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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com: The Dr. Wisdom Teeth Radio Ad

Trooth Website Trooth.Com: The Dr. Wisdom Teeth Radio Ad

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Now, Dr. Heath Hendrickson or Dr. Wisdom Teeth has released a new radio ad that very clearly states that he is NOT an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Will this be enough to satisfy the oral surgeons of Trooth.Com?

Here is the ad:

0 Trooth.Com: The Dr. Wisdom Teeth Radio Ad

How about the outside window of Dr. Hendrickson’s office where picketers have again demonstrated this morning?

Dr Wisdom Teeth Office 600 Trooth.Com: The Dr. Wisdom Teeth Radio AdWell, I plan to ask the oral surgeons for their thoughts and comments.

If the Trooth.Com Board is concerned with Dr. Hendrickson’s marketing/advertising and that the public would be confused whether he is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or not, then this seems to be corrected.

Stay tuned……

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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two

Trooth Website Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Last week, I conducted an interview with Utah Oral Surgeon Dr. David Nicholls about Trooth.Com and its public awareness campaign. The interview was posted in four parts.

Part One of my interview with Dr. Nicholls is posted here. Part Two is posted here. Part Three of the interview is here. Part Four is here.

Prior to beginning Dr. Nicholls’ interview, I reached out and attempted to contact all of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons on the Board of Trooth.Com. Dr. Nicholls was the first to contact me and later in the week, Dr. Tate Viehweg of Alpine Surgical Arts consented to an interview.

I continue to seek the other oral surgeon’s comments and there is an open interview request for them.

Dr. Viehweg and I began the interview on Friday and is continuing after a break (that I requested) for the weekend. I will undoubtedly break the interview down into a number of posts, since there is much material.

Part one of the interview is here.

The interview continues:

Flap:

You mentioned that you have had contact with Dr. Hendrickson’s patients in your office. Did he refer the patients to you?

Or, did these patients come to you with post-operative complications?

Viehweg:

These patients found me either on their own, referred from another general dentist, or referred/consulted from/in the hospital emergency room – all with post-operative complications.

Flap:

Without violating patient confidentiality, how many patients of Dr. Hendrickson’s have you seen with post-operative complications?

What were the nature of the complications?

Did you ever discuss the patient cases with Dr. Hendrickson?

Are you aware of any of these patients who have filed complaints with the Utah DOPL? Or, filed or plan to file malpractice lawsuits against Dr. Hendrickson?

Viehweg:

I’ve been at my current practice for 4 years and have seen at least 4 of his patients for post-operative complications including severe post-operative infections and completion of extractions that were only partially removed, although the representation was that the entire tooth had been removed.

Geographically, there are several surgeons closer to his offices that see many more of his post-operative complications than I do.

A huge concern is that he is not readily available to his patients for their post-operative issues-this results in them going to the emergency room out of necessity and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon on call being requested to care for the patient.

To be fair, I see many similar complications from a handful of general dentists near my office who disregard even the most diplomatic of requests that they inform their patients that they are not specialists.

As I stated earlier, I have had limited interaction with Dr. Hendrickson.

I am not specifically aware of any of my patients that were at one time treated by him that are pursuing litigation against him or that have filed a formal complaint with DOPL. I suspect it is only a matter of time, if it hasn’t happened already.

Viehweg:

After reading through all of our e-mails, I need to clarify that the mention of practitioners not being readily available for post-operative and after hours needs was state as he, this should be clarified as THEY are not readily available to THEIR patients for post-operative…

It is a statement in general and not in specific regarding post-procedural care.

Flap:

What has been the response to the Trooth.Com public awareness campaign?

From the public?

From your oral surgery colleagues?

From the general dentists who refer to your surgery practice?

Viehweg:

I have not had any feedback from anyone (public, surgical colleagues, general dentists) since the campaign began.

Flap:

Are you aware that Trooth.Com protesters with signs picketed Dr. Hendrickson’s office on Friday?

If you are, did the Board pay them to picket?

Besides the website, billboard and picketing, will there be more to the Trooth.Com public awareness campaign? Radio ads? Direct Mail campaign?

Viehweg:

I was aware of the picketing at Dr. Hendrickson’s office on Friday. The picketing is part of the Trooth.com campaign to inform the public of the safety issues with which we are concerned.

To my knowledge the billboard, picketing, and the Trooth.com website comprise the bulk of the campaign.

Flap:

Have you read the October 19, 2012 press release issued by Dr. Hendrickson’s attorney?

It says that the Trooth.Com is conducting “a misleading fear and smear publicity campaign.”

Where does Trooth.Com go from here, in light of this comment?

Viehweg:

 I haven’t read the press release.  What is noted in the Trooth.com campaign is factual and intended only to inform the public.

You will need to reach out to Dr. Nichols for confirmation regarding the future of the public safety campaign conducted by Trooth.com.

Flap:

Thank you Dr. Viehweg.

Would you like to make any closing remarks?

Viehweg:

Thank you for this opportunity to share my views. If you have any additional questions, feel free.

The interview came to a close.

It is my understanding that Dr. Wisdom Teeth, Dr. Heath Hendrickson and his wife, added two new members to their family over this past weekend.

Dr. Hendrickson has consented to an interview, when his life has a resumed a less hectic course.

As far as I know, the pickets from Trooth.Com have not returned to Dr. Hendrickson’s dental office.

Stay tuned…..

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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com   The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part One

Trooth Website Trooth.Com   The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part One

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Last week, I conducted an interview with Utah Oral Surgeon Dr. David Nicholls about Trooth.Com and its public awareness campaign. The interview was posted in four parts.

Part One of my interview with Dr. Nicholls is posted here. Part Two is posted here. Part Three of the interview is here. Part Four is here.

Prior to beginning Dr. Nicholls’ interview, I reached out and attempted to contact all of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons on the Board of Trooth.Com. Dr. Nicholls was the first to contact me and later in the week, Dr. Tate Viehweg of Alpine Surgical Arts consented to an interview.

I continue to seek the other oral surgeon’s comments and there is an open interview request for them.

Dr. Viehweg and I began the interview on Friday and is continuing after a break (that I requested) for the weekend. I will undoubtedly break the interview down into a number of posts, since there is much material.

Who is Tate Viehweg, D.M.D.?

Here is a graphic from his website:

Meet Dr. Tate Viehweg Trooth.Com   The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part One

From Alpine Surgical Arts website

This interview is being conducted via E-mail vs. Dr. Nicholls’ interview which was over the telephone.

Flap:

You are a Board Member of Trooth.Com. Why did you feel posting a billboard and a website Trooth.Com. featuring Dr. Heath Hendrickson was appropriate? Why are you participating with this organization?

Viehweg:

Billboard and website - I feel that the website and billboard, with the purpose of educating the public regarding their healthcare and more specifically their surgery, is necessary given the current climate surrounding dental care in the state of Utah.  The public is bombarded with countless advertisements making claims of being “experts” and practicing in “unique sub-specialties of dentistry” that are confusing and misleading. (quotations are directly from Dr. Hendrickson’s marketing efforts). In light of the many complications that we see as oral and maxillofacial surgeons as a result of general dentists performing procedures that might be better suited to having them performed by a specialist, our group has become concerned with this growing trend.

Certainly Dr. Hendrickson is not the only offender, but he is easily the most widely known given his extensive marketing efforts.  In addition, many  in our group have seen a disproportionate number of patients with complications from these types of practitioners and it is alarming to see the severity of the complications.

Is this appropriate? I think if you asked the patients who have seen me with complications following surgery performed by someone they thought was a specialist, they would answer in the affirmative.

My participation – I am participating because I have a moral obligation to my neighbor to help him or her avoid something that could prove harmful.  The state professional licensing board is failing the public by not enforcing the laws and regulations that are known among practitioners and blatantly disregarded.

The public deserves to be educated.

Flap:

 Do you think Dr. Hendrickson’s advertising is the main problem?

If so, what corrections would you like him to perform on the ads that would satisfy you?

Viehweg:

- I’m not really certain what the main problem is.  I do know that the patients/consumers/healthcare recipients in Utah are confused and often times ill-informed.

The deceptive marketing tactics that are being practiced both externally and internally (within dental offices) are making the confusion and misinformation worse.

Dr. Hendrickson may or may not be the worst offender.  He may or may not be doing it intentionally.

However, if a member of the lay public were to follow his advertising, they would be hard pressed, in most cases, to be able to ascertain if he was a general dentist or a specialist.

He conducts two websites – www.wisdomteethonly.com  as well as  www.drwisdomteeth.com

Here is an exerpt from one of his websites copied 30 seconds ago from his website:

“Some people are confused by our internet advertising under “Dr. Wisdom Teeth.”  Patients and friends in Utah know us as “Wisdom Teeth Only™”  WE ARE ONE AND THE SAME!”

-The Wisdom Teeth Only website proclaims services are provided by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  The Dr. Wisdom Teeth website proclaims
what you see above. By his own admission, the internet advertising is confusing. Yet it continues unchanged.

We as a group are trying to educate and inform the public because we feel it is a public safety issue.  The public is certainly entitled to making their own informed decisions regarding their healthcare.  As professionals, we are obligated lawfully, ethically, and morally to provide this information and education prior to performing any services for a patient.  This includes the health care provider informing the patient that the proposed procedure is often referred to, and performed by, a specialist. It is then incumbent upon the patient to decide if they are comfortable with their provider, or would prefer to be seen by someone with specialized training.

We are absolutely not trying to restrict practice.  There are many, many general dentists who do excellent specialty work and have great results.  That is fantastic.  There are many who do excellent specialty work that have an occasional complication, as would be expected.  Our contention is that, as provided by law, the public – the patient, should be advised and informed that they have options for specialty care, if they desire.

That is all we ask.

Many of my colleagues, myself included, have seen patients with complications from Dr. Hendrickson and other practices that insist that their doctor was/is a specialist, when in fact they are not.

One might say that the burden is on the patient to ask questions and inform themselves, however the courts and the law say otherwise.  The individual providing the service is obligated to inform their patient in clear terms – both within the confines of their offices as well as without, regarding the services provided, and by whom they will be provided.

I’ve included below the portions of the Utah Dental Practice Act and the Utah Consumer Sales Practice Act – both elucidating the standard to which our profession is held regarding advertising and deceptive practices.

Our group is simply asking that everyone in our profession who is not abiding the standards as set forth in the State regulation, do so. Bring your practice into basic compliance with State law. Plain and simple.

After that, do what you’d like within your practice. But, uphold your legal and ethical obligation to inform the public-your patients, that they have options when it comes to specialty care being provided either by a generalist or a specialist.

Utah Dental Practice Act – May 8, 2012

58-69-502. Unprofessional conduct.

(1) “Unprofessional conduct” includes,

(b) making an unsubstantiated claim of superiority in training or skill as a dentist or dental hygienist or in the performance of professional

services;

(2) For purposes of Subsection (1)(b), an unsubstantiated claim of superiority:

(a) includes for the practice of dentistry:

(i) advertising or otherwise holding oneself out to the public as practicing a dental specialty in which the dentist has not

successfully completed the education specified for the dental specialty as defined by the American Dental Association; and

(ii) using the following words in advertising “Endodontist,” “Orthodontist,” “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon,” “Specialist,”

“Board Certified,” “Diplomat,” “Practice Limited to,” “pediatric dentist,” “periodontist,” or “Limited to Specialty of” when the

dentist has not successfully completed the education specified for the dental specialty as defined by the American Dental

Association; and

(b) does not include a dentist who advertises as being qualified in arecognized specialty area of dental practice so long as each such

advertisement, regardless of form, contains a prominent disclaimer that the dentist is licensed as a general dentist or that the specialty

services will be provided by a general dentist.

Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act
Section Deceptive act or practice by supplier.
  13-11-4.   Deceptive act or practice by supplier.
(1) A deceptive act or practice by a supplier in connection with a consumer transaction violates this chapter whether it occurs before, during, or after the transaction.
(2) Without limiting the scope of Subsection (1), a supplier commits a deceptive act or practice if the supplier knowingly or intentionally:
(a) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction has sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, uses, or benefits, if it has not;
(b) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction is of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, or model, if it is not;

     (e) indicates that the subject of a consumer transaction has been supplied in accordance with a previous representation, if it has not 

Flap:

Have you brought or filed your complaints about Dr. Hendrickson’s websites to the Utah Dental Board or the Utah Department of Public Licensing (DOPL)?

If so, when?

Have you had any response from them?

Viehweg:

In April of this year, a contingent of oral and maxillofacial surgeons from across the state made a formal presentation to the Utah Dental Board regarding advertising. The response was that DOPL is too understaffed to enforce the regulations.

I, personally, have not filed a formal complaint with DOPL or the Board, but I have submitted several specimens of advertisements that are in clear violation of the regulations that I included previously, with no response from DOPL. Several of our colleagues have made multiple complaints and have essentially been told that nothing would be done because of the lack of resources.

The regulations are there in name only, unfortunately, with no enforcement.

Flap:

Are you referring to the June DOPL meeting where Dr. Jason Chandler made a presentation representing the UAOMS?

Or, was there another presentation?

Why have you not filed a formal complaint with the Utah DOPL?

Viehweg:

Correct, it was the June DOPL meeting.

With little reassurance that my complaint would be reviewed and evaluated appropriately, I haven’t filed a formal complaint outside of my aforementioned appropriation of samples of various advertisments.

Flap:

Where you aware that there was discussion at the March 2012 Utah DOPL meeting about the AADB advertising guidelines/regulations and that it was suggested by the Bureau Manager, Ms. Taxin, that the Dental Board might seek either a rule change or a change in the state law itself?

Have you ever expressed your concerns directly to Dr. Hendrickson – either by letter, in person or by telephone?

Viehweg:

I wasn’t aware of that DOPL meeting in March. I’m unclear as to how a rule change is needed, given the rules are already set forth.

I have had limited correspondence with Dr. Hendrickson.  It has primarily been regarding the treatment of his patient(s) in my office, with little exchange over the appropriate nature of his or anyone else’s marketing practices.

Given the history of the multiple times DOPL and Dr. Hendrickson have been contacted directly with formal complaints, with no material changes in either enforcement on the part of DOPL or compliance on the part of Dr. Hendrickson, speaks to the likelihood that little would change by following the same course.

How many times would you bother to call the fire department before you would start spraying water on your neighbor’s burning house because there were no firetrucks and firemen there?

The interview continues and we will discuss patient care and patients of Dr. Hendrickson that Dr. Viehweg has seen for post-operative care.

I am waiting for Dr. Hendrickson to either write a response to Dr. Nicholls’ interview posts from last week or to consent to telephone interview. However, it is my understanding that Dr. Hendrickson’s wife will today or soon deliver twins.

We, all, wish them congratulations.

Stay tuned….

 

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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Four

Trooth Website Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Four

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Here is the billboard found along I-15 in Utah:

billboard 600 Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Four

Monday afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with David Nicholls, D.D.S., one of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons who comprise the Board of Trooth.Com.

Part One of my interview with Dr. Nicholls is posted here. Part Two is posted here. Part Three of the interview is here.

The interview continues:

Flap:

You know about the Federal Trade Commission, right?

Nicholls:

Yes

Flap:

You know they make sure there is a fair marketplace for goods and services across the country – federal?

Nicholls:

Yes

Flap:

Do you know that the Federal Trade Commission (has acted) lately on the North Carolina Dental Board with regards to bleaching services in the shopping malls? And, there has been court action where the federal government has actually told North Carolina to cease and desist their enforcement action against the people in the malls, because it is anti-competitive.

So, going back to my Devil’s Advocate thing with the Federal Trade Commission, why wouldn’t somebody at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington say, you know, these dentists are ganging up together in an anti-competitive monopoly to try to force Dr. Hendrickson out of business – because the oral surgeons want to monopolize the extraction of wisdom teeth in Utah?

Nicholls:

Well, someone could argue that and they are entitled to argue that. But, I will keep saying what I am saying. It is not about revenue and it is not about business.

It is about ethical behavior as a professional – that is what it is about.

It is about protecting the public and making sure the health care practitioners in our area are representing themselves ethically to the public, so the public can make informed decisions, when they seek care.

And, someone can argue that, but it is not about that. Because, if it were about that then we would not have tried the other avenues and not try to contact him. And, request that he comply with the advertising statute.

Because, we realize, actually what you are saying that if we ask him to do more than anything than comply with the Dental Practice Act that we could fall into that category.

And, we are being very careful not to.

We want to protect the public and want the public to be educated. And, it is not about revenue.

That is the truth of it.

Flap:

Couldn’t you foresee the argument being made that the reason you posted the website and posted the billboard was to actually harm his business? As an anti-competitive type of action?

Nicholls:

Someone could argue that. But, we have been careful looking at the law, what we can or can’t do. And, what we understand the law to say is if you say something that is true, and we are not defaming the person in what we say publicly and that is exactly what we are doing.

We are not being critical of him of how he does things. We are not being critical of his surgical technique or whatever complications he gets. You know, what his business model is.

We are saying that he is not an oral surgeon – which he is not.

It is like someone putting up an advertisement near my business and saying David Nicholls is not a plastic surgeon. Correct, I am not.

I have no response to that, because it is true.

So, we are not doing anything defaming or openly critical. We are not critical writing pieces about patients that we see. We are not complaining about anything that he does – other than how he represents himself, period.

Flap:

Have you talked to him (Dr. Hendrickson)? Personally?

Nicholls:

Well, we wrote him a letter from our group and asked that he change his advertising. And, that if he didn’t change his advertising that we were going to proceed with our campaign.

Flap:

Could you e-mail me the letter?

Nicholls:

I don’t know what would be appropriate. We would have to check with our legal counsel.

This ended the interview and I have not received the letter which the Trooth.Com Board sent to Dr. Hendrickson warning him of the public awareness campaign which would be undertaken, if he did not change his advertising.

Perhaps, Dr. Hendrickson will supply the letter when I interview him.

I will, today, be interviewing Utah Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Trooth.Com Board member Tate Viehweg of Alpine Surgical Arts.

Stay tuned…

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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three

Trooth Website Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Monday afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with David Nicholls, D.D.S., one of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons who comprise the Board of Trooth.Com.

Part One of my interview with Dr. Nicholls is posted here. Part Two is posted here.

The interview continues:

Flap:

Are there any remedies to those issues besides doing a website or placing a billboard? Because, you know, it is unusual, for a group of oral surgeons to take out a billboard on a major interstate highway about a general practitioner. You have to admit that this is unprecedented?

So, everyone asks why would you risk your reputation, which is excellent and with excellent training, and any community would be proud to have you as their oral surgery practitioners.

So, why would all of you risk your own professional reputations, risk a lawsuit for libel or for slander and why would you risk alienating your general practitioner referral base to address Dr. Hendrickson’s advertising and his portrayal of being an oral surgeon?

Nicholls:

I can answer that straight forward. We all care about our community and our professional community as well. And, we are interested in the patients and families in our area. And, the only reason we are doing this is we believe it is the right thing to do. Stand up, stick up for something that is right because the other remedies that we have pursued, that have tried to remedy this, have not been successful.

And, there comes a time where it says it is not right that this is going on. Patients are not being treated properly, not getting the proper standard of care. They are not being properly informed with respect to their care. And, they are just being taken advantage of. And, so somebody needs to stand up and say something about this.

And, so in our view, we are not doing anything but standing up for and telling the truth. It is not about revenue. It is not about competition. It is not about any of that.

We all do things other than wisdom teeth. But, it is about standing up and telling the truth. And, so people know that if you need surgery, you need at least to consider to go to a surgeon and not have a generalist do it.

But, that is not to say a well-trained generalist of which there are many in our state, many who have served in the military and done GPR’s, had extended training are not adept to do surgery. That is not the case. There are many general practitioners who take out teeth, wisdom teeth and do a fine job.

All we are say is that if a generalist is going to represent himself to the public as a wisdom tooth specialist, then he needs to comply with the State Dental Practice Act, which says he has to say he is a general dentist.

And, he is not a trained surgeon.

He doesn’t have to say he is not a trained surgeon, but has to say on his advertisements, that services are preformed by a general dentist. And if he would put that on his advertisements , on his billboards and on his flyers and all of the stuff he has up, services performed by a general dentist, then that is all we have to say about it.

Then, he is advertising truthfully. And, people would look at his website and his billboards, whatever and they know what they are getting. They are going to a general dentist to have their wisdom teeth removed.

And, if they choose to do that, knowing full well that who it is, then it is their choice.

And, we are not going to change that. But, what we want him to do is accurately represent himself to the public, period.

Flap:

So, there appear to be some very specific remedies that he could take that would maybe allow the billboard to come down: portray himself as the dentist that he is, to put disclaimers on all of his advertising, and what about the patient care issue as far as post-operative care?

Nicholls:

If you have a bunch of orthopedic surgeons and a certain number of them have a higher complication rate than the other surgeons, then there is nothing that will allow the group or an individual to allow, what happens is there is internal monitoring by the State Medical Board and by the hospital that kind of questions that individual if they are having an excessively high rate of complications.

In dentistry there is nobody to do that.

So, if a clinician, an oral surgeon, periodontist or anybody are having a higher rate of complications is to, the only way that comes to the public forefront is if patients register complaints with the State Dental Board. And, then there is some kind of investigation, some remedy to be taken in that way.

We cannot really do anything about that.

If patients are unhappy with the way they are treated, they have to take it up with the State Dental Board. And, we believe the way surgeons provide surgical care is the standard to which the care should be provided.

And, so if a generalist, is going to do surgery, then he should do it as well as an oral surgeon. And, if he does then he is entitled to do all of the oral surgery that he wants to do.

But, he needs to represent himself properly to his patients and that is really our only issue.

If Dr. Hendrickson decides he is going to comply with the statute, that he needs to be truthful in his advertising, and if he puts up his advertising that says performed by a general dentist, then we are done with our campaign.

Then, we just go back doing what we are doing, because he is entitled to do what he wants.

Flap:

Have you ever filed a complaint with the DOPL, regarding his advertising?

Nicholls:

No response (from DOPL)

Flap:

But, you have file complaints with the Board?

Nicholls:

Yes

Flap:

OK, and you have received no response from the Board?

Nicholls:

Correct

Flap:

Do you know of other Board Members of your group who have filed complaints with the Board?

Nicholls:

The complaints have been filed on behalf of the Utah Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. And, so specially, I have not filed any complaints but other members of our specialty have and the President of the society has been overseeing that effort. And, by his account DOPL (Department of Professional Licensing) says look we have too much going on and we are aware of it and nothing has happened. And, this has been going on for years now.

Flap:

I saw that Dr. Jason Chandler of the UAOMS (Utah Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) testified at the last Utah Dental Board meeting. And, he raised some of these issues. And, the Board Executive Director said if there were specific complaints that they should bring them directly to the division in that the Dental Board which acts usually as a jury does not get involved in the specific details of the cases. But, if there are complaints she recommended that the UAOMS that they should file complaints with the division and that they would be investigated. That if they were not being investigated, then the Division director should be contacted and the point be made that they are not being investigated. Do you know if there has been any follow-up?

Nicholls:

You know, I don’t know that.

I am not on the State Dental board and I interact with Dr. Chandler and his partner who is on the Board. I interact with them somewhat. But, this is something we decided to do and be done locally.

And, again, we are not out to make anything happen other than compliance with the Utah Dental Practice Act.

Flap:

There are some people who would argue that, they would say that if you don’t with the enforcement mechanism of the DOPL, that your complaint should really be with the State of Utah rather than going to your own public awareness campaign?

Nicholls:

I would agree with that.

But, if you don’t get response from the state, you see that a harm is being done, and patients not being treated properly, then at some point you feel like you have your own professional obligation to ..the public’s best interest kicks in.

You have to say something.

Flap:

I went to the DOPL website and actually looked at whether Dr. Hendrickson has had any disciplinary action against his license and there is nothing there. Do you know of any patient complaints are in the mix? Or, have there been any malpractice judgments against him?

Nicholls:

I don’t have that information.

Flap:

Let me play Devil’s Advocate for a minute, because people in your community are going to say this and dentists are going to say this as well.

They are going to say this is a “TURF WAR.” And, I have characterized this as a “TURF WAR” in my first post.

You have some very highly educated oral surgeons and they are going against another highly educated general dentist who extracts teeth and he does it at a reduced fee and oral surgeons don’t like it.

Oral surgeons don’t like the fact that he is stealing business away from them.

What do you say?

Nicholls:

 Well, I would just emphasize that this is not about revenue. It is about ethical behavior as a professional, representing yourself properly to the public.

He can do whatever he wants.

And, charge whatever he wants.

But, he needs to represent himself truthfully to the public.

And, that is our main complaint.

I, personally believe, if you are a good surgeon, if you take good care of your patients and charge a fair fee, you will stay busy. I have found this to be true   throughout my whole career.

If someone wants to save some money going to their general dentist to take out their wisdom teeth, then that is there choice.

And, in our view there is some risk to that. Which I think you would agree.

But, this is not about a “TURF WAR.”

Now, if he was doing what he was doing and not advertising at all, and this was all word of mouth, then I think we have less of an issue with it. But, he is very, very aggressive and prominent in the advertising. And, so that kind of puts him in the limelight.

And, makes us more interested to make sure people know what they are doing when they go to see him.

In my next post, I will wrap up my interview with Dr. Nicholls.We will discuss the Federal Trade Commission.

Then, I will look forward to Dr. Hendrickson’s response – keeping in mind that his wife is due to deliver twins at any time.

Below is the Trooth.Com billboard found along I-15 in Utah:

 billboard 600 Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three

share save 120 16 Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three
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