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applied to those who do not see eye to eye with him on this matter, of itself suggests that the position which he assumes, of arbiter on questions of taste, ought not to be too readily conceded to him.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE "JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH DENTAL ASSOCIATION." SIR,-Probably very few members of the British Dental Association will object to being accused of "snobbery" by "Excavator," if he can adduce no better reason for the charge with respect to them, than he has succeeded in doing, in his communication in last month's Journal; most of them, however, might have much difficulty in rebutting the even more disagreeable charge of toadying to the medical profession, if there were as good cause for its being brought against them as does exist with respect to himself, if he is to be judged by what he has written.
In attempting to stigmatise a number of his fellow-members as snobs, for an entirely insufficient reason; and even more, in the manner in which this charge is made; one cannot but observe a conspicuous lack of that quality of good taste upon which "Excavator" is apparently desirous of posing as an (anonymous) authority.
419, Chiswick High Road,
Gunnersbury, W., October 1, 1902.
The Eastern Counties Branch.
THE Annual Dinner took place on Tuesday, September 30, at Cambridge, Mr. W. J. Fisk (the President) in the Chair. In the course of responses to toasts, Mr. BoSWORTH HARCOURT said he believed he had the honour to be the senior member of the Branch at the present moment. With regard to the Dental Association, what had that done for them? It had brought them together in such a way as nothing else in the world could possibly have done. They were now a band of brothers united in one scheme for benefiting their fellow creatures to the best of their ability. He should to the day of his death regret that the British Dental Association did not establish a Branch, or rather establish themselves earlier. They ought to have been a body sixty years ago. If they had been the dental profession would have held a very different position to-day. Still they held their own, and he believed English dentistry owned some of the best dental practitioners the world could produce.
The toast of “The Allied Association," the "British Medical Association," the "Odontological Society," and the "School Dentist Society," was given by Mr. W. H. HOPE. He pointed to the improved relations existing between the medical and the dental professions. The medical men were beginning to realise that it was to their interests, as well as the interests of their patients, that they could call upon dentists to supplement the work which they did so
well. They as dentists sometimes came into contact with patients whose medical men did not realise that as they should do. The patient had perhaps been treated with medicines, whereas if the doctor had looked into his mouth he would soon have stopped all such things, and told him to consult a dentist. He believed that was being recognised. Medical men realised that dentists were their best friends and that they were an almost indispensable adjunct in the work they had to do. With regard to the School Dentist Society he did not think it was possible to exaggerate their work. He only regretted that the task which they had asked dentists to perform was so trying and difficult. They had among them, in the form of the Chairman, a man who had devoted an enormous amount of time and trouble to pushing that work forward. They would, he thought, all fully recognise the value of the School Dentists' Association. He had for twenty-five years attended a large public school, and he could assure them that very great trouble faced the dentist in this class of work. The bills sent up by the master for the boys were of such a very heavy character that the authorities did their best to limit the extra expenditure. In some of the schools every possible obstacle was put in the way of the dentist attending the boy there, and so long as the parents were unwilling to recognise the seriousness of the matter he did not see how they were going to make much headway among the public schools. He regarded the question as one of the most serious they had to face. He hoped in this work the fever would set in and the education be of such a character that all classes of people who sent their boys to school would instruct the master to look after the boy's health, and to do that he would have to look at his mouth.
Dr. SIMPSON, in responding, said nowadays one had to be social, and it was only by means of Associations of one kind and another that one got on in life. It was only by meeting confrères and colleagues that life was worth living. So far as the teeth were concerned, in his opinion too much importance could not be attached to them, and it was most important that children's teeth should be attended to. He considered that the chief point on which the Medical and Dental Associations were inter-related, was the giving of anæsthetics, and he was surprised that in some medical schools students were not more thoroughly taught in that matter.
The CHAIRMAN also replied and spoke of the saving of teeth. He might first of all point out what the School Dentists' Society really was. The idea originated with a member of the British Dental Association. Its objects were : Mutual assistance in promoting School Dentistry and the consideration of all subjects connected with the special work of School Dentists. Some years ago the attention of the Association was called to the large number of young people suffering from bad teeth in our elementary schools. A series of papers were written on the subject, and commented upon not only in the Association Journal, but in the medical journals. The result was that a Committee of the British Dental Association was formed for the purpose of investigating the condition of children's teeth in public and Poor Law schools. It was found that an enormous amount of suffering was caused to these children, who could not protect themselves, but could only complain, while the people about them were ignorant of the proper remedies. The Association created a certain amount of public opinion in favour of something being done. The ordinary school governor did not pay much attention to the condition of children's teeth but the Government did, who found to their cost that many children educated
by the State were of very little use for public service. After being in Poor Law schools they were sent to the Medical Officer to be examined for the Army or Navy and were rejected on account of bad teeth. That greatly influenced the governing authorities, and the Local Government Board, through their inspectors, advised guardians who had the charge of these Poor Law children to have dental officers. What had been the result? In London they had a system of dental inspectors which was probably the best in existence. The London Poor Law schools each accommodated from 500 to 1,000 children, and dental officers were appointed, and properly equipped surgeries were supplied, and each child had to pass the dental officer at least twice a year. Looking at the Board School returns they found that 17 per cent. of the children were absentees, and the school dentists argued that a large percentage of the children were absent from preventable causes. They could be remedied either by the dental surgeon or the medical practitioner. The School Boards of this country were not so wise as the governing authorities. They did not realise what it meant to have a number of children away, and had not gone into the question in the way Government had done. The School Dentists' Society was formed some time after the Schools Committee of the British Dental Association, and it consisted of men who held official appointments in the country in connection with schools. He thought he might call it a Board of Experts; they were men who had to deal with children in large numbers. What the School Dentists' Society was trying to do was to arouse public opinion and bring pressure to bear on those who had the care of children, to allow dental supervision and to see that the children had the opportunity of going through the earlier period of their life free from pain, thereby enjoying the advantages freedom from pain would afford them in the way of acquiring knowledge. They found that their greatest friends were the school teachers, and the School Dentists' Society was approaching the National Union of Teachers, hoping to get a resolution passed at the next Conference in favour of dental supervision. They held that the child should be taught to have a clean mouth, in the same way that he was taught to have a clean head, and they wanted dental hygiene introduced into the code.
The Chairman then alluded to the loss the Dental Association had sustained by the death of Mr. Lennox, whose abilities were recognised far beyond the limits of his own country.
The annual meeting was held Wednesday morning, Mr. W. J. Fisk presiding. There were also present Messrs. J. A. Poock, White, Bosworth Harcourt, A. Jones, A. S. Jones, W. A. Rhodes, L. A. Coxon, A. Layton, R. S. Parriss, and H. L. Tracy (Secretary).
It was agreed that the next annual meeting of the Association should be held at Colchester in June.
The meeting also decided that Mr. Dixon, of Colchester, should be approached with a view to his becoming the President-elect.
The SECRETARY stated that Mr. Lennox and Mr. N. Tracy had passed away, that there had been two resignations, and they had now fifty-five members in the Branch. He would like to express his thanks to Mr. Rhodes for the great help he had given him in arranging that meeting at Cambridge.
Mr. HARCOURT proposed that a letter be written to Mrs. Lennox saying how much they missed Mr. Lennox. He (the speaker) felt his death very keenly, and he thought they should express to Mrs. Lennox and the family their sense of that deep loss.
Mr. Coxon made a similar proposition with reference to Mr. Tracy. He was one of the good standard dentists, and he proposed that the President should write to Mrs. Tracy, and convey an expression of their very deep
The report was received.
Mr. RHODES said he remembered very well when Mr. Lennox first became a member of the Branch. He was very diffident at first about joining them, but once joined, no one gave them more enthusiastic support. They had always worked very harmoniously together. A man more straightforward and more fearless one never could meet. He thought Cambridge had been fortunate in having men of such very great capacity in the profession, for they conferred upon the town a greater benefit than it could possibly realise. One was very pleased to know that the merits of Mr. Lennox were recognised, not only among themselves, but by the public, and by the townspeople who had had the benefit of his services. He would like to second the vote of condolence with Mrs. Lennox.
The resolutions were passed in silence.
The CHAIRMAN remarked that Mr. Tracy represented a type of dentist now passing away. Such men as he, and he would also add Mr. Lennox, represented a type of dental mechanics, and it would be well for the profession if more men made their mark in that most important branch of dental surgery.
Mr. POOCK then took the Chair, and in the course of his presidential speech referred to the necessity of dental hospitals in every city or town with a sufficient number of surgeons to carry on the work.
Votes of thanks terminated the meeting.
Demonstrations were afterwards held at the University Arms Hotel by Mr. W. Fisk, "Plaster Impressions"; Mr. R. S. Parriss, “A Porcelain Lower Molar Crown"; Mr. W. A. Rhodes, "Some Methods of Crowning"; and Mr. S. A. Coxon, "An Interdental Splint.”
Reports of Societies and other Meetings.
International Dental Meetings at Stockholm.
QUITE a number of dental bodies collected on this occasion. Besides the International Dental Federation, there were present also the Svenské Tandläkare Selskapet (Swedish Dental Society) whose annual meeting was arranged for the same date, and the American Dental Society of Europe.
The International Dental Federation met under the presidency of Dr. Lindström, Professor of Anatomy at the University and Dean of the Dental School of Stockholm. The foremost question discussed was that of dental instruction, based upon the report of Dr. Maurice Roy. A long debate ensued on the question-" What are the preliminary studies which should be required of the students before
they commence their professional course of instruction?" It was decided that these should be "The same as are required of a student in medicine or law in the countries where the schools are controlled by the State, or the equivalent of these requirements in the countries where such a control does not exist. These equivalents should be determined by the Minister of Public Instruction."
The second question was "What ought to be the course of dental studies, their duration, and the order of the subjects?" The following was adopted almost unanimously: "(1) The dental studies should comprise a scientific, and medical, and a technical portion; (2) their duration should be four years at the least; (3) these studies should be organised by a parallel method of all the courses-scientific, medical and technical instruction simultaneously; (4) the graduates in medicine desiring to practise dentistry should be obliged to follow the course at a dental school for at least two years."
The question was also debated: "What are the scientific and medical courses which the dental student ought to follow?" and was decided by vote as under: "Physics, chemistry and metallurgy, anatomy, histology and embryology, physiology and biological chemistry, bacteriology, general pathology, general surgery, therapeutics and materia medica, differential diagnosis, and special surgery including anesthesia."
The new Committee of the International Dental Federation was elected as follows:
President, Brophy (Chicago); Vice-Presidents, Paterson (London), Zsigmondy (Vienna), Kirk (Philadelphia); Secretary, Roy (Paris); Assistant-Secretary, Frick (Zürich), Guye (Geneva).
The Commission on Public Hygiene, led by Dr. Frank (Vienna), supplied important material for discussion, and the meeting resolved:
"(1) That dental service in public hygiene is at the present moment sadly neglected in most of the civilised States, although here and there can be recognised the beginnings of amelioration.
"(2) The Executive Council will address to the National Federations a memoir upon this dental service, and will invite them to submit the propositions contained therein to competent examination." The Committee of the Commission on Public Hygiene is appointed as follows:
President, Dr. Jenkins (Dresden); Vice-Presidents, Prof. Frank (Vienna), Mr. Cunningham (Cambridge), Röse (Dresden), Förberg (Stockholm); Secretary, Heïdé (Paris).
Excursions and banquets formed an agreeable change from the labours of the Congressists, and the delegates were well rewarded for their presence by the courtesy aud hospitality of the Swedish dentists, among whom must be especially mentioned Messrs. Förberg and Christensen.