Collaboration vs. Conflagration

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Frenum of Speech?

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In our paper, we openly acknowledged the existing gaps in the peer-reviewed literature concerning buccal frenulae, emphasizing the absence of widely accepted classifications, diagnostic criteria, and standardized treatment guidelines grounded in scientific evidence. We conducted a scoping review, which is a methodology that inherently signifies the preliminary nature of our inquiry. The limited availability of published data underscored the novelty, importance and exploratory nature of the present work, which we hope may serve as a starting point for further research and investigation. Not unlike the early satellites sent into space prior to sending humans there.

As the authors of the paper “The buccal frenum: Trends in diagnosis and indications for treatment of buccal-ties among 466 healthcare professionals”, we feel compelled to address the instagram review posted by a Ms. Miluk.

Our humble endeavor aimed to illuminate an aspect of oral healthcare that bears further exploration, and offer some tools to help the field press (responsibly) onward. Regrettably, the insta-critique in question came across as a destructive diatribe rather than constructive scholarly dialogue.

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We fully recognize and appreciate the value of critiques in advancing scholarly knowledge. However, it is essential that critiques are balanced, objective, respectful of genuine effort invested in the discovery process, consider the inclusion and consideration of diverse perspectives for the value they can offer.

While we can appreciate Ms. Miluk's time reviewing our paper, her critique seemed to prioritize showcasing her own expertise and deploying ad hominem, over promoting any constructive exchange of ideas.

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The field of speech pathology, and healthcare in general has a rich history of methodologies emerging from clinical settings and evolving into broader professional discussions. Our paper represents the continuation of this tradition, by seeking to spark professional dialogue, inspire better understanding between practitioners', and to lay the foundation for more rigorous research in future scholarly pursuits.

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The academic community thrives on the inclusion of various viewpoints, which ultimately leads to more comprehensive research and innovation. If we discouraged everyone from backgrounds that differ from our own, imagine how myopic our world would be, however indeed, we all have the right to our opinions.

It would be interesting to see if Ms. Miluk would as confidently and vociferously espouse the same vitriol towards the numerous reviewers at the Wiley Journal of Oral Rehabilitation where our paper was carefully considered and ultimately published.

Ours is that to chastise a budding flower for not yet being in full bloom benefits no one, and accomplishes nothing but to wave around the ego like a battle standard on a little hill of no strategic significance, armed only with a pointing finger and a megaphone.

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We extend an open invitation to Ms. Miluk and the wider healthcare community, to join us in the ongoing pursuit of truth and knowledge that defines any noble quest in academia. The realm of scholarly discourse is open to all who are willing to engage in earnest inquiry and contribute constructively to the advancement of clinical practice and patient care on a global scale.

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Yours in the unwavering pursuit of truth and understanding,

Chad Knutsen, Dr. Richard Baxter, Robyn Merkel-Walsh, Dr. Soroush Zaghi , Lisa Lahey

It is worth noting that this particular critique came from someone that

(to the best of our knowledge) has not yet engaged in any published research on this topic (or any others). We deeply believe in the importance of conducting scrutinous research and contributing to the scholarly discourse before passing judgment on others' work. It is easy to criticize from the relative safety and distance of social media, but true progress in academia requires a commitment to genuine, rigorous inquiry and open, curious, respectful dialogue between professionals, especially those who may disagree with one another.