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Remarkable evidence of the evils of practice by unregistered dentists is given in the report of the British Departmentall Committee on the Dentists Act. Half the illness in the country is due to teeth neglect, says the report, and to the practice by ignorant men who set up as dentists without any training. Among these untrained practitioners aTe butchers, colliers, clerks, firebeaters, blacksmiths, insurance canvassers, and sewing-machine canvasser.?. According to the evidence of Mr Richardson, secretary of the northern branch of the British Dental Association, one man "employed 20 canvassers from the lowest type o£, workers, such as casual labourers, and six of these were going about in my own area with, bags of instruments operating on people in their own homes."

Among unregistered "dentists" many know their work, but a very large proportion is- utterly ignorant. Servant girl's are the principal victims. "We have received a large amount of evidence of the evils resulting from company dental practice," states the report. "The evils appear to have reached a climax in the dentistry of a number of so-called , "hygienic institutes' set up from 1906 onwards. These numbered at least 57 and sprang from a central company founded by an alien, whose varied occupations had no connection, with dentistry-. Grave injuries were inflicted on many patients. These institutes employed untrained and inexperienced men."

Among the injuries caused by unregistered dentists, who are more numerous than qualified men, are fractured jaws, lacerated mouths, cocaine poisoning requiring medical! assistance to save life, broken teeth, septic poisoning, injury to health, and even death, chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), eye affections, and rheumatoid arthritis. The great aim of the unregistered practitioner," says the committee, "is to extract sound teeth to crot the profit from artificial tf>eth." In 1879 there were 155 qualified dentists to a million nomination ; in 1916 there were only 117. The" industrial and middle classes are the main sufferers through the shortage of qualified dentists.

This committee recommends the prohibition of practice by unregistered dentists, safeguardinc, under conditions, those now practising; the establishment of a rmblic dental service; nnd the provision of dental treatment for jmrsing mothers and children under the age of five.


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Bibliographic details

"DENTISTS.", Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9599, 2 May 1919

Word Count

"DENTISTS." Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9599, 2 May 1919

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