MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

The fact that many dentists practice dubious alternative therapies receives relatively little attention. In 2016, for instance, Medline listed just 31 papers on the subject of ‘complementary alternative medicine, dentistry’, while there were more than 1800 on ‘complementary alternative medicine’. Similarly, I have discussed this topic just once before on this blog. Clearly, the practice of alternative medicine by dentists begs many questions – perhaps a new paper can answer some of them?

The aims of this study were to “analyse whether dentists offer or recommend complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) remedies in their clinical routine, and how effective these are rated by proponents and opponents. A second aim of this study was to give a profile of the dentists endorsing CAM.

A prospective, explorative, anonymised cross-sectional survey was spread among practicing dentists in Germany via congresses, dental periodicals and online (n=250, 55% male, 45% female; mean age 49.1±11.4years).

Of a set of 31 predefined CAM modalities, the dentists integrated plant extracts from Arnica montana (64%), chamomile (64%), clove (63%), Salvia officinalis (54%), relaxation therapies (62%), homeopathy (57%), osteopathic medicine (50%) and dietetics (50%). The effectiveness of specific treatments was rated significantly higher by CAM proponents than opponents. However, also CAM opponents classified some CAM remedies as highly effective, namely ear acupuncture, osteopathic medicine and clove.

With respect to the characteristic of the proponents, the majority of CAM-endorsing dentists were women. The mean age (50.4±0.9 vs 47.0±0.9years) and number of years of professional experience (24.2±1.0 vs 20.0±1.0years) were significantly higher for CAM proponents than the means for opponents. CAM proponents worked significantly less and their perceived workload was significantly lower. Their self-efficacy expectation (SEE) and work engagement (Utrecht work engagement, UWE) were significantly higher compared to dentists who abandoned these treatment options. The logistic regression model showed an increased association from CAM proponents with the UWES subscale dedication, with years of experience, and that men are less likely to be CAM proponents than women.

The authors concluded that various CAM treatments are recommended by German dentists and requested by their patients, but the scientific evidence for these treatments are often low or at least unclear. CAM proponents are often female, have higher SE and work engagement.

GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

These conclusion are mostly not based on the data provided.

The researchers seemed to insist on addressing utterly trivial questions.

They failed to engage in even a minimum amount of critical thinking.

If, for instance, dentists are convinced that ear-acupuncture is effective, they are in urgent need of some rigorous education in EBM, I would argue. And if they use a lot of unproven therapies, researchers should ask whether this phenomenon is not to a large extend motivated by their ambition to improve their income.

Holistic dentistry, as it is ironically often called (there is nothing ‘holistic’ about ripping off patients), is largely a con, and dentists who engage in such practices are mostly charlatans … but why does hardly anyone say so?

 

 

57 Responses to Many dentists are fond of alternative treatments – but why?

  • Many GERMAN dentists, Edzard. And we know how deeply woo is ingrained in German healthcare. I would suggest that this is less of a problem elsewhere, certainly in the UK where “holistic” dentistry is much less prevalent.

    • it’s a big thing in most countries’ perhaps with the exception of the UK.

      • Here’s one to look into. They are nearing retirement age, so hopefully they’ll move to Mexico and close down their shop.
        https://www.munro-hallclinic.co.uk/

        The main doctor there wrote a book about how the toxicity of mercury in fillings is the root cause of pretty much every ailment under the sun. Of course, he’s the messiah figure who fights the mainstream corrupted media and medical establishment. You know the story.

        Anyway… a quick google search and you’ll see that sometimes he removes amalgam fillings from customers who are into naturopathy and woo, and everyone is happy.
        Sometimes he replaces fillings from patients who don’t quite understand why, and everything gets settled in court, with the charges of unnecessary medical procedures getting dropped.

  • Nope!
    I have a very good UK dentist, but when I needed an implant he referred me to a major (UK) ‘centre of excellence.’
    After due attention, I was given a ‘goody bag’ to ‘help reduce the swelling’.
    Arnica 30C remedy pillules included!

    Hang on say I, why have I been given this? (Been charged for this – nothing is free in private practice).
    “Our patients like it…”
    “But where is the evidence it has any effect whatsoever?”

    You know the rest.
    This is a scam – for which I paid (wrapped up in the bill), by a professional who was behaving unprofessionally. The BDA/GDC don’t want to know.
    They’re all in on it!
    (But you knew that).

    May such dentists’ teeth be as rotten as their ability to be ethical.

    • In my entire life, I have never encountered homeopathy in a dental practice, and no dentist has ever mentioned the word ‘homeopathy’ to me. However, the two shining stars on edzardernst.com Comments section have both had close encounters of the altmed kind in a dental context.

      From edzardersnt.com, we know that, in Europe, thousands of medical doctors prescribe homeopathy, even if only for placebo effect, and now also that a dental ‘centre of excellence’ is dispensing homeopathy.

      A closer rx for Dr. Rawlins in that state: Staphysagria

      Is it a possibility then that homeopathy is not in its waning phase?

  • In my dentist’s waiting room there’s a display with a lot of leaflets. One of them was called “What is homeopathy?” It gave the usual “believers'” explanation and I found it annoying that it was mixed in with other leaflets explaining sensible, straightforward dental issues. The homeopathy leaflets were on display through three or four, six-monthly check-up visits I made to the dentist. (I’m not the kind of person who would remove or deface material I happen to object to!)

    Two visits ago I was handed a ‘patient feedback’ form to fill in. In the ‘other comments’ box I wrote that “I find it difficult to understand why a rational dentist’s practice is promoting a pseudo-medicine such as homeopathy; nor what homeopathy has to do in any circumstances with dentistry”. On my next visit, the leaflets had gone.

    Most probably the leaflets had run out, having been taken by patients. But if I adopted the post hoc ergo propter hoc approach so favoured on this blog by proponents of pseudo-scientific nonsense, I’d imagine my feedback had had a positive impact.

  • For the benefit of anyone expressing disbelief that homeopathy and other pseudo-medical woo is ever in any way associated with dentistry, here are links to The British Homeopathic Dental Association. The British Dental Acupuncture Society and a US chiropractor offering relief from jaw posture issues. Big Snakeoil has no boundaries and knows no limits!

  • Speaking as a dentist I don’t think CAM is a big issue in dentistry- yes it exists but rarely. A far bigger issue is that way too much of dentistry is NOT evidence based- it is business lead and there is way too much over treatment ( like much of medicine). Also it is amazing to see scientific journals in sub specialties of dentistry cherry pick research papers that confirm their own biases. The implant journals present VERY different outcomes on implants and endodontic success than the endodontic journals do. Self interest is an incredibly powerful motivator!

    • Stephen, a dentist, reading edzardernst.com from Israel. Thank you for confirming that homeopathy is a rarity in dentistry and it makes sense that it is so because the common type of problems that dentistry deals with require medicinal and surgical treatment.

      One of the difficulties for homeopathy is when people try to promote it for anything and everything, so your comment is helpful. Thank you.

      • Oh Greg! You are such a tower of strength for the chronically confused.

        From the comment above:

        One of the difficulties for homeopathy is when people try to promote it for anything and everything

        From your earlier reply to Richard Rawlins:

        A closer rx [sic] for Dr. Rawlins in that state: Staphysagria

        From Homeopathy Plus

        When the remedy matches the symptoms, Staphisagria has the ability to treat conditions such as cerebrovascular accidents, chorea, connective tissue disorders, cystitis, depression, eneuresis, headaches, haemorrhoids, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, orchitis, post-surgical pain, psoriasis, strabismus, styes, and tics.

        (That’s attributed to three versions of the famous homeopathy Materia Medica, which all the homeopathists posting on this site reckon is the only credible authority for the effects of a homeopathic ‘remedy’.)

  • Frank, the list of indications that you have provided for Staphysagria is a perfect example of a misinformed person.

    You should consider quitting your homeopathy critiquing because you are embarrassing yourself.

  • Frank, you could also consider that your homeopathy critique endeavor may be bringing embarrassment and disrepute to:
    University of Aberdeen
    http://pure.abdn.ac.uk:8080/portal/en/persons/frank-odds(d5fd6d86-a668-4027-a34a-a641a8fb3bbe).html

    For some reason the page link is deleted:
    This is what was there:
    Contact details
    Frank Odds
    Medical Sciences – Emeritus Professor, 1/09/09 → …
    Postal address:
    Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen
    Email
    Recent Publications
    Published
    Does Candida albicans play a role in the etiology of endometriosis?
    Article

    Published
    The evolutionary rewiring of ubiquitination targets has reprogrammed the regulation of carbon assimilation in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans
    Article

    Published
    MAPKKK-Independent regulation of the Hog1 stress activated protein kinase in Candida albicans
    Article

    View all

    end quote

    Also: British Society for Medical Mycology
    http://www.bsmm.org/

    • I have suggested this before Greg. Instead of making a fool of yourself yet again, why don’t you ask your village librarian for help when you get lost on the internet? When a link does not work for you it is usually because you messed it up. Frank’s page is easy to find.

      And about the Staphysangria thing. I fail to see how Frank can have got that wrong? If you wish to dispute what he said you will have to do it in detail and support your version with searchable references. Otherwise we cannot try to take you seriously.

      All this talk about sangria makes me thirsty. I think I’ll go and get a pitcher of the good stuff at the beach bar. They mix a good one here in Tenerife. Works better than any homeoremedy 😀

  • Note to readers

    In addition to Frank, these commenters never give up their ridiculously ignorant campaigning against homeopathy no matter how many times they have been found out.

    Bjorn Geir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGkg5ytaXlA

    James: on Monday 13 November 2017 at 12:19
    No! Patients in psychiatry are typically not addicted to their medications. They are told to take them to keep their disorder under control and, quite often, they forget or don’t, which is why, also often, they have flares of aggravation. Homeopathy addicts mever forget to take their pills, actually, they often ignore more knowledgeable suggestions because they are brainwashed into believing medicine is a conspiracy to kill people, or stuff. They are constantly seeking their homeopathic products and care, no matter what.

    Alan Henness: http://companydb.uk/07406649-the-nightingale-collaboration-limited#.WgvbYIWa_9I

    • Yeah, Greg. You’ve posted that before. Have you been able to work out what it says and what it doesn’t say yet? No? You surprise me…

      • From Wikipedia, the Internet Encyclopedia..

        In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.

        • …which might even have a small effect, provided, of course, one cares! I don’t know who cares about Greg anymore, but I wouldn’t blame them if they ceased so.

      • Alan, what you fail to see is that Dr. Ernst and the usual commenters (you included) continue to pour out verbiage on this site.

        This post about dentists and homeopathy is similar to the ridiculous post about the one epsom salts death that Iqbal tried, to no avail, to get some sense into the discussion. It is abundantly clear to me now that Dr. Ernst’s primary aim is to stir as much hostility against natural medicine as he can muster, and is not primarily motivated by the scientific ideal of truth for sake of truth.

        The standard of evidence in medical science (RCT) and the evidence of homeopathy based on case outcomes provides Dr. Ernst with a good vantage point to make his critical analysis of homeopathy, but he chooses to go further an promote a hostile disparagement of homeopathy and its practitioners/followers. You may not be the brightest person (see your yet to be explained chart) but you should be able to see the difference between critical analysis and Dr. Ernst’s approach.

        On the other hand, Dr Rawlins is a gentleman who makes his case against homeopathy with aplomb (but is still in need of facts to back up his case). He is probably the only sceptic commenter person left on this site to have a blog discussion on this topic.

        So, to answer your statement: Edzard and Co. need to be reminded that they are being naughty, and should not rely on new dirt covering old dirt to fool new readers.

        • Greg, please may I be clear, I make no case ‘against homeopathy’ (the remedies + the consultation/counseling).
          I simply inquire as to what the evidence FOR the remedies having any effect greater than that achieved by placebos might be.
          And, to date, I have not found any.

          Which gives me great concern as not only does it seem probable that many gullible and vulnerable patients are being misled, but that many practitioners are deluding themselves for reasons which remain opaque – but which are not rational.

          I do not dispute that a consultation in a therapeutic relationship with an empathetic practitioner makes many suffering patients feel better.
          But do the pillules make any difference by and of themselves?
          No – and that will remain the case until proved by scientific methods (not by the mistranslation of Hahnemann’s ‘proving’ by which he meant simply ‘testing’ – not ‘establishing validity’.)

          Hahnemann did his best – better than many of his contemporaries – but that is not good enough today.
          Please move on.
          Thank you.

          • Yes, I know that Dr. Rawlins.

            Your question regarding the remedies having an effect is the central point of the discussion and needs to be investigated further. Unfortunately, homeopathy has not done a good job of presenting evidence to the scientific community and is therefore in a quandary.

        • Greg said:

          Alan, what you fail to see is that Dr. Ernst and the usual commenters (you included) continue to pour out verbiage on this site.

          That has to be one of your funniest replies so far, Greg! Keep it up.

          • Greg,

            I do all I can to avoid ad hominem attacks, but what are we to do when you clearly do not understand the basic principles of science?

            “Your question regarding the remedies having an effect is the central point of the discussion and needs to be investigated further.”

            No.
            No further discussion or investigation is necessary.
            Homeopathic remedies have no effect beyond the placebo.
            End of.
            (Same response to those who suggest fairies or Father Christmas should be subject to ‘further investigation’.)

            Come back when you have evidence HP remedies have any effect whatsoever.
            There is no ‘quandry’. Move on. Please – for your own good.

  • Note to readers:

    Greg thinks of anybody as incompetent in general. This is good for his self-esteem, so it seems…

    A typical, evidence-based(!) encounter with Greg on the subject of homeopathy:

    You begin your meticulously elaborated argumentation, worded as carefully as possible. You carry on with comments of increasing length, in an attempt to spark a careful and creative dialogue, but with plenty of arguments to avoid diving into fantasy-land, while taking extra care to answer to every point as concisely as possible, even futile ones.

    Greg recognizes your contribution at first, in a rare moment of kindness and rationality… Then tries to challenge your point of view as wrong or uninformed with succinct comments of logarithmically disproportionate length and essence, always ignoring significant points and questions raised. Soon enough, you get the courtier’s reply. The rest is very easily predictable. Mockery and pointless questions, many in nontrivial multiplicities, while avoiding answers. Then…more mockery and all typical symptoms of pathological belief perseverance.

    What can I say… It is good for readers to have a small walkthrough of Greg’s operating manual, in case they feel like commencing any argumentation with him.

    I have to give Greg the benefit of the doubt, however. He might be a nice person when the subject of homeopathy is not on the table.

    • James, it is one thing to produce fine analysis and propositions but this is not the same as evidence/fact based analysis.

      The way I see it James, is that the paradigm that you base your understanding of homeopathy on is not compatible with the paradigm required to have an understanding of homeopathy. Professor Frank Odds’ statement of Staphysagria indications is a classic example of misunderstanding what homeopathy is and what homeopathic Materia Medica is.

      The problem for me to try and engage in a discussion with the sceptics is that a. disdainful, glib, arrogant people are not easy to have discussions with and b. when perspectives are widely divergent, intelligible communication is a problem ref: Professor Frank Odds: Staphysagria quote:When the remedy matches the symptoms, Staphisagria has the ability to treat conditions such as cerebrovascular accidents, chorea, connective tissue disorders, cystitis, depression, eneuresis, headaches, haemorrhoids, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, orchitis, post-surgical pain, psoriasis, strabismus, styes, and tics.

      ‘When the remedy matches the symptoms’

      Frank has not got a clue.

      Dr. Ernst’s post on homeopaths as anti-vaccination proponents was a real disaster for his credibility but he continues posting blog after blog:
      There is hardly any need to point out that CAM-use is associated with low vaccination-uptake. We have discussed this on my blog ad nauseam – see for instance here, here, here and here. Too many CAM practitioners have an irrational view of vaccinations and advise against their patients against them. Anyone who needs more information might find it right here by searching this blog. Anyone claiming that this is all my exaggeration might look at these papers, for instance, which have nothing to do with me (there are plenty more for those who are willing to conduct a Medline search):

      Lehrke P, Nuebling M, Hofmann F, Stoessel U. Attitudes of homeopathic physicians towards vaccination. Vaccine. 2001;19:4859–4864. doi: 10.1016/S0264-410X(01)00180-3. [PubMed]
      Halper J, Berger LR. Naturopaths and childhood immunizations: Heterodoxy among the unorthodox. Pediatrics. 1981;68:407–410. [PubMed]
      Colley F, Haas M. Attitudes on immunization: A survey of American chiropractors. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 1994;17:584–590. [PubMed]

      end of quote

      The source cited by Dr. Ernst: ‘Attitudes of homeopathic physicians’ states:

      Vaccinations are one of the most effective preventive procedures in modern medicine. However, earlier studies have indicated that homoeopathic physicians do not recommend or apply vaccinations as frequently as their allopathic colleagues. Few studies have been undertaken to clarify this question and most of these have not distinguished between medically and non-medically qualified homoeopathic practitioners. Therefore, misunderstandings have arisen concerning this question. In the study presented only medically qualified colleagues were included. In the course of this study, 219 medically qualified homoeopathic and 281 non-homoeopathic physicians in Germany (response rate 30.4%) returned a questionnaire about the application and recommendation of 17 different vaccinations in their practices. The answers show that the responding homoeopathic physicians do not generally refuse vaccines but rather view them with a specific hierarchy. The ‘classical’ vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis are applied to nearly the same degree as by non-homoeopathic colleagues. Vaccines against childhood diseases, risk group vaccinations and vaccinations judged as ineffective are applied and accepted with more restraint by homoeopathic physicians.
      End of quote

      ‘The answers show that the responding homoeopathic physicians do not generally refuse vaccines’. How can Dr. Ernst get it wrong so many times and keep going on regardless? What is your theory on this James?

      • My theory is that you ignored the next sentences:

        Vaccines against childhood diseases, risk group vaccinations and vaccinations judged as ineffective are applied and accepted with more restraint by homoeopathic physicians.

        I think that vaccines against childhood diseases and for risk groups are very important, but I am afraid you will think this is subjective. Do you find them important?

        My theory continues that you did not read the other studies as well. If you persist on the subject, though, I will take a look in there and discredit you again. It is not hard to argue against you, the facts and evidence are there. You just won’t believe it. I don’t know why…

        Paradigms will be a different bedtime story for when you begin to show an ability for rational discussions without obsessing about points that have been answered dozens of times before.

    • James: ‘You begin your meticulously elaborated argumentation, worded as carefully as possible. You carry on with comments of increasing length, in an attempt to spark a careful and creative dialogue, but with plenty of arguments to avoid diving into fantasy-land, while taking extra care to answer to every point as concisely as possible, even futile ones.’

      James do you regard the passage below as ‘meticulously elaborated argumentation’? To be fair, I think it needs to go into the collection of top silly comments on this site. Do you agree or do you prefer to explain how you deduced this statement: ‘Homeopathy addicts mever forget to take their pills.’

      Source:

      James: on Monday 13 November 2017 at 12:19
      ‘No! Patients in psychiatry are typically not addicted to their medications. They are told to take them to keep their disorder under control and, quite often, they forget or don’t, which is why, also often, they have flares of aggravation. Homeopathy addicts mever forget to take their pills, actually, they often ignore more knowledgeable suggestions because they are brainwashed into believing medicine is a conspiracy to kill people, or stuff. They are constantly seeking their homeopathic products and care, no matter what.’

      (Save the psychiatry discussion for later)

      • Just as I said, you need a dose of your very own style to begin to understand what it looks like to discuss with you.

        Now, once again… I don’t consider homeopathy to be science. It is not worthy of scientific evidence, although it has been gathered, analyzed and clearly shows no specific effect. On anecdotes it stands, by anecdotes it will be countered, then. So, this is my anecdotal report of what people that like homeopathy behave like, in my experience. You think it is wrong? Ask some homeopaths, just make sure it is not part of proper research, because it may cost you your job, as I have pointed out previously by linking to one of Dr. Ernst’s talks.

        Whenever you feel content with asking the same thing over and over, and getting an answer, we can take it from the beginning and discuss about why you believe homeopathy works, in all seriousness of course.

  • James, find the facts first.

    I am NOT Mr D.Ullman (Gregory Dana Ullman).

    If Mr D.Ullman wanted to return to this site, I don’t think that he would do it under the name ‘Greg’. Ok James?

    • You have persisted so hard on countless points and questions you already have gotten answers for, that I think it’s only fair for others to start playing your own game a bit……just so you may get a glimpse on what it looks like to be discussing with you.

  • I suppose the plan is to apply pressure get a similar statement issued by the Dentist and GP orgs which is similar to the recent Vet statement.

  • Can you elaborate a bit on why you believe homeopathy works Greg?
    Let’s talk about that for a while…

    • I am waiting for your ‘argumentation’ for your statement:
      James: on Monday 13 November 2017 at 12:19
      No! Patients in psychiatry are typically not addicted to their medications. They are told to take them to keep their disorder under control and, quite often, they forget or don’t, which is why, also often, they have flares of aggravation. Homeopathy addicts mever forget to take their pills, actually, they often ignore more knowledgeable suggestions because they are brainwashed into believing medicine is a conspiracy to kill people, or stuff. They are constantly seeking their homeopathic products and care, no matter what.

      James, it is Richard Rawlins that I am interested in having a discussion with regarding his view that homeopathy is placebo.

      Please just focus on answering how you deduced that: ‘Homeopathy addicts mever forget to take their pills.’

  • Dr Rawlins: if it is ‘end of’ and ‘move on’, why are you still harping away with providing your comments. Move on!

    How could you know that ‘Homeopathic remedies have no effect beyond the placebo.’?

    • Greg, you have told me – your silence on this speaks reams.
      I am trying to move on, but find Edzard Ernst’s blog is trolled, and then used, by folks who are unable to do so.
      ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to nothing.’
      If I simply ignored you, you might feel your mindset/point had been accepted.
      Patients, the profession, and the public deserve better. I am trying to help you.
      Best wishes.

      • Dr. Rawlins, I appreciate your offer to have a discussion and I would like to start with a quote from your website:
        ‘There are no molecules demonstrably affecting any pathological process in homeopathic remedies; no ‘subluxations’ which, if ‘adjusted’, result in benefit to any specific somatic disorder; no points or meridians which, if stimulated by needles, result in any greater benefit than can be achieved by placebo techniques; no unidentified ‘vital forces’ in herbal preparations other than chemicals as analysed by orthodox pharmacologists; no ‘auras’, ‘energies’ or occult esoteric forces which may ‘heal’ after hand positioning, touching, or thoughts; no ‘healing forces’ in crystals and other substances not known to conventional science. However, all these practices, remedies, techniques and methods may induce placebo responses which may benefit patients as evidenced by their declared experiences of ‘feeling better’.’

        Your view that homeopathy is placebo is based your statement: There are no molecules demonstrably affecting any pathological process in homeopathic remedies.

        However, you state: ‘all these practices, remedies, techniques and methods may induce placebo responses which may benefit patients as evidenced by their declared experiences of ‘feeling better’.’ So you acknowledge that the therapies do make people ‘feel better’ but you would not know whether they also make the physical conditions better because you are not a homeopathic practitioner.

        Why does conventional medicine not provide the same ‘feel better’ placebo effects to patients that they subsequently may derive from homeopathy?

        • Thank you Greg.
          ‘So you acknowledge that the therapies do make people ‘feel better’ but you would not know whether they also make the physical conditions better because you are not a homeopathic practitioner.’

          You are wrong: I know homeopathic remedies have no effect on physical conditions – because no one has any evidence that they do!

          ‘Why does conventional medicine not provide the same ‘feel better’ placebo effects to patients that they subsequently may derive from homeopathy?’
          Greg, you have misunderstood: Conventional medicine does engage placebo responses – as does a homeopathic consultation. That is why the mechanism of action of ‘homeopathy’ is as a placebo.
          And very helpful too – to folks who need that sort of support. But I do ask that practitioners ensure their patients give fully informed consent to using placebo techniques (and understand their limitations).

          • Dr. Rawlins, your book bibliography contains secondary sources which is not scientific standard.

            Did you not consider these primary sources that indicate that homeopathic remedies may have an effect beyond placebo?

            Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment
            Robert T Mathie, Suzanne M Lloyd, Lynn A Legg, Jürgen Clausen, Sian Moss, Jonathan RT Davidson and Ian Ford
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326322/

            It is important to note that this study is:
            ‘A rigorous and focused systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of individualised homeopathic treatment has not previously been undertaken. We tested the hypothesis that the outcome of an individualised homeopathic treatment approach using homeopathic medicines is distinguishable from that of placebos.’ (Mathie et al)

            Clinical trials of homeopathy (BMJ 1991) Kleijnen J, Knipsschild P, ter Reit G

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1825800

            ‘In 14 trials some form of classical homoeopathy was tested and in 58 trials the same single homoeopathic treatment was given to patients with comparable conventional diagnosis. Combinations of several homoeopathic treatments were tested in 26 trials; isopathy was tested in nine trials. Most trials seemed to be of very low quality, but there were many exceptions. The results showed a positive trend regardless of the quality of the trial or the variety of homeopathy used.’

            Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy (Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2000)
            Cucherat , Haugh MC, Boissel JP
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10853874
            This meta analysis included 118 trial trials and concluded: ‘There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo’

            Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? (Lancet 1998)
            Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F, Hedges LV, Jonas WB
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9310601
            This meta analysis included 89 studies and concluded: ‘The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo.’

            Randomised controlled trials of individualized homeopathy: state-of-the-art-review (J Altern Complement Med, 1998), Linde K, Melchart D
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9884175
            This meta analysis included 32 trials and concluded: ‘The methodological quality of the trials was highly variable. In the 19 placebo-controlled trials providing sufficient data for meta-analysis, individualized homeopathy was significantly more effective than placebo (pooled rate ratio 1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.17 to 2.23), but when the analysis was restricted to the methodologically best trials no significant effect was seen.’

            Also, Dr. Rawlins the paper that you cite on your website: The Powerful Placebo is outdated.
            at 1604- 1605 it cites toxic effects of placebo in regard to the use of lactose placebo. The symptoms provided suggest lactose intolerance rather than toxic placebo effect.

            Is it not time for you to face up to the fact that you are playing a fool game and out of your depth: homeopathy, acupuncture and all the subjects you write about: you actually know nothing about except the second hand opinion you rely on?

      • 👍👍👍 Bravo! And one further quote: (Boorstin or Hawkins(?)….” the enemy of knowledge isn’t ignorance, it’s the illusion of knowledge”.

        • Check out the ‘Dunning Kreuger’ effect (Wikipedia etc.).
          It could apply to Greg. Though I try to avoid ad hominem , what are we to do in the face of intransigence?

          • Dr. Rawlins, it would be useful if you could answer the question (s) but it seems that you can’t.

            Not very smart trying to deviate here. You normally rely on tu quoque to defend your ignorance but in this case I am referring to your book and website.

            Do I take your reply as a refusal to comment on my criticism of your book and opinions?

          • Greg: Apologies.
            I thought this thread was about some dentists’ propensity to engage with camistry (CAM).
            Thanks for publicising my book (Real Secrets of Alternative Medicine), but this thread is not about my (or any other) book.

          • What are you to do in the face of intransigence: intransigence does not help you to put your view forward and state your opinion regarding your sources and method of compiling your book. It distinctly lacks authority and you lack authority because you have no direct knowledge of the therapies that you critique. Yes, Dunning Krueger is applicable here.

    • How could you know homeopathic remedies have any specific effect Greg?

  • @Greg: “Is it not time for you to face up to the fact that you are playing a fool game and out of your depth: homeopathy, acupuncture and all the subjects you write about: you actually know nothing about….”

    Since all these “subjects” you mention are just made-up shit-non-sense with no normative data, science, logic or facts to support them how can anyone actually KNOW anything about them anyway? Excepting Devine revelation or excessive masturbation. Perhaps you can expound on your methods? Or maybe like laws and sausages it’s best we don’t know.

  • Is there any chance of the moderator excluding Greg from posting until we know who he is?
    I suspect he is just having a larf at the expense of those of us who take the abuse of gullible patients seriously.
    Certainly he is now way off topic – contrary to the rules of this blog.

    • I could easily do that – however, I am in 2 minds about it: on the one hand, he is clearly a troll; on the other hand, he makes me [and others too, I presume] laugh a lot.

      • I cannot recall a comment of Greg’s that genuinely contributed to the discussion on CAM or any other valid subject of this blog. Sure he (we assume it is a ‘he’) carries on as if defending homeopathy and gets all worked up about how we do not know what he knows etc. But he never provides any substantial information to support his point and dodges and diverts from any direct question.
        He does not notice when remedy names are (intentionally) misspelled so I guess he is just faking the homeopathy knowledge. As the professor has pointed out, he is a curious, even laughable troll but there are limits to how often a joke can be repeated before the audience starts groping for the rotten eggs and tomatoes. I admit I have thrown a few myself but they seem to slide off like water on a goose. I guess that is the hallmark of a genuine troll.

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