Sunday, July 09, 2006

ARE DENTISTS HEADING FOR EXTINCTION?

A few years ago I heard on the radio that Japanese scientists were developing a vaccine that would prevent dental cavities. I knew that it must be true because it was on the ABC Radio National news and they don't make stuff up.

I recalled this news item a couple of weeks ago whilst reclining in one of those comfy dentist chairs while David was busy drilling away at one of my back teeth.

More about David later!

I haven’t heard any updates about this vaccine. I had one thought though. Perhaps that research money, which was set aside for the development of the vaccine, has been diverted to another cause, for example, their intensive research of the Minke whales in our Southern Oceans.

It is comforting to know that such dogged and meticulous research has been carried out by Japan since 1987.

When the whale numbers eventually diminish, we will all recall that the Japanese did their very best to research these large and gentle creatures during their annual treks to the Southern Hemisphere to capture, kill and cut up our whales.

And, let it be known, that after all their scientific testing is done, there is no whale meat wastage because the by-products of the research are processed and they are made available to the market, fish markets I assume.

Indeed, any income from the sale of the Minke whale meat by-products is said to be used to partially offset the cost of the research (from the Factsheet of the Institute of Cetacean Research, Japan).

Greenpeace also has a view about this intensive research which you can read about at http://www.greenpeace.org.au/.

Given my upcoming dental appointments, I put my interest in whale research to one side and I went to Google to see if the Japanese scientists had made any headway with the vaccine for tooth decay.

I am pleased to report that a vaccine is still in the pipeline. The Forsyth Institute, an affiliate of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in the U.S.A, has developed a vaccine which can simply be sprayed into people's noses.

Good news perhaps for all but our highly trained dentists. No tooth decay will result in a reduction in the demand for their services.

I thought of my dentist David who is the best dentist in the world. Not only is he very gentle when giving needles and very quick and thorough with the tooth repairs; he is also very funny, a talented artist and, I am sure he won’t mind if I say it, he is cute.

Now I was a little concerned about his long term future and the chances of retraining for all our highly skilled dentists. But then I came up with a solution.

I know they are good at drilling and filling teeth and they can improve the surfaces of teeth with bonding and capping. Also, they do bridgework.

Yes, you can see where I am going here can’t you? It’s obvious, with their core skills of drilling, patching, resurfacing and bridgework, they can move into road maintenance. All they have to do is think of the BIGGER picture!

However I do believe that David has a secure career in front of him. The vaccine is designed for babies of the future and it will be of no value to people born before fluoride and also those who have had a lifetime of bad eating and faulty brushing habits.

Besides, David can always fall back on a career as a painter of bold and colourful artworks.

2 comments:

The Artist said...

Hi from another Queenslander

Michelle said...

Hello there the artist thanks for the Qld hi! I am off now to take a look at your blog.

Michelle