( Originally Published 1902 )
The average dental ad is a nightmare. What is nearer a grinning skull than a hideous black and white effect, supposed to represent human jaws and teeth?
Yet we see this monstrosity constantly staring at us from advertising columns, and at times wedged in between the upper and lower jaw the legend:---
GOLD CROWNS $5 UP.
I am neither hyper-sensitive nor blunted in my conceptions. I think I see things as they are, and by this time I ought to be able to tell good from poor advertising, and I want to again write with the full force of this stub pen that the average dental ad is an eyesore—a nuisance--a driver away of trade—an advertising excrescence that should wither and disappear under the fullest force of advertising criticism and advertising intelligence.
There is hope. A series of decent, clean cut and business bringing dental ads have made their appearance in the New York papers, and here is reproduced one from the Times:—
Every man who makes a success has some ideas peculiar to himself. The corps of specialtists under my direction have been trained according to my ideas. They work as I want them to work.
My extensive dental experience of twenty-three years in college teaching and private practice qualifies me to select proper men for the different branches of dentistry, and to direct them in their work.
Silver fillings, $1.00. Gold and platinum alloy, $1.50. Pure Gold. $2.00 up. Gold crowns $5, $7.50, $10, according to the amount of gold. Artificial Teeth, $8, $10, $12, $15. Painless extraction included.
Edward Everett Cady, D. D. S.
887 Broadway (Cor. 17th St..) Manhattan.
Now here is an ad that makes an impression—the impression that the writer knew what he was talking about, and said it in a manner that appealed to reason. All objectionable features are eliminated.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Edward Everett Cady, D. D S., nor transacting any business with him whatever, but I hai e had the pleasure of reading a great many of his ads, and they struck me as being remarkably clean cut, interesting and well expressed.
He should be encouraged, and so should all good dental advertisers.
The average dentist inserts in his local paper a cut showing a ghastly and ghostly pair of wide open teeth and a few display lines at the top, middle and bottom, saying something like this:
TEETH EXTRACTED WITHOUT PAIN!
ARTIFICIAL TEETH, $8. CROWNS, $5.
TRY US AND BE CONVINCED.
I tried one Broadway dentist and was convinced that his painless method was very painful. He filled a tooth, and during the process I became gradually imbued with the idea that one of the subway steam drills was grindingly, roaringly and remorselessly drilling through my jaw clean up to my think tank, and having reached the seat of learning, my agony became so intense and ideas so confused that the room seemed a whirling mass of drills, while the air was surcharged with a thousand whirling noises. Finally he finished.
" I thought you said your method was painless?" I asked him.
"Well it was—to me!" he answered as he pocketed the fee.
But to get back to the advertising. Why cannot every dentist that advertises content himself with a series of short, crisp talks as to his methods-how his gold is pure gold and not gold with alloy-how his artificial teeth are made to wear for years-how he reduces pain to a minimum by the use of the very latest and best appliances and discoveries—how reasonable are his prices, and all the features that any clever advertising man could point out for him?