News From The Wealthy Dentist #47: May 30, 2007
Editorial: Jim Du Molin
Perhaps you’ll remember that last week I told you that Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp vetoed the idea of Captain Jack Sparrow toothpaste. “How can a guy with gold teeth sell toothpaste?” Depp asked. “It’s like a bald man selling shampoo.”
Though the movie is receiving tepid reviews, it’s made dental headlines once again. It was recently revealed that director Gore Verbinski encouraged the cast not to brush their teeth during filming of the movie. It’s enough to make you wonder: does workers’ comp cover dental decay?
The director also devoted much time to developing “ugly dentures” for all cast members, even extras. In fact, he vigilantly scanned all footage to ensure there was no sign of suspiciously straight or clean teeth.
“I just thought it would be more authentic to have pirates with bad teeth since I’m sure they never flossed,” Verbinski was quoted as saying. (It’s still unclear to me why he’d encourage his actors not to floss their own teeth if they were wearing fake teeth during filming. He seems distinctly more concerned with the authenticity of his film than the dental health of his cast!)
As if fuzzy teeth weren’t bad enough: he also insisted the actors not bathe or use deodorant. “I wanted them to look smelly. They’re not taking baths every day, they’re probably not eating well and they have scurvy. And there’s probably all sorts of strange things growing on them. I sort of wanted the film to be stinky,” he said.
Survey Results: Dental Implants
In this poll, we finally asked a question many of you have requested we cover in one of our surveys: Do you place your own dental implants?
The general dentists in our poll were split on the issue. Fifty-three percent of the general dentists in our poll responded, “Yes,
I place my own implants.”
The remaining 47% replied, “No, I refer patients to a specialist.”
surprisingly, specialists had a very different profile than general dentists.
Four out of five specialists in our poll place dental implants. Those who do not
place implants are endodontists, prosthodontists, and pediatric dentists.
Here are some of our dentists’ comments:
- “Every general dentist who can extract a tooth can do most implant
surgeries. I feel that Oral Surgeons really do not want you to know how easy
it is. All dentists owe it to themselves and to their patients.”
- “I have neither the experience nor the knowledge of anatomy that would allow me to
feel comfortable placing implants.”
- “I pick and choose. Those patients who need a more complex treatment are
referred to our in-house oral surgeon or periodontists.”
- “I’m taking a course in implantology, so soon I will offer them myself.”
- “I use mini-implants in office where and when I’m able. I refer out
- “Like they say: if you try to be a jack of all trades, you will be a master
of none. I am fortunate to have one of the best implant specialists in the
entire country in my backyard. I never have to worry about improper or sloppy
placement like I get from other ‘professionals.'”
Read the full dental implant survey results.
Smoking Teeth Doesn’t Get You High (Also, It Releases Poison Gas)
Ah, YouTube… what else could possibly be worth $1.65 billion? Any adolescent can tell you that you can find anything —
anything — on YouTube. There are a few real gems out there, along with a whole lot of duds. After the controversy over our amalgam survey (one man told me that “any dentist who places amalgam fillings is a MURDERER”), I’m just
going to let you decide how to categorize the following video.
Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas is a production of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). The alarming video shows a recently-extracted tooth with an amalgam filling,
dipped in water and heated to body temperature. Mercury vapors can be seen escaping against the phosphorescent background.
“All mercury silver fillings leak substantial amounts of mercury constantly. The amount increases with any kind of stimulation,” declares the video. Even more vapor is released when the tooth is heated to “coffee temperature,” rubbed to simulate general dental care, and scraped to simulate drilling. The 10-minute video goes on to discuss research in sheep and monkeys, and it touches on the possibility of passing on toxic mercury to one’s unborn children.
The IAOMT claims that this “dramatic video of mercury vapor outgassing from an amalgam dental filling has outraged the world since it was first demonstrated in 1995.” Indeed, a number of alarmed YouTube viewers announced their intention to immediately have all their amalgam fillings removed.
But not everybody’s so quick to believe. A skeptical viewer wonders why the so-called “mercury” vapor rises when mercury is heavier than air; in fact, one doctor has posted his “proof” of why the video’s a sham: He claims we’re not seeing mercury vapor at all, merely water.
What do you think of this controversial video?
Post your thoughts on our blog!
Also in the News…
- Oral Hygiene Company Announces New Toothpaste Ingredient
- Four Women Say Dentists Created Hostile Work Environment
- No Surprise: Dentists Support Tooth Whitening
- Not All Toothpastes Are Equal, Agree Dentists
- Equipment Purchases Disappoint Dental Practices
- Dentists Passionately Split Over Amalgam Fillings
- Most Dentists Have Been Embezzled