The Anderson Intelligencer

May 26, 1914

Page 32





(By Dr. B. H. Teague, Aiken, S. C.)

            Sometime ago I came across the following entries on a ledger of a deceased relative who practiced dentistry during the Confederate war:

            “1860.  Mrs. H: March 17, to four artificial teeth of gold plate, $20; March 17, to extracting two teeth for servant (slave) girl, $2; April 19, to extracting one tooth for servant (slave) boy, $1.

            “1863.  Mr. N. T.: July 18, to six gold fillings for son, $73; July 9, to seven gold fillings for daughter, $80; July 9, to one gold filling for daughter (extra size), $15; July 9, to three gold fillings for daughter (ordinary) $30; July 22, to one gold filling for wife, $10; December 2, to one gold plate, $975.”

            In consequence of the depreciation of Confederate money the fees advanced enormously from 1860 to 1862.  They continued to advance and dental materials became so scarce that a gold filling cost $1,000, and gold plates were unobtainable at the time of the surrender.

            Such charges seem enormous in this day of good work at fair prices; but there are even now some dentists who charge excessive as the following anecdote aptly applies:  A certain lady of N__ had planned to make a trip abroad and that everything might be in good condition, she went to a dentist of high reputation for some little necessary work.  A friend, meeting her sometime afterwards, inquired as to the date of sailing.  “O, I’ve had to give up the trip,” she said, adding ___edy, “but my dentist is going.”