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February 29th, 2004

When Dentists Sell

Last week, I went to the dentist – a new dentist, in a new town – for the first time in too long. (Be sure to read this, too.) When I arrived I noticed a full-on display for the Sonicare toothbrush. It was up on the counter and given prominence. When it was time for me to head into the office, the first thing I noticed on the counter was – yes, a Sonicare display.

When I was getting my teeth cleaned, the hygenist recommended the… Sonicare toothbrush. She went on to tell me about its features, including the 2-minute timer and 30-second beeper (this is to remind you to move to another area of your mouth.) I was told it would be good for my weakened gums, which I don’t entirely doubt, but it’s hard to say, “Why are you selling me this?” while your mouth is open and there’s a scraper in it.

Once my teeth were cleaned, the dentist came in and spent a whopping three minutes with me. He shook my hand twice and, yes, recommended the Sonicare toothbrush! He really did. Now, I can understand being enthusiastic about a product, but this altogether felt too much like a sales pitch. My last dentist didn’t have anything of this sort in her office. (She also spent real time with me, which I appreciated, although I have no idea if that’s normal or not.)

The Sonicare does seem like a good thing, but the displays were the last straw for me.

Is it just me, or is this happening to other people, too? I don’t think I like dentists trying to sell me $100 toothbrushes. Thankfully, on the way out, I was offered a free one – and it works just fine.

Posted in Just Plain Odd

Paul September 13, 2006, 1:28 pm

I’m not kidding when I tell you that our Explanations of Benefits from our insurance company have Sonicare ads on them. They’re one-liners, text only, so they can be easily missed.

But seriously, how much money has Sonicare put into the healthcare industry?!

Igor October 1, 2007, 5:04 pm

I am a dentist and we recommend Sonicare in our office too, but not beacause I get a “kick back”, but b/c there is a lot of research to show that they work! They were the 1st ones to come outwith this technology (then others tried to copy). We pay about $80 per brush with no kick backs. So if your dentist is selling the brush to you for $100 – you are paying for the convenience and as you can see he/she is not making a ton of money.

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