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Book Review Patient Care: A Dental Surgeon’s Guide, 2nd edition. C. Scully. Pp. 324. 1989. London, British Dental Journal. Softback, f 12.95. The new edition of this book again sets out to bridge the gap between the undergraduate course and the early, formative postgraduate years. The text has been widened to include aspects which would be relevant to dentistry in dental practice, the community and developed countries. Its strength lies in the symptom-associated tables which are clearly a very valuable aid for the recently qualified house officer. The medical and surgical management of hospital patients still forms much of the text but too high a proportion is devoted to the diagnosis of many common medical conditions of greater relevance to medical rather than dental graduates. The dental surgeon should be more aware of the implication of the medical problems to proposed patient management rather than to their diagnosis. It is now recognized that the immediate management of the traumatized patient is a special skill and should not be delegated to less well-trained staff. A patient is usually resuscitated long before the dental staff
are asked to assess the facial injuries. On the other hand, the simple, practical ward procedures, such as venepuncture and intravenous infusion technique, are rightly dealt with in depth. There is a well balanced view of the merits and disadvantages of newer imaging techniques. In the therapeutics section, some drugs are rightly categorized as expensive but it would help if, in addition, the relative costs of all drugs were shown. The advice on medicolegal matters is sound and the information on furthering patient communication sensible. The new material, on the other hand, covers children’s dentistry, orthodontics, restorative dentistry and minor oral surgery in condensed lecture note form and adds very little of real practical value. The final section on employment is worthwhile and answers many of the questions junior staff ask about their curriculum vitae, interviews and general duties and behaviour. I would recommend this second edition to new graduates working in a hospital but for those in general dental practice or the community service there are other books more appropriate to their needs. FL Mitchell