Which came first? Tongue thrust? Or the spaces?

Invariably, when I post a photo of a diastema case on a dental group, the usual suspects come out of the woodwork to explain why the spaces are there.  Usually, it’s the “myofunctional therapy” and “dental sleep apnea” fanbois and girls. 

If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Oftentimes, from a single photo, they’ll make the call.  “The patient obviously has tongue thrust and needs myofunctional therapy!”  I posted the following case on some dental social media groups and got exactly that.

This patient drove 180 miles and likely passed 2,000 dentists on the way… to come see me.  Her chief complaint was the gaps between her teeth.  She’s a model.  She’s had orthodontics TWICE.   

Sure enough, the tongue is pressed FIRMLY up against the teeth in this pre-operative photo.  It’s GOTTA be the dreaded tongue thrust that caused the spaces, riiiiiiiiiiiiiight?  Continue reading

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Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Brand

It only took me 32 years to come to this conclusion.  I hope this article will shorten that time for you.

I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation – Joan Jett

You know how they say, “your reputation precedes you?” Certainly, we’re all aware that we have a “reputation” as dentists… at the very least with our own existing patients.  Presumably, since they’re still your patients, your reputation is likely “good” with them.  Perhaps your reputation may extend beyond your patients to their family or friends, with whom they had conversations about their experience in your practice.

Depending on your professional relationships extending from your practice, you may also have a reputation among colleagues and other connected professionals. 

Many of us work hard to maintain a good reputation.  We hope for good online reviews from our patients.  We hope our specialist referrals speak highly of us to our patients.  Those specialists may occasionally return the favor of referral due to our reputation with them. 

I recently learned that reputation isn’t the same as your brand.  And, by brand, we’re not talking about naming your practice, “Del Boca Vista Smiles” or even “Smiles by Dr. Schmuckatelli.” Branding is not a cool logo, either.  Your name and logo may REPRESENT your brand, but they are not your brand.

One time at dental camp…

Continue reading

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Posted in Editorial, Marketing | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Are we too quick to extract and implant?

Remember the days when “herodontics” was all the rage?  Hmmmm… maybe you don’t.  Now, if there’s even a question about a tooth’s restorability, it’s reflexively diagnosed as acute titanium deficiency syndrome.  When in doubt, take it out (and replace it with an implant). 

Let’s face it.  It’s often much easier, and it’s always more profitable.  Oh, sure… you’ll argue that it’s more “predictable.”  And, you may be right.  Or not. 

I’m still willing to try to restore teeth that may be more likely dismissed by today’s “standards.”  My guiding principle is still, “What would I do if this was my mom?” 

Such a case came through my office recently.  It wasn’t MY mom, but she’s somebody’s mom.  Her nephew, a periodontist up north, referred her to me.  The 76 y.o. female’s chief complaint was a loose crown (#6).  Tooth #6 had an existing crown and post / core. 

It was readily apparent that the post / core was loose and still attached to the crown.  I tried to gently remove it.  No go.  I used the “crown tapper,” again gently.  No go.  I didn’t want to risk fracturing the root (if it wasn’t already). 

I sat the patient up, and we had a discussion.  She was already familiar with implants, as she had several.  We discussed extracting the tooth vs trying to save it.  I explained that I could remove the crown by cutting it off and then seeing what we had to work with afterwards.  I may or may not be able to restore the tooth. Continue reading

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Memorial Day Thoughts

USS Independence CV-62. I was aboard 1989 – 1991.

On this Memorial Day, I am reminded of my four shipmates who died during the time I served aboard the USS Independence. I was present when one of them took his last breath. They were fulfilling their oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They made the ultimate sacrifice. It was their choice to serve, it wasn’t their choice to die. But, they knew it was a possibility.

On this particular Memorial Day, with the current infringements on our Constitutional Rights, I am compelled to be ever more vigilant (and vocal in my advocacy for our Freedom) in light of why those men died. I owe it to them.

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I’m still a dentist! Failed implant crown.

Yes.  I’m still a dentist.  I just need patients to come back!

Last week, a patient was referred to me by a periodontist.  Her implant crown had come off, and she was referred to the periodontist by her dentist up north.  By the patient’s recollection, the implant crown was placed about 1-1/2 years ago.

Clinically, it looked like what you see below.  Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Why I Refuse to Comply

Many times, I’ve been asked why I refuse to comply with the new rules or indulge the “new ABnormal.”  I’ve been called every name “in the book.”  Someone told me she hopes I get sick and “a tube is jammed down my sorry throat.”  Others have wished me dead.

“In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – often attributed to George Orwell, but never confirmed.

Transcript for the video below the jump:

Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Should We Celebrate the “Re-Opening?”

Why are we celebrating the “re-opening” of business or conditional restoration of our Rights?  Written script below the video and the break…

Text below the break: Continue reading

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Dentists are the Paragons of Infection Control!

A Chicago area restaurant donated meals for the staff at Glenbrook Hospital.  This is apparently the “COVID Team.”  They wanted to express their thanks and took this photo in the break room, where they eat.  This was posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.  It has since been taken down.

The original photo was annotated, as you see below, to point out the massive violations of protocol.  PPE should not be worn into the break room, and it certainly shouldn’t be worn while eating. 

But, DENTISTS got shut down. 

Glenbrook Hospital Chicago PPE violations in lunch room!

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Super-Secret Plan for Successful Re-Opening of Dental Offices

You heard it here first!  I share the secret to successful post-COVID re-opening!  Pat attention.  This is gold! 

Text below the break: Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial, Vlog | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Proof that the shutdowns are not about safety or public health.

A Texas State Dental Board meeting transcript was recently revealed, and it’s not good.  The shutdown of dental offices has NOTHING to do with patient welfare.  It’s about CONTROL.

Here’s a link to the article with the transcript:  https://www.tdmr.org/dentist-dental-board-members-say-that-patients-should-just-deal-with-broken-teeth-and-severe-pain/

Video text below the break: Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial | Tagged , , | 5 Comments