The Chinese Pay a Doctor to Keep Them Well

The Chinese Pay a Doctor to Keep Them Well

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

Dental Therapy Editor

 

               

This wise and ancient Chinese proverb is well known and often repeated, but its true significance we believe is not wholly appreciated. The Chinese realize the importance of professional judgment and advice in their attempt to attain health and longevity, and are foresighted enough to adopt a plan for keeping well.

Is it possible that the American people, the American physician, and the American dentist don not put the proper emphasis on the importance of keeping well? No doubt this is true to a certain extent.

The medical profession for many years has preached the gospel of prevention of disease, the people have become increasingly conscious of the ways and means to maintain health. Dentistry has not progressed quite so far in is attempts to instill preventive measures in the minds of its public. Patients therefore have not regarded dentistry with the same degree of importance that they would, had dentists made it their purpose to relate all dental health measures to them.

For a time, just a few years back, dentists spent part of the appointment period informing patients on mouth hygiene methods, dangers of oral infection and in general prescribing for the betterment of the patient’s oral health. Health measures from a dental standpoint were for a time given their proper place in dental professional services. Due to some obscure circumstances many dentists have become careless in this respect. Possibly economic conditions have discouraged them, and also made the patient less conscious of his desire for such knowledge. Regardless of the reason, it is an unfortunate circumstance, for dentistry and for the patient.

To keep well is the ambition of every person. At the present time people are probably more health conscious than ever before. There are more health discussions in the lay literature. Advertisements are constantly and effectively reminding the public of the necessity of health maintenance. Insurance companies prepare literature for distribution, in the hope that health will be improved and life prolonged. The public is absorbing this information. People are eager for any sound knowledge that will make them more comfortable and healthy.

The mouth being a first consideration in the prevention of disease, it behooves the dental profession to prescribe dental health to the fullest extent.

Patients must be made conscious of the dangers of an unhealthy and unclean mouth. Only through dental advice and counsel can patients intelligently maintain dental health.

With dentists becoming mouth health conscious, so also will patients, and the Americans will pay the dentist to keep them well.