Medicine: Today's Dentistry: a New Drill

Physicians of the mouth do more than just fill teeth

The ad was a classic of the late '50s: a child runs across a suburban lawn, arms outspread, beaming broadly and shouting, "Look, Mom--no cavities!" That sales pitch, offered when fluoridated toothpastes were introduced, hardly seemed credible. Few American children, nurtured as they were (and still are) on candy bars and other sweets, returned from a dental checkup in triumph. In fact, it was not unusual for a child to have five, six or seven cavities at a time, and just as many the following year. Tooth decay was a perennial national problem that meant a mouthful of silver for patients,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!