This warning was faxed to the Alberta Health Minister on May 13, 2016. It was a concern related to the

risks of dental sedation of children which were later found to be true. Honourable Sarah Hoffman did not respond to this fax and the sender issued the following statement in early November 2016:


Dear Honourable Health Minister,

RE: Missed opportunity to force changes to dental sedation guidelines

This past summer I emailed your office (correction- it was a fax shown above sent May 2016) with a concern about the ADA&C’s sedation guidelines and the belief that a serious injury or death would be eminent. In September my prediction came true and a child is in a coma.

Numerous warnings and concerns about other issues were made to the ADA&C but I was ignored and even punished for speaking out. I did not report this last concern to the dental authorities but I expected your office to take it seriously.

I understand the former ADA&C CEO labeled me a cry baby/whiner/lone wolf complainer and even while on council had my concerns ignored. This incident occurred due to substandard sedation guidelines and was not solely the dentist’s fault. We all share in this tragedy - but I am asking why my email (fax) warning did not even receive the courtesy of a response.

Whistleblowers need respect. We need protection from authorities and a shield from vexatious lawsuits.

The ADA&C is postured with the position that the profession’s reputation is more important than public safety - one that is strongly held by the current Complaint Director and the former CEO who still acts as a consultant to the organization. I refuse to be used as a sacrificial lamb while they perpetuate this breach of their primary mandate to protect the public.

Please let me know why my warning was ignored. Your statements to the press (that it was 'never on your radar') suggested you were not aware of these concerns related to Alberta’s sedation guidelines.

Sincerely,

Michael Zuk DDS



Media:


http://edmontonjournal.com/health/dentist-alerted-alberta-govt-in-may-about-risks-of-sedating-children


​http://globalnews.ca/news/3053981/alberta-dentist-claims-his-warning-to-province-about-sedation-protocols-was-ignored/


NOTE:

This is not the first time Dr. Zuk has spoken out about risks within the dental profession. He appeared on CBC Marketplace discussing concerns with the overuse of porcelain veneers. His book 'Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist' was banned a few months after publication and he was charged with professional misconduct by the lawyer-complaints director of the ADA&C.


"I was shocked the Alberta Dental Association & College would want to punish me for speaking out about something their internal newsletter admitted was a concern...the authorities obviously felt the harm to the reputation of the profession trumped the importance of warning the public about a harmful pattern of dental practice that negatively affected hundreds of patients for the rest of their lives. This breach of responsibility to the public trust was also reported to the Alberta Health Minister, and again there was no response. If none of the authorities are putting patients first then I was forced to go to the media regardless of the consequences - if they want to fine me and suspend me for doing what is right for the public then they are the ones that should be terminated. The Health Minister has the power to wipe out the dental board and their lawyers. By now it should be clear to Ms. Hoffman that the ADA&C can't be trusted. The only hope now is the new CEO will see the ADA&C has made serious errors will finally accept that the criticism about the organization was serious. It is tough to argue with a child in a coma or a patient flown down to Vegas for a smile makeover gone wrong." - Michael Zuk DDS


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Email November 10, 2016 - to Alberta's Health Minister:


“Yes, going public about ignored dental health risks makes the authorities look bad and lowers the perception of the profession but…”

A little girl is in a coma, and neglected dental sedation guidelines are partially to blame. The warning was ignored by the gov’t health authority.

A teenage girl was almost mutilated by a dentist willing to over-treat her sensitive teeth teeth with a mouth full of crowns (drilling away all her healthy enamel) -watch the CBC Marketplace episode Money Where Your Mouth Is. The dental authority knew this was going on but ‘stopped it’ in their mind with advertising rules. The president of the ADA&C reportedly commented the dentist speaking out on this could be guilty of professional misconduct.

Albertans were flown down to Las Vegas by their local dentists to get ‘instant drilled-away smiles’ where they were practising WITHOUT a license and WITHOUT malpractice insurance. A patient complaint to the dental authority was ignored, dozens more probably don’t even know they were abused by excessive and irreversible treatment.

Orthodontists colluded to undermine and destroy a general dentist’s practice because he was offering a competitive service that offered an alternative between extended orthodontic treatment and gross mutilation from porcelain veneers/crowns (Note: these treatments great when used appropriately, but they were over-promoted as a cure for certain conditions which should be treated less aggressively). The dental authority refused to nip the problem in the bud.

Scientific facts are ignored by the authorities so they can ‘win’ and punish a dentist who speaks out. The lawyers make changes to the ad regulations to make it wrong to discuss the health benefits of certain alternatives that threaten the traditional way specialists do things. The words ‘innovation’ and ‘affordable’ are banned.

A book warned the public about these problems and the dentist was told to pull the book from publication and directed into the disciplinary process because it could harm the reputation of a profession out of control. 

I complained about all these issues to the authorities and was either ignored or punished severely by the ADA&C legal team who sets the fulcrum point between public safety and public opinion. Ms. CW and Mr. GS made the wrong call and felt a whistle-blower should be mashed into the ground. These two people can’t be trusted to protect the public because their mindset is off balance (council know who these people are). 

My time and money could not be spent any better than to continue to show the ADA&C system is broken and the public is at risk due to the people in the organization, substandard regulation or over-regulation and the incompetence of the former CEO who apparently still has his fingers in the game as a consultant to the organization.

This is a repeat of my request for private and public healthcare whistleblower protection to help others in the future avoid the same journey. If the ADA&C lawyers want to treat my public outcries as ‘advertising violations’  and notices from the Competition Bureau to the health regulatory bodies mean nothing then the courts and public opinion will see who is correct.

Without serious reform the authorities should not expect to be trusted with the dental health of Albertans.


Michael Zuk DDS
Red Deer.

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Still no answer from the Health Minister - Dec. 2016 -sent this:


Dear Honourable Minister Sarah Hoffman,

As you know I have a substantial amount of information related to administration problems at the ADA&C which I feel should be investigated by an independent review committee. 

After I appeared in an episode of CBC Marketplace - Money Where Your Mouth Is - viewable here online - http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2012-2013/money-where-your-mouth-is I called the ADA&C president to state I had participated and his reply was ‘I wish you hadn’t’. You may recall it was an undercover investigation into dentist treatment planning which relates more to the cost of care than individual fees, so it may be very important that you watch this.

The mystery shopper was screened by a couple professors from the University of Toronto including Dr. Dorothy McComb as seen in the photo below. Her contact:

https://www.cde-utoronto.ca/online/dental-emergencies/

The profession hates to be embarrassed by these kinds of investigations and maybe 20 years ago Reader’s Digest did the same thing and found many different treatment plans for the same person. This can be explained by a dentist’s training, experience, perception of the patient’s ability to pay and simple greed. 

In my segment I provided a second opinion for a mom’s 15 year old daughter who was told her sensitive teeth needed to be ‘capped’ or removed and replaced with implants. The problem was all she needed was Sensodyne toothpaste and she was better in a few weeks. The other dentist’s treatment would have been an example of GROSS OVER-TREATMENT which my book ‘Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist’ warned readers about. The capping would have been about $18,000, but the lifetime cost could easily have been $100,000 - and lawsuits against the dentist could have amounted to $800,000 (if we use US judgements as a comparison). Most dentists would be shocked at the suggestion of drilling down her health teeth, and even more disgusted that removal and replacement with implants would have been suggested. 

I hope you are reading this.

The ADA&C asked me to pull my book from publication.

It naturally is difficult to speak out against a segment of one's own profession that seems to run amok, but I made the decision and even with all the backlash I am proud that I did. The ______ of the ADA&C reportedly fielded questions from dentists at a visitation to a regional society and he (reportedly) stated my criticism of the other dentist’s treatment plan may have been professional misconduct.  He also (reportedly) stated he felt like reaching out and punching Dr. McComb in the face (presumably referring to the scene below). 

The ADA&C provided no comment to CBC Marketplace and did not contact me with questions about the dentist who recommended the abusive, reprehensible or over-treatment as it may be called. Instead they attacked me with disciplinary proceedings alleging professional misconduct for speaking out (about issues their own internal documentation expressed concerns about in an article titled 'I have had enough'). 

This is yet another example of where the ADA&C has demonstrated the placement of importance on reputation of the profession as being greater than the importance of protection of the public and freedom for health care practitioners to speak out when abuse is occurring within the profession. Yes- it implicates the highest members of the ADA&C as being unworthy of their roles, and if you think they are doing everything in their legal powers to stop me from sharing the ugly truth you would be correct. However you would be wrong if you think that I will allow you not to take this seriously and am reporting this to the media to increase the chances your office will be held accountable for the conduct of the authorities at the Alberta Dental Association & College.

Michael Zuk DDS

------

Submitted a review of the Health Minister's review of dental fees - Dec 2016


-----

Submitted the following concerns about orthodontic advertising and a corrupt process:


The Alberta Dental Association & College is unresponsive to concerns about orthodontic controversies including:

1) Belief that only video simulations are acceptable to avoid misleading patients and giving them unrealistic expectations. Many dentists feel the ADA&C has gone too far in a ban of before & after photos, certain books and testimonials. They seem be favouring video simulations but here is an orthodontic video which seems to suggest growth of the mandible through use of a brand of popular brackets (not independently verifiable) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rllrBkDpSuA

If we all want a more educated public then dentists need to be able to criticize opinions and have open discussion. This is not happening.

2) Some orthodontic practitioners are purchasing expensive 3-D X-ray units and needlessly taking them for most patients (when experts suggest this is not warranted and exposes young children to radiation which increases cancer risk). Did the ADA&C committee on radiation hygiene have members who were owners of this device profiting from overuse? When these owners claim they use ‘less radiation’ are they referring to film exposure amounts and not less exotic radiographs (a digital PAN, for example) which use less?
http://www.ajodo.org/article/S0889-5406(14)00986-X/fulltext

3) A new orthodontic treatment claiming faster and higher quality treatment using x-ray scans to position brackets and robotically bend wires may be exposing children to excessive radiation. Can this be justified and is the radiation level really as safe as some orthodontic practitioners claim?
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2016.10.006

4) The ADA&C experts have made conflicting statements on manufacturer claims related to orthodontic bracket effect on speed of orthodontic movement. One position was the brackets do not make a difference and another position was they do make a difference in the rate of tooth movement (and therefore reduce treatment time). While this may seem like a trivial matter, similar to a Ford vs Chevy argument, it has resulted in an incredible amount of animosity between different believers (the ‘jury' is still out, as studies oscillate between which bracket is better or if it really makes much of a difference). 

The ADA&C complaint department has ventured into this area and cost practitioners a fortune arguing over the matter, when it could have easily acknowledged this is an area of controversy. 

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2009.11.009
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajodo.2014.09.006

Many have been lead to believe the brackets can increase the rate of tooth movement by 30% and this was also a belief of the ADA&C expert during my tribunal. Oddly in spite of evidence that longer orthodontic treatment is associated with higher rates of complications (decay, gum disease and root damage) the ADA&C inserted a section in the advertising guidelines that ‘faster ortho treatment could not be claimed to be better’. It would appear the Complaint Director used her bias to ensure this would be added to assert her control over the controversy ignoring evidence to the contrary:

http://www.ajodo.org/article/S0889-5406(15)00082-7/fulltext

 "it seems that positive correlations exist between increased force levels and increased root resorption, as well as between increased treatment time and increased root resorption.”

5) Gizmos that claim to speed orthodontic treatment?

There are a number of new orthodontic devices that are claiming to increase the rate of tooth movement, including a vibration device, a light unit and a surgical devices/techniques. Some of the devices may cost the patient up to $1000 above the cost of the orthodontics. Do they all work as claimed?
The independent studies suggest some may not:
http://www.ajodo.org/article/S0889-5406(16)30445-0/fulltext

We studied the effect of vibration on root resorption with fixed appliances.
•We randomized 81 patients with fixed appliance to vibration, placebo, or neither.
•Vibrational force does not influence root resorption during fixed appliance alignment.
http://kevinobrienorthoblog.com/another-trial-suggests-that-acceledent-may-not-be-effective/

From my investigations it appears that the ‘Acceledent’ device may not provide the benefits claimed, but orthodontic practitioners continue to advertise the claim of ’50% faster treatment’ with its use.

6) Exaggerated claims of lower jaw growth with the use of functional appliances (example- Herbst appliance) in children/teens.

The recent studies suggest the appliance’s effect on jaw growth is clinically insignificant and this would imply any growth that occurs may be credited to the inherit growth potential of the growing patient (their height grows as well). The net effect of this undermines many of the core beliefs that orthodontic practitioners have preached for over 100 years, but the truth should be shared with the public. Many patients have invested an average of $7000+ to avoid jaw surgery when the treatment simply masked the problem with the effect that the lower jaw was simply postured forward and not really grown as claimed. 

This is akin to saying going to church every Sunday will not guarantee a place in Heaven- the wrath against my ‘tell-all’ book that alluded to this issue undoubtedly raised the deepest fears in a former orthodontic association president who composed the 87-page complaint about my professional activities and activism. He was successful in turning the ADA&C complaint machine against me, which continues to miss the point.
http://kevinobrienorthoblog.com/evidence-based-orthodontic-treatment/

“When functional appliance treatment is provided in early adolescence it appears that there may be minor beneficial changes in skeletal pattern, however, these are probably not clinically significant”. 

(meaning for significant skeletal discrepancies this treatment will not correct the true problem of mismatched jaw bones- mz)

7) Shorter-term orthodontics is a threat to some ‘old school’ or traditional orthodontists, and the orthodontic associations sponsor negative advertising against this competitive alternative (even though many specialists advertising faster treatment themselves):
Negative ad sample- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUXYCitpQP0&feature=youtu.be

NOTE: Even the Canadian Orthodontic Association had/has commentary stating ‘why it is dangerous to see a General Dentist for your orthodontics’. I have repeatedly complained that this harms the collaborative relationship between orthodontists and general dentists. Orthodontics has risks, regardless of the training status and often ideal treatment has MORE RISKS (eg. orthognathic surgery).

These are only some of the controversies in orthodontic practice, but it should be apparent that many of them are serious and should be openly discussed with the public. Due to the embarrassing nature of admitting some beliefs were incorrect some members of the profession will use their connections to punish those of us who have different views. This bullying is unacceptable and I trust the Health Minister will see the benefits of stepping in and requesting an investigation into the gross misconduct of people involved in the malicious prosecution of my advertising and a possible cover-up of actual risks or at least a misuse of the system which should identify vexatious complaints early in the process. 

The ADA&C continues to refuse to respond to these concerns and with the organization currently under the direction of an orthodontist there is no better time to clear the slate and admit the obvious. Your review of the dental advertising restrictions will be incomplete without understanding the deep divide in various philosophies has tainted the rules and the disciplinary process from the top down.

Sincerely,

Michael Zuk DDS
General Dentist, Red Deer.



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Jan 4, 2017


​https://youtu.be/vKEKvf9PTJ8?t=14m42s

Dear Honourable Minister Ms. Hoffman,

RE: Close relationship of ADA&C with a cosmetic dentistry training program prevented warning the public?

I know my concerns should be handled by the ADA&C, but the lawyer complaint director has dug in her heels and decided years ago that the simple way to fix things was to kill the messenger. Sorry, the authorities are having a tough time admitting their errors related to public safety (overly aggressive cosmetic dentistry/risky sedation guidelines).

This VIDEO with a group of dental specialists from the USA (see link) actually talks about both safety issues (the link is set to where a prosthodontist talks about concerns related to the ‘Las Vegas Institute’ (LVI) dental program which had a massive following in Alberta. The LVI’s main porcelain lab  ____ _____in Calgary & Edmonton had a close relationship with the ADA&C and it’s owner was awarded multiple times by the ADA&C. This LVI training taught dentists to grossly over-treat cosmetic dental patients with porcelain veneers when much less harmful techniques would have been more appropriate. I was the only dentist in North America to write a book about the risks to the public of this type of treatment, and the ADA&C continues to seek to punish me for speaking out about something they knew was a problem (internal publication citing ‘I have had enough’ article). 

As mentioned in previous messages LVI dentists from Alberta flew patients to Las Vegas and drilled their teeth out of province (without licenses and without malpractice coverage). An assistant of mine told me of her experience and her complaint to the ADA&C which was neglected. I discussed this specific issue in my book without mentioning the brand name to avoid a lawsuit. Thinking they could fix this problem of abusive cosmetic dentistry by banning the term ‘cosmetic dentist’ is their signature move. The problem continues and a 15 year old girl from Red Deer narrowly missed the same type of abuse - as seen on CBC Marketplace - Money Where Your Mouth Is. 

Is the ADA&C organization corrupt? This would be something it would not be able to be measure by itself. I am being sued and bullied for my opinions on the matter. 

If your team wishes to watch the start of the same video it discusses children’s dental sedation deaths and the warning that seems to be learned only after each state and province has its own tragedy. I saw this coming. Sorry, this is one area where proper treatment will COST MORE. 

I hope this year 2017, we can take steps to ensure this organization gets back on track and ends the pattern of lying to the public about their shortcomings/errors/misguided attempts to address the issues that were obvious to many of us in the field. The ADA&C is planning their new office - I would ask you suggest beginning the steps to build a physical barrier between the two sides of the organization even if it operates within the same building. Some people need to leave.

 I continue to ask for your intervention in a deeper investigation into the ADA&C’s failure to protect the public and its legal attempts to silence critics.  Your response to this email would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Michael Zuk DDS

cc

Note: Cosmetic dentistry is an excellent service when provided by ethical practitioners with an educated patient who is aware of the pros and cons of various treatment options. Any treatment can be abusive if used in the incorrect circumstances. Opinions will vary. 

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Detailed Update - Jan 26, 2017


 – DRAFT 2 (sent to the Alberta Health Minister) - Confirmed details with an ADA&C Insider

 

A Kick in the MOUTH

 

Did this province’s dental authority look the other way when a joint venture between a prominent porcelain lab and an overly aggressive cosmetic dentist training institute ventured into promoting unethical aesthetic treatment?

 

It was the 1990’s and cosmetic dentistry was the greatest thing. Training programs popped up across North America promising wealth and success for dentists who signed up. One of the most popular programs was called ‘LVI’ –affiliated with Canada’s largest lab ----- (based in Calgary).  The Alberta Dental Association had just given the lab owner several awards – The Friend of Dentistry and an honorary membership in the ADA, benefited from years of the lab’s advertising on the back page of the newsletter, and dentist golf tournaments. What would the authority do if the lab became tainted with some extreme ideas?

 

By teaching dentists to provide full mouth reconstruction with porcelain restorations, the lab was able to boost revenues the same way a pharmaceutical company increases prescriptions for its drugs –with sponsored continuing education programs. Prosthodontists recognized the threat almost instantly and raised a stink inside the ADA&C  leading to a movement to curb the advertising of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies.

 

According to a prosthodontist who has acted as an expert witness in malpractice cases, LVI-trained general dentists were frequently providing treatment that led to lawsuits. Her statement suggests this is less of a problem now, but the fact that there were experts with serious concerns and even acknowledgement of this in the ADA&C newsletter with the article ‘I Have Had Enough’ by Dr. Gordon Christensen it can’t be claimed that the authorities were unaware of the problem of ‘over-treatment’.

 

What did the dental authorities do to warn the public? NOTHING. Rather than openly discuss the concern, which would embarrass their business relationship with the lab it seems the council felt it was better to severely limit anything that would promote LVI dentistry’s advertising which was now going direct to the public with television spots.  This meant everyone had to suffer because the authority didn’t have the guts to address the concern directly with the dental lab. Perhaps the fact that so much of dentistry is based on subjective opinion, the experts would not have a sure thing challenging the basis of the LVI program’s ‘myo-centric’ bite philosophy and its myo-monitor excuse to open almost every patient’s occlusion for porcelain.

 

Using the proven divide and separate strategy, the ADA&C would choose one LVI dentist for treatment violations, another for ‘cosmetic dentistry’ ad violations and another (me) for speaking out about the fact that patients were not warned of this cosmetic over-treatment fad and for offering alternative ideas that threatened a few traditional loyalists.

 

An unknown number of Alberta dentists participated in a ‘fly your patient to LVI’ program where the dentist would practice new techniques at the institute’s facility in Vegas without the benefit of malpractice coverage or a local license. Here is what one of the patients had to say:

 

To Whom it May Concern,

In the early 2000's I went to LVI Institute of Technology in Las Vegas as a participant and a patient for a course in cosmetic dentistry. I had cosmetic dentistry done involving 10 maxillary teeth. I had 10 virgin teeth but my cuspids were blocked out. This is where my nightmare began. I was expecting minimal tooth removal but the tooth removal was aggressive and when the veneers/crowns were cemented they did not fit at all. I was told warped impressions... These veneers were cemented knowing they had to come off again when we got back to Alberta.


The veneers were removed and more tooth structure was removed as well. Ten more veneers/crowns were cemented.. I was shocked when I saw what little tooth structure I had left. The porcelain on one cuspid fractured right away and a central chipped within a short time. As a result of all this work, a root canal was also done. At this point I had had more than enough. This ordeal had cost me a lot of sleep and grief and discomfort.


I am still dealing with consequences 15 years later. Due to ill-fitting margins, I have experienced periodontal issues.
In hindsight, I wish I had explored the orthodontic route. In my opinion, cosmetic dentistry was being pushed pretty hard and I was caught up in it. I am still dealing with having to replace these crowns/veneers a 3rd time. 


I told Dr Zuk my story and he sympathized with me as he could see what my experience had cost me, both mentally and physically.
At the time, I contacted the Alberta Dental Association and was referred to a couple of dentists for a second opinion. The treatment was judged to be acceptable-open margins, chips, RCT and all.


In my opinion, I was not totally informed of all the negative consequences of aggressive cosmetic dentistry. In fact, I was not expecting aggressive cosmetic dentistry to happen in the first place. I have only stubs left of 10 virgin teeth.

Respectively
Cheryl M


 

By 2017 many of these patients will be finding their reconstructions beginning to fail. The initial cost of approximately $50,000 will now begin the cycle of repetition with many teeth actually lost due to the intervention of the cosmetic dentist. How many veneers/crowns can a lateral incisor withstand?

 

If you think dental implants are the cure-all, just wait a few years as the prediction is massive amounts of failures. The wild west of cosmetic dentistry, is now shifting away from ‘cosmetic makeovers’ (a term now banned by the ADA&C) and into dental implant mania. The ‘All-on-4’ and ‘None on 3’ may be the new scare to followers and boom for ADA&C lawyers.

 

Sorry, back to the ADA&C’s corrupt involvement in the ‘cosmetic dentistry wave’…it could be guessed that viciously going after a single  ‘cosmetic’ dentist’s license would be a deterrent to others of the same mindset, but making broad statements such as ‘healthy teeth shall not be mutilated for the purposes of cosmetic enhancement’ ignore the fact that healthy tooth structure is often sacrificed during many procedures. It is pretty tough to pretend wet-fingered dentists have never drilled away anything except diseased tooth structure.

 

Can we agree that there are so many different schools of thought in the various areas of dentistry that pretending ‘independently verifiable’ claims are all questionable? Art and science, dentistry is.

 

Now you have a dentist who repeatedly recommended orthodontics to a patient who refused, and simply wanted the ‘instant orthodontics’ provided by aggressive veneer/crown restorations.  YES- the dentist could have refused to do the less desirable alternative...the ‘quick and riskier choice’. The patient had some endodontic complications (may have not followed instructions to deal with them promptly, but things get twisted in a story that is designed to put all the blame on the dentist) -as could be expected the patient wanted a free root canal and suddenly it is a big deal with the dental authority? It is simply a known complication risk, one that needs to be explained and it usually is a question of who will be paying for the root canal than anything else. Nerves die – dental patients rarely die. Had the root canals been pre-planned would the case have ended up in a tribunal? No.

 

Your local root canal specialist probably has done some pre-prosthetic root canals for your patients over the years. Big deal. Did they do some that could have been avoided with a different treatment plan? Probably. Would every treatment plan stand up to the harshest critical review by an expert paid to find something wrong with it? Doubt it.

 

So the ADA&C thought it was doing the right thing by crucifying a dentist who decided to follow the advice of a program affiliated with a powerful dental lab with accolades from the same dental authority? YES, the buck stops with the DENTIST, so keep this in mind the next time you are sitting in on an ADA&C-approved lab-sponsored course. The Complaint Director’s lack of understanding of the profession combined with the inefficiencies in the investigation process has created a bottomless pit where dentists fall in and lose everything.

 

So if the ADA&C knew there was a problem with dozens, and potentially hundreds of cosmetically brainwashed dentists across the province, specialists were warning of gross over-treatment of unsuspecting patients you would expect the obligation of the health organization would be to discuss the concern with the public in a way that would not cause hysteria. It chose not to do so. THIS IS THE BIGGEST ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

 

On a larger scale, it could be postulated that the ADA&C had missed the chance to nip a monster in the bud leaving it to spread a style of care across North America through the support of the Alberta-based lab powerhouse fed with increasing numbers of ‘advanced cosmetic’ restorations. This was a multi-million dollar scheme with high stakes for everyone involved. Rather than finding a way to address the real problem, the spineless authority chose to keep picking on the little individual dentist caught up in the enthusiasm of selling Hollywood smiles.

 

Here’s another patient’s story (in video format) explaining how a second opinion helped avoid an irreversible porcelain veneer makeover by an Alberta dentist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM1GX8hbBg8

 

Is it the pulp of the tooth we seek to protect? Are they to be considered ‘little fetuses’ or is this fuss over complications and loss of tooth structure a bit of over-reaction? Compared to full mouth extractions and insertion of dentures to correct healthy crooked teeth (as happened to my late mother-in-law) what we do now isn’t that huge a deal. However in fairness to the patient and an argument for informed consent, most of the legitimate alternative treatment plans MUST be discussed –even when the practitioner is not able to provide some of the choices.

 

We cannot rely on the ADA&C to be our conscience. It is too disorganized, too conflicted, and many of the personnel do not have proper training in the complexity of this profession or Dental Bioethics.

 

The risks of misunderstandings and dentists being mislead at continuing education programs sponsored by lasers, automated crown makers, ortho gizmos and implant salesmen abound. The best we can all do is to remain critical of what we are being told, and to know the ADA&C is easily mislead into attacking certain themes, which may appear to be unorthodox.

 

The organization can be distracted by enthusiasm for new things like BOTOX, which allowed a sedation tragedy to expose weaknesses in sedation guidelines that should have been addressed years prior. No, let’s wait for our own child death/coma just to give us some inspiration.

 

For me, to speak out about a 15-year-old girl who was told she needed ‘most of her teeth crowned’ after being misdiagnosed as having ‘no enamel’ was a professional obligation. To be told the ADA&C president stated my opinion could be ‘professional misconduct’ is more of a reflection on the organization’s misplaced priorities on it’s own reputation and self-importance. We all have our own honest and educated opinions, but need to support them with evidence on ‘best practice’.

 

____ (the lab) has been generous to the dental profession, but a branch of it was obviously involved in the promotion of a style of treatment that cannot be universally accepted. According to the latest reports, the philosophy at LVI has cooled down, but if it is changing hands into a former owner again, will things slip back to a more aggressive stance again? When will the ADA&C be honest with its members about their failure in this prolonged fiasco that explains the fixation on advertising regulation?

 

Another point brought to my attention is _____ now produces and markets its own dental implants without any clinical trials to prove efficacy and safety- basics for any implantable device. They also market restorations to fit ‘almost all’ implant systems without any published testing. As usual, the profession and the public will be the testing ground. Is this the tail wagging the dog again?

 

NOTE:

Many cosmetic training programs have been associated with styles of care that could be considered ‘over-treatment’. Simply because a dentist has attended a series of courses is not a sign they are guilty of malpractice - many excellent dentists have attended the program mentioned in this article (and as the expert mentioned in the video interview, the problem has decreased in recent years). 

                           

This was sent to the ADA&C for a formal response prior to publication:

 

ADA&C: (None to date)


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MARCH 2017 UPDATE

The dental lab that promoted 'LVI' cosmetic dentist training has threatened to sue unless remarks about them are removed. The information on this website has been revised but a former lab technician of the company has confirmed the information presented. This concern has again been sent to the Health Minister of Alberta.


-For further information on this story read the free book mentioned on the home page of this website.







Alberta Dental Association Problems?