DENTAL FEES DURING THE CIVIL WAR
(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. K: 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.: Joly 18, to six gold fillings, for son. $75; 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, 110; December 2, to one gold plate $975.
In consequence of the depreciation of Confederate money the fees advanced enormously from 1860 to 1863.They continued to advance and dental materials became so scarce that a gold filling coat $1,000, and gold plates were unobtainable at the time of the surrender.
Such charges seem enormous in this day ot good work at fair prices; but the are even now some dentists who charge excessive as the following anecdote aptly applies: A certain lady of N_____, had planned to make trip abroad and that everything might be in good condition, she went to a dentist of high reputation for soma little necessary work. A friend, meeting her Somtime afterwards, inquired as to the date of sailing. "O, I've had to give up the trip," she said, adding naivedy; "but my dentist is going."
-The Anderson Daily Intelligencer(Anderson, S.C.) May 26, 1914