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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin May 2011
55 MAY 2011 February 2011 teaSer answers clinical hints CORRESPOndEnCE The two TEASERS for February 2011 had a higher order of difficulty than usual. That probably occurred because they came from an October 1914 issue of Oral Hygiene, page 901. Any magazine with nearly 1,000 pages must have resembled a telephone directory and hardly any CH readers would have had access to one such. The instructions for use of the first item, whose size was not specified, read: ‘the waxed end of the tube is broken off, a sharp- edged file being used to nick it. After the application is made, the end is again sealed with wax.’ There was only one respondent, Arthur Dent <artydO@bigpond.com>* who said: “the tube thingy may well be a means of applying arsenic to devitalise the nerves of teeth prior to endo”. He came quite close, but not close enough to qualify for a paperweight. The device is actually one of the many schemes promoted over the years to provide sterilisation in dentistry. In the same issue of Oral Hygiene, ‘Puscure’ was recommended for ‘curing abscesses’. It was said to be: ‘non-poisonous, non-irritant and perfectly harmless, but powerfully germicidal...and sterilises to the extreme end of the root canal...’ The first TEASER offered an alternative treatment. The glass tube contained, would you believe, ‘metallic sodium’, and was recommended for insertion into a root canal to achieve sterilisation. There were no suggested techniques for insertion, and no warnings about possible danger. * The alias of a regular and always entertaining contributor. If you had a dramatically-inclined chemistry teacher in the 1950s, he (seldom ‘she’ in those days) might have, to impress you, dropped a piece of metallic sodium (stored under kerosene for safety) into water, whereupon it reacted to produce sodium hydroxide, heat and probably both hydrogen and oxygen. The heat also melted the un-reacted metallic sodium. It was quite a dramatic demonstration, and one wonders what a piece inserted into a root canal might have achieved. One also wonders how our present Therapeutic Drug Administration might have responded to such a product. The second TEASER was suggested, by Eleanore Owen (Adelaide 5000), to be “an electrically-heated or electrically-illuminated dental mirror for use in improving visibility in the oral cavity”. She hedged her bets by commenting that: “I may revise my answer later if I have any brainwaves”. Arthur Dent opined that the item might be a device “to keep gold foil de-gassed prior to placing the increments...” Neither answer is correct. It took Les Aisen (Elsternwick 3185) to nail the second TEASER. He thought “it looks like ‘the germicidal applicator’, which probably achieved very little. My late father had a box of so-called ‘UV massage’ instruments (circa 1930) with a range of applications, using large and small bulbs of various shapes. They were fun to use, with blue sparks and noisy crackles, but probably didn’t do anything”. This is about the best answer that a Columnist can expect for such an abstruse TEASER, and Les wins the handsome, inscribed, pewter ADA paperweight. The Rogers Electric Laboratories, of Cleveland Ohio, sold the device, “a ‘Violet Ray High Frequency’ machine which is beyond question a proved specific in the treatment of pyrrhoea, abscesses and other oral diseases...SIMPLE, SAFE, DURABLE, ECONOMICAL”. Some dentists must have believed this, because the Rogers folk claimed that over 5,000 units had been sold in America and Europe. Way back in 1950, your Recorder greatly enjoyed fiddling with one which he found on an early council clean-up. Sadly, his parents threw it out while he was overseas. Sigh! It must be worth quids now on e-Bay. Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, Barrie R D Gillings, 121 Bannockburn Road, Turramurra 2074. Phone: 02 9144 3787; Fax: 02 9440 9159; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADA News Bulletin April 2011
ADA News Bulletin June 2011