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Letters: Diagnosis and ethics

March 03, 2014

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.

Ideas regarding oral disease are changing. Recent studies have shown that decay exists in the dentin under 50 percent of stained dental grooves, whether you think that is something to be treated or not is your diagnosis. If you decided to treat or not lies on your shoulders. Evidence (isn't that what evidence-based dentistry is about?) has shown some of this decay goes quite deep and is not detectable on radiographs. Should all posterior teeth that have a loss of more than one-third of the distance between the cusps be crowned/onlayed? Dr. Gordon Christensen says so.

Every generation seems to be assured that they are more ethical than these youngsters just coming out of school. I will stick up for any dentist, anywhere, anytime!

David W. Urban, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
Falls Church, Va.