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effete methods of teaching, the principles and their outcrop in the laws governing functioning bodies that have stood in the way of the attainment of knowledge of the working of minds and bodies in health and disease, little appreciation has been manifest-let it be said, not on account of the perversity of those composing this noble fraternity, but by reason of a bad lead, initiated and maintained by a bad text and effete literature that has dominated all efforts to attain and to practice prophylactic and redemptive procedure in living bodies that were laboring under aberrant functional activity.

If, then, our dental literature is a diseased weakling, by reason of the dim perceptions of facts and incompetent nomenclature to record even these, shall we longer succumb to a blundering external authority of past intellections, by following the leadership of the blind, or shall we not rather assert our own right and ability to insist upon comprehending both the facts and the philosophy of which our literature is to consist; and not rest satisfied until each one can not only understand the diagnosis and proper treatment of his subjects himself, but demonstrate to others that he is in possession of the knowledge and dexterity necessary to make him successful in his professional undertakings?

To do this he must get away from the mere vaporings of dimly perceived propositions in physiology, pathology, and therapeutics, and recognize the manifoldness of the process and the complexity involved in any statement of fact or philosophy in the understanding, and record in literary perspicacity by a well-selected terminology the ever-advancing revelations in dental literature.

Dental literature is like the individual body in its advent; i. e., it has an infancy, youth, maturity, and decline. No one standard of periodicity will fit all the examples we meet with in life experiences, so as definitely to fix certain ages in years as adequate limits of infancy, youth, manhood, and decline.

Some infants display the character of youth, and some youths are mature in characteristics, thus putting us at fault in our classifications in every-day life. So in like manner, some youths contribute ripe articles to our literature, while many men of mature age give us only puerile articles. To have the best literature we must have the ripest editors to select and publish it. Literary pabulum, like that for the growth and sustentation of the body, must be varied to call out the digestive power. Unvarying liturgies fail to hold the attention of the populace; so also mere repetition of old formulæ ceases to

engage the attention to the requisite degree to secure vigorous growth and research.

Dental literature, to be useful to the world, must so instruct readers as to enable them to comprehend and apply the doctrines and methods recorded in its pages. The absolutism of text-book and journal literature takes it for granted that the positions taken are impregnable and final; while everything pertaining to functional activity is in a mist so dense as to ignore the only study that can reveal the molecular metamorphosis upon which it depends. The questions put forward for settlement are such as to reveal the utter lack of perception of the points at issue-namely, "Germs or Acids -Which?" is the caption of a paper upon the "etiology of decay," thus making concomitants pose as antithets, etc., etc.

Writers and editors of our literature are divisible into two classes, each holding that it includes the other, and vice versa, viz., those who depend upon the mass-appearances, and those who assert that microscopic, infinitesimal bodies are the only seats of functional operations, the aggregation or massing of which are seen in the behavior of the organs, as factors of the functions of nutrition, locomotion, and intellection.

The advocates of the macroscopic side of this question grandiloquently claim to be exclusively "scientific," and point to the results of vivisections and drugging as demonstrations of their claims. The' advocates of the microscopic side of the question are not content to say brain action is intellection, glands operate the secretions, and muscles the locomotion and other movements we see in the body. They say intellection is the act of a nerve-corpuscle, secretion occurs in the body of an epithelial corpuscle, and motion in the disk of the muscle. In the estimation of the macroscopist the brain, gland, and muscle are the sine qua non to physiology. In that of the microscopist nerve-corpuscle, epithelial body, and muscle-disk are the true workers in physiology.

And now the histologist comes in and says, "Gentlemen, you are both right from the points of view taken. But let us see if there is not a deeper insight of the subject possible to be had. Those who have studied the Protista, Protophyta, and Protozoa most sedulously acknowledge that these all arise in an amorphous solution of proteinaceous elements without visible germs. The amoeba performs the acts of intellection without visible nerve-corpuscle, locomotion without muscle, and secretion and excretion without epithelia."

If, then, these infinitesimal bodies present us with all the actions of

human bodies, are we not justified in looking beyond the visible bodies for the power that is manifest in physiological movements?

Now, gentlemen, as histology owes its provable existence to visual amplification by the use of lenses, may we not indulge the hope of a like revelation in the occult region of molecular metamorphosis, whereby the production, maintenance, and replacement of tissues and elements of tissues may be demonstrated.

The current literature of physiology, pathology, and therapeutics is ambiguous, not to say dishonest. The muscles are said to move, the brain to think, and the glands to secrete; the heart to circulate the blood, the stomach to digest, etc., etc. Food, poison, and medicine are said to act on the organism. Would it not be better to say that the various functions which together constitute physiology are operated in the various parts where they appear, rather than by the organs in which the elaboration of function in nutrient, poisonous, or remedial manifestation takes place? When this mode of expression is urged in discussions, the reply is, "Well, everybody knows that is what is meant." It is just this sort of quasi meaning that is the point of interest and contention.

Hoping that these suggestions may find acceptance, justification by elaborate minutia will not be attempted now.


Dr. CROUSE: It occurred to me that the gentleman who read the first paper hardly comprehended the province of the Section on Literature. That is to say, a report like this should not be limited to defining words and criticising the language used in our dental literature. It seems to me that the Section should present to this body a synopsis of all new works pertaining to our specialty, so that we can get an idea of the value of such books without going through so much trash as we should many times have to do, instead of dwelling on the number of journals and how many dentists take journals and how many do not. In that portion of his report I think he is in error. There are not over ten thousand dentists practicing in the United States,-from the best information we can get,-and out of the ten thousand more than one-half take at least one journal. I think one of the greatest barriers in the way of dental education is that we have too many journals for the amount of reliable material furnished to them. Every institution, every dental depot, every col

lege that wants to advertise, publishes a journal, and if we do not take them they will be forced on us, and thus we have a great deal of worthless and positively injurious matter reprinted. If we could have the matter worth reading condensed into one good journal, I confess that I should read with a great deal more interest than I do. It is no wonder that dental practitioners skim over and read but little of their journals. There is a great deal in the journals which it would be better for the student not to read. The trouble I have had with young men has been to get them not to believe very much that they see in the journals. I hope that next year this Section will give us a proper report upon the literature of the profession.

Dr. ABBOTT: I am very fond of having things "boiled down." The number of dentists practicing in the United States as given by some of our dental depots, who have an interest in collecting such names, is between ten and eleven thousand. We have a depot in New York which has sent out the announcement of our college to twelve thousand seven hundred practicing dentists in America. The Dental Cosmos is furnished to four thousand five hundred men in America. We have eighteen other journals in this country which are taken by a great many men who do not take the Dental Cosmos, so I should judge that one-half the men who are practicing dentistry in this country are taking journals. I believe the demand for literature in our specialty is growing, and that the journals will do better even than they have done.

Dr. MOORE: I think the journals are doing a good work, and that their influence and circulation are extending every year. I would like Dr. Crouse to suggest some method by which the journals could be made to publish nothing but what we ought to read.

Dr. CROUSE: I was trying to get the Section to do that.





HE Section begs leave to report that up to the present time no papers have been presented for its consideration, but the Section is strongly of the opinion that there are several subjects worthy of the consideration of this Association, and it would therefore suggest that the following subjects be discussed under the head of Section IV.: 1st. "Treatment of Children's Teeth and the best Material or Materials with which to fill Young or Uncalcified Teeth."

2d. "The Use of Textile Metals, and the Combination of Tin and Gold; also, the Combination of Gold and Amalgam in the same Cavity."

3d. "Irregularities of the Teeth, and the Methods employed for Correction," the discussion upon this subject to be opened by Dr. Keely.


Dr. TAFT: There is considerable diversity of opinion and practice with reference to the management of the temporary teeth. I regard this as a very important subject. I know that in the minds of the people there is a great want of appreciation of the value of these teeth, and of the importance of their care, and I apprehend that in the minds of the dental profession there is a want of appreciation, as well, and hence many of this class of teeth are permitted to become badly diseased.. They ought to be preserved in a state of health during the time they remain in the mouth, and whatever can be done to secure this end should rot be omitted. We often see the teeth of children who have been under the care of dentists grossly neglected, and in a condition of uncleanliness that teeth ought never to show. Temporary teeth are often so decayed and diseased as

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