Definite Instructions Made Simpler

Definite Instructions Made Simpler by Written Prescriptions.

BY ROBERT A. STEVENSON, D. D. S., R. Ph. Dental Therapy Editor

In recent years the American public has become dental conscious. Conscious of their responsibility to keep mouths in a healthy, clean condition. They also understand that mouth diseases and uncleanliness is reflected in bodily disturbance and that systemic unbalance is detrimental to mouth health.Various phases of dentistry have been given wide publicity through the press, the radio, public meetings, to say nothing of the wide-spread advertising programs. Dental education by many different means is being thrust upon the public. Some of it is beneficial, some of it is confusing and misleading.

The majority of people now realize the importance of oral care, they are somewhat familiar with dental terminology, and to some degree are able to recognize the symptoms of dental disorders. They appreciate the necessity of rigid home care and their teeth are receiving first consideration in health maintenance.

Naturally, individuals are confused about the methods of approach to maintain mouth health and they are constantly seeking professional counsel on these problems.

Because of the increasing interest in dentistry on the part of the public, dental therapeutics is growing into an important part of every day practice. This is a natural development and is similar to the development of therapeutics in medicine.

This development places an added responsibility on dentistry which must be accepted.

The question, what can I do to maintain a healthy mouth, is constantly arising in the minds of patients.

The profession has two available preventive methods proven to be of importance, nutritional correction and control and mouth hygiene.

The public too, is aware of these methods, but it is difficult for individuals to institute self-treatment without specific advice from their dental practitioners.

It is here that individual practitioners can be of inestimable service to patients in advising detailed methods, simplified so that they are easily understood, and explained so that confusion is dispelled.

The necessary agents, materials, and products also should be definitely prescribed so that the patient does not become accustomed to self-medication, and misled by the increasing commercial quackery.

It is important to write instructions and prescribe agents for the patient. Verbal description of health measures is always confusing and the important emphasis is lost.

The writing of instructions and prescriptions not only makes clear to the patient the advice given, but adds to the importance the dentist holds as a health practitioner.