In many ways, it IS a small world. I'm often impressed at how helpful authors and others are!
Following a dental visit, Kaira what I thought was a valid question about Creation Science and the sealants the dentist recommended. I emailed Creationist (and dentist) Dr Jobe Martin with her question::
Dear Dr. Martin,
I know you are busy, but your name kept coming to mind as we've researched and pondered a question pertaining to God's design in creation and dentistry.
My eldest child recently had her first dental visit. As homeschoolers, we love learning and capitalized on it as an opportunity to do a small unit study of teeth, as part of the wonderful way God shows his hand in creation. My daughter greatly enjoyed having her teeth cleaned, and considered it a grand field trip.
As we concluded this “field trip”, our dentist recommended dental sealants, explaining that there are, by nature, deep fissures in the teeth, and the sealants fill up these fissures, preventing decay from settling in the crevices. I told the dentist that my husband and I would consider his recommendation and research the sealants.
As we drove home, my six year old asked some good questions. I'll summarize them, as I don't recall her exact words: “Why are the there fissures in the teeth? Is it because of a fallen world that things aren't how God intended anymore?–Like eyes that need glasses? Or did God put the fissures there for a reason?”
We know that the bacteria which grows IN the fissures would be a result of a fallen world, but we weren't sure about the fissures themselves. Do they serve a purpose?
Honestly, I haven't been able to find any answers, and the answer to her questions would greatly influence our decision about whether sealants are a good investment. (An civil engineer may place crevices in a concrete sidewalk at strategic intervals, designed to accommodate expansion in the concrete as it weathers the seasons. Someone not understanding the reason for these gaps in the concrete and decided to fill them would later regret the decision. Having very little knowledge of dentistry, I don't know if the fissures in the teeth are at all analogous to the crevices that prevent sidewalk cracking–it was just one possibility that came to mind. )
I realize that you have many important responsibilities and giving dental advice via email is probably not one of them, but I thought the question might interest you, and we would be eager to hear your thoughts on the purpose of the fissures and the wisdom of sealing them off. I've enjoyed your tapes for almost two decades, so it is no wonder that your name would come to mind. We appreciate your ministry.
He kindly replied:
Good to hear from you. Fissures are probably a result of the Fall as your child suggests. Grooves are normal and the way it should be in a tooth, but often at the bottom of a groove is a fissure or weak place in the tooth that snags bits of food (sugar, etc.) and then acts as an incubator for bacteria that produce acid that erodes the healthy enamel and ulti8mately generates tooth decay. If teeth are flossed and brushed after meals and sugar products are not chewed, sucked, etc. between meals, decay may not occur even in fissures–a lot depends one the eating habits of the person involved. Our daughters had fissures filled with sealants when they were young, even tho we had fairly consistent dietary habits. but one daughter got decay in two fissures anyway–the sealant leaked. So there is no absolute answer. I would say with no between meal sugar intake maybe no problem, but with snacks between meals probably a good idea. With annual dental exams and no sealants, the dentist should catch the decay if it gets started before it threatens the life of the tooth.In Christ our Lord,JobeDr Jobe Martin
Dr Martin's Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution series is fascinating! 20 years ago I enjoyed listening to his materials on audio tape, what a treat to enjoy them in multimedia DVD now! The children and Ken were impressed too!
(Correspondence shared with Dr Martin's permission)