What will they ever think of next?
This next one falls under the category of “This-is-just-too-awful-to-be-true-but-then-again-because-it’s-inconceivable-maybe-it is?” Turns out that there is now a dental handpiece being sold for home use. Dentidrill (http://dentidrill.com/) is being touted as the world’s first home cavity care drill which will help reduce health costs, by eliminating the need to see your dental care professional to fill those pesky cavities. If the video that accompanies the website is any indication,this product appears to be marketed for parents of young children.
Ever curious, and still stunned with disbelief, yours truly decided to do a little digging and see if this was for real. I mean, as much as 199 Euros sounds (this is the cost advertised on the website, which works out to about $245 US dollars), it would be a real bargain since it includes a nifty looking drill, a curing light, a slow speed handpiece attachment, free lidocaine, 2 white composite fillings, a DVD and a stainless steel dental mirror. All these products alone in our dental office would cost thousands of dollars and you’re not even factoring in the cost of actual treatment. As they say on the website, this is a cost effective option.
So I did what any good investigative journalist would do in this day and age of readily accessible information. I googled “Dentidrill”. I learned the following:
- Dentidrill has a professional looking website, with an equally slick looking video featuring an overly happy looking child getting her teeth drilled by her mother.
- Dentidrill has a Facebook page with all the requisite “Likes”, testimonials and photos of a factory in Shenzhen, China
- Dentidrill has something to do with the Netherlands but since I don’t speak Dutch, I can’t comment on the links.
- Dentidrill has been endorsed by the “GDA” which is not the Georgia Dental Association but stands for the Global Dental Association, which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t exist.
Well, after wasting about an hour of my life that I will never get back, I happened upon a link which kind of cleared things up. Turns out that Dentidrill is not real. It’s a clever marketing campaign by a Dutch health insurance company ixorg (https://ixorg.nl/) designed to encourage people to pay monthly premiums to cover their dental treatment. In fact, if you hit the Netherlands flag in the upper right corner of the website, it will take you to the legitimate website, which is actually chock full of interesting information about dental insurance in the Netherlands. Seems like they are only interested in people who speak Dutch (which makes sense) because clicking on the English flag keeps you on the hoax website.
Score one for the Dutch. They know how to market, had all us dentists in an uproar, seem to have affordable, well designed insurance plans,and to boot actually have a legitimate health insurance website that works well (in contrast to healthcare.gov, our Affordable Care Act website). We in the United States would do well to learn a few things from them. And to not believe everything you see on the internet.
Halloween for us at Dentistry For Children, P.C. is a chance for us to let loose and dress up as our alter egos. The kids love it, and we get to see another side of our work family. Enjoy! We can’t wait to see what happens this year.
One of the more important missions of our practice is that of being an advocate for optimal health in ALL children. We recognized a long time ago (we’ve been in practice since 1975!) that as a practice in a densely populated suburb of Boston (Go Weymouth!), that as much as we would have liked, not every child could be cared for in our office. Hence, the idea of a Community Health Educator who could go out to our surrounding towns and introduce preschool age children to good oral health and dentistry was born. Fast forward to today, and we currently visit over 80 area nurseries, kindergartens and daycare centers as part of our pledge of keeping “Kids Smiling Healthy Smiles”.
This important job falls on the shoulders of “Miss Claire” (as she’s known by the thousands of children who have met her) who for over the past 2 decades has dressed up in her Crest Toothpaste costume, and been the public face o f our practice in her role as our Community Dental Health Educator. We recently sat down with Claire, and took a trip down memory lane with her.
– How long have you been a hygienist?
It doesn’t seem possible, but I’ve been a hygienist for 34 years, with 28 of them at Dentistry For Children, P.C. Dr Schneider was a solo-practitioner back then, and Dr. Skoler (one of our orthodontists) had just started. There were only nine staff members. I was hired to replace the first hygienist ever hired, and I think I may have been chosen over other candidates since she and I were former dancing school friends. There are now close to 45 staff members in the practice.
– Tell us a little about your professional history
I am a proud alumnus of the Weymouth public school system. I graduated in 1977 from Weymouth South High School. My High School boyfriend’s sister was a dental hygienist, and she encouraged me to become a RDH (‘Registered Dental Hygienist). I graduated from the Forsyth School of Dental Hygienists in Boston, which at the time was affiliated with NorthEastern University. I had some great instructors including the now infamous Cathy Greig, Whitey Bulger’s girfriend!
I am a member of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association and have served as both secretary and president of the South Shore District Dental Hygienists’ Association.
– Why did you want to become a dental hygienist?
My fascination with teeth is both an embarrassment and obsession. In first grade I was embarrassed to smile since I had severe early childhood caries. I remember during 2nd grade recess that I used to take silver foil gum wrappers, place them over my teeth, and pretend I had braces. Our generation had a high cavity incidence partly. I had a big sweet tooth back then.
– Any suggestions for those who may be interested in a career in dental hygiene?
Take as many science classes as possible but being well rounded in other areas is great too. It’s so important to be able to converse with patients, and to have a sense of empathy. My dance background provided me with the confidence to perform in public, which helps when I go out to the many schools.
– In your almost 3 decades of caring for children, what are some of the changes in dentistry that you’ve noticed?
I would say one of the greatest changes is that more fathers are being involved in the day to day care of their children. More dads are bringing their children to the dentist. It’s so great to see Dads taking such an active role in parenting. Digital x-rays have revolutionized how we take x-rays. I used to have to change the chemicals we used to develop our old x-rays monthly, and that was one of my jobs that I was glad to eliminate. We also started using fluoride varnish about 3 years ago, thus no more fluoride trays for patients to gag on for four minutes per arch.
– As the Dentistry For Children Community Health Educator, what do you do?
As the community dental health educator, I present a program about going to the dentist while including the children as active participants. This year I started having the kids do creative role playing, where one child gets to “dress up” as the dentist, complete with a scrub jacket, gloves and safety glasses. Another child pretends to be the patient with bib and sunglasses. My favorite part is when I have the children cover their eyes, and I put my homemade Crest toothpaste costume on.
– What do you do for fun?
When I’m not working, I’m often “working out”. I like to go to spin classes, Zumba, Pilates and run a few road races a year. My most recent ‘fun’ activity is traveling around Massachusetts, including Martha’s Vineyard on my husband’s Harley Davidson motorcycle.
– Any final thoughts or memories?
It’s rewarding to have children feel that going to the dentist is fun, and we strive to have all our patients have a positive experience. The funniest thing that ever happened to while at Dentistry For Children, was on April Fools’ Day. A boy put fake teeth in his mouth, so when I went to do his exam I jumped a mile. Kids are the best.
Thanks Claire for a job well done!