News & Reviews
Infinity Smile LTD promoted to “Premier Evaluator” for a major US dental products company.
Infinity Smile LTD has been recognized for its contributions to advancing dentistry. For over a decade, we have served as evaluators of dental products having recently received their FDA approval. We receive these cutting-edge products, use them and advise the manufacturer of any refinements needed or how they compare to existing products and methods. Dentists and patients in general benefit by receiving a final product with more clearly written instructions, a better range of uses and more helpful packaging. Our patients benefit in particular by having early use of the kind of products that eventually are accepted widely in dental health care as being among the most effective available.
The notice from March 12, 2010 reads:
As a result of the timely and thoughtful feedback you have provided to us when evaluating previous Parkell prototype products, we have elevated your status to that of “Premier Evaluator”. Your selection into this exclusive club means that we will now offer you the opportunity to evaluate our new trial products before any other outside dentists. All we ask in return is that you agree to provide us with the same product analysis (good and bad) that you have in the past, either by completing our surveys or by speaking with us on the phone.
Dental Product Reviews
Cold sore relief.
This is a really great product. In comparison with every over the counter remedy and even when put up against prescription medicines, it provides the fastest healing. It comes in a convenient to use applicator and has clear instructions. The retail cost is around $25 for a two-pack. Herein lies the problem. A savvy shopping patient advised us of a comparable approach. Curechrome, in a 1 oz bottle, is available at Walgreen's for about $2.00. One ounce may not sound like a lot, but it would be hard to use it all up in two years. To be fully effective, it should be applied to the affected area after cleansing with rubbing alcohol on a cotton tipped swab. So for a $2 bottle and a couple of Q-tips you can have a generic version of the best treatment available. Hooray for scissors savvy patients. If you have similar cost cutting oral health care tips, please contact us.
- Phillips Sonicare Flexcare with UV sanitizer. In so many ways,
years of adaptations of sonic toothbrush models have finally
coalesced into a product that rises to the level of excellence. The
usual features of timers, programming options and a convenient and
cleanable charging base are joined by equally convenient UV
sanitizing, travel charger and a sound level diminished to a hum all
wrapped in sophisticated styling. The handle is comfortably light
and small. Finally, an electric toothbrush as it was meant to
Speaking as a consumer who happens to be a dentist, there are still some question marks. On my sample (obtained at a discount, but not for free) the activation button became unreliable after about 6 months of use. All right, a test group of only one unit is not a fair test. The rechargeable batteries are proprietary, meaning that you cannot just throw in some new AA cells when the old ones expire. The heads are smaller and less expensive than earlier models, but still require replacing every three months or so. A 3-pack is available for around $23. Planned obsolescence has always been a pet peeve of mine. As a consumer, the decision weighs between this and a really good manual brush like an Oral-B Cross Action®. Financially that is $130 to $150 to start, then $8 head replacement vs. $3.75 for the Cross Action brush four times a year. Price checking between the usual stores for current values turns up some wide variations. Recently Wal Mart beat Drugstore.com on the price of the original brush, but was $5 higher on the 3-pack of replacement heads. Target matched the lower price on replacements as well. Careful comparison shopping pays off!
- Generic Options
Another take on the previous story involves available generic or house brand items. The aforementioned Cross Action toothbrush is nicely imitated (duplicated?) in a house brand available at Meijer's for $1.99. Likewise, popular versions of the Sonicare electric toothbrush are present at substantial name-brand discounts at Meijer's. The savings continue with economical replacement heads.
House brands are often manufactured by the major name brands they compete with. Listerine® knock-offs are found in most flavors (fresh burst, vanilla mint, cool mint, etc) for a buck or two a bottle less. A careful reading of the labels show the same ingredients in the same exact proportions. Some experimentation with house brands could provide worth while savings.
- The Strange Case of Invisalign® clear aligner therapy. Due to
massive advertising since they came on the scene in 1999, it is easy
to have the impression that Invisalign® created aligner therapy.
History of this approach to orthodontic therapy, however, goes back
to 1940 when posiotioners were first employed. In the 1960's clear
material was used to improve the method. Invisalign® became
available to specialists in 1999 and, through a subsidiary
corporation, to general dentists in 2001. Since then a few
competitors have arisen, although with less of a splash. In 2006 a
major competitor was created out of the interaction of a lawsuit and
hurricane Katrina. Ortho Clear was taken to court for patent
infringement. The resulting settlement left Invisalign® with all of
Ortho Clear's former patients. Somehow, a major provider in Houston,
TX was left with 400 former Ortho Clear patients on his hands and no
aligners. Being a conscientious doctor and a capable problem solver,
he began to make his own. While having some success, he needed
someone with more expertise to bring all the details together. A
colleague advised him that a man skilled in clear aligner
manufacturing had been driven out of New Orleans by hurricane
Katrina and was now working in a garage just blocks away. Out of two
tragedies Clear Correct™ was born.
In the mean time Invisalign® made some very inconvenient changes in their business practices. Complaints include mandatory recertifications, increased minimum case completion requirements, required continuing education participation that was redundant for content and cost and finally high lab fees. The bottom line is that Infinity Smile LTD is committed to astute shopping for the benefit of our patients. We are determined to provide clear aligner orthodontics for qualified patients who want them. Like any other service, we will provide clear aligners of the best available quality at the lowest expense. So that means goodbye Invisalign®, hello Clear Correct™.