Dental Headlines Sometimes Make Dentists Look Bad

Dentists Make the News with Tax Evasion, Prostitution Rings, and More

Perhaps you don’t have time to search Google News every day for the latest dental headlines. Not to worry! That’s what I’m here for.

You’ll find press releases (Dentist completes veneer training), local news (Local dentist rebuilds after fire), consumer information articles (Conscious sedation eases dental fear), and business updates (3M buys dental products maker Imtec). Most of this information will be of little value to you.

However, if you look carefully, you’ll find some fascinating bits of dental news. The news is always filled with scandalous tales of people doing shocking things. If anyone involved in the story was a dentist, you can be sure Google News will let you know.

So, without further ado, here are this week’s most scandalous headlines!

No Diplomatic Immunity for Tax-Evading “Ambassador of Heaven”

A Louisiana dentist found guilty of tax evasion has been sentenced to two and a half years and ordered to pay $155k in restitution. And with the verdict, I’ve lost two of my favorite tax-avoidance strategies!

Dr. Louis Genard has not filed a tax return in 12 years. In 1997, he filed an affidavit declaring himself a “sovereign citizen of the Republic of Louisiana,” renouncing his US citizenship, and declaring that the IRS had no authority over him.

The IRS, however, disagreed with the doctor’s assessment and filed suit against him. He tried to have the charges dismissed due to his diplomatic immunity as an “Ambassador and Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven under its King Jesus the Christ,” but the court was unsympathetic.

Unfortunately for Dr. Genard, the US justice system doesn’t give points for creativity.

Prostitution Ring Funds Dentist’s Retirement

Chicago dentist Dr. Gary Kimmel allegedly pocketed at least $372,000 in cash for his role in a prostitution ring. The doctor’s saga began several years ago, when a man who turned out to be a pimp responded to his apartment rental ad. The doctor leased cars for and rented apartments to at least three pimps. He also performed dental work for cash on the pimps and prostitutes, but never reported this income.

Dr. Kimmel is pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The plea agreement will require the dentist to pay $400,000 and serve several years of jail time.

X-Rated Soundtrack Courtesy of Dentist’s Sexy Girlfriend

Dr. Victor Patacchiola  has a steady stream of patients in and out of his London dental practice. UK’s The Sun began investigating his practice after multiple patients claimed to have heard groans and other raunchy noises. “It sounded like someone having sex. It was really off-putting,” The Sun quoted a patient as saying.

It turns out that the dentist’s girlfriend (a blonde who goes by the name of “Tiny”) works upstairs from the dental practice, performing strip teases and sexual performances. The doctor defends the setup, claiming that Tiny is a therapist and everything is completely legal.

Legal? Maybe. Distasteful? Definitely.

Variations on Classic Themes

Every week, dental stories pop up in a few common areas…

Unlicensed Dentist Gets Busted
This week: Ottawa Man Pleads Guilty to Unlicensed Dentistry

Dentist Accused of Shoddy Work
This week: Bungling Dentist Left Woman Looking like ‘Bride of Dracula’

Dentist Accused of Misconduct
This week: CA Dentist Accused of Sex Assault on 19 Male Patients

Dentists Face Stress
This week: Dental Surgeon Takes Suicide Leap, Blames “Tremendous Stress”

Somewhere, A Dentist Does Something Stupid
This week: Dentist and New Wife Face Charges for Wedding Night Brawl

Dentist Annual Fee Increases: Dental Management

Dentist schedules: 55% are open lateDentist annual fee increases aren’t universal in a recession economy, suggests this survey. While half of dentists (54%) report that they have raised fees in the past year, it’s been over a year since their last fee increase for the other half (44%). And 2% have even lowered their dental fees.

Those who did raise fees did it by an average of 4.5%. “Staff realized how important it was and influenced me!” said one dentist. “I was hesitant at this time, but they insisted because of how expenses are increasing, etc, not because they want raises. They know the difficulties of today running a practice.”

It’s worth noting that not one pediatric dentist in this survey said they had raised fees in the past 12 months. “I’m holding fees steady this year. Economy and all,” said one children’s dentist.

Dental consultants tell dentists they should be raising dental fees each and every year as a part of their dental management. Here are some comments from dentists on the topic:

  • “I’ve had patients leaving to find a network dentist for a few dollars savings. A fee increase does not seem wise or humane.” (Texas dentist)
  • “In a down market, reducing fees can offer a competitive advantage.” (California periodontist)
  • “Don’t increase across the board. Some up, some the same.” (Periodontist)
  • “Although we have raised our default fees, my fees are primarily based on the complexity and difficulty of the case.” (Dental implant dentist)
  • “Will be meeting soon to review our costs and the economic situation.” (North Carolina oral surgeon)
  • “This year I raised them 5%, similar last year The demand for my services is high.” (West Virginia TMJ dentist)
  • “Difficult to raise dental fees during these difficult economic times.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “Once per year we increase fees at least 3-4% to keep up with annual inflation. A few fees are increasing more than 4%, like gold dental crown fees.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “We kept the basic services the same (prophys etc) but raised the other fees. We find that patients do not notice the increase unless we increase the prophy and exam fees.” (California dentist)
  • “Since some of our co-pays are based on a percentage of our registered fees, we had to increase our fees.” (New Jersey dentist)

Read more – Dental Management: Annual Dental Fee Increase

Dental Implant Placement by the General Dentist (video)

Dentists who place dental implantsAbout half of general dentists place dental implants. In this survey, 53% of general dentists said they do dental implant placement themselves.

“I pick and choose,” said a Virginia prosthodontist. “Those patients who need a more complex treatment are referred to our in-house oral surgeon or periodontists.”

“Every general dentist who can extract a tooth can do most dental implant surgery,” said an Oregon general dentist. “I feel that oral surgeons really do not want you to know how easy it is to do. All dentists owe it to themselves and to their patients. I restore 75% more tooth implants now because I am placing my own. The acceptance was astonishing.”

Read more: Dentists Who Place Dental Implants

Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Does Removing Them Really Matter?

pulling impacted wisdom teethWhen asked if impacted wisdom teeth automatically should be removed, over half the dentists surveyed felt they should usually be removed, but not always. Some pointed to the fact that this is a skilled procedure where the dentist needs to have experience in the removal of wisdom teeth.

“If they have the TRAINING and EXPERIENCE there is no reason why a generalist should not be extracting impacted wisdom teeth,” advised one dentist. “This applies to almost any “specialty” service . . .”

In this dental survey, 53% felt wisdom teeth should usually be removed, but not always; while 40% were evenly split between 20% warning that impacted wisdom teeth almost always need to be extracted, and 20% stating many impacted wisdom teeth do not need to be removed; and 9% insisted that impacted wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

Here are some dentist comments:

  • “I have been removing wisdom teeth for more than 26 years. The vast majority of impacted wisdom teeth
    should be removed before age 20 to simplify the procedure for both the patient and the dentist. The need to remove these teeth later in life is a much more complicated and risky procedure. There is too much potential risk to leave wisdom teeth impacted for most patients.” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “Use common sense. You need to have a reason why the procedure is done . The patient needs to be better off because of the procedure.” (New York dentist)
  • “I have seen too many 50+ year olds with impacted third molars contributing to to the loss of second molars due to attachment loss.” (California periodontist)
  • “I had a 73 year old man whose #1 erupted and had to be removed. Better to get them out early while recovery/surgery is not so complicated.” (Texas dentist)
  • “Age is the most important variable.” (General dentist)
  • “3rd molars ought to be evaluated for each patient to determine whether or if surgery is indicated. After 50 years of practice, I have seen many untreated impacted 3rd molars, but very rarely a problem from them.” (Missouri dentist)
  • “If they’re there and functional, clean, so be it! Also depends on the age. I’m not about to tell a 80 year old lady she has a perio-pocket on #32 D and if she’s not able to keep it clean, it needs to go!” (New York dentist)
  • “Of course it depends on your experience, training and comfort level, but any GP can learn how to do this. Note that if it were not for wisdom tooth extraction and dental implants, OMS specialists would have nothing to do with dentistry!” (General dentist)

Read more: Does Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth Really Matter?

Dentists: Ever Search for Yourself Online? (video)

online searchesOnline reviews of dentists are becoming more important as more dental patients use the Internet to find a dentist. From a marketing perspective, they’re great — as long as no one is trashing you.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if they searched for themselves online. 83% of dentists surveyed answered yes.

“From a marketing point of view, all dentists should know if and where they are on search engines (increasingly patients pick their dentist from an Internet search), and what is being said about the practice/dentist,” said a Washington orthodontist.

Click on play to watch the survey video and hear the full survey results –

Here are a few free websites that can help you monitor your online reputation

1. Social Mention @ www.socialmention.com
A free online search tool that searches the Internet (especially social media) for any conversations being posted about you.

2.  Board Tracker @ www.boardtracker.com
A free online forum search tool that searches forums mentioning you or your dental practice.

3.  Twitter Search @ search.twitter.com
Real-time search for what is being said on Twitter. Be sure to try searches with a # sign in front of your name too.

4.  Google Alerts @ www.google.com/alerts
A free tool where you enter the topic you wish to monitor along with your email address and alerts will be emailed to you whenever Google discovers your topic online.

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