I enjoy reading the Point/Counterpoint feature that you initiated a year ago. It’s an excellent addition to the Journal . As a general dentist and an orthodontist-in-training, I find that these features offer helpful perspectives on topics commonly surrounded by fact, myth, and opinion that make them difficult to navigate. I appreciate your introduction to this feature, advising that “there are some controversial topics that could benefit from a timely, well-referenced discussion or debate, looking at both sides of the topic. This is the purpose of Point-Counterpoint.” It is indeed critical to get at the heart of what’s best for our patients, and an informed dialog is the way to do it.
After reading January’s Point/Counterpoint on whether routine mounting of orthodontic casts is necessary, I sensed that the written spirit of each position (perhaps “argument” is the better term) was unbalanced. I don’t claim a comprehensive understanding yet of either side of this debate, and so I currently enjoy my view from on the fence. But if the Point/Counterpoint features serve the purpose for which I suspect they’re intended—to examine both sides of a topic—I humbly suggest greater equity in terms of written length and tone of each case, so that the platforms are more balanced. The concept of Point/Counterpoint is excellent, but the structure sometimes leads to less than an ideal discourse.
It seemed to me that Drs Martin and Cocconi (Point) were invited into the boxing ring without being told that they were in a fight-to-the-death match. I can’t help but suspecting that, if Drs Rinchuse and Kandasamy (Counterpoint) had led with the Point instead, the corresponding argument would have been similarly asymmetric. I’m sure this speaks more to the format than to the authors themselves and simply suggests that we need more refereeing in the ring.
Since I know that’s what we strive for, our own publications should reflect collegiality. I believe the debate can be more cordial if the goal is to simply go “1 round in the ring” rather than seeking a knockout every time.