On Nov. 7, the citizens of Oregon will vote on whether or not to permit the selling and fitting of false teeth by those other than dentists. The dentists, naturally enough, are down in the mouth about the idea, which they are fighting tooth and nail (we'll stop this in a second). According to last Thursday's Post, the American Dental Association has contributed over $300,000 to defeat the Oregon proposal. That's not a lot of bucks (hold on) for dentists to take in, but it's a lot for them to pay out; so we know they're not just beating their gums. (There.)
The dentists are bound to lose a good deal of income to the much less expensive "denturists" - as the new class of tooth persons will be known - so they're running scared and, of course, without public sympathy. Yet one can muster at least a historical tear in their behalf. Originally, in 16th century France and England, dentists were barbers and surgeons as well - a trio of functions that must have made haircut customers nervous. But as time marched on, the dentists lost the surgery game, and the barbering game, too, though they retained the art of clipping.Who can blame them for resisting the Oregonians, who are ready to deprive them of yet another specialty?
Yet there will be justice here, we know. For as surely as the filling follows the drilling, and the billing the filling, so it will be that the "denturists" too will eventually become a highly trained and formally accredited specialty, ready and eager to reap all the rewards of the parent profession, including the financial. That is the way of the modern world, is it not? All Oregon should (forgive us) brace itself accordingly.