Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.
References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.
By C. Victor Vignes, D. D. S., New Orleans» La. (D elivered b efo re the N ational Dental A ssociation , New Orleans, Oct. 20-24, 1919.) S P R E S ID E N T o f this Associa the lustre and glory brought to the pro tion, it is my happy privilege to fession thru their earnest and zealous address this august body which efforts. represents the highest ideals o f our pro Particularly were we fortunate to have fession; and as a citizen of New Or had at the head o f the Dental Service leans, to add my welcome on the occa a man with extraordinary genius for sion of your visit to our beautiful Cres organization, with lofty ideals and prac cent City. I believe that our open hearts tical, efficient methods; a man whose and glad hands have made it plain to broad mind and noble heart could blend you all that you are thrice welcome. the highest conceptions o f his profession Before entering upon the field o f dis with the staunchest patriotism, my cussion which offers important problems predecessor in office, Col. W . H. G. for our careful and wise solution, I must Logan. It was thru his untiring efforts not permit the small part that I played and efficient planning over here and the as one o f its members, to restrain me, energy and determination o f Col. Robt. thru false modesty, from offering to the Oliver over there on the field o f action, Dental Corps o f the United States Army, coupled with the never-questioning spirit and Navy, for the great work it has of the entire corps to cooperate with achieved during the late war, the sincere them, that this magnificent result was tribute and solemn homage of our respect brought about. and gratitude. But, while praising the Army Dentists, The rapidity with which the Dental we must not forget the patriotic efforts Corps was organized and set into effi so generously put forth by our brother cient activity, the tremendous amount o f dentists who, not finding it possible to work done in a surprisingly short space go into service, gave their time and skill of time amidst a thousand vicissitudes gratuitously to the care and treatment of and perplexing problems, justly has won the men who were called into the N a for it the praise and admiration o f the tional Army. These hidden heroes have Government officials. added no small share to the proud dis Hence, the Dental Profession as a tinction which is ours today, and we whole should, and does, feel proud o f the take this occasion to publicly recognize work done and the record achieved by their devotion. those who were fortunate enough to be N ow to return to the field before us. called into the service o f our Country; At the outset we have forced upon our and it recognizes and keenly appreciates attention the fact that the public life of 1095 1096 T H E J O U R N A L O F T H E N A T IO N A L D E N T A L A S S O C IA T IO N . America and our profession are becom attendant responsibility in a full and ing day by day more intimately en unselfish measure. The public will not twined. W e are realizing more keenly accept less from us. our responsibilities and the helpful in N or are we free to lessen the causes fluence of our profession worthily per of this demand. The population must formed, upon the vital power o f the na and should grow in rapid bounds in tion; and the public is coming to under keeping with our vigorous tradition. E d stand and to grasp the importance and mund Burke says o f us in his speech on necessity o f saving itself from untold the Conciliation: “ Such is the strength ills by care of the mouth and teeth; with which population shoots in that which knowledge brings it into closer, part o f the world, that, state the number more friendly, more trustful relations as high as we will, while the dispute with us. continues the exaggeration ends.” And While this very confidence, ever in again, “ Your children do not grow faster creasing, stimulates our sense o f respon from infancy to manhood than they sibility, adds zest to our labors, and spread from families to communities, makes the future look rosy for those who and from villages to nations.” Now, it will come after us and reap where we is important that the Dental Profession have sown, still it must not be overlooked meet this growth and play its part along that it presents us with a grave difficulty with the Medical Profession, in the mak and serious problem which we have to ing o f a better, healthier, and stronger face just now. America. When we consider the insistent, in Education, too, in matters Dental can creasing demand made upon us by an not, and must not be checked. We owe ever growing population,— a demand it to our high ideals as well as to our country to help the spread of useful which is increased by the fact that peo ple are being educated thru the bene knowledge which saves our people from ficial influence of the physician, the suffering and disease. Indeed we should hygienist and the dentist himself, so that be sadly deficient and unworthy o f our they possess definite knowledge and a calling, did we fail to show a holy zeal very vital interest and concern regarding in this important health measure. the value of care o f the mouth and So we are forced by the circumstances teeth; and on the other hand we look at o f the case to increase the supply of the out-put of our Dental Colleges or, worthy, capable dentists. W e must find rather, to the reluctant filtering o f a few the cause o f the deficiency in aspirants to this profession, and study ways and o f the educated intelligent youth into means o f lessening the obstacles in the these schools, we must recognize the dis way of ambitious young men. tressing fact that the demand is outstrip ping the supply. N o one who has had any experience This problem is perhaps the most with young students who are deliberat serious question that our profession is ing upon a graduate course in a college called upon to encounter at the present or university, but knows that the Dental moment. It must be solved by us in Department is often passed over in favor o f the other professions. the interest o f the people who confide in our ability and sense o f duty, as well W e see a bright and ambitious lad, as for our own. T o proclaim our pro who has just finished high school, seri fessional standing, we must assume the ously running thru the university cata V IG N E S .— P R E S ID E N T ’S A N N U A L A D D R E S S . 1097 log to decide his life’ s vocation. His smaller schools, when these have suffi mind may be divided among many in cient obstacles to contend with already? terests. He may like science and medi Is it that the cost of such an education cine, literature and art; but no Ameri as compared with other professions is can boy settles this life problem on mere too great? For many of our young feeling or inclinations. He has inherited aspirants to Dentistry, who have the the business instinct. He knows that he qualities and the spirit which promise must get his education by paying for it great things, have to stint themselves to with all its accidental expenses; that he be able to gain their goal. A high school must look out for his future so that he boy might shudder when he figures the may build up a sufficient fortune for the expense o f a four-year course along with living of a happy and social existence the certain outlay required for his initial among the best of his fellow men; and equipment. that he must be able to store away a sum Or it may be that the professional for his old age, or the “ rainy day.” standing o f the Dentist in his community Every American boy has these cardinal seems less eminent, less appealing, than points by which he steers his bark. We that accorded to other professions. Our watch him closely as he weighs the con best Dentists, because of the very nature ditions, requirements, expenses, and of their calling, are so often over-worked prospects of Dentistry; and we heave a that they may, thru fatigue o f a desire sigh o f regret as we see him pass it by, for distraction, fail to join the other pro and turn to medicine, Architecture, or fessional men in affairs civic and social, Engineering, or some other calling, and so come to lose that influence and where he believes these hopes can be prestige which they are justly entitled arrived at more surely and more speedily. to. And ihe American boy, as you well Now, why is it that the splendid, no know, plans on being a power wherever ble professional field we have to offer he is, and wishes to be an active partici him does not captivate this budding gen pant in every big affair whether in war ius, this fountain o f energy? or peace. Can it be that the youth o f our land Perhaps too many are allowed to en does not know that there is such a need, ter upon the study o f Dentistry without so urgent a demand, for good dentists in a sufficient test of the aptitude and man all parts o f our country? Have we ual dexterity required for success in spread this information in time to en their work. These men soon fall out of gender interest in the high school boys the course, and their defection may be a stumbling block or a source o f unne tbruout the States? D o we now need a cessary anxiety to a prospective student. systematic propaganda to increase the For few of our boys can afford to waste Supply so as to keep pace with the prop a year or two in experimenting, only to aganda that has so wonderfully in creased the Demand? find out at the end that they are unfitted; Or is it that the time prescribed for and so many are led to choose a course the Dental education is too long? May which they are sure they can complete. it not be that the higher requirements These are some o f the possible ene and longer course, which the circum mies of our progress towards keeping up stances o f the over-crowded larger an efficient supply to meet the daily- schools seem to make imperative, become growing demand. W e need plans o f a a burden and shackle to the efficient practical nature more than theory, which 1098 T H E J O U R N A L O F T H E N A T IO N A L D E N T A L A S S O C IA T IO N . while safeguarding the high standards ernment, the Dental Educational Coun of the profession, will not add to its cil of America has in the past year, difficulties, nor deter young men from expended much time and energy in an embracing a calling at once noble, use effort to bring about a consolidation of ful, and profitable. the National Association of Dental Fac We know that the Dental Educational ulties and the Dental Faculties Associa tion of American Universities. This Council of America is working diligently on this subject, and it is to be hoped was done because it is believed that such that that body will be able to lay before action would promote the best interests the House of Delegates and the whole of Dentistry. body o f this Association some very prac It is not generally believed that there tical solution which will enable all effi is room for more than one organization cient dental schools, whether large or representing the Faculties o f Dental small, to bring into our ranks young Schools o f this country. men o f talent, industry, and influence. I f the great W orld War has taught us anything, it surely has taught us that we For it seems to me that this is a problem must get together in order to obtain the requiring the most business-like discus sion and accurate weighing of suggested best results in our various undertakings. legislation by all active members of this T o be o f the greatest service to hu manity in preparing men to become safe Association, but especially by the House beginners in the practice of Dentistry, o f Delegates on whom rests the responsi our Dental Schools should not be bility of safeguarding the rights of the divided, but should present a solid front young aspirant to dentistry and of pro and make a united effort to advance the viding for the welfare of the public,— cause of Dental Education. demands as urgent, if not more so, than Permit me therefore, to express the any mere interests of colleges or the hope that this great body which repre plans and theories of idealists, no matter sents the Dental Profession in the various how plausible these plans and theories states will take steps at this meeting that may appear. will aid in bringing about this much Acting on the suggestion o f the Gov desired result.
The Journal of the National Dental Association – Unpaywall
Published: Dec 1, 1919
Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.