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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin October 2010
40 OCTOBER 2010 clinical hints Columnist, and we have been friends ever since. He is an Honorary Life Member of the ADA, has been a Federal President (1980–82), a Congress President (1988) a Congress Local Organising Committee Chairman (2003), and held many other administrative positions, starting in 1952 as Senior Vice-President of the Sydney University Dental Undergraduates Association. Now very much a senior citizen, Reg has written a book of reminiscences about dentistry and its practitioners, which is a good read for dentists old and young. It is: The Square Peg and other Stories.‡ There are copies at the Federal ADA office and also at the NSW Branch office. These may be borrowed, or you may obtain one from Reg. Telephone him at 02 9983 9468. THE WEEK Following the description of this new weekly current affairs magazine in the August 2010 CH column, its Editor, David Salter e-mailed that he will check whether the mention produces “an upstick in subs applications from the molar-mangling fraternity”, and will advise us accordingly. Your Wordsmith is familiar with the term fang-farrier, but molar-mangler is new to him. David has been asked to provide a prize of a few weeks issues of The Week to whoever we judge has submitted the best two-word alliterative epithet describing a dentist. If David demures, the prize will be the collectable, inscribed, pewter ADA paperweight and no correspondence will be entered into. WRITER’S CRAMP Your Chronicler suffered a mild form of this when completing the various documents required to obtain MRIs, CAT scans and radiographs of his knee, blood tests and an ECG, hospital admission forms, medical histories, requests for surgery and the various release forms, plus forms guaranteeing the payment of the hospital’s, surgeon’s and anaesthetist’s fees. All of the above were required for minor day surgery of a torn knee joint meniscucs, probably the consequence of 20+ years of weekly squash-playing. He then mused that writing his name more than 20 times could cause writer’s cramp if his family name (8 characters) was a lot longer. He recalled that in a CH column decades ago, he reported that his friend Richard Mountstephens had almost the longest family name (13 characters) in the ADA Directory. This is no longer the case. Thirteen ADA members have family names with 15 characters, 3 with 16, 5 with 17, 2 with 18, 1 with 19, 1 with 20, and the top scorer with 22. And because some readers are sure to wonder, the shortest family names consist of just two letters, in 23 combinations, starting with Au and finishing with Yu. There is an old joke about names. “Don’t call him Dave. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Dave!”! Few of us would be able to guess the most common family names of dentists. Here are some, as listed in our 2009 Directory: Brown 24, Jones 25, Taylor 28, Smith 34, Kim 36, Ho 40, Tran 52, Chan 61, Wong 63 and Lee 89. We are now a truly multicultural profession. COO-EE Forty dollars will buy you Symbols of Australia by Melissa Harper and Richard White (UNSW Press, 9781921410505). In it you will find that the ‘Coo-ee call’, said by some to mimic the call of the Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), has been used throughout Aboriginal Australia to communicate, and the sound can carry as far as a gunshot, hence the phrase “within coo-ee”. The call has frequently proved its worth in finding lost folk in the bush. It eventually found use by Australians to locate each other in the crowded streets of London, and its novelty was adopted as a plot device by Conan Doyle, who had Sherlock Holmes identify immediately anyone who used it as Australian. Agatha Christie also used it, as did DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley. Lots of Australian authors, such as Marcus Clarke, Banjo Paterson and Steele Rudd used it in their publications. By the 1900s it had become commercial and a variety of products were called ‘Coo-ee’. When World War I was upon us, one famous recruiting poster depicted a uniformed soldier, under the headline ‘A Call from the Dardanelles’, and calling out “Coo-ee- Won’t YOU come?” This particular poster now fetches four figure prices at auctions. The Coo-ee call is not heard much these days, but may eventually return. New arrivals in Australia may be mystified by it, but can enlighten themselves by reading this book, which covers this and many other specifically Australian symbols. It is highly recommended by your Scribe. TGA The TGA is well known to the ADA Federal Executive and several ADA Committees. It is the Therapeutic Goods Administration, a body which operates under the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing to implement the provisions of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, which protects the public by monitoring the importing, manufacturing, sale and use of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The TGA is self-funded by charging manufacturers, importers and retailers various fees, and imposing fines for non-compliance. Some dental pharmaceuticals and devices were included at the outset, and others added later. Now, nearly all dental items must be registered with the TGA, the designated fees paid, and any problems arising from their use reported for investigation. Administration costs are usually passed on to the end-user. The dental profession and the dental trade can be justly proud that by self-regulation, dental materials and equipment have been singularly free of problems for generations, and on the very rare occasions where faults in therapeutic goods, instruments, materials or equipment were detected or reported, the situation was rectified immediately. Originally, the ADA body responsible for overseeing this was the TIME Committee, which met regularly and also for special purposes. The acronym originally stood for Tariffs, Instruments, Materials and Equipment. When tariffs became the responsibility of another ADA group ‘Tariffs’ was changed to ‘Therapeutics’, which in turn became the responsibility of yet another group. The acronym is now DIME, standing for Dental Instruments Materials and Equipment, and this committee continues to serve our profession. It now includes a TGA nominee. Armin Roth (a father figure in the dental trade for a lifetime) and your Columnist were members of the TIME Committee for 25 years. We both retired from it in 2006, and often expressed our view that the TGA was not essential to ensure the provision of safe and effective dental treatment, because TIME did that very well. But dentistry is changing, and with developments such as lasers, implants and tooth-whitening, the TGA will probably have an increasingly important role in ensuring the safety of the materials and equipment we use. The TGA announced, on 1 July, 2010, a Structural and System Reform, which “will support TGA’s delivery of appropriate, consistent, effective and efficient regulation in the future”. Your Notary knows this, because the TGA still sends him copies of their official newsletter, for which he is grateful, because he can report in CH occasional TGA items of interest not covered elsewhere in the News Bulletin. The TGA actually send him two copies of each newsletter, one to ‘Professor B R D Gillings’, followed by his home address’, and another, to ‘A/PROF B R D GILLINGS, RFD ED, VICE-CHAIRMAN, THERAPEUTICS, INSTRUMENTS, MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT COMMITTEE (T.I.M.E.)’(sic). ‡ © Reg Hession, ISBN 981 1 74018 541 7, Books and Writers Network P/L, 2009, 377 pages, B&W and colour illustrations.
ADA News Bulletin September 2010
ADA News Bulletin November 2010