Opinion Letters

Lacombe suffers from lack of services

Dear Editor,


May I make use of your newspaper to bring attention to a long-standing problem about which Lacombians have complained many times in the past?

One of the molars on the upper left-hand side of my mouth has lately begun to ache badly.

The tooth has been in service for some 75 years, as with the others in the mouth, it is worn out and in immediate need of removal.

A dentist was needed in as short a time as possible. The quicker, the better.

The logical thing to do was to phone around. I did. On Monday, a particular dentist who advertises that she is in business and will accept new patients is in Lacombe. Her receptionist tells me that she can do an “emergency procedure” this Friday, but that will be limited to an X-ray and exam only. Any dental work needed will have to be done after Christmas.

Meanwhile, the aching tooth is getting no better. If you were an 85 year-old, looking forward to two weeks of a raging toothache, you would probably be sympathetic.

Another solution (the old, old solution) is to go to Red Deer. Going to Red Deer once more proves to be the effective solution.

A dental clinic in Red Deer will examine and remove the offending tooth Wednesday. They will charge me the same $400 as would the Lacombe people, but I will have a pain-free Christmas.

What is it about Lacombe, now that it is a city, that such a need cannot be, in a emergency, supplied? What is it about dentists in general that they refuse to see that the alleviation of pain is a primary consideration?

Do these people really deserve to use the title “doctor”? Do medical doctors not make provision for the prompt relief of extreme discomfort and thus deserve the respect and esteem which is accorded them? Do dentists have any commitment to patient welfare other than on a basis of services rendered (on their own schedule) in exchange for money? And, notably, the highest dental fees in Canada.

If this sounds like it is written by an old guy with a severe toothache, it is!

Peter Priest wants a tooth pulled and is prepared to pay money. He has to go to Red Deer to spend it. Again.

He is enraged and disappointed with the poor value for money, and services offered in Lacombe. Again.

-Peter Priest

Chigwell, Alta.

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