I have been hygienist for over 20 years and have worked for some of the finest dentists in the profession. At one point, I studied and practiced the art of dental ceramics in addition to hygiene. Although I decided to just do hygiene, I learned about how hard it is to fit a crown properly, as well as what a perfect fit looks like.
The reason I am writing this letter is because many dental professionals' own mouths are not as good as they should be, for a variety of reasons. Our bosses fit us into their schedules - sometimes resentfully or under pressure - preparing the teeth quickly, impressions that are less than perfect. The result sometimes is not great dentistry.
Of course, many times this is not the case. In contrast, I have just experienced something very special. I work for Dr. Udo H. Scutte in Manhattan. For years, I have been extremely proud of this as he is a renowned dentist as well as teacher. In addition to this, he and his colleagues have a full lab on the premises of which I am in awe.
I was dying to use him as my dentist, but was embarrassed that my mouth was not in great shape. As luck would have it, I cracked my front tooth and shyly had asked for help. I was so touched by his kindness and gentleness and did not feel the injection at all! I was always a little phobic but instead was relaxed immediately.
In our society, great acts of kindness should not go unnoticed. Many of us neglect our teeth after dedicating ourseles to others. Therefore, if any of you hygienists need a great dentist come to my boss!
Karen Maller, RDH, BA
Manhattan, New York
I want to commend RDH for the recent excellent article on skin cancer (March 2012 issue). I would also like to recommend that another website, www.skincheck.org, be added to the list provided.
This website was created by my husband, Stephen Fine, shortly after our son, Daniel, died from metastatic melanoma on October 10, 1998, at age 26. Appropriately, with Father's Day approaching, Steve developed this website as a father's tribute to his son, and the heartfelt wish to spare any other parent from the grief of losing a child to this cancer - one of the few that are preventable. It then evolved into the Melanoma Education Foundation, with curricula for middle and high schools to teach students how to check their own bodies to prevent skin cancer, specifically melanoma. Over 1,150 schools nationwide now use this SkinCheck curriculum. Readers can check the website to see if their school is using this program, and can contact MEF via the website if they would like to see their school included.
Steve was recognized with several awards in 2009 and 2010 from the American Academy of Dermatology for the videos he created for the educational program, and by the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011 as one of the MGH 100 (people) who are fighting cancer.
Since the incidence of melanoma has become the highest increasing cancer among all cancers, especially for women ages 25 to 29, we urge all readers to learn from the website how to check their own skin monthly. Our mission continues to be saving lives through education.
Gail Fine, RDH, BS
Melanoma Education Foundation