Fifty years ago there was really no dental science. The tooth-extractor of that day, picturesquely attired, with his long flowing hair, who went from town to town with a brass band and extracted teeth in the market-place, while in the majority of cases he was a shrewd business man and showman and knew human nature, very rarely had any scientific training or, if he had it, he did not apply it to his calling. The preservation of the teeth and the tedious processes of filling a cavity and doing crown and bridgework were unknown to him. He did not care to preserve teeth, and the more he extracted the more lucrative was his business.
It must be said to the glory of American achievements that dental science, the art of preserving teeth by a truly scientific method, had its birth in this country. The European dentist has for the last
KNOPF SA. THE RELATION OF MODERN DENTISTRY TO THE TUBERCULOSIS PROBLEM. JAMA. 1910;55(7):579–580. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330070033011
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