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Profile: abobkin@rogers.com
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Joined: Thursday, April 20, 2006
Last Visit: Thursday, July 20, 2006 8:50:12 PM
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Topic: Two-way communication
Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2006 8:48:43 PM
Dear Dr. Keim:

I was interested to read your experience in the Editor's Corner (JCO, May 2006). I have had many experiences such as this. I have been in practice for 27 years and have found that patients take themselves to many different dentists in the large city in which I practice. It is very difficult to communicate my thoughts to all the various offices. Many, if not most, of my referrals come from other patients with dentists who are not known to me. While I do send letters back to these offices detailing my treatment plan and other options that were discussed, I have come to realize that few dentists read my letters.

I have had dentists refuse to extract teeth I have requested, including deciduous teeth. I have had a dentist tell a parent that his child had a tooth that was ready to pop out, and that I should have been aware of this. It turned out that this was a late-developing supernumerary that was not evident on pretreatment radiographs. I have had an oral surgeon refuse to do a frenectomy. There are many others.

I am not egotistical enough to suggest that my treatment plan is the only or best treatment plan, but the problem is that the dentists are speaking to the patients or parents without speaking to me. While I respect your opinion that you should have provided the pedodontist with a treatment plan first, what transpired was entirely his fault. He should have said nothing at all to the parent. He should have called you. This concept was taught to me over and over again in undergraduate dentistry. Do not comment on another dentist's work before you know all the circumstances. It seems to me that dentists today feel it is acceptable to make any comments they want, not realizing the difficulty that this places us all in.

Yours truly,
Alan Bobkin
Toronto, Ontario

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