Dentists Sort of Like Celebrity Cosmetic Dentists (Video)

When asked if they think celebrity cosmetic dentists are good for the profession, two out of three dentists say TV dentists are good for dentistry, according to a survey by The Wealthy Dentist.

The majority feels that media exposure only makes the public more aware of what cosmetic dentistry can offer. The remaining 38% of dentists feel that these docs are pushing appearance over health, and it’s not making dentists look good.

read more: Dental Makeovers from TV Celebrity Cosmetic Dentists

Puppet Dentist “Glenn Martin, DDS”

Puppet Dentist Glenn Martin, DDSMichael Eisner has a new animated TV series about a traveling dentist and his family that’s leading Nickelodeon’s Nick at Nite lineup this week and will continue to air on Mondays.

The dentist is voiced by Saturday Night Live alum Kevin Nealon.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if dentists had national reciprocity, and could actually drive a dental van across the country? Get braces at the Grand Canyon! Get new dentures at Mt. Rushmore!

Visit the show’s site

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?

The Sedation Dentist – As Seen on TV’s ‘Glee’

Sedation dentistry on TV show 'Glee'There’s a new dentist on the pop culture scene! “Dr. Carl” has joined the cast of TV’s ‘Glee.’

In last week’s Britney/Brittany episode, the whole glee club has musical fantasies about pop star Britney Spears while under the influence of Dr. Carl’s hallucinogen-laced sedation dentistry.

Sedation Dentistry on Glee

The popular TV show chronicles the adventures of a high school glee club. One of the school’s teachers is dating Dr. Carl, a local dentist played by John Stamos.

The dentist visits the glee club for a dental outreach, where he discovers that some of the students have terrible teeth. Cheerleader Brittany’s are the worst of the bunch.

Brittany: “I don’t brush my teeth. I rinse my mouth out with soda after I eat. I was pretty sure Dr. Pepper was a dentist.

Brittany goes to visit Dr. Carl for treatment.

Dr. Carl: “So, Brittany, you, uh… You have the worst teeth I’ve ever seen. You have cavities in every single tooth. That’s got to be some sort of record.
Brittany: “Please don’t pull all my teeth. When I smile I’ll look like an adult baby…”
Dr. Carl: “All right, we’ll put you under a little general anesthesia – you won’t feel a thing.”
Brittany: “Like roofies?”
Dr. Carl: “Yeah, totally.”

While Brittany is sedated, she has vivid musical dreams of Britney Spears. When the cheerleader wakes up, Dr. Carl tells her that she’ll have to come back the next day, as he wasn’t able to fill all of her 68 cavities.

When cheerleader Santana accompanies her friend Brittany, Dr. Carl is reluctant to work on Santana, as she has perfect teeth. But the cheerleader is determined, telling the dentist, “Get up in my grill, ‘cuz Brits and I wants to get our anesthesia on!

All of the students visit the dentist, and all have musical fantasies of Britney Spears. The reason for this is explained later in the episode:

Artie: “The nitrous oxide dentist uses a mild hallucinogen.”

“Studies have proven that it induces vivid dreams,” the student explains. “Often the last thing the patient thinks of, the subconscious moves to the forefront. Since we’ve all been thinking so much about Britney, you know, it stands to reason…”

Sedation Dentistry in Real Life

Of course, people who watch this episode will hopefully understand that it does not accurately represent sedation dentistry. The “hallucinogen” reference makes it clear that Dr. Carl is not your average sedation dentist.

Nonetheless, from a dental perspective, a few aspects of this episode are troubling.

Most bothersome is the ambiguity between general anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation. Dr. Carl tells Brittany he’s giving her general anesthesia – and there’s no anesthesiologist, no oxygen monitors, no assistant. Later in the episode, we learn that Dr. Carl in fact uses nitrous oxide.

The difference between general anesthesia and nitrous oxide was at the heart of a dentist’s recent lawsuit against Yelp reviewers. The dentist sedated a child with nitrous oxide and put in an amalgam filling. The child’s parents later posted extremely negative comments about the dentist, saying she had used too much general anesthesia on the child. (The pediatric dentist does not offer general anesthesia.) The parents were also upset that the dentist used a filling that contained mercury, although they had signed a consent form saying as much prior to the child’s treatment.

The Consequences of Dr. Carl

The fact is, Dr. Carl is now the most visible dentist in today’s pop culture landscape.

As a profession, dentists could do a lot worse. John Stamos’s Dr. Carl is handsome, charming and funny. He’s not nerdy or awkward or cruel. Refreshingly, he doesn’t at all play into the ‘Marathon Man’ stereotype of dentists as pathological sadists.

Dr. Carl is giving sedation dentistry a lot more exposure than it normally gets. On the one hand, it’s great to let people know that sleeping through their dental work is a viable option. On the other hand, this is clearly not an accurate representation of sedation dentistry.

And What about You?

Do you think TV viewers are savvy enough to realize how Dr. Carl’s “treatment” differs from real-life sedation dentistry?

Have any of your patients mentioned ‘Glee’ and Dr. Carl to you? Is Dr. Carl an asset when it comes to dental marketing?

Dental Marketing on Broadcast Media

In this survey, we asked dentists about advertising on TV or radio. We found that the slight majority of dentists aren’t currently advertising on broadcast media, but 41% are utilizing those dental marketing avenues.

Of those dental practices that do, half say they get excellent results.

“Even when radio seems to be failing for some, we have continued our success,” boasted one dentist.

Notably, dentists in rural areas are far more likely than their urban counterparts to advertise on radio and/or TV. Rural dentists often find that radio and TV allow them to reach patients in a large geographical area. Rural patients are far more likely than city folk to travel long distances for dental care.

Here are a few more dentist comments:

  • “Talk radio – it’s the only way to go!” (South Carolina dentist)
  • “It works best if I do two weeks, then switch to another station. Continual repetition on the same channel seems to make you invisible.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “If I could afford broadcast media ads in Southern California, I really wouldn’t need to use them anyway.” (California dentist)

Read more: Many Dentists Delighted with TV and Radio Advertising


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