Having read "Tarheel Varnish" (February 2000), I found myself delighted with the inception of the Smart Smiles program and, at the same time, appalled by certain aspects of it. While the concept of utilizing physician`s offices and public health clinics is excellent and certainly has wide-reaching potential, it is disturbing to see that public health has been forced to sidestep dentistry in order to attempt to decrease the need for access to dental care.
I am not at all surprised that medical personnel performing this preventive procedure "has not raised too many eyebrows in the dental community." When dentistry itself does not come forward to be part of the solution, it can hardly protest the end results.
I hope the NCDHA is working hard to decrease supervision status so that, among other things, dental hygienists can perform the screenings and fluoride applications instead of just teaching the procedures to medical personnel (how ludicrous!).
I also hope that RDH will do an article on the ABCD program in Seattle, Wash. It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when dentists choose to be part of the solution and proves that general dentistry can be geared toward providing care to even the youngest of patients.
Kim Young, RDH
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