COMMERCIAL CO-OPERATION

            On the next page Dr. Thaddeus P. Hyatt presents a practical plan of cooperation between the profession of dentistry and commercial institutions allied to it for the purpose of furthering the development of professional service. This subject has long needed the attention of the dental professional service. This subject has long needed the attention of the dental profession and it is difficult to realize why dentists have taken a somewhat antagonistic attitude toward dental commerce which has in a large measure contributed toward the advancement of the present high standards of practice.

The success of the American people has been due to a great extent to the spirit of cooperation, faith in their fellow men and confidence in business and social relationship. While these factors are constantly at work in general life, they have become somewhat obscured in the relationship of the profession of dentistry with the commercial institutions allied to it.

Is there anything degrading about commerce? Isn’t honest dental commerce as important to the practice of dentistry as technical training? How could dentistry succeed without the products of dental commerce in which we have justified confidence?

I think it is safe to state, that hardly s step in the advancement of the profession has been made without the aid of allied commercial hoses, and often they have anticipated our needs far in advance of any attempts made by the profession.

Dr. Hyatt emphasizes that dental trades cannot be confused with the general commercial trades and calls for “a new word to replace the term ‘trade’ when applied to the manufactures of materials used in health service.” (I am sure Dr. Hyatt would appreciate suggestions.)

It has been said that the dental trades carry on and build up on the incentive for profit. Is this not equally true of the members of the profession? Do we as dentists not consider our services as remunerative? Do we not constantly strive to increase our earning capacity, to each a higher standard of existence, to render better service?

Value of business and greater income may be a natural incentive of the dental trades but we must admit their efforts have always been for greater efficiency, which enables better service. But, through a more practical spirits of cooperation greater service could be rendered both the dentist and the public.

We have here two service groups closely allied in nature and dependent upon one another for their existence. The dental profession and the dental trades. The professional group is designed to serve the public and the trades group to serve the profession and the dentists’ public, making the combination impossible of separation, yet as Dr. Hyatt reminds us there are men in the profession who believe they should be kept completely separate because of superficially different objectives.

What we need is more democracy in dentistry with its humanizing influence and its spirit of cooperation. I think there should be a mutually helpful cooperation between these two groups. The nature and extent could be easily determined by following the suggestion of Dr. Hyatt.