Let’s talk Michael Strahan and smile design in your dental practice

Michael Strahan’s snap-on, social media frenzy got me thinking, “What if he sat in my treatment room? What would I say?” More importantly, what could I do in today’s dental technology world to show him what’s possible? What could you?

Beginning with the end in mind has always been a treatment planning win. Today’s dental technology simply streamlines our process. It’s not that a snap-on smile is a bad thing. Think about that process in conjunction with what matters most to patients just like Michael Strahan because, athlete or not, wealthy or not, they’re walking in your practice every day.

So name them. What are the top two things you believe most of your patents are concerned about? How about these two: Time and money?

Guessing I didn’t need to share them, did I?

April Fools’ joke or no joke, would Michael Strahan prefer the process? Or would he prefer this:


Although I have my favorites, let’s talk scanners in general, rather any one in particular for a second. When you’ve chosen wisely you get speed, precision, and accuracy. The last two are defined differently. We need both. So when the scanner rep knocks on your door and says his or hers is the most accurate, or his or hers is the most precise, ask for the data on both. 

Don’t know the difference? CLICK HERE.

Smile Design 1

Plenty of people, including yours truly, looked at Michael’s smile and thought that, if he’s really going to do it, starting with clear aligners would be his greatest win. If we’ve learned anything in the last three decades, we’ve learned no matter how great we are clinically, banking tooth is key. 

Virtually previewing that result more than achieves the snap-on we saw socially. It also does it real-time. No physical impression, no two or three weeks of waiting, and no second appointment. 

Here’s where I have to name names because Invisalign, hands-down still triumphs over its competition and iTero 5D allows it to happen in under 5 minutes. That is paying attention to what matters most to all of our Michael Strahans: Time and money.

Smile Design 2

At this point, some of you and some of your patients will be good to go. Imagine, however, we preview the orthodontic correction and it lands us at a 9 out of 10. There are two potential outcomes. Option one, you and your patient are happy. Option two, you and your patient want it all.

Can we still do it virtually? You bet we can. When you want to level up, DSD has done a masterful job allowing us to import that scan into their app. From there, you again have options. Option one, in the moment, you perfect the smile. You stay on board with time and money being of utmost importance. Yes, the app costs you money. Yes, having a snap-on smile costs you money … it just takes longer. Option two is for the gals and guys who really do want to test-drive in their mouth.

3D Print

You’ve scanned, smile designed, and your patient wants to wear it. This isn’t going to happen all the time. When it does, great news! Dental tech is there and we can, in today’s world, still make it happen that day.

Option 1: Combine new and old school. Print a model, fabricate a putty/wash matrix, and use your favorite temporary material.

Option 2: Combine new and old school a little differently. Print a model, fabricate a triple tray with clear PVS/wash, and use your favorite flowable composite.

Option 3: You’ve come this far digitally, so finish what you started. Print today’s version of a snap-on smile.

Friends, the coolest part of dentistry today is we have options. You can go old school if you like. It works fine. Just make sure you master patient communication so you don’t miss the opportunity to treat all those dental patients who want you to respect what? Time and money.

You can also go new school. You can do everything we used to do and a whole lot more … faster and more effectively. When you’re ready to learn more, CLICK HERE

Michael Strahan sits in your chair tomorrow. What will you do?

Note: Photo “142624_9475” by Walt Disney Television is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Kevin Henry

Kevin Henry

With more than 20 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin Henry is the former group editorial director for Dental Products Report, managing editor for Dental Economics, and editor-in-chief for DrBicuspid.com. He now serves as the co-founder for IgniteDA, a community designed to empower, enlighten, and educate dental assistants, and as director of marketing for Fortune Management. He has spoken to dental assistants throughout the world, in person and through the Dental Assistant Nation podcast series, reminding them of the important role they play every day in their practice. He is also certified as a DiSC trainer, helping dental practices learn how to understand each other better through personality assessments and training.