Letters (May 01, 2003)

Re: Viewpoint, Dr. Janice Goodman, March, 2003

I just finished reading the editorial from Dr. Goodlin and your Viewpoint. The following comments are intended to provide you with insight and hopefully another point of view that will enlighten you in the process of accreditation with the AACD.

In reference to your article, you certainly made the point of finding out the costs of membership, accreditation, conferences, etc. I recently read that, “when you know the price of everything, you may know the value of nothing.” I don’t think it applies here but when dollar figures are considered, let’s take a look at the whole picture. To maintain standards, fees have to be involved to ensure the continuation of the process of excellence.

I think what you failed to realize is that the Accreditation is the only program where an individual dentist’s skills can be objectively measured, screened, and evaluated. I am just in the process of completing my accreditation and plan to be accredited by February 2004. Dental School was a walk in the park compared to the Accreditation process. During the process of getting ready for my accreditation status, I have personally spent over $500,000 (and more than 5,000 hours) in re-educating myself to provide the level of care that is far beyond “acceptable.”

Excellence is a way of life. You can either live it in all aspects of your life but you cannot fake it. And accreditation ensures this by the rigorous standards set out in the protocols of the AACD. I would challenge any Canadian dentist who claims to perform cosmetic dentistry to undergo the process of accreditation to only realize if they “talk the talk or walk the walk.”

I am even prepared to pay for you to undergo the accreditation process for just one case (82% failure rate). I think you will begin to realize the skills involved in reaching this level of excellence. In 2002, 40% of the dental services my clinic provided were to disgruntled patients who had received their cosmetic dentistry from “Family Dentists” or “general dentistry & cosmetic dentistry clinics.” We were successful in not only re-educating the patient on cosmetic dentistry, but hopefully maintain their trust in the dental field.

I almost left dentistry in 1996 due its “drill, fill, and bill mentality”. Between insurance companies and the politics involved within the respective dental associations in Canada, dentistry has lost its ability to maintain it’s earning potential for the last 30 years.

Provincial dental associations and the Canadian Dental Association have missed many opportunities to raise the bar for their membership. Instead of encouraging excellence, the associations tend to discipline the leaders and excuse the laggards. I think the time has come where accountability has to become a priority. Excellence is a choice. It is better to be a master of one instead a “jack of all”.

Once I have completed the accreditation process, I will be challenging the associations in court if necessary to ensure that the public is made aware of the difference of “family and cosmetic dentistry” and the “Specialty of Cosmetic Dentistry.”

I hope you (or any Canadian dentist) take me up on the challenge of just completing one case for accreditation. I look forward to your reply.

Dr. D. Cooper-Lall

Calgary, AB

Re: Viewpoint, Dr. Janice Goodman, March, 2003

For many years I have been very vocal relative to matters related to dentistry as a result of my involvement with provincial dental organizations and as a Past President of the Canadian Dental Association. In this vein, after reading the Editorial by Dr. Ron Goodlin in the March 2003 issue of Oral Health, entitled, “What’s in a Name?” I immediately began to formulate a letter in my mind.

However, I then read the Viewpoint by Dr. Janice Goodman in the same issue entitled, “What’s in a Name? … My View,” and was truly elated. I could not express my point of view any better and totally agree with Dr. Goodman in this matter. In Quebec there are many dentists who advertise that they are dentists or general practitioners and that they offer cosmetic services, prosthodontic services, implant services, orthodontic services, etc., and this is legal in the eyes of the Ordre des dentistes du Qubec. It goes without saying that dentists offering cosmetic services, whether they are or are not accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, offer quality care. Kudos to Dr. Goodman.

Dr. Clyde Covit


Re: How to Integrate Implant Dentistry in General Practice, Dr. Milan Somborac, February 2003

I am an oral and maxillofacial surgeon registered in Sweden and the West Indies where I practice. There are now more and more dentists in the Caribbean using implants in their practices. I run courses for these dentists and with the implant systems available, implantology should be a regular tool in their treatment armamentarium. Personally, I now only deal with the complex cases referred to me and I am busier than ever. Why? Because all our GP implantologists are aware of the possibilities implants give them, even though they may not always be able to place them themselves.

GP’s should be encouraged to offer implant dentistry in their practices, and publications like Oral Health should facilitate how and where they can learn to be safe implantologists and how to plan their cases. You should also publish a list of implant systems available so that they can make intelligent choices. My advise to prospective implantologists is to choose the simplest and most cost-effective system. You will get a 95% success rate as long as the implant is made of titanium, and if you feel you cannot place an implant, plan your case and refer the surgery to a more experienced colleague like a periodontist or an oral surgeon.

Dr.Somborac’s article is bang on and all dentists should take notice. This is the 21st century!

Dr. O .F. Weel, BDS, FDSRCS

Barbados West Indies

Re: Our Patients Deserve the Truth and Nothing but the Truth, ???, 2003

The time has come to put our collective feet down on the holistic attitude of some of our colleagues. I feel it is unethical and fraudulent to portray amalgam as a health hazard when used as fillings, and at the same time, portray composite resins as the “Great White Savior.” To set the record straight, I use composite on a daily basis, as well as amalgam. I do not believe that either poses any health hazard. I do believe each has its place in the mouth, and should be prescribed based on their physical properties and the patient’s aesthetic concerns.

For composite to be prescribed on the basis of being “healthier” than amalgam, I believe, is nothing short of misrepresentation and fraud to get extra billings. When you look at the list of chemicals that make up composite, many I can’t pronounce and all of which are ‘man-made,’ how can anyone tell their patients or me it’s safer. We have the right to use any material we want, but these materials can’t be misrepresented to our patients.

Mark C. Evans, DDS

Lindsay, ON