Would You Like Scaling and Root Planing With That?

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Angela, a bright, pretty, 30 year old came to me for a TMJ exam last week and when I asked her who her general dentist was, she told me she didn’t have one.

“I just moved to San Diego from the east coast and I am looking for a new dentist. I went to Acme Dental Clinic (not the real clinic name) for a dental exam but I’m not going back there. I think they’re a scam.”

“Really? What happened?”

“They told me I needed 4 visits of deep cleaning for my periodontal disease and that I should also get my teeth whitened. They were selling those things pretty hard. I just got a bad feeling about them.”

I did six-point perio probing. This young lady had no visible calculus and I found one place—mesial of #3—that had a probe score of 4 mm. All the other scores were 2 or 3 mm. Healthy, normal gum tissue and no bleeding points whatsoever. Four quadrants of root planning? Totally unnecessary.

I put down my perio probe and Angela looked up at me. “Well?”

“Well, I’m just trying to find a polite word for BS. Sorry, I can’t think of one.”

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So you think you can be a Michelangelo or Rembrandt of esthetic dentistry

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My wife and I went to dinner at a nice San Diego Harbor side restaurant a week or so ago with another couple–one of the finest dentists I know along with his wife. This man can perform dental artistry with a plastic instrument and a little composite resin that is simply mind blowing. And his patients’ smiles lead others to offer the perfect compliment. Not, “Gee, you have some beautiful dentistry. Who did it?” But instead the much better remark, “Your teeth are just beautiful! Such a great smile!”

If there is reincarnation, then this dentist was Michelangelo or Leonardo DaVinci in a previous life. He also happens to know at least a little about occlusion.

And, no, I’m not telling you his name.

From our table you could see the San Diego skyline and the Coronado bridge soaring over the bay. Waiting for the waitress to bring cocktails, I mentioned his apparent artistic talent. “You really think so?” he said.

“Are you kidding? I’ve watched you work. I think you’re Michelagelo with a dental degree!”

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