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The Mail


To the Editors of the Crimson:

Recently I had a memorable encounter with the Harvard Dental Clinic and think the quality of service available there under the capable hands of Doctor Faciano should be brought to the attention of Harvard students. Summer emergency care at the clinic is provided from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. On Thursday, July 27, I walked into the clinic at 3:30 p.m. with a severe toothache. The doctor was still there but would not even look at my tooth. The next afternoon I arrived at 1:00 p.m., the dentist at 1:15. The next ten minutes he spent talking to a visitor. Finally Dr. Faciano walked into the treatment room and abruptly asked what my problem was. Without familiarizing himself with my case history which was on his desk (I had the same tooth worked on last year at the clinic) or bothering to take a new X-ray, he said he would extract my tooth. Within ten minutes he had removed the crown of the tooth but could not extract the roots because he did not have the necessary equipment or the needed novacaine. My tooth was at this point bleeding profusely and I was told it would not stop until the tooth had been completely removed. Dr. Faciano told me to go to the Emergency Room at Massachusetts General Hospital. I begged, then insisted that the hospital be called. His nurse called and found out that it was not possible for me to be seen until Monday. Dr. Faciano then suggested that I see any private dentist. Again I had to insist that the clinic call and make some arrangements for me to be seen by a private dentist. I was given the name of a dentist who would see me. Still bleeding. I was sent out of the clinic. My physical condition was disregarded; I was expected to walk to the other office. There were at least three dental assistants on duty at the clinic, but none of them accompanied me, or even arranged for a taxi.

I was sent to Dr. Toomey's office on Mt. Auburn Street. There, after a short wait, an X-ray was taken, the needed novacaine administered and the tooth completely extracted.

The Harvard Dental Clinic, it seems, specializes in giving students half the needed dental care, but they fail to measure up to offering real emergency service. And worse yet, they begin work they cannot complete because of lack of background and equipment!? Their attitude towar students seems to be one of "please don't expect us to be concerned with your problem, if you want adequate care get the hell out of our office and go elsewhere." Alumad Sharkas   Graduate Student, NELL

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