Cosmetic Dentistry: Many Dentists Provide Gummy Smile Reduction

cosmetic dentistry - gummy smilesWhile the type of cosmetic dentistry treatment for a ‘gummy smile’ may vary per dentist, 54% of the dentists surveyed do provide this service for their dental patients.

“We discuss lip repositioning which is surgical correction, or Botox,which is a short-term fix. If appropriate, we recommend esthetic crown lengthening or gingivectomy,” said one dentist.

In this survey where The Wealthy Dentist asked if dentists are offering treatment specifically for gummy smile reduction, only 35% don’t offer gummy smile reduction.  Another 11% offer other alternatives.

Of the 54% of dentists who answered yes to offering gummy smile reduction, we also asked their preferred treatment.  Here are some of their comments on treatments:

  • “We offer gingivoplasty as treatment.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “We give our patients the option of a modified widman flap.” (Misouri dentist)
  • “Our preferred treatment utilizes computer imaging and a “gum lift” which is often is followed by longer crowns or veneers.” (New York periodontist)
  • “We recommend Botox to drop upper lip.” (General dentist)
  • “The treatment involves a gingivectomy and contouring.” (Oklahoma dentist)
  • “We offer a soft tissue laser for only soft tissue cases.  If they need bone reduction we send them to a periodontist. ” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “We perform laser tissue re-contouring.” (General dentist)
  • “Treatment depends on whether it is ‘delayed’ passive or active eruption and the osseous crest level: CEJ. It’s either a gingivectomy or flap with osseous.” (Arizona periodontist)

To read more on this survey see: Dentists provide ‘gummy smile’ treatments for their dental patients

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About to Fluoridate Drinking Water

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About To Fluoridate Drinking WaterThe largest city in U.S. without fluoride, San Jose, is about to add fluoride to their drinking water. The Santa Clara Valley Water District voted on November 15th to support fluoridation to most of the county.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that it will be at least a year before the water district can secure funding to add fluoride to the water. The fluoridation project is expected to cost anywhere from $4.4 million to $9.5 million, with annual operating expenses at $836,000.

A 1995 law prohibits water companies from passing fluoridation costs on to rate payers. So both the water district and San Jose Water Company must seek outside methods of providing the capital needed to build the infrastructure necessary to fluoridate the water.

Residents who are against the fluoridation project site fears of dental fluorosis, lowered IQ and raised cancer risks. But the National Cancer Institute supports a February 1991 Public Health Service report, where the agency found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date.

Dentist Donald Lyman, of the California Department of Public Health tells The Washington Post, “When you fluoridate the water, childhood tooth decay drops 40 percent and among the elderly, tooth loss and decay drops 70 percent.”

The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation. (From the ADA website)

New York City cosmetic dentist and Huffington Post contributor, Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. writes, In my years of being a dentist, I’ve found enough to make me feel that fluoride in the water just isn’t worth it. Even if some research is scoffed at, the question itself is enough to make me pause. Especially because I do feel we have enough education on oral health that everyone should be brushing their teeth. And trust me, if you are brushing like you should be (and your dentist is using a topical treatment every so often), then I feel you don’t need fluoride in your water. I’m not a fan of inserting a chemical into our water that most of us simply don’t need to help the few that won’t help themselves.”

What are your thoughts on the use of fluoridation in public water supplies? Leave us a comment or take our most recent survey on fluoridation here.

For more information see: Santa Clara Valley Water District Approves Adding Fluoride to Water in Spite of Objections.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Dental Marketing

Editorial
by Jim Du Molin

I’ve learned to travel with my digital camera just about anywhere I go these days so I can capture examples of interesting signage — both the good and the truly bad examples of dental marketing. I really lucked out when I recently visited a newly-refurbished outdoor shopping mall with a great example of a “banner ad” marketing solution for a dental practice buried behind the front line stores.

Cosmetic Dentistry SignageThis doctor almost perfectly achieved the trifecta of shopping mall marketing, starting with the banner strung in front of his practice. This banner had it all:

 

  • “Personalized & Comfortable:” This is his value statement. What more could a dental patient want from a dental practice?
  • “Cosmetic Dentistry:” This is his targeted high-value patient. Why ask for ordinary dental patients when you can ask for a specific type of high-value patient with an ROI that is four to five times that of a standard patient?
  • Practice Logo: The practice’s logo adds an attention-getting graphic to the banner; it also clearly states the practice’s name, “Strawberry Village Dental Care” – in the Strawberry Mall, in the neighborhood known as Strawberry – a great geographically descriptive name.
  • And most important, a clear call to action statement: “Welcome. Call for Your Appointment Today! 389-3600”

 

 

The second part of this great three-fer mall marketing program is Dental Practice Signage the doctor’s perpendicular drop-down hanging sign from the roof of the mall walkway. The only thing I will have to check next time I visit this site is if this sign is properly lit at night for visibility.Always light your signage (in this case, from both directions for clear visibility), even at night when you are not open.

Strawberry Dental SignageFinally, the third part of a great dental signage promotion is the practice logo painted on the entry door to the office. This is the only flawed part of the presentation – and it’s only a minor flaw. As you can see from the photo, the glare from the glass makes the logo hard to read as you walk by the door. The solution would be to paint a base layer of white paint and then paint the logo on top of the background layer. This eliminates the glare and provides contrast to the logo, making it “pop” on the door, easy to see and read.

My only additional marketing recommendation for this practice would be to attach a clear plastic box to the wall next to the door that would contain a simple new patient offer for walk-by traffic. If you are paying big bucks for a shopping mall location, you want to do everything possible to maximize your marketing opportunities!

Jim Du Molin

Dentist Offers Dental Care for Trade

Uninsured Patients Invited to Barter for Dental Care

Dr. Harry Rayburn of Tupelo, Mississippi, experimented recently with a “Trade Day” at his dental practice. He offered fillings, extractions and cleanings in return for traded items. The event was more about helping uninsured patients than bartering for the actual value of the dental work involved.

Patients started lining up before 6am. Not long after the office opened at 9am, 60 patients had signed in, and the rest had to be turned away. Though that’s three times as many patients as Dr. Rayburn sees on a normal day, he was committed to treating every last one.

Traded items include artwork, bicycles, cakes and pies. Some will be divvied up among the practice’s team members, and the rest will be donated to charity. Dr. Rayburn (who cites the movie “Doc Hollywood” as his inspiration) says he’s considering making “Trade Day” a regular event.

Read more

Dentures: Do They Ever Fit Right?

dentures do they ever fitYou never know what kind of a reaction you could get when you upset a woman — especially one who is 85 years-old, unhappy with her dentures and sitting in your dentist chair.

According to The Smoking Gun, dental patient Virginia Graham became upset when her dentist, Dr. Hammonds, tried to adjust her poor-fitting lower partial dentures.

The adjustment hurt enough for Graham to scream in pain and, remove the partials from her mouth and throw them at Dr. Hammonds.

She demanded a $900 refund, to which her dentist flatly refused, so she felt is (it) necessary to try and grab the dentures from the his hand. A “brief tug-of-war” ensued until, “Graham allegedly bent down and bit Hammonds hand forcing him to let go of the partial.”

Graham then attempted to leave the dental office, but Dr. Hammonds “got in her face and began screaming at her, causing her to fear that he would potentially cause her harm,” as reported by Sheriffs investigators. Deputies report that Graham stated that the dentist physically kept her from leaving his dental office.

Investigators documented “multiple bruising” on Graham’s upper arms and forearms, and her “left upper arm was bleeding due to her skin tearing when Hammonds grabbed her arm.”

Dr. Hammonds was booked into the Volusia County jail on charges of assault, battery, false imprisonment, and a variety of felony charges. He is out on $4,000 bail.

When I first starting working in dental consulting, over 25 years ago, there was a story about a dentist who tried to repossess an unpaid denture. The doctor tackled a female dental patient on the front lawn of the practice. The dentures popped out and he grabbed them in the grass.

The net of this incident was a lawsuit and, if I remember correctly, a $19,000 settlement against the doctor. This case has a lot more drama and it will be interesting to see how it settles out.

How would you have handled this situation?

To see more on this story go to: Denture Battle Leaves Dentist In Braces.

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