ETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Professional liability 0 The Council on Insurance report on professional liability prevention by Alan M. Komensky in the June issue of The Journal was excellent. I am looking forward to the second part. Articles on this and other legal aspects of dentistry should appear frequently in The Journal. As an employee of the Veterans Administration, I am aware of the necessity of informed consent; it is obtained throughout the VA system. However, I see my colleagues in private practice too often ignoring this important step. H. GLENN ULFFERS, DDS CHICAGO
Equipment repairs 0 The costs of maintaining a dental practice continue to escalate. Many dental manufacturers help encourage this situation in the repair of small items. Consider this example: Dr. Jones discovers that his electrosurgical unit is malfunctioning. Because this is a complex electronic item, he packs it well and sends it to the "Red Hot" Mfg. Co. with instructions to repair and return it to him .... A week later he receives a letter saying that they will make the repairs but that they need the name of the dental supply company so they can bill the company. Dr. Jones's unit is more than 6 years old and out of warranty. He cannot recall where he purchased. it, but because he needs the instrument, he gives the name of "Back Order Dental Supply." This firm will now receive the repair bill and mark it up even though they had no part whatsoever in the repair or, perhaps, even in the original purchase. This is a simple, unwarranted surcharge. Many of · the products we use today are so complex that only the manufacturer can repair them. Small dental supply companies rarely have the trained personnel to service these items. The repair of other appliances and instruments such as cameras, tape recorders, food processors, and so forth almost invariably is done through a manu166 • JADA, Vol. 97, August 1978
facturer's service center. Why should there not be a similar arrangement for small dental equipment? I realize there are many ethical dental supply companies that do not add any surcharge; others do. I would like to hear from colleagues who have had the same experience as "Dr. Jones." MANUEL I. WEISMAN, DDS AUGUSTA,GA
Do it yourself 0 ... Take the back off any home electrical device or appliance and you will find, glued to the inside, a diagram indicating electrical connections and sizes of components. For some reason, medical and dental devices do not have this. Wereceive a booklet telling us how to keep equipment clean, but no technical information. Where is this information? Back at the dealer's. And, as units change, the vital information is lost. My recommendations are as follows: -Electrical schematics should be attached to all dental equipment. -The dentist should keep a log on all devices, indicating date and place of purchase, breakdowns, and preventive maintenance. -Short courses should be given at dental schools on basic electronics and care and theory of machines. -Spare parts that are subject to breakdown should be kept on hand. -Fuses should be replaced with circuit breakers. -A meter for quick testing of circuits should be kept in the dental clinic. -A preventive maintenance service should be available at regular intervals. HENRY C. HEIMANSOHN, DDS DANVILLE, IND
Acupuncture in dentistry 0 I read the article by Taub and others on acupuncture (The Journal, Sept 1977) with great interest as I am an acupuncturist.
The results obtained in experiment 2 were partially predictable, as it is known that analgesia may be effectively achieved without any electrical stimulation. The results from experiment 3 are without question more difficult to interpret, as minimal induction times in acupuncture anesthesia are typically about 15 minutes. In my experience, good pain reduction has been reported by a patient after puncture at Ho-Ku (LI 4) with no needle retention or manipulation after the initial stimulus. As with pharmacotherapy, the results vary with the individual. The puncture point chosen for the control group in the Taub study, however, is actually an acupuncture point on a main meridian (Triple Warmer No. 2). The location of this point is precisely that illustrated in Figure 1. It is frequently used in acupuncture for gingival pain as well as toothache and gingivitis. The use of this point as a "control" point invalidated the research. RANDY BAROLET LEXINGTON, MASS
Author's reply: It appears that the question of whether our control point was actually Triple Warmer No. 2 has arisen because of the diagram (Fig 1) in the article. We apologize for the fact that this figure was not drawn accurately to scale and that we were not more precise in describing the point used. To be more precise, the acupuncture nee-