Saturday, September 27, 2008

One way to keep patients in line

Here's a story of a German dentist who decided to take matters into his own hands when his patient decided not to pay for her work. (This guy is what the locals would call "verr├╝ckt").
Basically, the lady's insurance wouldn't pay for two bridges and she decided it wasn't her obligation to pay for them. The Zahnartzt from Neu Ulm (I think I rode a train through there once) then breaks into her home, ties her to a chair, and reclaims the bridges.
From the article:
"The dentist is being investigated for assault for the way he forced open her mouth, and theft for taking the bridges," said Christian Owsinski a police spokesman.
Personally, I think the theft charges should be dropped. Think about it - he payed a lab fee to have the bridges made so if they belong to anybody then they are his, so this might be more of an OJ Simpson-forcefully-reclaiming-my-stuff type situation.

I do feel that he should lose his license. You simply can't perform a dental procedure (such as removing a bridge) against the patient's will. That's one of the least ethical things a dentist can do.

The creepiest part? According to the victim, he did all of this without even saying a word.

UPDATE: Court decision here. Dentist found guilty of assault and fined 6000 Euros. Patient too traumatized to wear dentures.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Clinic" - Loma Linda Office Spoof

The season premiere of The Office is this Thursday night. I'm looking forward to it.

If you are also a fan, might I suggest checking out this sweet video, done entirely by classmates of mine (written by this guy). It was our entry for a skit competition at the annual dental student retreat. Needless to say it was a big hit.
Without further ado, the video:

Click here for the high quality version, or watch below for the quick and dirty version (with audio delay).

Follow up: Enjoy the sequel here!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tooth Prices Dropping

At least in the UK, that is. Their current economic crisis dubbed the "credit crunch" has forced the tooth fairy to become slightly more stingy then she was six months ago. This article states that the average price of a tooth has gone from £1.22 to 87p, with 38% of Brittish children receiving absolutely nothing! 1000 parents were surveyed to find out what the tooth fairly had left their children.

Why is this? My theory is that the Tooth Fairy foolishly got locked into an adjustable rate mortgage. Think about it - the tooth fairy is always all dolled up in her fairy clothes and waving around that fancy fairy wand. Her hair and makeup is always perfect. She's obviously concerned with what others think of her and to keep up appearances she splurged on a mini-mansion she really couldn't afford. What other explanation is there? Gas prices shouldn't matter - being a fairy, she has the ability to fly. The worldwide increase in food prices? She's six inches tall, how much can she eat? Silly pretentious fairy. Now British children have less money for their Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and Fizzing Whizbees.

The silver lining? This should encourage more Brits to keep their teeth! Zing!

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Laughing Gas" fun facts

Here's some stuff you probably didn't know about the "laughing gas" you get from the dentist. I just finished taking my Nitrous Oxide competency exam and decided to pass along the more interesting trivia to you folks.

  • It was discovered in the late 1770's by Joseph Priestly. In 1779 Sir Humphrey Davey was the first human to inhale it and described it as "very pleasurable" and "euphoric." He was the one who coined the term laughing gas.
  • It wasn't originally used in a medical setting. From 1800-1844 it was mainly used at social gatherings and sideshows for entertainment.

  • In 1844 a dentist named Horace Wells was attending a demonstration. A peculiar incident happened involving a volunteer who inhaled the gas and began freaking out. (Not everybody reacts the same, and some people really don't like it.) Anyway, this guy started running around the room and gashed his leg open. Horace the dentist astutely observed that the man didn't even react to his wound - as though he didn't feel any pain. The next day Horace had his dentist buddy extracted his abscessed tooth using the gas. Horace felt no pain and proclaimed this to be "the greatest discovery ever made."
  • Originally the dentists had difficulty in delivering high concentrations of the gas due to the crude delivery systems available to them. What were these delivery systems? Ox bladders. (Don't click unless you really want to see an ox bladder.)

  • Wells, who is credited with the discovery of anesthesia, became addicted to the laughing gas and committed suicide at age 33.

  • The exact mechanism of nitrous oxide is still unknown.
So there you have it. Personally, I first had laughing gas when I was 17 and absolutely loved it. I told my dentist that if I had known how great it felt, I would have stopped brushing long ago! I also distinctly remember the feeling of having the dental room rotate around me while I was getting my wisdom teeth extracted. The song on the radio was "When I fall in love" and I remember the experience every time I hear that song.

Let me know your thoughts or any funny stories involving laughing gas. Maybe next year I'll give away a free nitrous oxide treatment to the person with the best story. Maybe.