According to the March/April 2019 and May/June 2019 editions of AAOMS Today, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) is utilizing new methods to reach patients for wisdom teeth management. AAOMS is utilizing methods taking advantage of public service announcements (PSA) at airports, on radio, and on television (TV). AAOMS is also utilizing new infographics on websites and social media.
According to page 22 in the March/April 2019 issue of AAOMS Today, in mid 2018 AAOMS launched airport PSAs with signage saying “Pain or no pain, your wisdom teeth should be checked every year.” In addition a picture of either a young woman or young man is featured along with the AAOMS logo, the tagline of AAOMS stating “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: The experts in face, mouth and jaw surgery”, and also telling patients to find a surgeon near them by visiting MyOMS.org (which is a patient focused website run by AAOMS). The cost reported for producing and distributing each sign at the airpot is $300 and everything else is completely free. The signs from AAOMS are put up at airports when there is a gap in paid advertisement signs. The signs from AAOMS have been put up in airports in the U.S. including LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport, and Springfield-Branson National Airport with additional expansion to other airports planned.
According to page 31 in the May/June 2019 issue of AAOMS Today, since early 2019 AAOMS has been utilizing radio and television PSAs with information on wisdom teeth management. These PSAs come in different durations including 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. These advertisements air during periods where there is no current paid advertisement. Similarly to the airport PSAs, these advertisements mention “Pain or no pain, your wisdom teeth should be checked every year.” In addition a picture of either a young woman or young man is featured along with the AAOMS logo, the tagline of AAOMS stating “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: The experts in face, mouth and jaw surgery”, and also telling patients to find a surgeon near them by visiting MyOMS.org. The three different length videos can be viewed from http://tvaccessspotsource.com/american-association-oral-and-maxillofacial-surgeons but appear to be the same as the videos uploaded to the AAOMS YouTube page in August 2018. The 15 second version is embedded below.
Similar messaging also also appeared recently on the AAOMS twitter page, as seen with the tweet below.
According to pages 30 and 31 in the May/June 2019 issue of AAOMS Today, the infographics are designed to be more engaging than plan text. One infographic describes wisdom teeth management depicting impacted teeth complications and their growth over time. Another infographic describes dos and donts for what to do after having wisdom teeth surgey. The infographic for wisdom tooth management has been shared on the AAOMS twitter page, as seen with the tweet below. There is also a nice large size version of the wisdom teeth management infographic over on the MyOMS.org site at https://myoms.org/infographics/wisdom_teeth_management_infographic. A nice large size version of the wisdom teeth surgery infographic is over at https://myoms.org/infographics/wisdom_teeth_surgery_infographic.
The new marketing approach taken by AAOMS regarding wisdom teeth are certainly drastically different than prior marketing approaches where as described at http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html as late as 2007 AAOMS was placing advertisements recommending that a patient has wisdom teeth removed by the time they are a young adult to prevent future problems. However, the new marketing approaches by AAOMS regarding wisdom teeth management raise many questions. It is reported in the March/April 2019 and May/June 2019 editions of AAOMS Today that the PSAs for wisdom teeth management at airports, on radio stations, and on television when combined are estimated to have reached over 10 million people and have an equivalent dollar value of $218,000. AAOMS is not paying for this advertising they are just paying to produce the signs and radio and TV marketing spots. One could certainly question why wisdom teeth management ads have been chosen as a PSA over other potentially more impactful topics. For example arguments could be made that other topics may be more worthwhile such as urging people to stop watching so much television, urging people to prevent forest fires, or urging people to not drink and drive. Regardless of what makes a PSA topic merit worthy, the other issue here is regarding the actual legitimacy of the wisdom tooth management advertisement. It raises numerous questions including: 1) why is a young adult featured in the image?, 2) is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that an asymptotic wisdom tooth should be checked every year?, and 3) why should an oral and maxillofacial surgery be checking the wisdom tooth as opposed to a dentist or other professional? These questions have some possible troubling answers. It would be convincing if there were actually a scientific study that had been conducted that demonstrated in young patients that having wisdom teeth checked every year by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon was more beneficial than not having these wisdom teeth checked. However it is likely no such study even exists which then raises the question of the legitimacy of the claims in the advertisement. While it is well know that there are risks involved with keeping wisdom teeth, see http://www.teethremoval.com/risks_of_keeping_wisdom_teeth.html, such as cysts, tumors, cavities, infection, and gum disease it does not seem appropriate to extrapolate that one should have a wisdom tooth checked every year because of this by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.