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Letters: Mask mistake

February 06, 2012

I am writing concerning the photo collage on the front page of the Dec. 12 ADA News ("Advocacy Report 2011"). I am concerned that the largest photo shows a "dentist" wearing a mask in a completely incorrect manner; i.e., the upper edge of the mask is below the nose. A dental student or dental school employee wearing their mask in this manner would be reprimanded for this flagrant disregard of established infection control (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommendations.

I am aware that the people in these photos are usually models and have no direct knowledge of proper infection control procedures. However, the ADA is the public representative of organized dentistry and as such has a responsibility to review all published materials to verify that the photos used in ADA publications give a true and accurate depiction of dentistry and that the individuals presented, whether paid models or dentists, are shown following proper procedures.

Stephen K. Harrel, D.D.S.
Dallas