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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 9 of Dear Doctor Magazine

Dear Doctor — An Advocate for Individual and Public Health

"To improve quality of life and eliminate health disparities, demands the understanding, compassion, and will of the American people. There are opportunities for all health professions, individuals, and communities to work together to improve health." U.S. Surgeon General's Report, 2000.

The over-arching message of the Surgeon General's report was "You cannot be healthy without oral health." The focus of the report was the health of the nation, the public at large.

In this issue we broaden our horizon and perspective in considering topics that affect not only individual health, but also begin to consider what the implications are for the health of everyone. In this regard two seemingly unrelated topics are featured in this issue, "Pregnancy and Oral Health" and "Fluoride and Fluoridation", yet these topics and the people they affect are related.

For example, oral health is vitally important to a woman who is pregnant. Her general health and her nutrition including the drinking water (whether fluoridated or not) are issues that will affect normal and healthy development of her child, and will continue into maturity.

Fluoride and fluoridation of public water supplies are issues that have been considered for decades and clearly have implications for public policy, yet as one of my mentors said to me over thirty years, in this powerful statement:

"If I can get fluoride into one water supply, I can do more good than treating cavities in the dental office my whole life". Professor Aubrey Sheiham

When the needs of the many are the same as the needs of the few, there are economies of scale for education, behavior change, disease prevention, distribution of resources, public policy and planning. The arena enlarges to encompass the public health domain.

We take the Surgeon General's charge very seriously. Our mission is to create understanding and awareness through education, which is truly our passion. That's where Dear Doctor plays a role in advocating for you both as an individual and a member of the public at large.


Mario A.Vilardi, DMD

Garry A.Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS