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February 17, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(7):541-542. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750070039014

Progress in the preservation of health and in the repair of bodily defects has in many instances involved change from empirical makeshifts to scientifically established prophylactic and curative procedures. Such innovations have gradually been introduced into the practice of medicine. They are destined to become equally prominent in dentistry. Dental caries, commonly known as decay of the teeth, has been called "the most prevalent disease of mankind." Evidence of its early appearance has been found in Egyptian mummies. It has been pointed out1 that, since there has not been any known means of preventing the disease, dentists during the past hundred years or so have been endeavoring to the best of their ability to preserve the teeth by filling the cavities as they appear and by restoring the lost dental tissues with artificial substitutes. Dental caries is unique as a disease in several respects. There is no other pathologic

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