KDA Today

KDA Today

For Immediate Release

Date: Apr 24th, 2014
Contact: Dr. John Thompson

I Only Have A Loose Screw!

You are on vacation, it is Saturday and you get a call from your friend and longtime patient that the tissue integrated prosthetic (TIP) you placed almost thirty years ago has come loose.  For those not practicing that long ago, it is one of those antique contraptions using the old non hexed Brånemark cylinder implants to support a fixed lower denture.  To make matters worse, it is February and he is on a sunbaked Caribbean Island where everyone seems to be happy and it is not predicated on having money or in many cases, electricity.

But wait, it gets worse!  He is in the villa directly above yours and wants to know, "What are you going to do about it?"  Not a problem!  You are Dr. Karl Lange and you have on hand your Mag light, a steak knife, a safety pin and a small screwdriver for repairing your glasses, a certain recipe for success in a situation such as this.  Your friend/patient, Mike, is now sitting in a kitchen chair in your, what is now, villa office and he correctly identifies the implant position where the screw is loose and the gum is very sore.  One hour later you have picked out the composite plug over the screw with the trusty steak knife with the bent tip, plucked out three very ripe cotton balls with your safety pin and accessed the loose screw.  All of this is accomplished under the watchful eye and helpful comments of your next door neighbor who is there to document this event.  As the operation began to unfold and the magnitude of the problem began to manifest, I reminded Karl, "He is your patient, but if it were me..."

It became apparent that multiple implant screws or bolts were broken in the prosthesis and we were in over our heads when the head of the first screw was spinning freely.  Our best hope now was a dentist on the island that understood antique implants.  While that seemed a long shot, a call to an artist friend who also happened to be a retired dental hygienist (1-800-KAY) provided one name and phone number for Dr. Trevor Connor.  Fortunately, the only mistake Dr. Connor made was answering his phone and agreeing to see Mike, and us, at his Anguilla office on Sunday morning after church services.

Your Worst Nightmare!

The first thing I told Dr. Connor as we entered the back door to his pristine office, "This could be your worst nightmare.  You have an emergency patient on a Sunday morning, accompanied by his regular dentist, as well as another dentist, both of whom have opinions on everything, often conflicting."  I have to report that Dr. Trevor Connor seemed unphased by my remark and he did not see any humor in it, either.  Trevor had never seen this loosely presented implant contraption before, but he fully grasped the situation and knew he was going to remove the prosthetic.  His primary dental assistant had been called into the office to help find long abandoned “tools”.  Kamarla, was now at his side, and while her husband and daughter, along with Trevor's beautiful wife, Josie, waited, he began.  Two and a half hours later under the instruction of Dr. Lange and with drawings provided by me, an unperturbed Dr. Connor had removed the prosthesis that had four bolts broken off in the implant bodies. While our patient was now pain free, he was significantly compromised functionally and certainly esthetically.  At this point, I changed Mike’s name to Rupert to protect his identity and preserve a pretense of HIPAA compliance.

Rupert (aka Mike) now had a decision to make.  He could fly back to a cold and snowy Kentucky in the states and have the prosthesis replaced or restored, or he could remain in a third world tropical paradise and continue to work with Dr. Connor.  Trevor Connor is a native Anguillian and a 1987 and '89 Howard University Dental school graduate with advanced training in both Orthodontics and Implantology who decided to bring his talents back to the people of this truly wonderful and, only now, economically developing 35-square-mile island.  His primary dental practice office is in Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands with a satellite practice in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and his Saturday practice and home on Anguilla, British West Indies.  Commuting is facilitated by the fact that Trevor is an accomplished pilot and has his own twin-engine Beechcraft Baron Aircraft to commute between multiple island offices.  Trevor told Rupert (aka Mike) that if he would take a shuttle flight to his office in the Virgin Islands he would have him stay as a guest in his adjacent apartment, provide him soup and then fly him back to Anguilla at the end of the week. Dr. Connor could provide for the surgical recovery of the broken bolts and then repair or replace the prosthesis.  Karl and I looked at each other and immediately agreed that this was a "no brainer" and that Trevor should take control of this situation NOW and not later!  Rupert (aka Mike) was in good hands and Dr. Lange's records would provide all the information required for replacing the ancient Brånemark parts required by Dr. Connor's New Jersey dental laboratory technician.

What was Dr. Trevor Connors fee for that Sunday emergency?  He refused a fee, saying it was a professional courtesy and a three-hour continuing education course.  I would have to say that this whole event is a reminder of the professional camaraderie I enjoyed as a practicing dentist.  In spite of knowing better, there still remains in me, an underlying subliminal cultural bias that says those who practice in differing modes may be somewhat less a dentist than my expectation.

No longer a practicing dentist, I have become an observer dentist and I see this cultural bias, even in our local dental societies, as a prejudice based on geography, urban-rural, gender-age or practice management mode. Indeed, the finest oral surgery practice I have ever seen provides extensive service for a Medicaid population in Appalachia.  Quality of service is not determined because it is delivered by a solo practice or a large group practice and a dental practice spread across three Caribbean islands is as fine as any practice in the United States. The common denominator of quality is a dentist’s commitment to patients, a love of the profession and involvement with continuing education, whether by on-site attendance or long-distance learning.

You are a very lucky person if you get the opportunity or can make the opportunity to practice this profession where you and your spouse can say, "This is where our heart is".  You are doubly blessed if you can provide a service that makes your fellow man happier, you are in love with what you do and you can make a living at it.  Today I am going to be a starving artist, here on Anguilla, and if I am not having a good day, just shoot me!

Press Releases

Click on any title below to read the press release. The release will open up in a new browser window with no menus or images, so that you may print or copy the press release without extraneous graphics.

Aug 21st, 2014Synergy
Aug 21st, 2014Nobody Goes Into Dentistry Because They Love Molars!
Aug 21st, 2014Your KDA is Working Hard for You!
Jun 16th, 2014YOU HAD TO BE THERE!
Jun 16th, 2014Think Big. Think Positively. Think Proactively.
Jun 16th, 2014Denigration
Jun 16th, 2014New Friendships and Lasting Connections Creating a Stronger Interest in Organized Dentistry
Jun 16th, 2014New Friendships and Lasting Connections Creating a Stronger Interest in Organized Dentistry
Apr 24th, 2014I Only Have A Loose Screw!
Apr 24th, 2014The Dentist’s Guide to Social Media Marketing
Apr 24th, 2014I am the KDA! You are the KDA! WE are the KDA!
Apr 24th, 2014Dare to Dream!
Feb 20th, 2014Where Do We Go From Here?
Feb 20th, 2014Medicaid: An Example of Missing the Goals for Oral Health in Kentucky
Feb 20th, 2014UKCD’s First Regional Dental Program: The First Ten Years
Feb 20th, 2014UofL Brightening the Smiles of Children
Feb 20th, 2014Go Tell It on the Mountains
Dec 23rd, 20132014 Kentucky Meeting Details
Dec 23rd, 2013Welcome Dental Students and New Dentists!
Dec 23rd, 2013Listen to Interviews with our Speakers!
Dec 23rd, 2013Dr. John Thompson Awarded Distinguished Editor Award
Dec 23rd, 2013It Is What They Left Behind
Dec 23rd, 2013Letting the Secret Out
Dec 23rd, 2013Teamwork Creates Champions: the Kentucky Meeting: March 13-16, 2014
Oct 17th, 2013I Still Like Maps!
Oct 17th, 2013Ground Game
Oct 17th, 2013Kentucky Department of Insurance, HB 497 and Non-covered Services
Oct 17th, 2013Dr. Janet Faraci Lee Leadership Development Award
Oct 17th, 2013Dr. Janet Faraci Lee’s Legacy
Aug 12th, 2013The Affordable Care Act: What does it mean for Our Members?
Aug 12th, 2013All Membership Is Local
Aug 12th, 2013White Crosses
Aug 12th, 2013KDA Membership…Where Do We Go from Here?
Aug 12th, 2013Thoughts from a New Dentist: the Top Three Reasons that I am Involved with Organized Dentistry
Aug 12th, 2013How can KDAIS Benefit You, as a KDA member?
Aug 12th, 2013Beyond the Website: Marketing on the Modern Web
Aug 12th, 2013Delinquent Accounts….Collections…..YUCK!
Aug 12th, 2013Every Patient Matters. So Does Every Transaction.
Jun 13th, 2013Preaching to the Choir
Jun 13th, 2013Something I Wish I Didn't Know!
Jun 13th, 2013The Foundation of the Kentucky Dental Association: Positioned to Make a Powerful Statement
Apr 15th, 2013United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Apr 15th, 2013So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu
Apr 15th, 2013Exchange What?
Apr 15th, 2013The Pediatric Dental Benefit: Must Offer, May Purchase…
Apr 15th, 2013Participate in Your KDPAC! Contribute and Deliver
Feb 12th, 2013It’s a Dentist Thing
Feb 12th, 2013A Profession in Flux
Feb 12th, 2013Living Is What You Do When Life Gets In the Way
Feb 12th, 2013The Tip of the Iceberg: Actions by the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services Which May Sink KMAP
Oct 19th, 2012Self-Regulation
Oct 19th, 2012House Bill 1 and What It Means to You
Oct 19th, 2012Membership Matters
Aug 21st, 2012Sarrell Dental: Beyond the Operatory
Aug 21st, 2012The Perception of Dentistry
Jun 18th, 2012I Had an Uncle…
Jun 18th, 2012What Part of the “Affordable Care Act” Has Been Affordable?
Jun 18th, 2012Leadership or Politics?
Apr 6th, 2012The "New Old" Still have Teeth
Apr 6th, 2012What a Year, so far!
Apr 6th, 2012Many Thanks for a Great and Memorable Year
Feb 21st, 2012All for One and One for All!
Feb 21st, 2012Happy New Normal
Dec 19th, 2011Access to Care?
Dec 19th, 2011The Wide World of Sports
Oct 28th, 2011To the KDA Executive Board and the entire KDA
Oct 28th, 2011Report of the Sixth District Trustee
Oct 18th, 2011Managed Care and Dentistry in Kentucky: a Dentist’s Dilemma
Oct 18th, 2011Word-of-Mouth on Steroids!
Oct 18th, 2011Why We Shouldn't Lose Sight of Our Purpose...
Aug 4th, 2011Mentor a Young Dentist and Change a Life
Aug 4th, 2011OMG, what is EBD?
Aug 4th, 2011CAPWIZ: Legislative Advocacy Made Easy
Jun 13th, 2011Outside Our Line
Jun 13th, 2011I Might Soon Be Coming to a Town Near You...
Apr 18th, 2011On Your Side, Not Your List
Apr 18th, 2011Blindsided
Apr 18th, 2011I Pledge to Be your Humble Servant…
Apr 18th, 2011Let Me Ask For a Minute of Your Time
Feb 17th, 2011Dr. Andy Elliott for President-elect of the American Dental Association
Feb 4th, 2011A Little Planning Really Helps
Feb 4th, 2011Adjusting Attitudes
Jan 4th, 2011Dental Management of Patients Taking Antiplatelet Medications
Nov 30th, 2010Dental Education Found Worthy
Nov 30th, 2010Delegates Report from the 2010 American Dental Association House of Delegates, Orlando, Florida
Nov 30th, 2010Holiday Greetings to All
Oct 25th, 2010Delegates Report from the 2010 American Dental Association House of Delegates, Orlando, Florida
Oct 7th, 2010What Happens in Alaska, doesn’t Stay in Alaska
Oct 7th, 2010We Need To Do a Better Job of Communicating
Oct 7th, 2010What If …?
Oct 7th, 2010I’m in a Hurry!
Oct 7th, 2010Who Will Speak for Me?
Aug 6th, 2010Kentucky's Dental Practice Act: The Passing of an Old Friend
Aug 6th, 2010The Times They Are Changing
Jun 10th, 2010How a Star was Born
Jun 10th, 2010I Need Your Help…
Apr 20th, 2010KDA and Louisville Water Company Share 150th Birthday and Public Health Vision
Apr 20th, 2010President's Message MA 2010
Apr 20th, 2010Getting It Right!
Feb 25th, 2010Please Join Us for an Exciting, Event-Filled Year Ahead!
Feb 25th, 2010What is a Legacy?
Dec 14th, 2009Holiday Reflections…
Dec 14th, 2009Challenging the Myth of the Suicide-Prone Dentist
Dec 14th, 2009There is Hope: Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Kentucky
Nov 6th, 2009Break your Right Arm and Suddenly You have Time to Study Economics.
Nov 6th, 2009Don’t Balance Health Care Books by Shortchanging Physicians
Jun 26th, 2009Making the World a Better Place, One Village at a Time!
Apr 13th, 2009Breaking Glass
Feb 20th, 2009At the Heart of any Worthy Project is a Committed Volunteer