Punch,  40 (1861), 201.

A Box of Odonto




Relevant illustrations:



Medical Practitioners, Professionalization, Quackery, Boundary Formation, Surgery, Commerce, Charlatanry

    Rejoices at the news that dentists have 'united for an effort to establish a broad line of demarcation between themselves and the quacks and snobs'. Notes that while 'thinking people' can easily distinguish between those 'whose treatment of the mouth is based upon the principles of science' and quacks, 'the world is not made up of thinking people' but 'fools' who help quacks gain their large incomes. Explains that 'An educational test' and a diploma awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons are some of the requirements of 'honourable' dentists—innovations that have caused 'great rage' among dentist 'snobs'. Proceeds to discuss a dinner held in association with the 'movement', at which Richard Owen put professional dentists on a par with physicians and surgeons, but 'Professor Punch' warned that dentistry is still 'divided in two parts' since there are both honourable and disreputable practitioners among physicians and surgeons. Mr Punch adds that the public should take as much care of their mouths as of other parts of its body, should avoid 'the dirty-handed outsiders of dentistry', and should appreciate the 'custodians of the Ivory Gate'. He lends his support to the 'anti-Quack movement'. The illustration is a 'Portrait of Curius Dentitus', a Romanesque figure with broken teeth.

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