Mike and Diane Wilson -
Free Spirit

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So you don't like going to the dentist. Until recently neither did I. But I must admit the practise we use is fine.

But there is one matter I'm not entirely happy with regarding the dentistry profession.

As far as I am aware, they are the only profession which is allowed - nay encouraged - to refuse treatment. They can do this if you fail to keep your appointments for a check-up.

You may well know that your teeth are fine, but, no, you have to turn up for the dentist to tell you they are OK. But if you lapse, and forget or ignore your appointment, the dentist is entitled to strike you off the list. And therefore refuse the work in treating you.

Can you name one other profession which can do that? Does the doctor refuse to see you if you have the galloping nadgers just because you haven't been for a check-up? No, of course he doesn't. He'll see you whether you're a regular customer/client or not.

Does the painter and decorator refuse to paint your house because you didn't ask him round to check if everything was still OK? No, of course he doesn't. He'll do it because he's glad of the work and the opportunity to earn some brass.

Does your gardener refuse to cut the lawn because he didn't get called round to give it the professional eye after the winter was out? No, he came in answer to your call and did the work.

Why is the dentistry profession allowed to do this? Can't they just do what you - the customer - wants doing with your teeth? If it aches, pull it out! If it's got a hole in it, fill it! If your teeth are filthy, clean them! It's easy, really. Why do you have to go through the rigmarole of fulfilling appointments just so your knashers can be inspected and given the all clear.

Surely it's up to me whether or not I see the dentist. Why should it be up to him?

Mike Wilson