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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

October 2000
Volume 31 , Issue 9

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John E. Echternacht: Practitioner and Community Leader

James T. Rule, DDS, MS/Muriel J. Bebeau, PhD

Pages: 673-684
PMID: 11203993

For Minnesota dentists with long memories, Dr Jack Echternacht is a legendary figure. He graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1943. Except for a 3-year enlistment in the Navy during World War II, he has made his home and his professional life in Brainerd, on the edge of Minnesotaís lake country. A few years after he started his general practice, reports began to appear about the striking reduction of dental caries in childrenís teeth when fluoride was placed in the drinking water. Excited by these prospects for better oral health, Dr Echternacht led a Chamber of Commerce initiative in 1954 to introduce fluoride into Brainerdís water supply. What seemed at first an easy victory turned into a 30-year struggle. Dr Echternachtís determination, persistence, and leadership during this fight for fluoridation led to his selection as a moral model in dentistry.

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