TheWealthyDentist.com™ Newsletter Archive – TWD – 013

News From The Wealthy Dentist #13: October 4, 2006

In this issue…

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Across the Pond
Germans find Discount Dentistry 

German dental costs are astronomical – even patients with insurance are expected to pay about half of the expense themselves. At least until now.

The McTooth discount chain is growing rapidly. These dental clinics – which shockingly have no affiliation with a famous McAmerican food chain known for hosting the occasional dental clinic – cut costs by outsourcing all precision work on crowns, bridges and the like to China.

Patients may save some money, but some are concerned that individual care will suffer. Dentists who sign on to work in the clinics are required to become share-holders, providing an incentive for shadier characters to recommend unnecessary work. Want fries with that root canal?

The NHS in All Its Glory

Unsurprisingly, the NHS is still in utter chaos, particularly for more than 6 thousand patients left without a dentist after all but one doctor converted to private practice. The local MP says the fiasco will take years to work through. Doctors who have made the switch, however, are doing quite well. One is even auctioning off his practice for about 50 million British pounds (That’s almost $95 million for those keeping track).

Read more…

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Is In-Office Tooth Whitening Dead? 

by Jim Du Molin

Is this the end of a cosmetic era? 

While stuck in a hotel room one recent night, scanning the cable channels, I was drawn in to a late night infomercial for a $49.95 home dental tooth whitening kit that looked strikingly like an in-office tray set with a solution injector. I then went to the Internet, popped in “tooth whitening” and found over 30 home whitening kits for sale. Consider the whitening kits you find in any drug store and you realize that tooth whitening has become a commodity item for the American consumer.

Then, by chance, I ran into a article about a new tooth whitening system coming out of Great Britain. In less than six months this company has set up over 40 “clinics” in beauty salons, health spas and self-employed individuals. The procedure takes only 40 minutes, and a provider is qualified after a short period of training.

The developers of the Smile Spa system which uses chlorine dioxide gel rather than traditional hydrogen peroxide-based products have already generated income of nearly $1million and are on target to reach $8 million within the next 12 months.

The Smile Spa system is designed to provide a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that can be administered safely outside the traditional dentist’s surgery. A one-off treatment can last for up to two years, and the procedure costs about $300.

Mr. Eckley, managing director of Smile Spa, said: “We’ve created a procedure that is safer and cheaper [than in-office systems], yet equally effective, by delivering it in a completely different way.

“The portability and ease of use of our system means that it can complement other spa/salon treatments very easily and cost effectively, as it requires very little additional space or training to be able to use the system within an existing business.

“A decade ago, cosmetic dentistry was the preserve of the rich and famous, but today everyone hankers after the Hollywood smile, and Smile Spa makes it affordable for them.

“Teeth whitening is actually one of the less drastic cosmetic enhancements you can have, which is probably why it’s proving so popular. Our technology and delivery method means that people can literally walk into their nearest salon and come away within an hour with a much brighter smile. Our systems really are as simple as that.”

The company’s growth strategy is to focus on developing the network of clinics worldwide and already has inquires from the U.S. and Canada.

What does this mean to you? What happens to your patient base if tooth whitening is a service provided by the average hair or nail stylist?

Is in-office dental tooth whitening dead? Voice your opinion here.

Heroes and Zeros

Cosmetic Dentistry at Its Finest

A Pennsylvania woman is beaming after a life-changing makeover, courtesy of Dr. Bill Greenberg, a cosmetic specialist. Jennifer Y., a single mother, was chosen not for the changes she’d dreamed of on the outside, but for the changes she’d already made from within. She became sober just two years ago, and needed a reason to smile a little more. Dr. Greenberg’s magic hands, and veneers, made all the difference.

View Jennifer’s Before and After Shots

Think Greenberg did a good job? Discuss it in our forum!

Meet Dr. Doolittle

Armed with a few Black & Decker power tools and a heaping dose of fearlessness, Arizona veterinary dentist James Anthony managed to ease yet another happy patient’s dental woes. Did we mention said patient was a killer whale? Oh, and anesthesia was not an option, so Dr. Anthony had to manage “horse whisperer style,” offering nothing more than a few cooing words of encouragement to ease Shamu’s troubled mind. Perhaps it wasn’t as scary as the time he almost operated on a Grizzly only faking sedation after a tranquilizer dart missed the mark, but we’re sure it’s up there.

Read more…

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