News From The Wealthy Dentist #34: February 28, 2007
by Jim Du Molin
Making Some Green from Green Dentistry
With Al Gore taking home an Oscar, you can’t help but wonder about where today’s eco trends will take us. More green products and eco-friendly services pop up every day. Sometimes it seems like the sky’s the limit (with or without an ozone layer).
Though we know there are major differences between dentists, sometimes it’s hard for consumers to tell one dental practice from another.
But what if you had something that truly differentiated your practice, made it different from every other practice out there? Well, that’s just what the “Transcendentist” has done. Located in Berkeley, California (where else?), it might at first sound like the sort of place where you can get your dental work done at the same time as getting your aura read.
In fact, Transcendentist appears to be the nation’s first eco-friendly dental office, officially certified by the Alameda County Green Business Program. Dr. Fred Pockrass’s practice was also certified by the Bay Area Green Business
Program, the first dental office to have met the requirements.
As you might expect, the practice strives to create a dental spa atmosphere heavily influenced by New Age principles. The interior design is warm and soothing, all patients are treated to a foot massage, meditative music, and even
“sound and color therapy” (I’m not quite sure what that means). Eco-friendly principles are present in all the details: chemical-free carpets and upholstery, non-toxic paint, recycled and reclaimed materials throughout.
But that’s only part of eco-dentistry™ (a term that Transcendentist has trademarked). When they remove mercury-containing amalgam (which they don’t use themselves), they filter and separate the mercury to avoid any water
contamination. The office uses digital imaging technology only, avoiding the radiation of X-rays and the chemicals associated with developing them. Disposable paper products (such as bibs and headrests) have been replaced with
plush terrycloth models laundered on the premises. Digital files minimize paper use, and what paper is used is always recycled.
Maybe you’re thinking this is the same dental spa phenomenon you’ve seen before, this time with a green California twist. But the practice is swimming in new patients. Although the founders initially expected only about a dozen new
clients a month, they’re averaging 30-40 new patients each month, sometimes seeing as many as 60. The founders are already planning on licensing their business model and spreading the eco-dentistry trend within the next two years.
Jim Du Molin
Survey: Is the ADA the General Dentist’s Friend or Just a Tool for Specialists?
In our most recent survey, we asked: Is the American Dental Association
dominated by specialists who are trying to promote their own agendas and not
necessarily the welfare of the general dentist?
Well, this is certainly a divisive issue!
Nearly two-thirds of our respondents said, “Yes! Specialists and their
associations are using the ADA so they can make more money – at the expense of
general dentists, of course.” On the other hand, 38% said, “No! The ADA has not
allowed special interests to compromise its service to the dental profession as
To see how polarizing this issue is, just look at the responses of general dentists as compared to specialists. General dentists were 8 times more likely to criticize the ADA than were specialists!
Here are just a few of the many comments we received on this hot-button issue –
- The ADA is a dinosaur.
- If anything it is the specialists who are at a disadvantage!
- Periodontists are out of control!
- The idea that specialists are using the ADA is a load of crap.
- The general dentist is king!!!
Corporal Punishment in the Dentist’s Chair?
A dentist in Wellington, New Zealand, slapped a six-year-old patient after she
accidentally bit him during a procedure. There’s been an uproar among other
members of the dental community appalled by this doctor’s actions. The dentist, who has not been publicly named, is still practicing – a situation that’s infuriating some local residents. One dentist was quoted as saying, “If it was
my son slapped in a dentist’s chair I would fight hard to stop this person practicing his work till he proved he was fit enough.”
The girl was referred to the dentist by her school therapist two years ago. (The school is no longer referring patients to that dentist.) She had two decayed teeth requiring extraction, and the dentist tried to sedate her with nitrous oxide. However, after she bit down on his hand, he allegedly slapped her across the face deliberately – qualifying his actions as assault. Though the dentist denies the charges, the deputy health and disability commissioner found in favor
of the girl and censured the dentist. Even so, the dentist was only asked to apologize. He is not facing any criminal charges, and he has been allowed to
Barack’s Teeth Are Stunning – But Are They Stunning Enough?
In a recent Wealthy Dentist poll, we asked who you’d rather see sitting in the White House – Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Sorry, Hill, but three-quarters of the dentists we polled said they’d prefer Barack. But a poll at the recent Chicago Dental Society meeting may reveal just why dentists like Obama so much – because of his beautiful smile!
In a landslide victory, over half of the dentists polled said Obama had the best teeth of any Illinois politician. Now, whether or not his teeth are perfect enough to get him elected – that’s another story!
Tragic Dental Office Affair Ends in Suicide, Lawsuit
Do you have a lot of drama at your dental practice? Well, here’s something to put it in perspective!
Christa Yount, now deceased, had worked as an office manager at a Spokane, Washington dental practice since 2001. Her husband alleges that the dentist she worked for took advantage of her emotional instability and desperate financial
situation, sexually harassing her shortly after she began working for him. Eventually she and the dentist began an affair. Although she allegedly tried to end the relationship a number of times, she was unsuccessful.
As soon as the dentist’s wife discovered the affair, she insisted her husband end it immediately. She also allegedly insisted he fire Ms. Yount. And on Valentine’s Day of 2004, he did just that, simultaneously firing her and
breaking up with her. Tragically, a few short hours later, she responded by jumping off a 300-foot bridge to her death.
Now her husband is suing the dentist – not for wrongful death, but for sexual harassment and emotional distress, alleging the doctor took advantage of his late wife’s fragile emotional state. She and her husband had three children and
had been high-school sweethearts. Neither party was willing to comment on the lawsuit.