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Letters: Restoring Function

June 04, 2012

Dr. Kerry Carney’s viewpoint ("Spectacles") published in the May 7 issue of the ADA News truly struck a chord in me. As a third generation dentist in a small practice started in 1909, I have had the privilege of seeing how the kind of dentistry described by Dr. Carney can strongly impact patients’ lives for the good over a number of years. High-cost cosmetic dentistry is of value and there are times when I wish I could be providing more of it. However, providing a patient with limited-resources restored function and acceptable esthetics carries with it a reward that transcends the relatively modest fee that I receive for my services.

At dental courses, however, I do sometimes feel as if there is an implied condescension displayed toward those practitioners whose practices cannot afford all of the newest and shiniest high-tech devices, as valuable as they may be. Unfortunately, as is true in many other areas of our society, there is often a deep chasm between any patients who could benefit from the marvelous advances in what dentistry can provide, and access to the actual dentistry itself. So I applaud Dr. Carney and wish her a long and rewarding career.

David A. McElroy, D.M.D.
Dover, N.J.