G.D. STIBBS (SUMMER 1978), THE JOURNAL—A FOGLIGHT FOR OPERATIVE DENTISTRY, OPERATIVE DENTISTRY, VOL3(3), PP. 113-114
POINT OF VIEW
The Journal—A Foglight for Operative Dentistry
Those engaged in operative dentistry are witnessing an interesting era. Interesting, because it is a mixture of stimulus and advance, disheartenment and frustration.
In years beyond the recollection of most of us, operative dentistry was dentistry. Recently it seems to be that which is left after others have had their piece of the dental pie. In education, some of our top schools have dropped the ball by diluting their curricula at the expense of implanting sound principles for high quality service in the minds of their undergraduate students, but others are filling the gap by vigorously presenting the fundamentals of dental operating.
In practice, there has been an unhealthy emphasis on speed and mass production, with little regard for length of service for the patient; we are thankful there are still those who strive constantly to provide the ultimate in restorative therapy and education. In the trade, the trend toward conglomerates and takeovers by those who do not have the best interests of dentistry at heart, with the resultant discontinuation of manufacture of many specialty instruments and reduced quality of others, has complicated the efforts of conscientious operative dentists to provide the level of service they are capable of producing. Yet there are a few manufacturers who make the effort to supply the best in instruments and supplies. To them we are most grateful.
In this picture of mingled fog and sunshine, there is one new, shining light on the horizon. It is encouraging to watch the birth and growth of the new voice for operative dentistry—our journal of the same name. From the sidelines, it is good to see how this periodical is not only carrying on the traditions of its forebear, the Journal of the American Academy of Gold Foil Operators, but is providing a sounding board for the broad field of operative dentistry as a whole, and is doing so with meticulous attention to good editorial policy, careful editing of manuscripts, respect for correct grammar and terminology, and a balance in the type of article that it publishes. It is good, too, to read the stimulating and warning “points of view” of leading practitioners and educators. Our journal and its editor have already received well deserved recognition for achievement, and that is not easy for a new periodical in a field that is crowded with veterans.
Perhaps one could insert here a suggestion to all authors and clinicians, new or old. In fairness to those from whom we all have received our help and inspiration in dentistry, we should be careful not to present their material as our own. Granted, it is frequently difficult to recall the source of our cherished ideas or procedures. Yet a little soul-searching and literature-searching would usually enable us to give credit where credit is due. Thoughtless or intentional plagiarism is inexcusable. Even the most careful editor cannot be expected to pick up all such instances; we must exert ourselves to avoid such thievery.
Back to our own journal, it is to be hoped that the thought-provoking editorials, the admonitions of guest contributors, and the published papers will encourage the established practitioners and educators, and will stimulate and inspire the newer operative dentists. We are fortunate to have such a medium to carry the message of operative dentistry.
Excellent operative dentistry must not be permitted to fade away or be eroded by lesser things. Mediocrity and lack of attention to fundamental principles are crass and self-defeating. It is essential that you who are in operative dentistry continue to press for the highest possible quality in our dental therapeutic service to the public.
433 Medical-Dental Building, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
GERALD D STIBBS, BS, DMD, conducts a private practice part time and is professor emeritus of the Department of Restorative Dentistry at the School of Dentistry of the University of Washington where formerly he was chairman of the Department of Operative Dentistry and chairman of the Department of Fixed Partial Dentures, director of the dental operatory and clinical coordinator. He is instructor of three gold foil study clubs—the George Ellsperman Gold Foil Seminar, the Vancouver Ferrier Study Club, and the Walter K Sproule Study Club. He is a charter member, past president, and past secretary of the American Academy of Gold Foil Operators, past president of the Associated Ferrier Study Clubs, past president of the British Columbia Dental Association, and past president of the Vancouver (BC) Dental Society. He is a member of the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry and the Academy of Operative Dentistry, and is a fellow of the American College of Dentists.