coming to the Human Race.” Sufficient interest in an undertaking usually results in the necessary education.

Another gratifying feature is the growing interest in the health phase of dentistry evinced at both conventions.

I believe the importance of dental health education cannot be over stressed. Never has there been so much interest displayed by the public in the care of their teeth as there has been since they learned the relation of dental health to general health.

Preventive dentistry means preventive disease. These are inescapable facts and add many fold responsibilities to the dentist in both his diagnosis and treatment. In order to do this efficiently he must have sufficient knowledge of offending factors to make proper inquiries into the health conditions of his patients, to apply proper treatment and to give the necessary instructions in nutrition as preventive measures.

To obtain the necessary information on the health of a patient is often very difficult because so many people are indifferent to seemingly trivial ills, unless they give annoyance or pain. Under these circumstances there may be existing causative factors that are ignorant of. This confirms the observations of Carlyle that “The Physicians aphorism is, the healthy know not of their health but only the sick. In fact unity agreement is always silent or soft voiced; it is only discord that loudly proclaims itself.”