Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How much does YOUR dentist charge?

Article first published as Editor Skips Out on $45,000 Dental Bill , by Linda Voss, on Technorati.

When I think of going to the dentist I plan on a bill that is maybe $100 - $200. My braces cost me a bit over $3000. If I were hit with a $45,000 (you read that right, 45 thousand) dental bill I don’t know what I would do. Those would have to be some pretty amazing teeth for a bill like that. I would be expecting a little “bling” for that price.

Lyss Stern
This is the bill that the editor of the New York Observer’s Playground magazine, Lyss Stern, received and didn’t pay. In lieu of paying the bill she offered to publish a positive review, in a three to four page article, about her dentist and his being at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry.

Why do we know about this? Lyss didn’t publish the article as promised and the Manhattan dentist, Lowenberg & Lituchy DDS, filed suit against Stern.

Why do we care about this? People are questioning her journalistic integrity and posing questions about a similar trade-off involved in another issue. What? We can’t trust what we read? If it’s in print it must be true. It may be true but it may be biased. Marketing rules the world and may be running into journalism.

The question I ask is what kind of work was she having done for $45,000. That is more than a good majority of American’s earn in a year. I can’t imagine why, given the opportunity to write an article in exchange for paying that bill, she didn’t just write the article. I bet if you went up to any person on the street and told them you would waive $45,000 of their debt, in exchange for writing a glowing recommendation piece for publication, they would do it in a heartbeat. Granted, we would have some really crummy articles out there, but they would jump at the chance!

Something I find even more puzzling is that after the story ran on Monday the lawyer for the dentist, Michael Laufer, said they would no longer be suing Stern. No reason was given for the suit being withdrawn. I wonder if we will be seeing a glowing recommendation after all.

All I can say is I am glad I don’t go to her dentist.

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