Patient view -- An entrepreneurial dentist comes up with a novel idea

It used to be that a trip to the dentist included a free toothbrush and some flossing tips. Now, thanks to dentist and inventor Dr. Tim Anderson, the full treatment might include a viewing of your favorite TV show or video. Anderson’s bright idea, Patient View, is a gizmo that suspends a 13-inch television from the ceiling at the perfect angle for the patient in the hot seat.

”I don’t like to use a lot of intravenous drugs or sedation to knock out my patients…but there are times when dental treatment gets just plain boring,” says the 34-year-old Fort Collins, Colo.-based dentist. ”I wanted my patients to have something to look at so they wouldn’t have to stare at the same spot on the ceiling.” But what began as a novelty has turned into a lucrative business. Now obstetricians and gynecologists are showing interest in springing for a $99 kit; the doctor supplies the TV.

Anderson says the creation has pumped up his practice. ”People love it,” he reports. ”They say, ‘Wow, television. Hand me the remote control.”’