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Letters: Creative Diagnosis

January 20, 2014

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.

Often I receive a call from the mother of a patient who has moved away and has visited a new dental office for an initial examination and treatment plan. The gaining dentist has diagnosed multiple cavities (the record to date is 21) and the mother is asking how this could be. A review of the record usually reveals a patient whom I have seen regularly for years and who has had very little caries experience.

When this happens, I usually ask the parent if the young person will be back home anytime soon and I offer to examine the patient (at no fee) and attempt to reconcile the conflicting information. When this is possible, I sometimes have the computer generated treatment plan from the gaining dentist. Often, amalgam is scheduled for a new restoration or a crown. Many existing composites are marked for crowns. Most pits are scheduled for restorations and some restorations are scheduled for no apparent reason at all. Usually, after consulting with my sister, Susan Weller, D.M.D., who practices next door to me, we agree that none of the work needs to be done.

I have discussed this problem with the executive director of our state dental society and was told that this is a case of professional disagreement. I can understand that it may appear to be simply my opinion vs. his/hers—but I cannot discount the concerns that I share with Dr. Camm.

I applaud Dr. Camm for his interest and his letter. It is my hope that this will incite further dialogue.

William W. Weller, D.D.S.
Jacksonville, Ill.