that they are misguided in these endeavours. This is not to say that some reforms may not be needed, but only those changes which will further the best interests of the community should be considered and it is not in the best interests of the community to allow non-qualified or partly qualified personnel to practise dentistry independently of dental supervision. As mentioned earlier, a Dental Congress gives the profession a chance to be seen publicly. It is a show-case and a forum for interaction between the public who are the consumers and the profession who are the providers. It is also a time when an opportunity exists to meet old friends and to make new ones - a time for fellowship and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Many dentists, by the nature of dental care, tend to work in their own little corner of the world, somewhat shielded from outside influences. Congress enables the throwing off of these shackles and the ability to mix freely with colleagues from all over the country and from overseas and to catch up on the latest that the dental trade has to offer to make practising more effective and efficient. The Congress Organizing Committee has been very cognizant of the cost of attending a Congress, not only the registration and accommodation fees, but also the cost of time lost from practice. Hence the second innovation of holding half the scientific programme over a weekend to minimize this second factor. After four days of intensive intellectual pursuits, you may feel that a period of relaxation is needed, and this can be provided by attending one of the sporting activities arranged for the final day, 24 March 1993. May the Association count on your support? Come along to what promises to be a most exciting four days. Come to learn about or brush up on the latest ideas, see the latest in materials and equipment, and generally wave the flag for the profession. The Association looks forward to seeing you next March in Melbourne.
SEDATION FOR DENTAL PROCEDURES Sir, It was with interest that I read the RACDS and ANZCA policy on sedation for dental procedures on pages 234-6 of Volume 37, Number 3, June 1992 of the Australian Dental Journal. While I wholeheartedly support the thrust of the document, there are some errors that I feel need correction. Firstly, rational verbal communication is not always possible with certain classes of patients, even in the unsedated state. This especially applies to the very young and the mentally handicapped. As these are the very patients that often need sedation for dental procedures I feel that this objective needs to be reworded to better reflect contemporary practice. Might I suggest that the following be substituted: ‘The objective of these techniques is to produce a degree of sedation whereby protective reflexes are maintained and the patient can respond appropriately to stimulation’.
Secondly, point 1.5 should include the very young, as they also express variations in response to the drugs used in sedation. Finally, under the rubric General principles, section 2.2: there is no definition of anaesthetist given. A better wording might be that an appropriately trained second party whose sole function is the monitoring of the patient be present. I offer these suggestions as constructive criticism only, and hope that they stimulate discussion among professionals actively involved in sedation for dental procedures. A. J. LEPERE, BA, DDS, Fellow, American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, Course Coordinator Local Analgesia, University of Western Australia. 41 Old Perth Road, Bassendean, WA, 6054. 14 July 1992.
Correction: In the letter on the ‘hot pulp syndrome’ by Mark Knapp which appeared in the Australian DenralJournal 1992;37:319, the term ‘interproximal cool area’ should have read ‘interproximal col area’. 404
Australian Dental Journal 1992;37:5.