Elsperman GA (1976), Letter to the Editor, Operative Dentistry, Vol 1(1) 37.
Dentistry with its all-encompassing curriculum has shown great progress and achievement. Continuing Dental Education has filled in the voids of professional minds. The availability of dental knowledge and its application by the dedicated, to apply it clinically from Monday morning to the end of the week, are blessings to mankind. Nevertheless, I must express a major complaint-simply put, the neglect and downgrading of clinical dentistry.
The progress in dental teaching and dental learning has been a succession of trends. Unfortunately, trends do not permit an orderly balance in dental progress. A more recent trend seems to be an emphasis on group practice, community dentistry, many auxiliaries, the care of the masses, and so forth. The care of the masses is indeed important, but the dental welfare of the masses can come only from men who are clinically well trained and skillful in every aspect of dentistry. It would seem to me a paradox that the source of the early training of our young dentists (dental schools) is also the source of those educators and programs that cause the resultant downgrading of accepted fundamental procedures that should and must be t-aught. This type of educator has been dominating the podiums of dental classrooms, is predominant in professional literature, and otherwise occupies a perch on “Cloud Nine.” These educators are researching deeply into taking care of the masses without clinical excellence. They assume that auxiliary help and an intellectual wand will provide dentally healthy mouths. These speculations have provided reams of rhetoric with subsequent brainwashing of our young student until, I fear, he may lose sight of the goals of excellence and skill and the deep pride that comes with the possession of these skills.
Let me turn to a pleasant subject, an antidote for some of these problems. The journal Operative Dentistry is a brilliant new gift to us who place clinical restorative dentistry first and foremost. I believe that there has never been a greater need for published articles that thrill and impart knowledge and urge us toward excellence.
Having known for many years the editor and his associate editors to be outstanding teachers, writers, and authors as well as clinical dentists, I look forward to a fine journal.
George A. Elsperman Bellingham, Washington