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A very good year
April 7, 2014
Robert Horseman, D.D.S.

When I was 17, it was a very good year. Armed with a high school diploma on which my name was inscribed correctly in beautiful calligraphy, I faced the future with the full confidence of knowing what I did not want to be. My youthful ambition was to become an electrical engineer, but whatever thirst I had for that profession was effectively slaked after encountering the dizzying goulash of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and differential and integral calculus. As my checkbook can attest, some of us are simply not cut out for abstract thinking.

Let's NOT be part of the problem
March 17, 2014
Glenn V. Hemberger, D.D.S.

I want to thank the American Dental Association for allowing me to address a problem that has become a national epidemic. This problem is abuse of prescription drugs. It has made national headlines due to the recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who was found dead from an overdose of heroin. Mr. Hoffman's heroin habit, however like many, started with an addiction to pain control agents, according to reports in the New York Times and other media. As a member of the investigative committee of the Kansas Dental Board, I have encountered multiple cases of over-prescribing of controlled narcotics.

Ethics is not just jurisprudence
March 3, 2014
Victor J. Barry, D.D.S.

At our recent House of Delegates, a resolution was passed that "encouraged" the state dental board to accept ethics classes as clinical continuing dental education. I encourage the board to also make them part of our mandatory annual CDE hours. Some say mandating such a rule would make the public think we have a morality problem among our members.

Why I am a tripartite member
January 20, 2014
Amanda Hemmer, D.M.D.

Growing up, I used to love reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. In each book, the reader is able to choose the main character's actions and the plot outcome. Though all of the options and endings were interesting, it was the freedom to choose my own story that was really intriguing. I feel that being a tripartite member of the ADA, Pennsylvania Dental Association and Montgomery Bucks Dental Society is like being in a real life Choose Your Own Adventure book. Each of these organizations offers a plethora of opportunities and resources that every member can customize to fit his or her needs.

Rethinking dental tech education
January 6, 2014
Burney M. Croll, D.D.S.

For the past eight years I have been actively been involved in monitoring the condition of U.S. dental technology education programs and demographics of the dental technology workforce from the point of view of a practicing dentist who depends up dental technicians daily. I have been active in supporting the dental technicians who are very important members of the team that provides our patients with dental care.

Unnecessary for gentlemen
December 9, 2013
Brian Shue, D.D.S.

Nurses are the most ethical professionals. Members of Congress and car salespeople are the least ethical. Surprised? Those are the findings of the Gallup poll "Honesty/Ethics in Professions" from December 2012.1

ADA Foundation's mission: C.A.R.E.
November 4, 2013
Dr. David Whiston

It has been my continuing privilege to have been involved in many aspects of our profession over several years, including service as ADA president in the late '90s, and now as president of the ADA Foundation. It's been interesting to witness, close up, the various ways the ADA serves its members, the profession and the public.

Creative diagnosis
October 21, 2013
Jeffrey Camm, D.M.D.

There is no doubt that the dental profession is under assault from insurance companies—reduced reimbursements, decreased benefits and diminishing coverage for some procedures are all issues we have to face in our practices. Because of this, we all face financial pressures and threats to our bottom line. In response to these issues, I believe I've noticed an increase in the skill of what I call "creative diagnosis." I hope this is not a trend for our profession.

Was your hygienist sitting next to me in ethics class?
September 16, 2013
Jeffrey Parrish, D.D.S.

Who goes to "ethics classes" anyhow? For that matter, who goes to "chemically impaired dentists" classes? From the looks of the crowd at the recent ethics offering at Pacific Northwest Dental Conference, I would guess about two-thirds of the audience were not dentists. And many of the situations and questions presented from the audience did not seem like they came from dentists. Why are these staff members so interested in a topic like ethics?

Are you living 'out of phase?'
September 2, 2013
Gary Chan, D.D.S.

The day at the office had been busy, but one patient made that day uniquely different. Although tired, my mind seemed energized by what a patient said. 

Putting out the welcome mat for adults
August 19, 2013
Kevin J. Hanley, D.D.S.

A decline in dental visits by adults does not bode well for dentists or the overall general health of the American population.

Yes, I still believe
July 15, 2013
Walter F. Lamacki, D.D.S.

Ordinarily I don't comment on a letter to the editor. However, I've had my say and it is the reader's turn. A letter concerning my screed, "Is Dentistry Still a Good Career Path?" in the September/October issue of the CDS Review—wherein I stated that becoming a dentist is a good business decision—merits a reply.

A mother in denial
June 17, 2013
Kenneth D. Jones Jr., D.D.S., J.D.

"I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it." —Garrison Keillor (1942 - )

It's hard to believe it's only been eight years since Lori died. You remember Lori, don't you? She put her car into a light pole. She and her boyfriend, Harry, were my initiation into the world of crystal meth and other illegal drugs. (See "Spotting Meth Mouth, in print Aug. 8, 2005.) 

Snacking ourselves sick
May 20, 2013
Mary Jennings, D.D.S.

A few months ago, I was surprised to find myself assigned to the ADA Task Force on Childhood Nutrition. I was surprised because while I know as much about nutrition as the next dentist, I find it difficult to put my education into practice in my own life. Evidently, I am not alone. Childhood nutrition is a hot issue nationwide. Pink slime and childhood obesity have become prime-time news.

Student shares thoughts on events in Boston
May 6, 2013
Lalita Nekkanti

I watched two airplanes crash into the World Trade Center through my school window. I was only 12 years old. I remember feeling sickened in the pit of my stomach when I smelled the burnt dead bodies being carried into downtown Jersey City, N.J. The same feeling returned on April 15. I was watching the Boston Marathon in honor of Patriots' Day and to support Dustin Bond, a fourth-year dental student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. It was getting a bit chilly at Copley Square, so I left the finish line a few hours before the explosions began.

Thinking outside of the city
April 1, 2013
Brenden Moon, D.M.D.

I thought I had an idea of where my life and career were headed when I was about halfway through dental school in 2005. I intended to marry my girlfriend, finish school at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry and work in Jackson, Miss.; Dallas, Texas; or Atlanta, Ga. My brother lives in Dallas, and my girlfriend/now wife Jessica had family in the Atlanta area.

What an experience: Missouri delegate closes out 14 years in House
March 18, 2013
Kenneth Weinand, D.D.S.

I always love the fall of the year and especially August. You see, that is the time the first set of ADA resolutions appears on ADA Connect, a secure Web-based site for delegates and alternate delegates to go to for ADA House of Delegates information.

Tennessee sealant experience at variance with Pew report
March 4, 2013
James A. Gillcrist, D.D.S.

I am a long-standing member of the ADA, past president of the Nashville Dental Society and current member of ADA Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Programs. I am the TennCare dental director and former state oral health director for Tennessee. I am a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. My entire career has been devoted to improving the oral health of underserved Tennesseans with an emphasis on children. Although we have made great strides, there is still much work to do. The opinions I express here are based on my own experience and are my own.

Becoming experts at helping our patients quit
February 4, 2013
Todd Beck, D.M.D.

I quit smoking about 12 years ago. In fact, it's almost 12 years to the day. That was a big deal. I had smoked about a pack a day for just over 10 years. Cigarettes had become a large part of my coping mechanism for life. For the first few months, I didn't feel better; in fact, I was emotionally and physically worse. But I kept at it and over time I started to get and feel better. I could exercise without being winded and I could remain calm without an infusion of nicotine. Life was getting better.

Is our image in jeopardy?
January 21, 2013
D. Milton Salzer, D.D.S.

Since the Federal Trade Commission's decision many years ago that prohibitions on advertising were anticompetitive and professionals should be free to advertise without repercussions—and society membership would be open to those who did advertise—it has been like the wide open wild west when our country was settled.

The new AAOS/ADA clinical practice guidelines on Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures
January 7, 2013
David S. Jevsevar, M.D., M.B.A. and Elliot Abt, D.D.S.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Dental Association, along with input from the Infectious Disease Society of America, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Musculoskeletal Infection Society, Scoliosis Research Society, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, College of American Pathologists, and The Knee Society, recently published their collaborative clinical practice guideline (CPG) "Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures."

Letters to the Editor

Creative diagnosis and ethics
April 7, 2014
Matthew L. Logan, D.D.S.

I have been reading the letters regarding what has been termed "creative diagnosis" with great interest. It is obvious that this is a gray area. I would like to voice my opinion on this issue, as I have seen numerous examples of this in my 29 years of practice.

Screening for sleep disorders
April 7, 2014
John N. Stellpflug, D.D.S.

While the March 3 ADA News article "Chairside Medical Screenings Could Save $102M a Year" is on target encouraging screening for systemic disease in the dental office, it falls short of the possibilities.

Tobacco education
March 17, 2014
Nevin Zablotsky, D.M.D.

I would like to applaud the ADA News for placing the surgeon general's findings on tobacco and oral health as your cover story ("Surgeon General Updates Tobacco, Oral Health Links," Feb. 3 ADA News). As dental professionals usually see their patients more often than their medical colleagues, they have a great opportunity to help their tobacco-using patients to break their nicotine addiction.

Insurance and utilization
March 3, 2014
Martin L. Kolinski, D.D.S.

I read with interest the article in the Feb. 3 ADA News "Maryland Study Looks at Correlation Between Dental Insurance and Utilization."

ACA and insurance
March 3, 2014
Scott Noren, D.D.S.

The ADA News article "'Patients' Insurance May Change Under ACA" (Jan. 10 ADA News) needs clarification. About 98 percent of adult dental insurance plans are stand-alone. In other words, they are not embedded or umbrella policies together with the patients' medical insurance plan.

Diagnosis and ethics
March 3, 2014
David W. Urban, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.

I am a dentist with over 32 years of private practice under my belt and I take umbrage at the implication that dentistry is moving away from its high standards of ethics and professionalism. While I doubt that I am one of those dentists that have been highlighted as "creative" in their diagnosis (My View, "Creative Diagnosis," Oct. 21, 2013 ADA News), I am appalled at such implications, especially coming from other dentists.

More on 'creative diagnosis'
March 3, 2014
Edwin Zinman, D.D.S.

Dr. William Weller's letter of complaint of unnecessary dentistry ("Creative Diagnosis," Jan. 20 ADA News) was answered by the director of his state dental society as merely "professional disagreement."

Antibiotics and emergency care
January 20, 2014
Joseph Gunter, D.M.D.

I agree with Dr. Walton's premise (Letters, Nov. 4, 2013, ADA News) that many hospital ERs are only able to provide palliative care to the patient with a toothache. I disagree with his assertion that "antibiotics are ineffective and should not be prescribed."

ADA Candidate School
January 20, 2014
Robert E. Butler, D.D.S.

As the holiday season comes to a close, I would like to give thanks to the ADA and American Dental Political Action Committee for the opportunity to attend the ADA Candidate School this past August in Washington, D.C.

'Creative Diagnosis'
January 20, 2014
William W. Weller, D.D.S.

I would like to express my appreciation for your publishing the My View from Dr. Jeff Camm (Oct. 21 ADA News) and for his very appropriate message regarding "Creative Diagnosis." I, too, have experienced multiple situations similar to that which he described.

Ethics and professionalism
January 20, 2014
Norm Rosene, D.D.S.

Dr. Brian Shue's My View ("Unnecessary for Gentlemen," Dec. 9, 2013, ADA News) was both enlightening and disheartening. The bottom line is that the profession of dentistry is not considered ethical by 40 percent of the population.

Problem in the spotlight
January 6, 2014
James R. Dumas, Jr., D.D.S.

Dr. Jeffrey Camm's View Point article on "Creative Diagnosis" in the Oct. 21 issue of the ADA News hits the nail on the head in regards to a problem becoming more prevalent in our profession.

Over diagnosis
January 6, 2014
William van Dyk, D.D.S.

I read with great interest the My View by Dr. Camm in the Oct. 21 issue of ADA News. His comments add to the growing number of examples that over diagnosis is becoming an epidemic.

Flat economy
January 6, 2014
Griffin T. Murphey, D.D.S.

Kelly Soderlund's article predicting that the new normal will be a flat dental economy comes as no surprise ("Environmental Scan Shows Dentistry Entering a New Normal, Dental Economy To Remain Flat," Oct. 7 ADA News). Every day I see ads from mostly young dentists who claim to accept "most plans." I will add, a colleague well over 50 just told me he extracted a tooth and earned the munificent sum of $17 for that service. A good 1960s fee?

What is your blood pressure?
December, 9, 2013
Robert Trager, D.D.S.

For the last 42 years that I have attended the ADA Annual Session, this year's was a complete disappointment in that there was no health screening. It is hard to believe that no one has complained before or after this meeting about this situation. This is one of the most important member benefit programs the ADA has to offer. Every year I look forward to the program where I and others can obtain at least a thousand dollars or more of health screenings at little or no cost. Even though most of us have had a health checkup during the year, this program alerts us to problems that may have arisen.

Patient-centered diagnosis
December, 9, 2013
Kim S. Haskell, D.D.S.

I read Dr. Jeffrey Camm's editorial, "Creative Diagnosis" (Oct. 21 ADA News) with mixed feelings.

Guidance on emergency care
November 4, 2013
Richard E. Walton, D.M.D., M.S.

I read with considerable interest two articles in the July 15 ADA News.

Medical vs. dental coverage
November 4, 2013
Robert D. Thomas, D.D.S.

As I was reading the letters in the Sept. 2 issue of ADA News, I couldn't help but ask myself why is an abscessed tooth not also a medical problem, covered by medical insurance?

More on dental visits
October 21, 2013
John Berk, D.D.S.

I would disagree with some of the points in Dr. Stephen Carter's letter (Sept. 16 ADA News).

Delta kerfuffle
October 21, 2013
Joseph Carastro IV, D.M.D., M.S., M.P.H.

I am amused to read ("CDA challenges Delta Dental," Sept. 2 ADA News) that "Delta Dental's intent is to provide the best and most affordable dental benefit programs possible … ," as during my 62 years on earth (so far) I have never found "best" and "most affordable" to describe the same product or service.

Life priorities
October 21, 2013
Dr. Frederick G. S. Deal, D.D.S.

Dr. Chan's article ("Are You Living 'Out of Phase?'," Sept. 2 ADA News) was brilliant. It clearly defined the concept of enjoying the ride.

Emergency room visits
October 21, 2013
Martin Margetis D.D.S., M.S.

I read with great dismay the theories of Drs. Jarvis, Tepe, and Schrager on why emergency room (or to be more current, emergency department) visits were increasing for adult dental problems (Letters, Sept. 2 ADA News).

More on Sen. Sanders
September 16, 2013
Henry M. Rosenberg, D.M.D.

I felt the need to respond to Dr. Nicholas Emery's letter regarding Sen. Bernie Sanders ("ADA leadership and Sen. Sanders," Aug. 19 ADA News). Unless I'm mistaken, I thought the mission of the ADA was to be concerned with patient care and not to help preserve the wealth and property of dentists. People who have attained great wealth through the practice of dentistry need to learn to be grateful for the chance they were given to do so and need to stop setting up straw men who will take it away.

Dental visits tied to need
September 16, 2013
Stephen D. Carter, D.D.S.

I appreciate Dr. Kevin Hanley's viewpoint in the Aug. 19 issue of the ADA News ("Putting Out the Welcome Mat For Adults"), and we all agree that good dental health fosters good general health.

ER patients
September 2, 2013
Lawrence J. Tepe, D.D.S. 

Regarding the July 15 article, the reasons suggested for this were a decline in the number of people with dental insurance and a lack of education concerning dental health. I would suggest another possibility.

ER dental visits
September 2, 2013
Ronald Jarvis, D.D.S.

I am writing in response to "ERs Seeing Increase of People Visiting with Dental Problems" (July 15 ADA News).

More on ER dental care
September 2, 2013
Craig Schrager, D.D.S.

In my opinion, there are other reasons for the ER visits. It is a fact that many young adults cannot afford dental care.

Pacifiers and bacteria
August 19, 2013
Fred Ferguson, D.D.S.

The article "Saliva Harbors Cavity-Causing Bacteria, Says ADA Response To Pacifier Study" (May 8 ADA News) responds to the article in Pediatrics "Pacifier Cleaning Practices and Risk of Allergy Development" by Hesselmar et al.

ADA leadership and Sen. Sanders
August 19, 2013
Nicholas Emery, D.D.S.

The ADA needs to stay away from Sen. Bernie Sanders. In the June 17 ADA News ADA leadership show their support of Sen. Sanders' interest in meddling with the dental profession, validating it with high praise from our own president Dr. Robert Faiella.

Amalgam, yes
August 19, 2013
Paul L. Powell, Jr., D.D.S.

I felt compelled to respond to Dr. Carapezza's letter "The Silent Opinion" (July 15 ADA News).

More on amalgam
August 19, 2013
Lloyd S. Drucker, D.D.S.

In response to Dr. Carapezza's letter, I am in full agreement. There is no doubt that a viral paradigm called "mercury-free practice" has infected not only pediatrics but dentistry as a whole. Student loans, managed care and fluoride-induced decreasing decay rates have spawned offices increasingly desperate for new profit centers.

No shortage of dentists
August 19, 2013
John W. Harden Jr., D.M.D.

I was walking by my receptionist's desk today after all had left but me and noticed the ADA News sitting on her desk. I read with interest "Yes, I Still Believe" (July 15 ADA News). It sure struck a chord with me. When I was a resident in anesthesiology at Illinois Masonic Medical Center (when they took a dentist every year) in the mid-1980s you had Northwestern, Loyola, and U of I dental schools. Even then, if you saw four people on the street in Chicago, three would be dentists.

MetLife woes
July 15, 2013
Dr. Arthur Feldsott

This letter to the editor is in regard to the recent article in the May 20 ADA News titled, "CDBP Assists Dentists With MetLife Issue."

The silent opinion
July 15, 2013
Leonard J. Carapezza, D.M.D.

This opinion stated by me is not going to affect my practice or career at this time, but my conscience compels me to express it.

Affordable Care Act
July 15, 2013
Dr. James P. Economos

It was interesting to read the article dealing with Obamacare's so called Affordable Care Act involvement with dentistry in the sense that it was falling short of needs for people.

Clinic coverage
June 17, 2013
Mildred M. Goldstein

Last week I received an email containing a link to the ADA News. I was very excited to see an article on the CDS Foundation's Free Clinic in Wheaton, Ill. I am giving you credit for getting the story into the ADA News.

Why not?
May 20, 2013
Charles M. King, D.M.D., J.D.

I read the article with some consternation concerning the Illinois State Medical Society opposing the measure to allow dentists to give flu shots ("Who Calls the Shots? Illinois Dentists Advocate to Administer Flu and Other Vaccines," April 1 ADA News). It is puzzling as to why they should do so unless it is fear of financial loss as it cannot be out of concern for patients.

Pew responds
May 6, 2013
Shelly Gehshan

Dr. James Gillcrist raised concerns (“My View: Tennessee Sealant Experience at Variance with Pew Report,” March 4, ADA News) about the data and benchmarks to assess state performance in our report, Falling Short: Many States Lag on Dental Sealants. The Pew Charitable Trusts stands by its report, its methodology and conclusions.

Dr. Oz
May 6, 2013
Robert Gherardi, D.M.D.

Why is it that people such as "Dr." Oz (I refuse to acknowledge that he deserves the title of Dr.) can go on TV and spout half-truths and questionable studies that inflame the public just to boost their ratings ("'The Doctor Oz Show' Features Sensationalistic Segment on Dental Amalgam," April 15 ADA News)? 

Sealant utilization
April 1, 2013
Mark W. Casey, D.D.S., M.P.H.

I am an ADA member and dental director for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services/Division of Medical Assistance. 

Hurricane survivors
March 18, 2013
Kevin Collier, D.M.D.
Michele Brucker-Collier, D.M.D.

We would like to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for the wonderful article you wrote about our Hurricane Sandy experience ("New Jersey Dentists Lose Office, Gain Hope After Hurricane," Feb. 4 ADA News).

Noncovered services
March 4, 2013
Steven A. Saxe, D.M.D.

Our patients rely on what is covered by their insurance policy, and those of us dentists who take insurance need to be familiar with evolving insurance models. The majority of states have adopted legislation called noncovered services laws, which limit or prevent insurers from dictating fees on services they do not cover.

Kick the habit
March 4, 2013
Nevin Zablotsky, D.M.D.

I found Dr. Todd Beck's piece on the importance of the dental teams' efforts to help their tobacco-using patients quit highly relevant ("Becoming Experts at Helping Our Patients Quit," Feb. 4 ADA News).

Specialties
February 4, 2013
Larry D. Anderson, D.D.S.

I read the article "Council Initiates Study of Criteria, Process for Specialty Recognition" (Jan. 7 ADA News) with some degree of hope that our organization would finally recognize the inevitable: that many practitioners have gone well beyond dental school training without specialty recognition because we have not kept pace with the explosion of knowledge and training available.

Medical device tax
February 4, 2013
Richard F. Worley, D.D.S.

You fail to address the major impact this tax will have upon the private practice dentist ("Medical Device Excise Tax Prompts Questions," Jan. 7 ADA News). The tax will be applied to and paid by the suppliers and labs who will add the cost of the tax to the delivered supplies or equipment and the finished, untaxable prostheses. The tax will ultimately increase the cost of doing business for the dentist who, for fee-for-service patients, may pass this added cost on if it can be accurately and reasonably determined; but for insured patients, the dentist will eat the end use cost of the tax.

Free marketplace?
February 4, 2013
Leo Weinstein, D.D.S.

I read the article "Medical Device Excise Tax Prompts Questions" with great interest. This is in effect an indirect tax to hide the charge from the final consumer.

Read the law
February 4, 2013
Joel L. Strom, D.D.S., M.S.

The medical device tax, along with more than a dozen other revenue raisers was well-documented nearly three years ago in the underlying legislation. Once the unified bill was signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, it was clear that our dental practices would be highly impacted in many ways other than simply higher taxes.

Specialties
January 21, 2013
Arnold Rosenstock, D.D.S.

In an editorial in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology (December 2012), "Medical School-Based Education in Dentistry: An Exciting History and Opportune Future," Dr. Leon Assael closes with the following: "Let us pursue greater ties to medical schools at the undergraduate and graduate program levels, more integrated biomedical education, interprofessional clinical education and experiences, interprofessional practice models, and combined degree education beyond OMS into the additional disciplines represented by OOOO."

Trust
January 21, 2013
Lloyd S. Drucker, D.D.S.

The recent Gallup poll reports "high" trust in dentists ("Dentists Rank High in Gallup Poll," Dec. 10, 2012 ADA News). However, with only less than two-thirds approval seen, is this not misleading?

Library
January 21, 2013
Harvey Jay Mahler, D.D.S.

As we welcome 2013, the American Dental Association Library as I know it has forever changed. For now, the Library will remain open, however, with a reduced staff, budget and access.

Active life members
January 7, 2013
R.P. Lansdowne, D.D.S.

The ADA website encourages dentists to "Join 70 percent of your colleagues—157,000 member dentists and 16,000 student members."

Dr. Brickman
January 7, 2013
Dan Haberman, D.D.S.

I loved your article "Emory Apologizes For History of Anti-Semitism at Dental School" (Nov. 19, 2012 ADA News).

Executive Order 9066
January, 7, 2013
Jerald Satoru Takesono, D.D.S.

I read with great interest the Nov. 19, 2012 article on dental students of the Jewish faith at Emory University.

Greatest nation
January 7, 2013
Carlos A. Sanchez, D.D.S.

The story about Dr. Perry Brickman's experiences at Emory reminded me of a colleague of similar age.