You may resent the fact that a person without a dental degree is able to instantly modify the thinking of your patients with a simple press release. U.S. reality television star Snooki sharing her new veneer smile on Twitter and Facebook could easily lead many young impressionable girls to consider asking for porcelain teeth to replace their natural smiles. Who should be held responsible?
We know dentists use celebrities to help promote their practices and this actually can lead to ‘celebrity abuse.’ My own exploitation of John Lennon’s rotten molar into all kinds of publicity stunts and even an upgraded seat on Anderson Cooper LIVE and a better price on an expensive coat are harmless when compared to how a cosmetic dentist could cross the line. You can imagine the racing heart of a dentist who is setting a celebrity up for a smile makeover…it’’s their BIG BREAK.
The issue is certain celebrities can send shock waves of stupidity across the nation like a virus. Sadly, aesthetic dentists will often take full advantage of the public’s lack of understanding of the long term costs and complications from aggressive, expensive and harmful veneer procedures. The celebrity is an innocent pawn in the equation and unless I am proven wrong with intra-oral photographs and radiographs, my guess is ‘Snook got took.’
Yesterday, I did a composite restoration on a single central incisor for an 18-year-old girl who was told at another office that she needed six porcelain veneers. She had enough common sense to know her former dentist was recommending treatment that could be suspect. My simple treatment impressed her and only cost about $200, while the veneers could have easily been $6,000 for the first round of many over her life.
I’m terrified that a person like Snooki has such power over our youth…but again we also have gynaecologists on Dr. Oz dictating the required frequency of periodontal treatment. If the dental profession can’t act responsibly then how can we complain about anything at all?