1968 Retrospect: Dentistry

According to the 1968 Year Book by The World Book, “A leading dental research scientist predicted in 1968 that tooth decay may be preventable in less than 10 years. Dr. Seymour J. Kreshover, director of the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) in Bethesda, MD, made the prediction on the basis of successful work done at the institute in pinpointing the organism of decay.”

Well, this prediction was way off. There have certainly been improvements in dental health, but I don’t think we can say that we are anywhere near preventing tooth decay.

In 2002, clinical trials began on a genetically modified mouthwash that should stop tooth decay. The mouthwash¬†is squirted onto the teeth in a 5-minute process. The treatment is expected to last for a “considerable¬†time.” The most recent information I could find indicates that the trials are moving along very cautiously because of FDA concerns. You see, this treatment permanently replaces the bacteria in the mouth that causes cavities with another bacteria. Yeah, I think it’s a good idea to proceed cautiously when you are talking about permanently altering your body’s chemistry!

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