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ences will be held between February and December, every phase of human endeavor will be represented.
In reading over the list of different gatherings, I find none are giving more time to their particular field than dentistry and this is not surprising, for have we not made such strides that it will take some time for many of us to catch up? Not only is the attending of dental meetings a necessity, but systematic and constant study is imperative if we hope to be worthy of our great responsibilities.
In the convening of the several dental bodies connected with this Congress how grateful we should all be that the opening is under such favorable conditions. We are here celebrating an event that tends to bring the world closer together, to make the whole world akin. Compare this with the opening of the last dental congress. The commencement of a conflict between great nations, the like of which never was thought of. These are sad days for our colleagues in Europe. The sympathy of American dentists goes out to our brothers across the Sea, and the prayer of all, I am sure, is that this terrible war will terminate ere long.
THE ROLL CALL.
During the past year the profession of America has suffered the loss of a greater number of prominent members, than in any one year within my recollection. Four ex-presidents of this National Association, which is the successor of the American and Southern Associations, have passed to the Great Beyond, namely, James Truman, Philadelphia; Charles R. Butler of Cleveland, M. W. Foster of Baltimore and F. J. S. Gorgas, Baltimore. The National Dental Association has suffered the loss of a number of its officers. T. E. Turner, St. Louis, Third Vice-President; H. B. McFadden of Philadelphia, Treasurer, George Edwin Hunt, Indianapolis, of the Research Commission, and W. E. Walker, of New Orleans, Secretary of Section III. Many other notable mem
bers have answered the last summons. Their works will live. The imprint they left on the profession will ever be visible, their high ideals a heritage to us all. In spite of the terrible European conflict which has cast a pall over the whole world, and in spite of the unsettled business conditions of our own land, the association and the profession has enjoyed a year of unparalleled success. Last year at Rochester was the first meeting after re-organization, for years we worked for a greater National, and when at last our labors were rewarded by the uniting of our state and local societies under the guidance of this, the parent body, when at last there was no division of our interests; no scattering of our fire. Just a grand national organization of over thirteen thousand, with one aim-the improvement and advancement of dentistry. There were, however, some who were a little inclined to be pessimistic, and warned us to look for some reaction, that the enthusiasm and activity of reorganization would be followed by a falling off in membership. I am pleased to state that such has not been our experience. Hardly a state has shown a falling off during the past year, while a great majority have made splendid gains; besides we have benefitted by some additional states perfecting re-organization and now affiliated with the National. The past year has shown a growth of about three thousand members. This is indeed encouraging.
THE NATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL.
Next to reorganization the question of a National Journal has been uppermost in the minds of our members. It has been the hope of many for years that we should publish a journal that would be a credit to an organization of national scope. At last our hopes have been realized, and while it is not a monthly publication, I am sure you will all agree that in the quarterly form it is indeed something we can be proud of. We are all anxious to have a monthly journal, with
a regular elected editor and staff, but to do this means capital. To secure the necessary funds we will have to raise our dues. To raise the dues at this time I believe would be unwise. In the near future when we have perfected reorganization plans it will be an easy matter to change from a quarterly to a monthly issue. There may be some of our members who cannot understand why any one should object to the small increase in dues to make possible a monthly journal. Yet the Secretary has evidence, that in some sections of the country where organization is more difficult, it is all they can do to meet the present requirements. With reorganization almost completed, a rapidly growing membership, the journal an established fact, it should now be the duty of the association to look to the future and plan for the business management of our interests. To this end the Ad Interim Committee of the Board of Trustees took the first step at Ann Arbor. The Treasurer was instructed to take 20% of all advertising funds and place it into the Journal fund. The advertising space in the Journal is rapidly growing in value, and the amount set aside will soon accumulate into a splendid amount which can be well invested until we are in shape to have our own publishing plant. The American Medical Association started with prospects no brighter than the National Dental Association; today they have one of the finest publishing and administration buildings in this country. The future of the National Dental Association is no longer a dream or a vision; it is a real, live, healthy fact.
THE SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION AND
RESEARCH COMMISSION. Organized less than three years ago, but working as a Commission only two years; this very important department of our association is doing a great work and the results of their labors will soon be reflected thruout the profession. During the two years the Commission
has been carrying on research work they have furnished laboratory technicians and laboratory equipment and supplies to assist in special research in several states.
In the University of Michigan Dr. Marcus L. Ward is working on the problem of Dental Cements, and Dr. Russell W. Bunting on Salivary analysis and Dental Caries. In the University of Minnesota Dr. Thomas B. Hartzell and his associates are contributing reliable data on the Relations of Mouth Infections to Systemic Infections. In the University of Illinois Dr. Frederick B. Noyes is working on the question of the Dental Pulp and Peridental Membrane. In Columbia University, New York, Dr. William J. Gies and assistants are studying the Relation of the Glands of Secretion to Dental Problems. In Cleveland, under the direction of Dr. Weston A. Price, much work has been done in Metallurgical Researches and Studies on the Identification and Differentiation of Serious Mouth Infections. These are only a few of the many vital problems the Commission will endeavor to solve. The financial contributions towards this great work has been very gratifying up to date. Between fifty and sixty thousand dollars has been subscribed, and this almost exclusively by members of the profession. This liberal support will have a great effect in influencing aid from laymen interested in the advancement of science.
Acting under instructions from the National Dental Association the Commission has broadened its field of activities, by incorporating in the State of Ohio the Research Institute of the National Dental Association. The Commission has secured the cooperation of many of the most prominent men in the medical profession, and laymen of international standing. It will be the plan of the Research Institute to establish and support researches in various parts of the country, and to prepare and train young men for research work.
The question of legislation towards fair and equitable recognition and standing of the dentist in the Army and Navy has received the thoughtful consideration which this important question warrants. A majority of the Committee on Legislation visited Washington early this year prepared to submit a bill that would improve the status of the dentist in both branches of the Service. The Committee was well received by the Surgeon-General of both the Army and Navy; both recognize the need of and importance of dental service, and it is the opinion of the Committee that they are favorable to such legislation as will improve the standing and efficiency of the dental corps. The Committee held a conference with Chairman Hay of the House Committee, and while he is favorable to the proposed changes in the law, suggested to the committee that it would be better to defer introduction of the new bill until the next session of Congress. The Committee are very hopeful that in the near future we will receive the desired legislation. It is their opinion that this whole question of dealing with the Federal officials should be left to the Committee of the National Dental Association, and they suggest that committees from other organizations refrain from making suggestions or trying to influence legislation. It must be apparent to all that this work should be handled entirely by the Committee that represents the National organization. Reports from many states indicate that laws governing the practice of dentistry have been amended so that both the profession and the citizen is better safeguarded.
OUR RELIEF FUND.
Ever since Dr. Noel in his address in Asheville recommended that some provision should be made for our aged and invalid members numerous schemes and plans have been tried, to create a fund for this very worthy purpose. The balance from the San Francisco fund
amounting to about four thousand dollars was turned over to the National Dental Association for the purpose of a National Dental Association Relief Fund. It was thought by many that this splendid amount would be a nucleus for a great fund, and would stimulate generous contributions from the individual members of the profession, but there has been few contributions. A plan was recommended by which state societies could raise their dues one dollar a year, this extra dollar to go to the relief fund. Only two societies took favorable action on the suggestion. The sale of dental Relief Seals each Christmas while not discouraging, has not come up to expectations, and the result is that the amount in the custody of the Treasurer does not reflect credit organization of nearly sixteen thousand members, the great majority of whom are successful practitioners. The British Dental Association with a membership of less than a third of the National have carried on for years a very successful benevolent association.
Relief Committee has labored hard, they have done all they can to raise a respectable fund. They now feel that it is up to the members of the Association to say what shall be done. There are only two ways we can move, either advance or retire, there can be no more sidestepping.
ORAL HYGIENE OR PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
In the revision of the Constitution and By-Laws it would seem as tho by some oversight no provision was made for this very important department. Familiar as we are today with the relationship of mouth conditions to the general system and knowing what great good has come from the oral hygiene propaganda, it must be plain to all that if we hope to advance in this great work we must have national, state and local cooperation; to this end, I respectfully recommend to the House of Delegates that
an Oral Hygiene or Public Service Commission be made one of the standing committees of the association.
SUPPORT OF THE DENTAL
Among the many important questions discussed at Ann Arbor in January, was that of the dental surgeon at the front and the great need of funds to support and carry on the work they are doing. The whole world realizes that no war in history compares with the present conflict in point of men engaged and numbers wounded, and on account of the method of warfare many of the wounds are in the head and jaws. The surgeons of Europe appreciating the skill of the dentist and his particular fitness for this work, have appealed to the dental profession of Europe to help in caring for the suffering soldiers; hundreds are giving their service, the profession of Europe are doing all in their power to aid, and an appeal comes to America to help them. A committee was appointed and it was decided to raise a fund to be used thru the Red Cross Society. The scheme adopted to secure funds was the issuing of a booklet containing twenty coupons or certificates, each coupon to sell for twenty-five cents. The hope was that a dentist would buy one or more of these booklets, sell the certificates to friends, and in this way secure a splendid amount for the cause. I regret to say the results are anything but creditable. I hope that during the several meetings held in conjunction with the congress an earnest appeal will be made, which will result in a generous contribution to our over-sea colleagues and the noble work they are engaged in.
THE DENTAL CROSS.
When the booklet containing the certificates on which were printed the Red Cross was ready for distribution the chairman was informed that the use of
the Geneva Cross was contrary to the law except for the purpose for which it was created. It has generally been considered proper to use the Red Cross in connection with anything that pertained to the care of the sick and injured. It can only be used by the Red Cross Society. The Cross of the Medical profession is green; that of the veterinary blue, and it has been suggested by Dr. C. R. E. Koch, Chairman of the Committee that inasmuch as lilac is the dental color our cross should be lilac.
The appointing of dentists in the army and navy of our own country and in practically all the armies of Europe, and the prominence that dentistry has attained in the last few years, warrants us in adopting a badge. I would therefore suggest, that the recommendations of Dr. Koch be acted upon and adopted by the National Dental Association.
OUR ADVANCEMENT DURING THE
We frequently hear the statement, that no profession or calling has made greater advancement during the past fifty years than dentistry. Some may dispute this claim, however, I think we can state that the past year shows a record which we all are proud of. The challenge from the medical profession that we assume the greater responsibilities has been accepted. From every state we hear of earnest efforts to acquire the science and technic SO essential to modern practice. Believing that a good index to the work and progress of the profession would be found in the programs provided for the different societies during the year, I wrote to the Secretary of every state society and the Secretary of societies in cities of over fifty thousand requesting them to send me a copy of their program for the year; the response was splendid. Practically every one replied and I take this opportunity of thanking them for their prompt response.
What a pleasure and satisfaction it
was to read over those programs. In the main they were of the highest order. While not overlooking the practical subjects, the great majority had several papers on scientific subjects,; on questions that must be understood to practice the dentistry of today. It was indeed gratifying to note that a large number of the societies were cultivating closer relations with our medical brothers. From every section leading medical men, many of them of national reputation, have contributed papers on subjects closely allied with dentistry. Alive to the necessity of a broader and greater dental knowledge, the Faculties Association in session at Ann Arbor, after a thoro discussion of the needs of better college training unanimously supported a resolution to the effect that beginning with the session of 1917-18 the course for the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery shall be four years of thirty-two weeks each year; every faculty in the country is now giving serious thought on the question of curriculum.
The completion and dedication of the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children in Boston, was not only one of the leading events of the year, but it truly stands as one of the most important in the history of dentistry. This splendid institution which represents the last word in infirmary completeness cannot be fully appreciated, unless seen. The splendid reports of the grand work being done there clearly demonstrates the necessity for similar institutions in large cities thruout the country. Already the example, set by the Forsyths has been emulated by another good man, Mr. Eastman, of Rochester, who will give to his home city an infirmary endowed with $750,000. The dedication of the Evans Institute in connection with the dental department of the University of Pennsylvania is another event that makes the year 1915 memorable in dental annals. This magnificent addition to the profession was made possible by the success
and generosity of an American dentist, who had a vision of what dentistry some day would require, one of the leading features of the dedicatory exercises was the conferring of honorary degrees on a number of our colleagues who well merited the distinction and honor.
During the past year dentistry has been more discussed than any other professional calling. The daily papers, the monthly and weekly magazines, the writers of fiction, the movies and even dramatists have vied with one another in featuring dentistry, and the part it plays in the comfort, health and even life of the human race. The medical profession have taken a very definite stand on the relationship, between the oral cavity and conditions therein, and the general system. This stand we heartily support, we deeply appreciate the advice and co-operation of the scientific, thoro, honest medical brother. The dental profession is in need of his counsel for we must acknowledge that the education of the dentist in the past has been such that diagnosis was not his strong fort.
The members of this Association which represents the best in our profession, must in some way, either thru study clubs, postgraduate courses, special lectures or extensive reading, get a better knowledge of the chemistry, pathology, and bacteriology of the mouth, before we can hope to intelligently discuss conditions which must necessarily bring dentist and physician in consultation, we must have this greater and broader knowledge to combat and offset the pernicious activity, insolence and demands of that class of physicians who because some authority makes the statement that the teeth in a certain case was the cause of serious systemic disorders, comes to the conclusion that every crowned or pulpless tooth or inflamed gingiva calls for extraction. Many of our patients