Last weekend I had the honor of presenting the Keynote Speech at the DenMat Destination Education Event in Las Vegas. The panel of speaker’s at this event was incredible, so I decided to stay for the entire 2 ½ days and learn from some real ‘Masters’! I’m thrilled I did.
One of the speakers was Dr. Marc Liechtung, the inventor of Snap-On Smile. It is truly a rare opportunity to meet someone who has invented something that has improved so many people’s lives. Prior to meeting Dr. Liechtung I must confess that I didn’t know much about Snap-On Smile. The story of how Dr. Liechtung created Snap-On Smile is a wonderful story that deserves retelling!
Dr. Liechtung’s grandmother was in a nursing home about to celebrate her 95th birthday when her roommate accidentally threw her partial denture into the disposal the day before her birthday. In a panic, Dr. Liechtung’s father called him with instructions to do something for his grandmother so she can have teeth for her birthday. His exact instructions were, “put teeth in your grandmother’s head so she can look good for her birthday”. Obviously, Dr. Liechtung’s father was not a dentist and didn’t understand the considerable challenges here! Dr. Liechtung gathered a cart of supplies and went to the nursing home to help his grandmother and thus was born the idea for Snap-On Smile!
I listened with profound fascination as Dr. Liechtung told this story and further told how he developed Snap-On Smile to become the product that it is today. So, what exactly is Snap-On Smile? It is an Acetyl Resin-Based Appliance that literally snaps over the patient’s existing dentition. Here is a video featuring Dr. Liechtung that describes Snap-On Smile:
As I was listening to Dr. Liechtung, my mind was spinning thinking of all the patients that we would be able to help with this treatment option. Our practice provides dental implants as a treatment option and it is a really rewarding experience to restore a patient’s dental health with implants. However, not all patients can afford implants and until discovering Snap-On Smile we often did not have a viable alternative that fit the patient’s budget. At the meeting, I also met Dr. Terri Alani from Houston, TX. She has successfully integrated Snap-On Smile as an important part of her practice. Here is a video segment that Dr. Alani did for the TV show Great Day Houston:
After meeting Dr. Liechtung and Dr. Alani and many other dentists who have added Snap-On Smile as a treatment option in their practices, I could hardly wait to get home and share this information with Dr. Nielson! One of the things I learned from the dentists who are providing Snap-On Smile is that approximately 50% of the patients who receive this appliance use it as their definitive treatment. The other 50% later return to their dentist to receive more permanent treatment such as dental implants or extensive restorative reconstruction. For these patients Snap-On Smile was their gateway to restoring their dental health more ideally. We are excited to begin offering our patients this exciting and affordable treatment option. Keep Smiling!