December 1, 2005
by Dental Practice Management
My response to your editorial comments regarding increasing access to care seems to have stirred a response and possibly been misinterpreted.
After having my comments regarding access to care for the profession of dental hygiene published, I received a phone call from a very well-respected dentist in our community. Her concern was that my editorial response endorsed the removal of the order and if so, we would be placing the public at risk by providing dental hygiene services to residents of long-term care facilities. There is a two-pronged approach to this as we need to consider the underlying consequences of not providing care to those who are amongst the population and also their protection related to supervision before initiating any dental hygiene treatment. An ‘order’ or directive needs to be issued either from the dental or the medical profession in a supervisory position. We need to work together to find an answer, which is my objective in writing this response.
Where I stated, ‘we have to always endeavour to place the best interests of the public first and foremost, beyond our own individual quest for control’ was directed at the promotion of the synergistic relationship that can exist between a dentist and a dental hygienist indeed serving the best interests of the public rather than complete self autonomy. Private practice meets the comprehensive needs of the majority of the general population, however, I feel for the vulnerable and those in urgent need and was endeavouring to be a voice for the silent.
Jo-Anne Jones, RDH
Lecturer and consultant, Anita Jupp & Company