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should be considered valuable in proportion as they save
time, money and labor. The time and labor necessary for
obtaining a die by this process, will, on fair trial, be found
about one-third of that consumed by the usual method, and
the material, flasks, etc., will cost but a mere trifle — ten
or twelve dollars. Here, then, as we economize time,
money and labor, we think we may be allowed to assert
tliat we have an improvement.

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I860.] Allrn on Artificial Dentures. 239

Artificial Dentures. By Dr. John Allkn.

Lower sets of artificial teeth are often more difficult of
adaptation than upper ones, owing to the great amount of
absorption that may have taken place on the lower jaw,
leaving scarcely any ridge or foundation for them to rest
upon, and in some instances the place where the ridge
ought to be, there is only a deep hollow, with muscles,
ducts and glands, almost closing over it on either side.
These tend to buoy up the denture and keep it afloat in
the mouth, which renders it useless, if the plate is so wide
as to rest upon them.

In order to overcome the difficulty when such cases occur,
the impression should be taken with great care to prevent
the inner folds of the cheek from overlaying the alveolar
ridge, or hollow. These folds can be easily raised and
moved outward with the fingers when the impression is
being taken. After the impression has become hard, it
should be trimmed so as form a very narrow bed, from
which to formi the plate. When the submaxillary ducts,
sublingual glands, or their connecting fibrous tissues, raise
above the hard ridge when the tongue or muscles are
moved, the base should be so narrow as to allow them to
pass up on the inside of the plate and teeth without dis-
lodging the denture. For such cases the plate should be .
very thick and narrow, with smooth round edges, and the
teeth should be quite thin.

How long, after the Extraction of Natural Teeth^ before an
Artificial Denture should he Inserted.

From one to two weeks the writer deems sufficient time,
under ordinary circumstances, for the patient to go without
teeth ; and in many instances even a shorter period would

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240 Allkn on Artificidl Dentures, [Apeil,

But as there is a difference of opinion upon this point,
we will present the different theories and suhmit to the
reader their claims to supremacy. The objections urged to
an immediate insertion of a denture are: that the gums
will not become smooth and symmetrical if a plate be fitted
to them before the alveolar processes have fully absorbed,
but will conform in a greater or less degree to the irregu-
larities of the temporary plate, and prevent a good practi-
cal result ; consequently they advise their patrons to go
without teeth at least one year.

This theory we think erroneous, because the slight un-
dulating surface of the gums which the plate may have oc-
casioned, presents no valid objection ; for a permanent plate
can be fitted to them just as perfectly at the expiration of
one year, as if a temporary plate had not been worn, and
the wearer will have become so well accustomed to artifi*
cial teeth, that the second set can be worn and used at
once without difficulty, if properly constructed.

Again, the longer the natural teeth have been out, the
harder it is for a person to acquire the use of artificial sub-
stitutes, for the lower jaw is thrown forward of its natural
position, the lips become compressed, the muscles of the
mouth and face contracted, and the tongue habituated to
certain movements in munching food, which tend to dis-
lodge the dentures when attempting to use them, and the
original expression in many instances is lost.

The advantages of an immediate insertion of artificial
teeth after the removal of the old ones are,

1st. The patient will acquire the faculty of using them
satisfactorily in much less time than if required to go with-
out any teeth until the healing of the gums and absorption
of the alveolar processes have fully taken place.

2d. The original expression can be much better preser-
ved, as the denture prevents that compression of the lips,
and contraction of the muscles about the mouth and face,
which the absence of the teeth will cause.

Temporary sets should be as skillfully made as perma-

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I860.] Allkn on Ariificial Dentures. 241

nent sets. There are many operators, however, who insert
cheap and rude temporary sets of teeth, who seem to attach
but very little importance as to how they are constructed
for they are only intended to be worn a year or two, which
is deemed a sufficient apology for poor work. The price
usually paid for temporary teeth will not justify the use of
the best materials, nor the highest degree of skill and taste
in their construction. This is another reason for cheap

Here is an error that ought to be corrected, for in this
way the patient has but a miserable substitute for the nat-
ural teeth, and is often subjected to extreme mortification
at their rude and uncomely appearance and want of utility.

Again, the dentist often loses caste by this kind of work,
for a poor, cheap specimen is often looked upon by others
as a fair sample of the skill of him who made it. Although
the inference may be very unjust, yet it tells against him.
We think reform in this respect would prove mutually ad-
vantageous to the patient and operator.

Instead of this cheap graceless work, let the first set be
as good as the second^ or as near it as the case will admit,
and let the charges be based upon terms of equity. Then
the patron will be better served and better satisfied than
with a rude fixture, devoid of the essential requisites of an
artificial denture ; for however perfectly formed and adapted
artificial teeth may be, they usually meet with stern resist-
ance when first inserted, (especially full sets,) for the
tongue, muscles^ glands and ducts, all conspire to eject
them from the mouth as unwelcome intruders. They seem
not to have forgotten the old offenders that used to create
such painful sensations in their neighborhood until they
were all exterminated, since which time there has been
comparative peace.

But the sterner will can subjugate all these opposing
forces and establish harmony, provided the dentures are
rightly formed, which is the condition of the compromise.
The tongue will then acquire more cautious habits, and

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242 Corrections. [April,

avoid those movements which at first woul^ send them
whirling out of the mouth, for the tongue is the first to
repel invasion, it does not like to be restrained. The con-
tiguouis muscleS) ducts and glands, also require freedom of
action and they must not be infringed, for this is nature's
law. But if their natural movements and functions are
provided for, then the teeth will be permitted to remain
quietly in their proper places and subserve the purj)oses
for which they were designed.

But still, even with the most perfect set of artificial teeth
there will be in many instances a stiff and restrained feel-
ing and appearance about the mouth, when first inserted,
that time only can remove, especially if the natural teeth
have long been out. Patience and perseverance will, how-
ever, entirely overcome the difficulties that at first appeared
80 formidable to a new beginner.

(To be continued.) .


An amusing little piece has recently appeared, in **The
Dental Register of the West," elegantly entitled '*Auother
Screw Loose," to which we beg to direct the reader's
attention. We, moreover, ask a moment's indulgence
while we correct several errors into which the author of
that piece has fallen in animadverting on an article on
Dental Societies — which we had the honor to write for this
Journal. Aniusing as that performance certainly is in
itself, we cannot avoid considering it in connection with
simpar efforts by the same author, and the aggregate of
amusement thus available rather affects us to melancholy
than to any other emotion. Our feelings corroborate one

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I860.] Corrections. 243

of the sayings of Pascal. He, although living before the
rise of Dentistry, was yet able to excogitate the truth that
^'too much pleasure gives pain." Had he been born in
this age, to witness the fantastic evolutions accomplished
over our composition, it is impossible to conjecture the sub-
lime heights of philosophy to which he would have arisen.
The inimitable tricks of our harlequin critic, as he drags
our remarks through the doubtful regions of his intellect
until they are robbed of our meaning, would have given
the great Frenchman ideas of amusement and pleasure to
be sought for in vain at Port Royal or Paris. We, who
have enjoyed these hitherto unknown advantages, are
hence a most competent witness as to the truth of Pascal's
saying. We have been delighted almost to suffering.
We have laughed at the coiiiedy but deplored the degrada-
tion of the player. We have examined **W's" polemical
exacerbations, but to wonder at the infatuation which has
led him to abandon his gold for his pen. How much good^
according to his own notion of good, might he not accom-
plish by devoting his wJiole time to the production of that
article by which he has acquired some reputation.

The criticisms of **W." suggest the idea of an Iroquois at
battle, armed with an Australian boomerang. The igno-
rant^ but vain-glorious savage, rushes on with triumphant
whoops, but suddenly feels himself wounded, perhaps mor-
tally, by his adopted instrument of death ; true, however,
to the habits of his race, his dying "gasp is a defiant, ex-
ultant cry, in the face of an uninjured enemy. So **W.,"
using unfamiliar arma, is continually worsted, but.Iroquois
like, he shouts with the air of a conqueror at every defeat.
Judging from the past, '*W.," in this case, will claim the
old woman's privilege of **last word" — and this we cheer-
fully concede ; he shall enjoy his apparently much-prized
practice of shooting the last arrow, for his aim is far too
inaccurate and his mark too small for us to feel the least
concern even though conscious of points open to attack.

JiCt us now proceed to refute **W's" strictures in the

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244 CarreetioM. [April,

order in which they are made — assuring the reader before
hand, that we shall not take advantage of the opportunity
to reiterate any of the sentiments contained in Dental
Societies further than the exigencies of the case may require.
Our only object at this moment, is to prove the utter inoor-
redness^ to use the mildest phrase, of every remark made
by **W." in reference to our article.

His first stricture is summed up in the following remark-
able interrogatory, which is evidently propounded in the
expectation of forcing us to accept a dilemma, either horn
of which would prove fatal to the cogency of the remarks
under his consideration : — '^Is a tree that monopolizes all
the fruit of the orchard, bears all that is to be gathered, a
failure?" — A child might answer the question, and yet,
not be driven to the alternative that **W." intended,
we trust that our readers will pardon us for answering so
simple a question. The tree, though much diseased, may
bear some badly developed, blighted fruit ; the tree, dis-
eased as it is, may bear aU of the fruit in the orchard in
which it stands — the other trees yielding actually no fruit at
all. Now, is there any doubt that the imaginary orchard,
including the tree, is a failure, or, that the tree, taken by
itself, is a failure? Even in Cincinnati, where it is seem-
ingly impossible for some persons to know whether a thing
has or has not failed, the tree would be pronounced a la-
mentable failure. The experienced Pomologist — and we
presume there are some in the West — would advise to have
the orchard grubbed up, the tree included. Better use, he
would say, could be made of the ground.

Onr critic, our Iroquois we should have said, is now
reveling in a garden of delight; another pomological in-
quiry succeeds the first. **But have local societies pro-
duced no fruit?" It is here implied that **fruit," any
•'fruit," has been denied to local societies. This, we have
never done ; but we have denied **true acientific fruit;"
And '*W." has not shown us to be incorrect.

By way of controverting our remark as to the <tc«) cred-

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I860.] Cortections. 246

liable circamstances relatlDg to the national societies, we are
ingeniously informed of a host of the benefactions of a local
society — the * 'Mississippi Valley Association." However
influential or extensive, the ^'Mississippi Valley Associa-
tion" carries the proof of its local character in its name;
indeed it is local in every respect. Certainly none of the
meritorious acts of that body — and we will admit them to
be both important and dignified — can be urged as the
result of scientific activity. Even '*W." will not mention
'excavators/ 'socket rims/ 'lamps/ etc., as 'true scien-
tific fruit.' They are useful, very useful; they indicate
great ingenuity, but they cannot beofiered as a vindication
of science in dental societies.

**W." concludes this part of his subject as follows: —
'^And mu0h might be said of the honorable and useful
efibrts of other local societies : but we must refrain. The
above will show how little credit is to be given to such
sweeping assertions as this writer seems fond of." It will
be observed that, contrary to the practice of "W./' we
give our quotations unmangled : — Here "W." in speaking
well of the "honorable and useful eflforts of other local so-
cieties," would imply that we have unjustly reprobated the
institutions in which he, sagaciously, sees much good. So
far is this from being the case, that while we denied that
they had produced anything of scientific importance, which ,
we pronounced the greatest good, we plainly approved of
their establishment, when commenting upon that meeting
of the convention which recommended them. Any credit,
therefore, that *'W." would appear to claim in view of
discernment exhibited, in contra-distinction to our want of
it, is wholly unwarrantable. It is well that he promises
to "refrain." Instead of refraining, however, note the'
last clause of the sentence quoted. With the utmost
effrontery we are charged with being fond of, or of seeming
to be fond of, sweeping assertions. For once "W." is
uncertain. Notwithstanding the fact "that the above
will show how little credit is to be given to such sweeping
VOL. X. — 17

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246 Corrections. [Apeil,

assertions/' he finisbes the paragraph by stating that we
only **«eem to be fond of " those very things the ^'little
credit" of which he shows by *Hhe above." In other
words, he proves that little credit is to be given for things
which we practice, but he confesses that he does not know
whether we have those things or not. Having incoherently
attempted to convict us of using certain contradictory ex-
pressions, in the first part of his piece, the clever author of
** Another Screw Loose," devises the expedient of * 'sweep-
ing assertions" to strengthen his flimsy assaults. He sup-
ports his man of straw with a cobweb.

We next come to a long paragraph on the attributes of
the «>ld and the young croaker. Many surmises are made
as to whether we are the one or the other. First, moral
hints are aimed at us, we, meanwhile, sustaining the char-
acter of *'old croaker." But fearing lest we should escape
in that character, we are, with customary nimbleness, dis-
posed of as "young croaker." Without divulging our in-
cognito, however, we are glad to state that we could not
strictly be assigned to either category. Nor have we ever
been of the profession^ or of the auxiliary branches of sci-
ence, as understood by the American Dental Convention,
though we have inadvertently made use of the word our
in connection with the profession in some places. Hence
we are not '^disaffected" in the manner charged : nor have
we taken the **back track," been * 'disappointed" or **C(m-
fuHcd." Moreover, we disclaim **martrydom," or the idea
'*that the only hope of the profession lies deep down in the
recesses of our mind." We do not habitually '^rebuke
young men for their opinions," alfchough this would not be
amiss in some cases ; nor do we tell old men ^^ experience.'*
This last we unambiguously censured in Dental Societies.
In short, we might aflSrm that we do nothing in the way
and manner conjectured by '*W." In his usually severe
logical manner, he winds up his discussion on '^croakers,"
by assuming the very point at issue, viz. that dental soci-
eties **have done more to accr)mplish the ends for which

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I860.] Corrections. 247

they were organized, than any other associations of the
same period." But this is a trifle compared with the au-
dacious trickery of the next paragraph, in which our critic
attempts to show us up as affected by a * 'mathematical
hallucination." "For example, in speaking of the number
of essays read at the yearly meetings of the 'American
Society,' he says: 5The gradual diminution in the num-
ber appointed and read oontirmed.' Now let us examine
this gradual dtminutiofij which preceded the meeting he
refers to. At the first meeting after the organization, ac-
cording to his showing, 'not one was read.' By the next
meeting they had gradtmUy diminished up to three, and by
the next, to Hhree or four.'" Here "W." quotes the
last four words of this clause: "but out of the twelve
essays, the subjects of which had been publicly rehearsed
at the preceding meeting and printed in large type, not
one was read.** Now "W." must have been perfectly
aware that the quotation of the whole clause would have
prevented him from indulging in his humorous conceit of
of the "mathematical hallucination." In continuation of
that clause — in which it is plain that we say that none of
those appointed were read — we state that in the place of
the twelve appointed essays, thi'ee were offered on subjects
which had not been named by the society.

From the foregoing it is hardly possible to avoid the al-
ternative, that "W." is either the victim of most compli-
cated misapprehensions, or he is the deliberate fieilsifyer of
What he knew to be our meaning. Certainly the misap-
prehensions, if misapprehensions they are, bear strong
marks of design. In either case, we have singularly
enough, an apt illustration of "W's" own aphorism :
"That men make themselves very ludicrous when deter-
mined to complain, having no just grounds." Our crftic
is not only determined to complain, but he also invents
subjects of complaint — and they are of the smallest. No
expression is sufficiently unimportant to escape his intel-

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248 CorrectioM. [Apbil,

lectual antennaB. Little crumbs of orthographical doubt
supply fit pabulum for his diatomaceous digestion.

Next in order, we have a succinct, but complete, speci-
men of *' W's" method of dealing with obnoxious remarks ;
here it is : ''Of the two national societies, this writer tells
us that Hheir sole result has been to show that the right
course is directly opposite to the one heretofore followed.'
But it is plain that the two societies under consideration
followed different courses — as nearly opposite as could well
be conceived. To which one of these is the right course
directly opposite." Now, without discussing the charac-
teristics of the two societies, which are doubtless different
in many respects it is only necessary to say that the sole resvU
alluded to arose from the freedom of access ^ which we rep-
resented as a most pernicious influence. One of the great
reforms we proposed was in opposition to this prominent
element of the societies. Both societies permitted the evil ;
in doing so they followed the course directly opposite the
right one. We are correct in thinking that the most
saucy Grub street author would not have assailed as with
such a miserable quibble as this.

The next point, if possible^ is more strikingly absurd
than any we have yet mentioned from '*W's" pen. We
give it in full. '*But the old society having reached 'its
full vigor/ we are told that it 'began rapidly to decline,'
and that it 'tottered through two or three years of puerility
and died.' Beached its full vigor and failed into boyhood. * '
This is but another instance of "W's" gross perversion of
our language, and at the same time, a display of his own ig-
norance when he would appear wise. This last, however,
we do not urge. We have chiefly to do with more positive
sins. We never accused the society of having any (true)
vigor at all ; our words were that the society had reached
"what we may analogously call its full vigor, and now be-
gan rapidly to decline." But "W." is not half satisfied
with misquoting, he, over and above, gives us a new defi-
nition of a very common word. He should consult his

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I860.] CorrectioM. 249

dictionary before attempting such snicidal witticisms as
the one on puerility. Puerility means hoyishnessy childish-
nesSy that which is trifling, not boyhood. An old man may
totter through years of puerility. So may a society. Hav-
ing thus ascertained the meaning of the word, ^^W."
knows his condition. He has fallen, not into boyhood^ but
into peurility.

His logomachic labors over, our critic determines that
we praised the second dental convention because we were
present at that meeting, and at none of the others. This
determination is entirely incorrect. We have never been
present at any meeting of any dental society whatever.
Our opinions have been formed from the printed records.
Thus another inuendo as to the motives which actuated us,
falls to the ground.

Finally: The money test receives the light of '*W's"
wisdom. In reference to this matter we have only to say
that, while we do not for a moment suppose that he has
impaired the soundness of our views, or damaged the tes-
timony upon which they are based, we must protect our-
selves from the supposition that we attempted to elaborate
a system — as might be inferred from the tone of his re-
marks. On the contrary, we were careful to intimate that
we only offered an outline. He appears, nevertheless, to
feel some alarm when discussing the Jive or ten minutes
rule which we had suggested, as one way at least of keep-
ing idle persons silent. The fertility of his resources at
length appear to be exhausted ; for, far from seizing our
evident meaning, he presumes to intimate that we intended
this bare hint to have universal application. It is unne-
cessary to develop that hint here; but ''W.*' should
remember that, among intelligent men, special provision
is always made for the reception of the words of the wise.
We forbear, in conclusion, to say how the provision would
operate on him in such an assemblage.

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250 The Prcfeaaim in England. [April,


TJie Profession in England*

At the close of anbther year, we anxiously look for the
results which should accrue to our profession, now supposed
to be awakened to the necessity of reform. The eyes of
our brethren in America have been directed towards us
since the irruption in 1856, and they have been constrained
to witness much that is highly discreditable and damaging
to the cause in hand. If anything, therefore, can be as-
serted to prove a tendency to the better, I feel assured it will
not be unacceptable. It is our habit to assume somewhat
upon the genius and professional respectability of our En-
glish dentists, and propound the doctrine, that better than
they do not exist, or at the least, they are equal to any
others, let the locality be where it may — ^but although this
comes out strictly true in many instances, upon the broad
scale such assertions will not hold. The dentists of this
country, as a community, want education. Certain things
we can do, and do well, but when it comes to the embodi-
ment of research and high scientific attainments for practi-
cal use, I apprehend that I am not speaking falsely or un-
charitably when I say that the large majority in our ranks
are deficient. This may be doubted by some, and denied
by others^ and I may be reminded that my remarks are
both unnecessary and gratuitous, but how can it be other-
wise where there is no standard recognized, nor proof de-
manded of a practitioner's actual ability. My opinions

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