TEETH

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Your editorial "An Eye For An Eye" in the October 29th issue of the CRIMSON states a problem of which we in the Dental Health Service are acutely aware. We are glad to see that you share our desire for larger quarters in the new Harvard Health Center: desires which seem almost certain to be gratified in due time.

One sentence in your editorial, though technically correct, is incomplete enough to be misleading. I refer to your statement that "Only those students with minor dental problems are taken." This policy does actually apply to routine restorative dentistry (fillings). We feel we can do more good by referring one student with a long program of restorative dentistry to an outside dentist whom we know and then taking three short restorative cases in the clinic in his stead, than we would if we were to take the long case in the clinic and then refer the three short cases outside. This plan cuts down the number of outside referrals: the number of men who must "trust to a strange dentist in a foreign city."

Our policy does not apply to emergency conditions. It is our policy and our earnest endeavor that no one in dental pain shall be turned away. We save time between our filling appointments so that we shall always be able to take care of emergencies. We also give high priority to the restorative programs which grow out of an emergency situation, such as root canal treatment after an acute abcess. In this way we handle a great many major dental problems: the urgent ones. James M. Dunning, D.D.S.,   Director,   Dental Health Service.