News From The Wealthy Dentist #31: February 7, 2007
by Jim Du Molin
Larry Rosenthal Rewrites “The Rules” with Vengeful Author
Every dentist has had to deal with a nightmare patient, but Dr. Larry Rosenthal’s is making headlines. As most of you know, Larry is based in Manhattan and serves a well-heeled clientele rumored to include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Donald Trump. So Ellen Fein went to see him before a publicity tour for the best-selling book she co-authored, The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. (The book raised controversy for suggesting that women play coy and hard-to-get in order to land a husband.)
Ms. Fein’s primary complaint is that Dr. Rosenthal gave her “gigantic” veneers that changed her bite. In 2004, nearly ten years after the work was performed, Ms. Fein filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Discipline against
the doctor. She also set up a website slamming him, his work, and his reputation. She’s posted a
copy of her complaint, which alleges (among other things) that she suffered from arm pain, vomiting and TMJ, and required root canals, gum grafts and physical therapy. An interesting set of complaints. I can definitely understand the need for therapy – psychotherapy.
Larry’s not having any of it. He’s filed a $5 million suit against Ms. Fein for malicious defamation, harassment and extortion. His lawsuit claims she confronted the doctor in his office last year, screaming at him in front of
patients that he had ruined her teeth, her marriage and her life. In addition, the doctor claims Ms. Fein and her lawyer attempted to extort $100,000 on the threat of ruining his reputation.
When a situation like this gets out of hand, who’s to blame? Can anything be done to defuse conflict with difficult patients, or is confrontation unavoidable?
Jim Du Molin
Survey: Dentists Split Over ADA
In The Wealthy Dentist’s weekly poll, we recently asked: Is the American Dental Association a valid representative of the general American dentist?
The dentists we polled were evenly split on the issue. 48% of those polled said, “Yes, the ADA is an accurate representation of myself and my colleagues.” On the other hand, the remaining 52% replied, “No, the ADA is just a tool for specialists to maintain the status quo.”
Plus, check out
more detailed results!
Chinese Man Breaks Nails with His Teeth
In a story sure to make you cringe, a man in China has apparently perfected the
art of breaking nails with his teeth. No, not fingernails – not even small thin
tacks – but rather full-size 2.5″ metal nails.
Cai Dongsheng, 41, is from Chongqing City. He was inspired when he saw a contestant on the TV show The Challenge use his teeth to break a nail in two. Since Cai’s family did not support his new hobby, he trained himself in secret, going through over 20 pounds of nails in the process.
For his public performance, Cai used a vice to hold four nails, wrapped them in gauze, and bit down like you wouldn’t believe. The nails bent and snapped in half within two minutes. He’s hoping his stunt will land him on TV. (I guess you could say that this story is just the natural result of the pervasiveness of our media culture on the world.) In the meantime, he’s working on his next goal of using his teeth to break a bar made of reinforced steel. (Ouch!)
A Look Into The Future with Madam President Hillary Clinton?
Every wonder what heath care would be like with Hillary Clinton as president? Your responses to our Wealthy Dentist 30-Second Survey showed you to be overwhelmingly opposed to a government mandated single-payer health care program –
80% against it, versus only 20% in favor. But given Hillary’s track record, it’s clear where she stands on the issue. So get yourself prepared for some interesting stories when universal coverage comes to the USA — maybe ones like
Calle Montell, a 50-year-old Swedish salesman, was happy to accept the cookie a customer offered him while he was on a sales call. When he bit into that fateful cookie in 2002, he cracked his tooth on a cherry pit hidden inside.
Last week, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court ruled it a work-related
injury. The local social insurance office will now have to pay the $570 claim
Montell filed four years ago. And though he’s delighted about the money (which
he has yet to receive), Montell feels he’s done his part to protect others.
“Everyone who is out on a job can have a snack knowing that they are covered by
occupational safety laws,” he said.
Study: Dentist’s Drill Not the Worst Sound in the World
A year-long online study polled over a million people to discover the world’s
worst sound. And though the dentist’s drill was a top candidate, the winner was
clear: someone vomiting. The next runners-up were microphone feedback and
The study revealed some interesting differences. For example, the sound of a
dental drill was most objectionable to children under 10 and adults aged 40-59.
The professor who set up the study (an acoustic engineer) theorizes that this is
because people are most likely to require dental work at those ages.
In general, women found the noises more unpleasant than men. This was
particularly true of sounds that might evoke feelings of disgust: vomiting,
flatulence, coughing, spitting, or even eating an apple. On the other hand, men
found the sound of babies crying significantly more distressing than did women.
Happiness Has Deeper Roots Than Orthodontics
Having straighter teeth doesn’t particularly lead to a happier life… or at least that’s what a team of British scientists have announced. The research team examined over 300 people in Wales who had braces as adolescents in 1981. Each subject was asked about their psychological well-being in 1981 and again some 20 years later. Although those who had braces were glad they had received orthodontic treatment, having had braces did not seem to leave them any happier
than those who had never had treatment.
One theory for the results is that cosmetic concerns such as straight teeth are more important to an adolescent’s self-perception, whereas an adult finds self-worth in other areas. Although straighter teeth may have psychological and social benefits for teenagers, the adults’ happiness didn’t seem to have
anything to do with their orthodontic status.
One of the researchers, an orthodontist at the University of Manchester, is quoted as saying, “On the basis of our research if there are irregularities, and especially if they are not severe, then there will be no harm to dental health
and it wouldn’t change their life happiness in the future if they don’t wear braces.”
So do you think it’s true, or is this just another attempt by the British to make crooked smiles more commonplace?