Amazing hoaxes ... truly amazing technology

It is not difficult to find product information, advice, and even a good laugh on the Internet. Unfortunately, it is also quite easy to become the victim of a hoax or even hacking in this same arena.

by Lory Laughter, RDH, BS

It is not difficult to find product information, advice, and even a good laugh on the Internet. Unfortunately, it is also quite easy to become the victim of a hoax or even hacking in this same arena. A common email hack looks something like your email address sending a link to all your contacts, with no other text in the body of the letter. Most people know not to click on these links, and this method of hacking appears to have lost its effectiveness. As technology advances and we live more of our lives on the web, we can expect more elaborate forms of disruption.

Twice in the last three months, my name has been used to send fake emails and links to unsuspecting patrons of the web. This time, however, my email account was not being hacked; merely my name was being used with another email address. I became a coupon lady on Yahoo and sent links for great savings all over the world. My daughter, who knows that my frugal ways rarely include coupons, received one of these "amazing deals." We had a good laugh. More recently, it appears I sent "amazing video" links to the editor of RDH magazine.

The authors of the emails failed to do much research before becoming me. While it makes sense for me to send the occasional link to Mark Hartley for editorial feedback or input, the fact is, it rarely happens. When I do share links with him, they are most often for laughs and I never tout them as amazing. The emails usually become a source of humor and miss their intended function as a lead to a link.

Fake emails aside, I do have some amazing things to share from my web weaving this month. Let's begin the journey with a news story hoax that fooled many people, including me for just a moment. According to the story posted on such reputable news sites as abc.com and the New York Daily News, a Polish dentist pulled all the teeth of her unsuspecting ex-boyfriend after he left her for another woman.1

The story made the Facebook rounds with links to news agencies reporting both sides of the story, complete with quotes from the victim and dentist. It even made the newsfeed on Yahoo. In quick Internet fashion, the story was called out as bogus less than a week later, but not before millions of social media shares and email exchanges.2 These types of stories are truly amazing.

In the category of amazing technology, take a look at NuCalm at www.nucalm.com for a drug-free method of creating a relaxed and comfortable patient experience. The system was developed by neuroscientist Blake Holloway, and uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) to put patients into a state of deep relaxation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it.

Spend some time on the dental professional side of the website. You can learn from those who have used the system for dental anxiety how it worked for them. NuCalm has been used more than 100,000 times with no adverse effects. While a patient is using the system they are conscious, relaxed, and able to respond to voice commands, but physically unable to have an anxious response. It is interesting that 95% of patients stated they would use the system again for dental work.

This technology can be used beyond dentistry and can be administered in most situations where anxiety might be a problem. I use the system to help combat insomnia, which at this point is an admittedly off-label use. Patients often report being more relaxed in general for hours after using NuCalm, and most will even thank you at the end of treatment. Any dental technology capable of producing a thank you fits the criteria for amazing.

A browsing session is never complete without a little humor. Lucky for us, dental humor is rampant on the web — funny or not. While I do not advocate eating at any fast food restaurant, this McDonalds advertisement is too funny to pass up. Combining a child’s view on the world with dentistry will rarely go wrong.3

David Letterman shares his funny take on a dental visit. The first thought that entered my mind after watching this linked centered on the hundreds of calls he must have received from dentists utilizing Cerec.4

My computer is occasionally the lucky recipient of humor from my fellow columnists and editor. While some of it is the “you had to be there” type, Mark’s humor is often funnier and applicable to a larger audience. Take a look at his offering on DentistryIQ.5

If slapstick comedy is more your style, laugh out loud to the Carol Burnett show classic with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. My go to video for a giggle — this is AMAZING.6 RDH


Websites referred to in this column

1. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/04/polish-dentist-pulls-ex-boyfriends-teeth-out/
2. http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/08/11601378-story-of-vengeful-jilted-dentist-was-too-good-to-be-true
3. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1370591/mcdonalds_funny_advertising/
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPH9JxcV_E8
5. http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/03/no-bad-dentist-jokes-allowed-here-are-hollywoods-25-best-lines-a.html
6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9T8i4FkNVo

LORY LAUGHTER, RDH, BS, practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking nationally on a variety of topics. She can be contacted at lorylaughter@aol.com.

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