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May 06 2013

Alternative Dentistry

I required some dental work today and had an interesting conversation with the lady who was doing some work on my teeth. As many people who have seen me on the SSA hangout or on one of Ed Brayton’s, they would know that I am one of those old guys with braces. I wore them to correct some horrific teeth…

She was interested in my opinion on the efficacy of allopathy (What I do) vs. Homeopathy (what quacks do). I pointed out that they were alternative medicine and allopathy was everything that worked and that Indian homeopaths were notorious quacks often mixing real medicines with their quack cures in uncontrolled concentrations and doses.

I explained how their entire field is based on massively diluted concentrations and the method by which they calculate their doses. And she was convinced.

And then I realised one thing. One statement that would drive a stake through the heart of alternative medicine.

No one would ever go to an alternative dentist. The man who pulls his own teeth with a pair of rusty pliers is not a savvy businessman fighting big dentist but someone who pulls his own teeth out.

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  1. 1
    shash

    How much d’you want to bet on that?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Holistic Dentistry

    /drumroll

  2. 2
    TGAP Dad

    Irish comedian Dara O’Briain has a great take on quackery, including a fair amount on quack dentistry (“toothyologists”!) here: http://youtu.be/YMvMb90hem8

  3. 3
    Brandon McBride

    “The man who pulls his own teeth with a pair of rusty pliers is not a savvy businessman fighting big dentist but someone who pulls his own teeth out.”

    And now I cringe. Thanks for that… I think visualizing that ACTUALLY made my teeth hurt.

  4. 4
    Lee Turnpenny

    Might I suggest that we object to – and effect to do away with – the term ‘allopathy.’ It was coined by homeopathy’s guru, Hahnemann. But the ‘rationale’ behind it does not apply today, and its use plays into the quacks’ hands. Please, let’s just call it ‘medicine’; and its practitioners, (medically-qualified) doctors/physicians. Not ‘allopaths.’

  5. 5
    garnetstar

    Ah, teeth. Many have remarked on the particularly unbearable quality of tooth pain. I read somewhere the (probably apocryphal) statistic that tooth pain was the leading cause of suicide in Europe during the Middle Ages.

    Tooth pain is both very severe and quite unremitting: it never lets up, even for a moment, anytime. It can render you completely non-functional in mere days. Few people, no matter how deluded, will choose to endure it rather than get a root canal. The only “alternative” remedy is pulling the tooth.

    Alternative dentistry is no more ineffective than all other alternative medicine is, but in this case, the patient’s complaint is both unbearable and not subject to the placebo effect.

    Not many go for alternative treatment of gunshot wounds, either.

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