Dental Editorials Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

What Makes a Dentist go Bad?

when dentists go badIn recent news, dentist Davinder Singh Jamus failed to effectively sedate a patient as he filed down her teeth at the Kensington Dental Spa clinic in West London, causing her to scream out in agony.

His response was to tell her that, “Nobody screams in my surgery,” while botching her veneer job.

On March 21, the UK General Dental Council listened to story upon story from angry former patients of Dr. Jamus.

When one of the former patients complained about the quality of her dental care, he allegedly told her she had been “very ambitious and naughty.” Apparently he tried to intimidate her into silence by advising that if she tried to take it further he “could guarantee she would lose.”

Jamus is also accused of allegedly fitting one patient with dental crowns to two teeth, instead of providing veneers as agreed, and failing to give another patient enough time to consider treatment before asking for consent while not admitting he had perforated her root canal.

Is this a bad misuse of his position as a medical professional, or an example of a poorly trained dentist?

NHS in the UK saw a 4.4% rise in annual complaints about GP services and dentistry to in 2009 -2010. There are twice as many claims on British dentists as there are on British doctors for poorly done treatment, fraud or excessive fees.

Other complaints are for badly done root canals or broken crowns and bridges.

Some believe the rise in complaints in the UK is due to the rise in the costs of procedures during rough economic times. Davinder Singh Jamus seems to be the exception — not the rule — when it comes to quality dental care.

What are your thoughts on bad dentistry?

For more on the Jamus dental story, see: The Daily Mail.

Your Gift… The New Patient Marketing™Machine

Your gift: The New Patient Marketing MachineJim Du Molin calls it the “New Patient Marketing Machine™“… and it’s his gift to you.

“I’d like to give something back to all the dentists who have helped make my life so great,” says Jim. “So I’m going to do something I’ve never done before…”

“I’ll give the first 1,000 dentists who sign up a general dental website… entirely free for one year. No strings attached,” he explains.

Enjoy the holiday season… and Jim Du Molin’s gift to you. Get your gift now!

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.

Dental Management: The Value of Entrepreneurism

dental management entrepreneural opportunity Dentists are classic entrepreneurs — they seek to better themselves through education, and take economic risks (the cost of education, the cost of opening and managing a dental practice) in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.

According to American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, “Earned success gives people a sense of meaning about their lives.”

Moreover, by succeeding as entrepreneurs, Dentists keep alive the American Dream that others may likewise create a better life for themselves, if they too elect to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.

The recent marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, child of two employees-turned-entrepreneurs, broke tradition in Great Britain and brought attention to the value of entrepreneurism.

“The Middletons symbolize the opportunity that exists in a free-market system for those who take advantage of it. It is worth noting that they founded (their business) during the Thatcher era, when the Conservative government focused on lifting barriers to entrepreneurs through lower taxation, less regulation , and privatization,” writes John Berlau, a director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

The idea of ordinary people building successful businesses — a concept often called the ‘American Dream’ — is now realized in certain British TV programs.

One study of thousands of British employees revealed that the workers’ perception of happiness actually rose as their demographic group’s average income increases relative to their own. It was the opportunity to advance that mattered.

When William and Kate said ‘I do,’ the royal family of Britain “officially wed the dreams and aspirations of millions of entrepreneurs in the UK, the U.S., and throughout the world” . . . and maybe some dentists too.

For more on this story see: The Entrepreneurs’ Princess

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative Review

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative ReviewThe most costly dental marketing mistake could be threatening to sue your dental patients.  And once again, a dentist is making front-page news with her challenge against a negative dental review on Yelp.

ABC News is reporting that Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, threatened to sue dental patient Robert Allen Lee for posting critical comments about Dr. Makhnevich on Yelp and DoctorBase.

According to ABC News the problem began in 2010, when Robert Lee went into Dr. Makhnevich’s office for a scheduled dentist’s appointment. Lee claims he was in excruciating pain when he was told he had to sign a Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy form, before being treated. The privacy form required that Lee agree not to publish any commentary or write anything disparaging about his experience online.

Lee further states that although he was hesitant to sign this form, he was desperate to receive treatment and gave in to agreeing to sign the form.

Lee became unhappy when there was a mishap with billing his insurance company and he couldn’t get Dr. Makhnevich’s office to rectify the situation to his satisfaction, Lee wrote negative reviews about Dr. Makhnevich and her practice on Yelp and DoctorBase.

Both ABC News and Public Citizen are reporting that Makhnevich sent a letter to Lee demanding that he delete the negative posts, warning him that he violated the agreement he signed and threatened to sue him for breach of contract. Dr. Makhnevich also contacted the review sites and asked for Lee’s negative comments to be removed.

Both Yelp.com and DoctorBase refused to take down the negative reviews, but Makhneich reportedly claimed that a copyright clause gave her ownership of the negative comments. She then went on to send Lee an invoice for $100 for each day the negative remarks remained online.

Lee has now taken legal action against the doctor by filing a lawsuit in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, accusing Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, of violating his rights as a patient by threatening him with a lawsuit for posting negative comments online.

As we have reported here on The Wealthy Dentist in the past, dentists have not been successful in court when suing patients directly for their negative online reviews. Recently in California a dentist who sued a patient now has to pay $80,000 in legal fees, not just to the patient who posted the review, but also to Yelp itself.

In the article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews, The Wealthy Dentist has offered dentists advice on how to handle a negative online review — and threatening to sue the patient was not listed as a viable dental marketing option.

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews and the sites that allow them?

For more on this story see: Dentist Threatens to Sue Patient for Negative Yelp Review and Doc Sued Over Attempts to Prohibit Patients From Writing Online Reviews.

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