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

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Walthamstow 1936

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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

Dental Surgeons in respect of Maternity and Child Welfare patients:—

Mothers.Children under 6.Mothers.Children under 5.Mothers.Children under 6.
Cases Treated109240174187283142
General Anaesthetics8615619014823798
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The Senior Dental Surgeon submits the following report from
Mrs. W. R. Thorne, L.D.S., with regard to the dental treatment
under the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme:—
"The review of the work for the scheme during the past year
may be summarised as a steady and definite advance in the dental
health of the mothers who come under the observation and care of
the dental clinic, and fully justifies this branch of public service.
After analysing the work of the year, its expansion can be anticipated.
"During the year 283 mothers have attended at the clinic for
treatment, making 654 attendances. The work done was as follows—
149 fillings inserted; 661 extractions; 237 nitrous oxide and oxygen
inductions; 61 scalings; 32 dressings; 13 dentures.
"282 mothers have been referred for dental treatment from
Thorpe Coombe Maternity Home. All of these have been duly sent
for; 182 have attended and received treatment. Some have not
received complete treatment, owing to the failure to keep subsequent
appointments. The acceptance rate cannot be considered to be good.
It must be borne in mind that patients who take the trouble to have
treatment in the ordinary course of life would rarely require to be
referred for treatment from the maternity clinic. The clientele of
the Dental Clinic will almost always consist of those who have been
neglected, either through their own indifference or to lack of means
to pay for treatment. It is disappointing to find so many failing to
avail themselves of this benefit especially when the mother must be
fully aware that her health is coupled with that of her unborn child.
"To encourage attendance special sessions are allotted for
maternity cases and urgent cases are treated at the first visit.
"There is a groundless fear of treatment in pregnancy. This is
being dispelled by the very fact of the satisfactory results of the
treatment given.
"The numbers who appreciate conservative treatment are slowly
increasing and gladly attend and express themselves strongly in
favour of the retention of the natural dentition. Conservative work
is not as spectacular as the prosthetic side of dental treatment; but
it must be regarded as the greatest advance yet made in the dental

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