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The book Dental disease - its chemical causation and cure by R.G.Torrens

In 1938 my father, Robert George Torrens, B.A., B.D.Sc., T,C.D., Honorary dental surgeon to the Royal Victoria and West Hants Hospital, Bournemouth, had just had published and printed his latest book: Dental disease - its chemical causation and cure. The print run was sitting in the publisher's (Henry Kimpton) warehouse waiting to be circulated when a bomb landed and destroyed almost the entire run. In consequence very few copies exist. I am aware of the following copies:

The author's copy in in my possession and it is dated 23.9.1938. I have transcribed it for publication on the www. It is some 254 pages long. The whole of the book has been transcribed is available as a pdf file in two forms, with the original in Ovation-Pro format:
Dental disease - its chemical causation and causefor for reading on-screen.
Dental disease - its chemical causation and causein a form for printing.
The printed version prints out double-sided on A4, in booklet formation, so needs cutting and binding.
Dental disease - its chemical causation and causein Ovation Pro format

Ovation Pro is an outstanding desktop publisher, for Risc OS and for Windows. It is available for free, with a time-limited use. The time limit should be adequate for printing or reading the book.
Ovation-Pro www site

Book Contents

Part I
The Chemical Foundation upon which life is built.
  1. Outline of Approach
  2. Structure of Matter
  3. Electrionic Activity
  4. Picking the Atom to Pieces
  5. ... and so ad infinitam
  6. Colloidal complexity
Part II
Electrionic Activity as an aid to Diagnosis
  1. Dental Medicine
  2. The Colloidal basis of life
  3. Signposts of Disease
  4. The Ultra-Microscope
  5. Serum Colloids
Part III
Electrionic Medicine
  1. Clinical Comparisons
  2. Electrionic Influence of Drugs
  3. Treatment of Dental Disease
  4. Drugs as Energy Conveyors
  5. Case Notes
  6. Plus and Minus

Summary and review

As the book was never published (other than a few library and review copies) it is difficult to know its worth. It results from my father's interest in colloid microscopy using a then extremely expensive Zeiss microscope, with cardiod condenser for dark-ground illumination and the best possible lenses. This ultra-microscope's resolution was at about the limits of visible-light microscopy, only to be bettered by the invention of the electron microscope.

With this he examined the blood of sick and well patients and came to interesting conclusions.

My father's ideas were also founded on the works of J.E.R. McDonagh and other authors of the time - there is a bibliography in the book.

The book also has case notes of some of his patients. As the author's copy has, written in the margins, the names of some of these patients, these have been added to the transcription.

Medicine in 1939, when the book was published, was primitive: the book makes interesting reading on this account alone. The hospital (Royal Victoria Hospital, Shelley Rd, Boscombe, Bournemouth) where my father was a consultant was, of course, small, so that there was much interaction between consultants in the various disciplines. My father was often called in on non-dental cases and the case notes indicate the high regard in which he was held by his colleagues.

Electrionic medicine

As far as I am aware, this is a concept original to my father. The word is a concatenation of electron and ionic and comes from his observations and theory about the state of electronic charge on the colloidal particles and molecules visible under his ultra-microscope. And from this theory, his success curing his patients. Of course, today we know how strong is the placebo effect: it is conceivable that many of his cures came because he looked at his patients as a whole (as the book and case-notes confirm) and did not just look at curing their symptoms.


If you find the book interesting or useful, kindly let me know (use the contact button, top of page).

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Page's author: Richard Torrens.
First published: Sunday the 5th of February, 2012
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Last modified: Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:19:29 GMT
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