Thinking Outside the Mouth
By Rebecca Cooper
Only in America. Only in the land of 100 different alpha hydroxy wrinkle-smoothing creams and laser removal of under-eye circles could a person go in for routine oral hygiene and come out with rejuvenated lips full of collagen.
This latest development in appearance enhancement is an innovative pairing of prothodontics and trendy, age-defying procedures. The cosmetic combination was dreamed up by Dr. Paul Tanners, DDS, a Southampton resident with a Manhattan dental practice that recently began offering a range of cosmetic facial touch-ups in addition to prosthodontic dental services.
Dr. Tanners has teamed up with prominent New York cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michelle Zweiffer, who offers Botox and collagen to both her own and Dr. Tanners patients out of his Madison Avenue office. According to Dr. Tanners, this is not the first time combining the two services has crossed his mind.
Not only was Botox still awaiting approval in the 70′s, but the U.S. was not quite so mesmerized by the fountain of youth syndrome. ‘It just wasn’t ready,’ added the dentist in an interview at his vacation home in Southampton.
So, in the meantime, Dr. Tanners built up his prosthodontic practice, which offers everything from routine cleanings to restorative dental work and prosthetics. When the opportunity came along to work with Dr. Zweiffer at the same time the FDA approved the wrinkle-reducing Botox, Dr. Tanners felt the time was right to move forward and offer his patients a more complete package. ‘People can leave with clean teeth, and clean face,’ Dr. tanners remarked.’It’s kind of exciting,’ he continued. ‘I haven’t heard of anyone else doing it.’
He admits that when he first started promoting the added procedures, people thought he was crazy. ‘Do people need it?’ he asked. Thoughtfully. ‘Well, they want it. Once they do it, they notice every wrinkle, because now they’re paying attention.’ But, the objective of the practice is not to force added procedures onto patients. ‘We just let them know what’s available,’ he said, noting the importance of exercising delicacy when suggesting the possibility of the surgery.
‘People are going to wonder how they look to other people if you ask them that question,’ Dr. Tanners said, acknowledging that he tries to be as tactful as possible.
The team of Tanners and Zweiffer has also accumulated a larger patient base in the process of joining efforts. ‘People come in for a cleaning and a bleaching, and they end up going through with a little Botox,’ he said. ‘And it works both ways her patients come to me, too.’
The seasoned dentist and his new partner have also done their best to keep the prices reasonable with Botox topping out at about $400, depending on the number of sites injected. ‘It’s a very competitive price,’ he said. ‘It makes options more affordable and more accessible. The response has been great.’
Dr. Tanners added that patients ‘love being able to come in for everything at one time.’ The former NYU professor and board of trustees member is also giddy with anticipation of even more additions to his practice, including an aesthetics massage therapists as well as a line of products available from his office.
Whether or not Paul Tanners and Associates becomes any more comprehensive in the future, Dr. Tanners seems certain that he will always be credited as one of the first to bring two significant cosmetic procedures together.
I never really thought of myself as a trendsetter,’ he said. ‘I just do what feels right and makes me happy.’