Dear Honourable Minister Sarah Hoffman,
As you know I have a substantial amount of information related to administration problems at the ADA&C which I feel should be investigated by an independent review committee.
After I appeared in an episode of CBC Marketplace - Money Where Your Mouth Is - viewable here online - http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2012-2013/money-where-your-mouth-is I called the ADA&C president to state I had participated and his reply was ‘I wish you hadn’t’. You may recall it was an undercover investigation into dentist treatment planning which relates more to the cost of care than individual fees, so it may be very important that you watch this.
The mystery shopper was screened by a couple professors from the University of Toronto including Dr. Dorothy McComb as seen in the photo below. Her contact:
The profession hates to be embarrassed by these kinds of investigations and maybe 20 years ago Reader’s Digest did the same thing and found many different treatment plans for the same person. This can be explained by a dentist’s training, experience, perception of the patient’s ability to pay and simple greed.
In my segment I provided a second opinion for a mom’s 15 year old daughter who was told her sensitive teeth needed to be ‘capped’ or removed and replaced with implants. The problem was all she needed was Sensodyne toothpaste and she was better in a few weeks. The other dentist’s treatment would have been an example of GROSS OVER-TREATMENT which my book ‘Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist’ warned readers about. The capping would have been about $18,000, but the lifetime cost could easily have been $100,000 - and lawsuits against the dentist could have amounted to $800,000 (if we use US judgements as a comparison). Most dentists would be shocked at the suggestion of drilling down her health teeth, and even more disgusted that removal and replacement with implants would have been suggested.
I hope you are reading this.
The ADA&C asked me to pull my book from publication.
It naturally is difficult to speak out against a segment of one's own profession that seems to run amok, but I made the decision and even with all the backlash I am proud that I did. An upper level member of the ADA&C reportedly fielded questions from dentists at a visitation to a regional society and he (reportedly) stated my criticism of the other dentist’s treatment plan may have been professional misconduct. He also (reportedly) stated he felt like reaching out and punching Dr. McComb in the face (presumably referring to the scene below).
The ADA&C provided no comment to CBC Marketplace and did not contact me with questions about the dentist who recommended the abusive, reprehensible or over-treatment as it may be called.
This is yet another example of where the ADA&C has demonstrated the placement of importance on reputation of the profession as being greater than the importance of protection of the public and freedom for health care practitioners to speak out when abuse is occurring within the profession. Yes- it implicates the highest members of the ADA&C as being unworthy of their roles, and if you think they are doing everything in their legal powers to stop me from sharing the ugly truth you would be correct. However you would be wrong if you think that I will allow you not to take this seriously and am reporting this to the media to increase the chances your office will be held accountable for the conduct of the authorities at the Alberta Dental Association & College.
Michael Zuk DDS
Red Deer, AB.