Dental Care Reform: Senate To Require Dental Veneers

Cosmetic Dentistry USA: dental veneers for all AmericansIn an unexpected bipartisan move, Democratic and Republican senators will announce on April 1st that they will supplement the health care reform bill with a comprehensive reform of dental care in the USA.

“Americans are typically considered to have perfect teeth,” said Senator McGrin (R-CA) at a press conference Tuesday. “What is at stake is nothing less than our country’s international reputation.”

“We will do whatever it takes to stay #1 in the world,” agreed Senator Smilestein (D-NY), also speaking at the press conference. “Our plan will guarantee dental veneers for every man, woman and child in the US.”

Under the proposed plan, dental veneers would become mandatory for all Americans in 2014.

Well-known for having a perfect smile himself, President Barack Obama is expected to support the bill.

Cosmetic dentistry is a right!” declared Sen. McGrin. “For too long, dental makeovers have been limited to those who can afford them. It’s simply not fair. Mandatory veneers will level the playing field, teeth-wise.”

Those who have had braces or who have naturally perfect teeth may be able to apply for a special waiver. However, these individuals would be required to undergo yearly exams from a cosmetic dentist. At the first sign of decay or yellow teeth, porcelain veneers would be immediately required.

But not everyone is thrilled with the new legislation. In fact, Tea Party conservatives and ACLU liberals have joined forces to protest the bill. “Requiring cosmetic dentistry is un-American,” declared Glenn Beck of Fox News. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I completely agree with Glenn Beck,” replied the president of the ACLU.

“Who is going to pay for universal cosmetic dentistry?” asked Beck. “The Congressional Budget Office has projected that mandatory veneers or lumineers for all Americans will cost the country half a trillion dollars over the next five years. High-income Americans are taxed enough already. And don’t think that higher taxes to pay for this will be limited to people in the upper income brackets. You’re going to see tax increases for middle-income Americans also, if this goes through.”

While the National Dental Organization supports the measure, opponents have loudly challenged the measure. “What’s next?!? Dental implants and dentures for children? Braces for seniors?” demanded one protester. “Why should fat-cat dentists get a special break?”

James Du Molin, president of dental website TheWealthyDentist.com, replied, “Dentists, like other small business owners, are the backbone of our economy. Why are we bailing out banks and other megacorporations? It’s small businesses, like the privately-owned dental office, that create 80% of the new jobs in America.”

Overall, Senators McGrin and Smilestein remain unfazed. “Government-sponsored veneers are the perfect blend of socialism and capitalism,” said Sen. Smilestein. “We’re confident that this solution will satisfy everyone… and cement America’s position of having the best-looking teeth in the world!”

Cosmetic Dentistry and Reality TV (video)

Cosmetic dentistry and reality TV makeover showsMany reality TV shows feature dramatic makeovers that include cosmetic dentistry.

This survey found that half (54%) of dentists think this has increased patient demand for cosmetic dental work.

“It has made more people more aware of the cosmetic dentistry options,” said one dentist.

Another dentist was more skeptical. “These days, any dentist who does an all porcelain crown is calling himself a cosmetic dentist, with or with out any formal dental continuing education programs.”

“I’m more concerned about commercial advertisements from products like Lumineers and Invisalign,” added another.

Read more: Has the Media Increased Patient Demand for Cosmetic Dentistry?

Dental Dish: Did Mel Gibson Knock out Girlfriend’s Teeth?

Mel Gibson & Oksana Grigorieva: domestic violence?In January, Oksana Grigorieva – who recently had a child with Mel Gibson – saw a dentist following a fight with the actor.

She claims Gibson punched her twice in the face, giving her a concussion and resulting in the loss of one tooth and the chipping of another.

However, friends of the actor claim the damage was only to Grigorieva’s dental veneers, and that Gibson had nothing to do with the damage to the veneers.  Gibson maintains that he was only trying to protect their child from Grigorieva during the January altercation.

Sources close to the actor claim that Grigorieva made up the story because of ongoing custody battles and/or for financial reasons. Though the couple has been separated for many months, she recently filed a restraining order against Gibson.

I was curious about gossip websites reporting on someone’s medical records, so I turned to HR expert Barbara Freet. “Is there a HIPPA violation in here anywhere?” I asked her.

“Only if she didn’t want the press to know about her teeth,” Barbara replied, “which I assume she most certainly does!”

Read more: Oksana Went Dental, Did Mel Go Mental?

Best Dental Veneers: Dentists Prefer Porcelain Veneers

Best dental veneersThe best dental veneers are likely to be ceramic or porcelain veneers, found this survey of dentists. Only one dentist in five prefers resin or composite veneers.

Eighty-six percent of doctors feel that teeth veneers are a great cosmetic option, but 14% worry they have become over-used. “I have had more very young patients wanting veneers, and this is a really disturbing trend,” said a Texas dentist. “I try to explain to them that they are beginning a lifetime of maintenance and replacement.”

Dentists were even split over whether traditionally prepared or minimal-prep are the best tooth veneers. Though they are becoming more popular, only 10% of dentists prefer no-prep veneers.

The majority of dentists do not have a favorite brand of dental veneers. Some dentists felt the best veneers for cosmetic dentistry were Lumineers, Empress, Durathin, or LifeLike Veneers.

Here are some comments from dentists about the best dental veneers:

  • “All types are good. Case decisions need to be personalized.” Missouri dentist
  • “Dental veneers are grossly overused.” Arizona prosthodontist
  • “In most cases, we provide a dental crown instead. The veneer is not that much more conservative than a crown, and the crown is much more likely to succeed long term. Veneers are over-marketed and over-utilized.” Illinois dentist
  • “I’ve had mixed results with no-prep veneers so far in my young career.” General dentist
  • “They are overused, but they are also a great option.” Connecticut dentist
  • “They work great in the proper situation. Good treatment planning is always the key.” Washington dentist anesthesiologist
  • “Veneers are not just for cosmetics, but can be a restorative or regenerative option. How much preparation on the teeth are dictated by teeth position and final result desired.” Texas dentist

Dentists Sour on Cosmetic Dentistry and Veneers

Dental veneers in cosmetic dentistryMany dentists think that cosmetic dentists rely too heavily on dental veneers.

“I think those practices generally emphasize SELLING dentistry rather than doing the most conservative, yet appropriate treatment for their patients,” complained one dentist.

In this survey, 45% of dentists said the entire profession of cosmetic dentistry is too dependent on veneers, while 30% said this is only true of a few individual cosmetic dentists, and the remaining 25% said that veneers are not used overly frequently.

Here are some dentist comments from this survey…

  • “While dental veneers are certainly an acceptable way of treating many cases, I never cease to be amazed that patients are almost never told that those veneers will eventually need to be replaced. I have treated many patients who had no idea that their veneers would not last forever.” (California dentist)
  • “The worst is dentists trying to sell them to patients who do not even need them.” (California dentist)
  • “In many cases, teeth with wear and poor function can be improved with veneers, a minimally invasive solution, while increasing esthetics.” (California dentist)
  • “Veneers increase the maintenance load on the restorative practice.” (Ohio dentist)
  • “I think that overuse is often patient-driven because of advertising; hard [for a dentist] to say no.” (Texas dentist)
  • “Ask a specialist how dentists are perceived and most will tell you (although not to your face) that at least 3 of 4 dentists are ‘scumbags’ based on unnecessary cosmetic procedures, sealants that are not needed, extractions done poorly, dental implants placed improperly and restored terribly, root canals improperly shaped and filled, and orthodontics done poorly. Many know their work is bad, but are living a lifestyle that necessitates these procedures be done to ‘fill their chairs.’ It will destroy the profession and make us poorly regarded in the minds of others if this continues.” (Orthodontist)

Read more: Cosmetic Dentists and Dental Veneers: How Much Cosmetic Dentistry Is Too Much?

 

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