Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back to the India Street Dentists

Ok, so you had a chance to view this freak-you-out video on street dentistry in India.

Someone raised the point about the unsanitary environment. Fair enough (crossed my mind, too!).

So.... I spend a great deal of time in rural Tennessee. In the mythical land somewhere North of the "Dental Line". Don't know the Dental Line? Growing up in metro NYC there was an invisible demarkation somewhere north of Peekskill, NY, beyond which there were apparently no dentists. Why is it apparent? Because upon crossing this invisible boundry the denizens of the region all seemed to be missing vast quantities of teeth. The area had no formal name... it was just "North of the Dental Line", or NDL for short.

In any event... it would seem to me that there is probably a good reason(s) for the obvious lack of dental care up here in NDL... I wonder if it has anything to do with money? My bet is that many of my toothless neighbors would be only too happy to stop at a road side dentist or WalMart parking lot dentist and get a set of choopers if the cost was $200 and not $5,000.

So... for the sake of argument... let us assume that all the utensils were throw aways, and that every instrument was new and sanitary. Or better yet, the customer would have access to the materials they needed at the local medical supply store and brought them to their street dentist.

Is fashioning a plate and glueing tooth shaped plastic pieces to it requiring of 4 years of training costing $200k+?  REALLY??!! Look, I am NEVER going to a street dentist for a cap or a bridge... but what if I weren't so fortunate? Is it better that I never have teeth to eat with?

(On my farm I do all my castrations, suturing, vaccines...  My horse cut himself GOOD... so I did what any red-blooded American Macho Man would do... I watched a guy suturing on youtube and dosed my horse good and stitched him up... and if I say so myself, he looks great.)

Abe Lincoln was  a talented lawyer by all accounts... with a 3rd grade education (formal)... the balance of his education was self-inflicted. While there were several "Law Schools" at the time, most lawyers were self-educated. There are no "labs" at law school. The job is essentially a glorified librarian... so why is it necessary to attend Law School? Either you can pass the entrance exam or you cannot. Pretty simple, really.

(One of my favorites absurdities is "Brilliant Constitutional Scholar". ROFL!!!! Do you know how many pages the U.S. Constitution is? 6. 6 whole pages! The Bill of Rights is 1 page. Madison probably wrote it on a napkin at the local Greek diner... anyway... you mean to tell me I need a scholar to help me understand these 6 pages? Of course not... I need him to help me understand the convoluted reasoning of past SCOTUS Justices.... NOT! Why would I need to prejudice myself by listening to someone else's interpretations of 6 f***ing pages? I can't do it myself? WTF!!!)

And what's up with 3 years of law school for all lawyers? A Law School student probably spends a month MAXIMUM on trusts, wills, and estates... why do I need to pay for the training in criminal law for my trusts & estates attorney?

Surgeons are selected by academic achievement. Seems to me that a big part of the abilities and talents required would be fine motor skills... do these training programs test for that? Nope. If I were selecting somebody to stitch up my face and I had a choice between an Indian peasant rug seamstress with some training on human tissue and a burly, ham handed surgeon, all else being equal (as in a sterile environment) I'll take the seamstress every time (and no, I don't want an untrained seamstress doing ACL repair on my knee... just bringing up some of the talents that seem to be required that simply are not considered).

The point is that we, The People, should be able to make the decisions on who is and is not qualified to serve us for ourselves.


PioneerPreppy said...

It isn't just lawyers, doctors and dentist. Even school teacher requirements are being constantly added to. As I remember it every degree offered had at least 4 to 6 extra class hours added from one book of the early 90's to another from the "01" period to graduate.

Also Greg I have a question regarding your earlier post about the young man who had made it through college by 18.

I had the displeasure of being sent to a private school in Austria for High School. Don't ask why... Anyway I had graduated and was back in the states at 17 and tried to get into college then. I was turned down flat without a credited U.S. HS diploma with the main reason given as a lack of U.S. and State Constitution studies which were a national requirement.

I was forced to take my GED but then with the added qualification of requiring a higher than normal SAT score to attend. I was told at the time that it was a federal regulation that required such qualifications so I do not understand how a non-HS graduate even got accepted to attend classes. Every state could be different I guess but...

tweell said...

All part of the nanny-state government. Licensing is for YOUR good, it protects you from unscrupulous con artists claiming that they are doctors/dentist/barbers (yes, plenty of states license barbers) etc. The folks doing the trade are all for licensing, they get grandfathered in and it limits competition, so they can raise prices. The government makes money. The schools make money. Win-win-win! Why do I not have any money? Hmm...

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I am pretty sure that he enrolled as a non-matriculating student at the local CC before he was permitted to take his GED. With his GED in hand, he was able to matriculate and get his GED and AA at the same time. Then he moved on to Lynn University (I thought it was FAU a state school... my bad), then on to Depaul Law.

He is 27 or 28 and living the dream down on South Beach in Miami. I live vicariously through his pictures on Facebook!

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Spot on. But now that we cannot afford the status quo I think we can safely question it.

Anonymous said...

I think every state is different but Oklahoma will give you a HS diploma for completion of 31 hours of college credit with a C or better. Also several of the community colleges are open enrollment (absolutely anyone can enroll) and whitch classes you can take are determined by placement tests. one of them, Rose State, used to have 24 hour enrollment as well but stopped because too many drunks were enrolling right after the bars closed.

On the regulations, it seems odd that we have came from the sorry state of affairs described in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle; where the public wanted regulation an TPTB did not, to today's sorry state of affairs where we are over regulated, the public wants less regulation while TPTB want more, and now spear to be headed back to the jungle. Perhaps intemperance is just human nature and a reasonable level of regulation is only available for a few fleeting moments in passing.


Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dan: Funny, I literally just finished "The Jungle" last week. Never read it before... With Kindle Classics for a buck I have been grinding through them... great book... but I had to put it down on several occasions - just brutal (talking about the working conditions).

tweell said...

Speaking of saving money...

That book and over 38,000 more are free at:

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Can I download to Kindle from there?

Greg T. Jeffers said...

tweel: Never mind, just downloaded Huckleberry Finn... I like the price!

Anonymous said...

what Barnes & Noble and Amazon both do is commission new cover art for public domain books then bundle it and sell the copyrighted cover art with the free book attached. pretty sleezy if you ask me. they are forfeiting lots of goodwill to make a quick Buck.


Anonymous said...

Teddy Roosevelt sent a commission to investigate the claims on the book; supposedly he was eating sausages for breakfast while reading it. all the claims were substantiated except the Guy that fell in and got canned.


Anonymous said...

Want to read something that will make your stomach turn?

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 Post Nazi interview of 10 nazi's by a Jewish reporter from chicago.

"The 'democratic,' that is argumentative, bill-collector, Herr Simon, was greatly interested in the mass deportation of Americans of Japanese ancestry from our West Coast in 1942. He had not heard of it before, and when I told him of the West Coast Army Commander's statement that 'a Jap is a Jap,' he hit the table with his fist and said, 'Right you are. A Jap is a Jap, a Jew is a Jew.' ... He asked me whether I had known anybody connected with the West Coast deportation. When I said 'No,' he asked me what I had done about it. When I said 'Nothing,' he said, triumphantly, 'There. You learned about all these things openly, through your government and your press. We did not learn through ours. As in your case, nothing was required of us - in our case not even knowledge. You knew about things you thought were wrong - you did think it was wrong, didn't you, Herr Professor?' 'Yes.' 'So. You did nothing. We heard or guessed, and we did nothing. So it is everywhere.' When I protested that the Japanese-descended Americans had not been treated like the Jews, he said, 'And if they had been - what then? Do you not see that the idea of doing something or doing nothing is in either case the same?'"

~ Dex

Publius said...

Greg et. al.:
Another example of the rot and abuse rampant in higher ed.
I was at my neighbor's two nights ago. He was giving me some more teaching in the art of computer programming.
His brother-in-law (well, soon to be ex), has been in a PhD program for computer science for 5 or 6 years.
His "advisor" kept him strung along all these years, refusing to accept his thesis, but keeping him busy doing the Professors work, writing his papers for him, etc.
Very common in academia: using the grad students as unpaid slaves.
Anyway, the student finally demanded that he be allowed to pass and graduate. The professor said no, the student left, without his PhD.

Thank God the computer industry is one of the few industries where some companies will still hire people who are smart but have no formal degree. Sometimes I wonder why the government hasn't yet mandated some kind of unecessary credentials... I suspect they will try, if they have time before the whole overloaded superstructure of our strangled and dying economy implodes.

The issue of academic freedom is another area that deserves discussion. If you express ideas that are against the ideology of the administration or big donors, you are very likely to get thrown out, or at the very least forced to apologize and cringe in submission. That happens to countless professors and graduate students, and it happens to those who don't toe the line on both the left and the right. I would say espousing libertarian ideas would get you in hot water pretty quickly in most universities.

Anonymous said...


We have a friend who went to her last thesis review with her lawyer. She's been strung along for over two years. Rampant abuse, indeed.


Coal Guy

docholliday said...


As a dentist I'm in full agreement here. I think we ought to turn dentistry into an apprenticeship like any other trade. Our current system is less interested in hand skills and more concerned with your ability to take exams.

Dental Clinic Ahmedabad said...

Nice info, like to share with other people really important for indian dentists

muhammad naeem said...

nice information you have put in the blog..

dental instruments

Amelia Davis said...

Hey!!! I cannot wait to read more of this. You sure did put a new twist on something that Ive heard so much about. I dont believe Ive actually read anything that does this subject as good justice as you just did. :) :)

Dentist in India | Laser Dentistry in India | Best Dental Clinic India | Best Dental clinic in India | Dental Tourist in India | Cosmetic Dental Clinic in India | Laser Dental Clinic at India | Cosmetic Dentist at India | Laser Dental Clinic in India | Best Dental clinic at India | Best Cosmetic Dentist India | laser in dentistry treatment India | Best Dental Surgeon India | best Cosmetic Dental Clinic India | laser in dentistry treatment in India | Dental Tourism in India | Best Dental clinic at India | dental tourism in India | Cosmetic Dental Clinic in India | Dental implant at India | Pediatric Dentistry at India | Best Dental Surgeon at India | Dental implant at India | Best Cosmetic Dentist at India | Laser Dental Clinic India | Dental implant India | best Pediatric Dentistry India | best Laser Dental Clinic India | Best Dental Clinic in India | Dental India | Cosmetic Dentistry India | Cosmetic Dentist India | Best Dental Surgeon in India | Dental Implant Clinic India .

Fahad Ali said...

50% off all dental instruments

dental pliers

extracting forceps

dental scissors

dental extraction forceps

needle holder forceps

dental tweezers

backhaus towel clamps

rubber dam clamps

needle holder

metzenbaum scissors

Crown Removers

Amalgam Instruments

gum scissors

impression trays

crile wood needle holder

hemostatic forcep

extracting forceps english pattern

mayo hegar needle holder

rubber dam clamp forceps

aspirating syringes

college tweezer

orthodontic instruments

mayo scissor curved

bracket holder

towel clamps

rubber dam kit

locking tweezers

elevator roots

dental Syringes

dental Syringes