London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Walthamstow 1933

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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Of School Age, 49. Under School Age, 87. Total, 136.

(b) Dental.— The following work was done by the Education Committee's Dental Surgeons:—

Mothers.Children under 5.
Cases treated51256
General Anaesthetics52156
Local ,,10

Mrs. W. R. Thorne, L.D.S. reports as follows:—
"In the treatment of these cases the mothers and infants
attending the centres do not come under periodic dental inspection.
The cases treated at the clinics under the Maternity and Child
Welfare Scheme come from various sources, some are referred
from the local welfare centres, some are sent by health visitors
and are referred to the clinic to see what can be done; others come
on their own initiative. These cases are mostly suffering from
pain and are very grateful for relief. Both mothers and children
are given the opportunity for complete treatment but few avail
themselves of it. In the treatment of the toddler, parents are
very reluctant to agree to any operation other than the extraction
of the teeth. The percentage of conservative treatment is small
compared with extractions.
The period when the mother may receive treatment is limited
and any following up of cases is out of the question. It is difficult
to arrive at any accurate findings since the cases are few and
may not be representative of the average mother. In the Borough
there are many mothers who are wholly or partially edentulous
and who have no prospect of being able to afford dentures. Unfortunately,
these are neither expectant, nor nursing mothers."
Mr. L. W. Elmer, L.D.S. reports as follows:—
There is only one matter to which I would like to refer concerning
dental treatment of expectant and nursing mothers. Up
to the present this treatment has consisted to a great extent of
the relief of pain. Inasmuch as this must have a certain beneficial
effect upon the coming generation this is to the good, but I should