Again, you might ask!? Yes, but not our real office. We’re just getting ready to move our blog to a new one that will also be combined with a re-built and re-designed http://www.SmilesbyPayet.com. It will make it so much easier to keep up with our practice! In addition, there will be some cool new features added to our Facebook page, and soon you’ll see better integration of Facebook, Twitter, this blog, and the several websites for our practice. Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe!
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Dan Ariely conducts experiments, too. He’s a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke, where he does research into our predictably irrational behavior. And he comes on the program from time to time to share his research.
Today, Dan Ariely on irrationality at the dentist’s office.
Professor DAN ARIELY (Behavioral Economist, Duke University): So, you know, you go to a dentist and the dentist x-ray your teeth and they try to find cavities. And one of the questions you can ask is, how good are dentists, right?
Prof. ARIELY: So imagine, you came to a dentist, you got your x-ray and then we took your x-ray and we also gave it to another dentist.
Prof. ARIELY: And we asked both dentists to find cavities. And the question is, what would be the match? How many cavities will they find, both people would find in the same teeth?
SIEGEL: And I’d really hope it would be somewhere up around 95-plus percent.
Prof. ARIELY: That’s right. It turns out what Delta Dental tells us is that the probability of this happening is about 50 percent.
SIEGEL: Fifty percent?
Prof. ARIELY: Fifty percent, right. It’s really, really low. It’s amazingly low. Now, these are not cavities that the dentist finds by poking in and kind of actually measuring one. It’s from x-ray. Now, why is it so low? It’s not that one dentist find cavities and one doesn’t, they both find cavities, just find them in different teeth.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Prof. ARIELY: And here is what happens. Imagine you’re a dentist and you see a patient, and you really want to find a cavity because you get paid more if you find cavities and you can fix them. And the patient is already on the chair. He’s already prepped. You might give them the treatment right now, really good marginal income for you. How is this motivation to find cavities will influence your ability?
Now, you look at an x-ray, which is a little fuzzy and unclear and there are shadows and all kinds of things are happening. What happens is this unclarity, thus the x-ray helps in some sense the dentist to interpret noise as signals and find cavities where there aren’t really.
SIEGEL: And fill them?
Prof. ARIELY: And fill them, and drill them, expand them. I don’t think they ever tell their patients, hey, I thought it was a cavity but turns out it was just a mistake.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Prof. ARIELY: But they do fill them.
SIEGEL: You’re describing a very private relationship between patient and dentist.
Prof. ARIELY: Yes.
SIEGEL: You’re telling us we should, on average, expect our dentist to be getting it wrong on the x-rays, but that’s not how people feel about their dentists, right?
Prof. ARIELY: That’s right. And the dentists actually have a tremendous loyalty. People are really loyal to their dentist, much more than other medical profession. And I think one of the reasons we go back to cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the idea that when people do something painful, they become more committed to the goal. If we have a fraternity and we haze people in a more difficult way, they become more loyal to the fraternity.
SIEGEL: You have dentistry as a hazing experience right now.
Prof. ARIELY: That’s right. And I think the same thing happen with dentists. Dentistry is basically the unpleasant experience. They poke in your mouth. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. It’s unpleasant. You have to keep your mouth open. And I think all of this pain actually causes cognitive dissonance and cause higher loyalty to your dentist. Because who wants to go through this pain and say, I’m not sure if I did it for the right reason. I’m not sure this is the right guy.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Prof. ARIELY: You basically want to convince yourself that you’re doing it for the right reason.
SIEGEL: Every visit to the dentist is an episode in the Stockholm Syndrome here, is what you’re describing. You studied these dental insurance records and you looked at what happens over time as our relationship with the dentist grows over many years, and you find it affects the kinds of decisions the dentist and the patient make, the choices.
Prof. ARIELY: That’s right. So you can imagine that at some point in your dental treatment, you have a choice between things that have the same possible outcome, but one of them is more expensive to you and better financially for the dentist. Which one would you choose and how the duration of relationship be affecting that?
And it turns out that the more time people have seen the same dentist, the more likely the decision is going to go in favor of the dentist. People are going to go for the treatment that is more expensive but has the same outcome. More out of pocket for them, more money for the doctor. So in this case, loyalty actually creates more benefit for the dentists.
SIEGEL: More expensive filling material, for example.
Prof. ARIELY: That’s right. That’s right.
SIEGEL: Well, Dan Ariely, thanks for talking with us again.
Prof. ARIELY: My pleasure.
Now…….as you can imagine, this has created quite an uproar among dentists, and especially among those of my colleagues and I who have long considered NPR to be a source of (mostly) unbiased and reliable news, as Professor Ariely, whose field in Behavioral Psychology, in 1 fell swoop, condemns all dentists as money-hungry, greedy, unethical, and incompetent!
- As far as we can tell, Professor Ariely has absolutely NO background in dentistry, nor has anyone been able to learn where he learned to read and evaluate x-rays.
- No one has yet been able to find any published research by Professor Ariely on this topic, so we really don’t know where he’s pulling this stuff out of, except probably his a**. 😦
- Please read the quote below, from Delta Dental’s Director of Public Relations (posted on another blog), especially the underlined text (my emphasis). So……if Delta Dental did not provide the alleged research, where did Professor Ariely get it?
We’re normally fans of Dr. Ariely’s work, but he should not have made reference to Delta Dental when stating that 50 percent of the time dentists will interpret x-rays differently. Delta Dental has no data that could lead to any such conclusion. Delta Dental processes 84 million claims a year for 54 million customers, so obviously we’re interested in making sure those claims are accurate. That’s why we employ dentists throughout the country to review claims for accuracy. Still, we understand that conclusions made in the medical arts, like other arts, are prone to some degree of subjectivity and interpretation. Assuming otherwise would just be irrational.
Did you know the Southern Womens Show is coming to Charlotte for it’s annual event starting TOMORROW!?!?!? No? HELLLLLLOOOOOO!!!!!!!! 🙂 You been hiding under a rock? LOL And even BETTER, even if you knew that it was happening on Sept. 16th-20th at The Park Expo and Convention Center (formerly the Charlotte Merchandise Mart) just off Independence Blvd. near Bojangles Arena and Ovens Auditorium (if you need better directions than that, check out this link 🙂 ), did you know that Smiles by Payet Dentistry will be there? Probably not! But we will be, and I’ll be blogging about it throughout the weekend. This is our first time having a booth at the SWS, and we’re really excited. Come by and visit us at Booth 204-206; trust me, you really won’t be able to miss us……we’re practically right next to the stage, the food court, the makeup booths for Belk, and 107.9 The LINK radio station.
We’ll have information on our most popular and unique mix of services:
- The Quality Dental Plan — a truly affordable dental discount plan for the whole family that can save you thousands (even on braces and cosmetic dentistry)
- Laser Periodontal TherapyTM – the most effective and comfortable treatment for mild, moderate, and even the most severe gum disease
- 6MonthSmiles Clear Adult Braces — get that straight smile and FREE Whitening in only 6 months, and
- Comprehensive Orthodontics for Teens — it’s really convenient to have your kids’ regular dentist for cleanings also offer braces for your pre-teens and teens; it’s all in 1 place!
Like I said, I’ll be blogging through the weekend, so keep an eye out. We have some great specials and some fun prizes to win, too, so don’t forget to enter your name.
See you at the Southern Women’s Show!
Having practiced dentistry now for 12 years, I’ve seen a lot of different stuff, tried different technologies, different techniques, etc. Most of it works pretty well, some of it we discard and look for something new or better, and occasionally we scrap the new and return to the tried-and-true techniques and methods that have been around for a long time. The ultimate goal, of course, is to provide the best dentistry possible that will last the longest time, right? Because after all, I know that you want to sit in my chair as little as possible. 🙂
Of all the different things we do, though, there is now 1 that is just so incredibly satisfying to provide our patients, and that is LANAP, or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Protocol, which we perform with our Periolase MVP-7 laser. First of all, it’s is just pretty cool that we have a laser! (Imagine here Dr. Evil from Austin Powers putting his fingers up and saying “Laser” LOL) But what’s simply AWESOME about having the Periolase is what we can do with it, and that is to treat periodontal (gum) disease more comfortably and effectively than anything else available. Because of how amazingly well the Periolase works, it is just this terrific feeling we get every time we treat a patient, or when we see patients coming back in for follow-ups, because they actually LIKE coming to see us! And I have to tell you, there aren’t many things that patients WANT and LIKE coming to see us about. The other one, of course, is our 6MonthSmiles Clear Adult Braces – adults love getting their smile looking good so much faster than they ever imagine, and more affordably, too.
So let me show you just 1 example of why it is so satisfying helping people save their teeth from the trash can, because it is so typical and normal of what we see on a regular basis. Colleen had LANAP done in December 2009, which means it is just at 9 months since her treatment. She is getting ready to start 6MonthSmiles in September, which will help even more, but notice that her front teeth have already improved in position just by getting the infection under control. Just how much of an improvement is this? Well, in the before picture, we had not even treated her yet, but in the After picture, it is immediately after a gentle cleaning……and her gums look great!
No wonder we love doing LANAP! If you’re concerned about losing your teeth to gum disease, please call us today at 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online.
Please let us know what you think about this amazing result or if you have any questions in the Comments section below. Thanks!
I guess it’s because I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I confess that – until quite recently – I had absolutely no idea who this guy Dr. Oz is. A friend recently told me that Dr. Oz has some really good material about dental health that can be shared, and since it’s sometimes easier to use someone else’s material instead of having to write it all from scratch myself 🙂 , I figured I’d check it out, and WOW! I’m impressed! It’s sad to say, but many physicians really have no idea about how the health of the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, and how valuable their dental colleagues can be in diagnosing a number of medical conditions. Dr. Oz is definitely not one of them! I’ll kick things off here with one of his articles. I have added some bold italics for emphasis (all mine).
One look inside the mouth will reveal that there are bacteria everywhere. For the most, part we cohabitate without a worry – but badly-behaving bacteria can collect in gum pockets to cause swelling, bleeding and bone loss that in turn can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.
People with gum disease (periodontal disease and gingivitis), may harbor up to 500 species of bacteria, and the proximity of that bacteria to the normally sterile bloodstream can be worrisome. Bacteria can enter small blood vessels, travel to other parts of the body and release toxins and trigger inflammatory chemicals that assault arteries and organs. Gum disease and tooth loss is now considered a harbinger for coronary artery disease, infective endocarditis, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. Periodontal bacteria have also been detected in the mouths and amniotic fluid of women who have experienced threatening premature labor, miscarriage and may contribute to low-birth weight.
Breath can be telling too. More than 90% of the time bad breath (halitosis) emanates from bacteria living in gum pockets, under dentures and on the surface of the tongue. It is not only unpleasant to people close to you, but it may also be a clue to other medical conditions.
Oral cancers, lung cancer, certain leukemias and dry mouth syndromes such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause bacterial overgrowth that contribute to bad breath. And sometimes a systemic disease produces distinct chemical odors:
- Sweet or fruity odor may indicate uncontrolled diabetes
- Mousy ammonia odor may indicate liver disease
- Urine-like fishy odor may indicate chronic kidney failure
- And fecal odor may indicate intestinal blockage.
To find out if you have foul-smelling breath, ask a truthful friend, or lick your hand and smell the saliva.
Changes in the tongue can also be a tip-off to disease. A pale, smooth, flattened and sometimes tender tongue can point to iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, a hallmark of the common blood disorder, iron-deficiency anemia. People with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may notice tiny ulcers. If the tongue looks like a geographic map with areas of dark and light it may indicate an autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis or discoid lupus erythematosus. Recurrent episodes of white patches indicate thrush, an overgrowth of the yeast Candida, which may indicate diabetes. Strawberry red swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps is a symptom of Kawasaki disease.
Hairline cracks in the teeth can indicate tooth-grinding, the sleep disorder bruxism or mental stress. People with bulimia have enamel loss on their front teeth from the assault of stomach acid from repeated vomiting.
Keep Oral Traditions
Keeping up with a good program of oral hygiene and tending to dental and gum problems before they worsen is key to keeping mouths healthy. People with declining dexterity may need to make modifications that assure that good dental care continues. Electric toothbrushes, vibrating gum massagers and dental water jets can help. Routine dental visits are crucial, especially if you are planning to become pregnant or are facing a course of chemotherapy, which can reduce immunity against oral bacteria and cause mouth sores.
Here’s some help for halitosis, guidance for gums and tips for tooth care.
- Investigate any changes in your oral health
- Brush in the morning, at night and after meals with a soft toothbrush or African chew stick
- Use a tongue scraper along the length of the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria
- Use an antiseptic mouth rinse
- Floss between teeth and inside the crease where the gum and tooth meet
- Keep well hydrated and avoid mouth breathing
- Don’t smoke or be near someone smoking (that can cause smoker’s breath too!)
- Try chewing on neem leaves, green cardamom, cloves, parsley, guava peels and gum mastic for breath control
- Visit the dentist regularly
I just got off the phone with one of our patients from yesterday for whom we had done LANAP, also known as Laser Periodontal TherapyTM, as I wanted to check and see how she is doing today. And even though I have heard the same exact story practically every single time, I still find it wonderful to hear, and so I wanted to relate it to you (I’ll ask her at her first follow-up appt. next week if she wouldn’t mind doing a short video herself):
Bear in mind……this lady has moderately advanced periodontal (gum) disease, and so when we were doing her treatment yesterday, we had to do a LOT, not just with the Periolase itself, but also with the ultrasonic scaler/cleaner that we use to remove all of the tough tartar build-up; to treat her whole mouth took about 2.5 hours, so she was in our office for quite some time. Fortunately, she was able to watch Dr. Phil during the procedure, which kept her pretty well distracted LOL.
So what did she say when I asked her how she felt immediately afterwards and also today? Basically, she said that she took just 1 (ONLY ONE!!!!) 800mg Ibuprofen tablet yesterday “just in case,” but since then, she has had practically no pain, and only a tiny bit of soreness, and she has not had to take ANY further pain medication of any kind! That is one of the things I simply LOVE about doing LANAP — even though we are treating the gum disease very aggressively, the physical properties of the laser stimulate healing so much and soothe the body so much, that patients are always amazed at how well they feel afterwards. Seriously……think about it…….we really did laser gum surgery for 2.5 hours, and she is having ZERO pain today.
She’s also excited because we will be starting her 6MonthSmiles Clear Adult Braces in just a couple weeks, too, in order to correct the spacing between her front teeth and give her a beautiful smile back. When I finally get to post the Before/After pictures in just a few months, it will be just incredible to see the difference, so stay tuned!
I am very pleased to announce that we have just hired our newest Team Member, Samantha H., who will be joining us sometime in the next 2 weeks as our full-time Orthodontic Assistant. With the dramatic increase in patients getting 6MonthSmiles Clear Adult Braces, as well as the Comprehensive Orthodontics we now offer for teens, now that we have the additional chairs to accommodate them in a more timely manner, it became important to have an assistant with real experience. Rosie and Marie have done well, but their real knowledge and expertise is in the areas of fillings, crowns, bridges, LANAP, and other aspects of general dentistry, and this will allow them to provide more dedicated assisting time with me, in order to make your appointments go more smoothly and quickly.
Some of you have already met Samantha when she came to us for a working interview, and you can surely attest (please feel free to comment here 🙂 ) to how pleasant and skilled she is, as pretty much all of you requested her back at your next appointment! With 13 years of experience, she is fast AND easy-on-the-teeth. We are sure that you will all love working with her.
As we’ve been telling so many of our patients in recent months, we are moving to a new office around the middle of May 2010, and we’re REALLY excited about this! For a number of reasons, our new office is going to make it so much easier for us to see even more patients, faster, with BETTER customer service than we already strive to offer every day. Read on for more……..:
- Expanding from 3 Treatment Rooms to 6: We will be dedicating at least 1 of those new rooms strictly to our 6MonthSmiles (fast, invisible braces for adults), because we are seeing so many adults who want a pretty, straight smile, but who don’t want or need to go through comprehensive orthodontics. In addition, we will be soon adding Tip-Edge Orthodontics for our teen patients, which will make orthodontic treatment for both parents and teens even more convenient.
- Private Consultation Room: Oh how nice this will be. For a while now, we’ve had to use a converted treatment room for consultations, but it’s never been as quiet and private as we’d have liked. That’s changing! You’ll have total quiet and privacy when discussing whatever you need to tell us.
- Kid’s Play Area: There will be a small area in the Reception are just for kids to play, which will make it so much easier for parents with those small children to keep their appointments.
- Internet Bar + Free WiFi: In today’s interconnected world, it’s so important to be able to stay connected. We will have a separate WiFi network just for our patients, and the one that we use will be securely encrypted to maintain privacy. And while we will work to ensure your waits are minimal, if you have a laptop or smartphone….you’ll be good to go. If not, you’ll still be able to check email or browse the Web from our 3 computers — you can even Share our Facebook Fan page with your friends! 🙂
- TVs in all the treatment rooms: You’ll be able to watch your favorite shows to relax during your appointments with the big 32″ monitors directly overhead.
So stay tuned…….become a Fan on Facebook for more frequent updates……..exciting times are ahead!