Did your parents pass on their dental anxiety? Do you?


By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

Children’s fear of the dentist might be a learned trait from their parents, according to a study done by Delta Dental.

The Delta Dental Plans Association survey shared some information on the participants and the results:

* Parents with children 12 and under: Nearly half (48 percent) of parents say they are nervous about going to the dentist, and roughly the same number (47 percent) of their children share the sentiment.

* While moms (55 percent) are more nervous than dads (40 percent) prior to their own dental appointment, they tend to have an easier time getting their kids to go to the dentist. Nineteen percent of moms say it’s one of the hardest things to do vs. 37 percent of dads.

The study also showed that 30% of children are fearful of going to the dentist. This is not all learned from parents. Other reasons children are nervous:  a painful visit, a lengthy appointment in the past, additional dental work on the horizon, or a dentist the child does not like.

Delta Dental offers some tips to help make children’s dental visits more comfortable:

  • Start taking your children to the dentist at a young age. Preferably six months of getting the first tooth—and no later than the first birthday.
  • Talk positively. If children ask questions before a visit to the dentist, avoid using words that could make them scared. Avoid saying the dentist won’t hurt them; try to assure them the dentist will check their smile and their teeth.
  • Children like to play games. Play dentist at home, have them open their mouth and count their teeth. Then, tell them to practice on their stuffed animals.
  • Call ahead and let your dentist know your child is nervous about an upcoming visit.

For more information, read: https://www.deltadental.com/Public/NewsMedia/NewsReleaseKidsHighAnxietyFromParents201503.jsp

Designed to inspire.


By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

Innovation is crucial at a dental practice, especially one specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Though expected to arrive in the form of equipment and instruments, in the case of Dr. Matthew J. Conquest’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office, innovation also comes to light in the interior design realm.

Decorative wall panels, made from carefully selected hardwood, have been conceived to inspire designers, architects and every single interior design lover.

These decorative products, FriendlyWall® and Mur Finium® wall panels, manufactured by Finium, are distributed in Canada, the United States and now in some European countries.

As a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryDr. Matthew J. Conquest‘s expertise ranges from facial trauma to wisdom tooth removal.  His particular interests in dental implants, bone grafting/reconstruction, and corrective jaw surgery require unique vision and skill.

To incorporate unique vision into his practice design as well, he consulted with Benco Dental’s CenterPoint Design team.

Dental Designer Greg Marinelli suggested Finium FriendlyWall based on its high quality and ease of installation.
“When designing the waiting area of a new dental practice, I look to the finishes, proper lighting, and furniture to create a relaxed, anxiety-friendly atmosphere.  In Dr. Conquest’s new space I was inspired by the texture and warm tones of Finium’s Friendly Wood wall. This wood is a sustainable product, which means it is created from the by-product of cabinet makers; a great second life for this otherwise scrapped wood,” said Marinelli.

Recently, Finium showcased Dr. Conquest’s office on the homepage of their website: http://www.finium.ca

Finium is recognized for its Wood + Innovation. In 1999, these key elements made Finium an important player in the North American industry of prefinished wood products.

This innovative and eco-responsible product can be installed within hours and will add value to a room. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/BencoDentalInsiteDesign

If you have an interesting, beautiful, original, noteworthy practice design and want your chance in the spotlight, enter the 2016 Incisal Edge Design Contest: http://www.iedesigncontest.com/entryforms/

Sponsored by Clarion Financial for the third year, the 2016 Incisal Edge Design Contest, aims to reward creativity and innovation. They’ve invited a blue ribbon panel of judges, who will select the top designs, and provide their thoughts on each.


Remember the game ‘Operation’?


By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

If you’re thinking of the battery-operated game that tests players’ hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by asking them to remove small body organs, it is one and the same.

Well, The Dental Trade Alliance, through their Foundation, is introducing a web-based woman, who doesn’t beep, but helps you learn why dental care is so important.

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation has developed Operation: Whole Body Health.  Their “DTA Foundation” model features a graphic representation of the effects of poor oral health on your overall health, with the help of a model.

When visiting, http://wip.journeygroup.com/dtaf/ click on the various body parts and it will tell you the effects oral health has on that body part.

A little preview:

  • The tooth represents cancer. Research has shown that men with gum disease have a higher likelihood of developing cancer.
  • The bandage symbol represents the lungs: bacteria in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs, causing respiratory disease such as pneumonia.
  • The heart represents a heart, one which will be hurting if oral health is not a priority. Inflammation and infection caused by oral bacteria might be linked to heart disease.
  • The purple kidney bean represents themselves. One study shows that “people with severe periodontal disease developed chronic kidney disease at four times the rate as those without diseased gums.”

Visit Operation:Whole Body Health to view the other body parts.

According to the HuffPost Healthy Living,

Francesco D’Aiuto, senior lecturer at the Eastman Dental Institute in London, chatted with The Guardian about what he refers to as the the “mouth-body connection,” or the idea that a healthy body is strongly correlated with good dental hygiene.

“The mouth is not disconnected from the rest of the body,” he explained. “People should not underestimate what the body senses when the mouth is neglected.”

To view more of his thoughts of the connection between mouth and body, read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dont-forget-to-brush-your-teeth-seriously_55acf942e4b0caf721b324b3

Team Clean


By Kristie Ceruti/Shared by Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine

Dental hygienists and assistants are the unsung heroes of any practice. We spoke to the industry’s finest to get their thoughts on dentistry, life, and Lucy Hobbs.

Antoinette Kahan, RDH, BA, RDA, CDA, is the Dental Assisting program director at  Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center, shared her thoughts recently with Incisal Edge magazine:

What first drew you to dentistry? In 1976, my boyfriend was in his sophomore year at Rutgers with the hopes of becoming a dentist. Helping him study, I discovered that my capacity to learn the material was at least as good as his, so I decided to enroll in an evening vocational program in dental assisting.

Talk a little bit about the public school/public health aspect of what you do. Both locally and nationally, health-care professions are subjected to increased governmental scrutiny. Many public programs have been cut from city budgets. However, one of my student interns at our public-health facility consistently reported that she was seldom busy. It just seemed like such an easy fix to solve a complex problem.


Antoinette Kahan, RDH, BA, RDA, CDA

I knew that there was a significant need for dental care in our school, if not throughout the entire school system. Now, instead of having public-health dentist working out of a public-health facility once a week, that person can change his or her location and work out of our state-of-the-art clinic.

The transition finally took place in January 2012. Now every week the dentist and i provide direct supervision to the dental-assisting students as they develop their hands-on technical skills, while at the same time serving the needs of our school-based population.

This has significantly increased the numbers of patients and procedures delivered by the health department. It is my goal to make sure that every eligible child will graduate from out school without decay, with healthy gums, and if needed,  a referral for third-molar extraction and an orthodontic consult.

Describe what your program entails. It’s a two-year curriculum comprising 1,080 hours of rigorous lessons and clinical instruction that transcend standard high-school instruction. Students must quickly make the transition from the classroom to the clinic.

Chemistry, biology, algebra, and geometry come to life in the routine daily practice of dentistry. Students who have taken anatomy and physiology grasp the intricacies of the human body; physics students have an advantage when learning radiography. And the humanities. History is where we begin: Since there was man, there was dental disease. Understanding where we came from helps guide where we go.

Aside from oral health care, what are your primary passions? Teaching. Lucy Hobbs started as a teacher and went into dentistry, while I began in dentistry and am now teaching. Living in the classroom is a process of discovery, not arrival. Every day I am met with wonderment. Sometimes there are days when my students ask me to stop teaching for the day because their brains hurt. I consider that a compliment.

Kathleen J. Gazzola, CDA, RDH, EMT, BS, MA. Kathleen Gazzola, 62, is the chair of the Dental Health Department and director of the Dental Hygiene program at Community College of Rhode Island. She lives in Lincoln, Rhode Island and also spent a few moments sharing her thought on the profession with Incisal Edge:


Kathleen J. Gazzola, CDA, RDH, EMT, BS, MA , shown, shares her passion “Giving back one smile at a time,” at a recent Lucy Hobbs Celebration hosted in Baltimore, Maryland.

What initially drew you to dentistry? When I was 13, the guidance counselor in junior high gave us the topic, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” My uncle was a dentist, and I loved going to the dentist. He hired me when I was 15; I started as an on-the-job-trained dental assistant for him, and it went from there.

How did you end up in the position you currently hold? I taught part-time at CCRI for seven years, then went to school at night and got my master’s in 1986. I was hired in 1987 as an assistant professor. I fell in love with teaching. I’m also in charge of Community Dental Health, where I place my students in externships in the community for nine weeks. They get real-world experience — it’s a wonderful finishing point for their education.

How long as your dental-hygiene program been in place? Both programs, hygiene and assisting, went through accreditation in 2011. After being char for nine years, I could see that the culture in our department has changed. Our facility utilizes our remodeled space magnificently; we’re very proud of it. It’s fantastic. If the president of the U.S. landed his place in Providence today and wanted to see a state-of-the-art dental-health learning laboratory, I would say, “Just bring him up to the Lincoln campus.”

You’ve also been active with the Mission of Mercy. Five years ago a group of my faculty and staff went to Connecticut Mission of Mercy. The second day was Palm Sunday, so we decided to go to Mass. The priest said, ” I know you’re not from here; what brings you here?” We said, “We’re at the free dental clinic.” He said, ” Your hour has not come- you have more to do.” This year, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation, we’re having our fourth Mission of Mercy here at CCRI. Last year we treated almost 800 patients, who were given almost $500,000 in free dentistry. It fills me with such pride- and my students see what it’s like to give back.

What are your outside interest? My passion is my family, especially my grandchildren: Eliana, 3, and Dominic, 1. I’m “GiGi” to them- Grandma Gazzola.

Interested in hearing from three other groundbreakers in the dental profession? Visit: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/10683ba7#/10683ba7/60

Benco Dental helps “Raise Spirits”

benco basket

By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

This past Saturday, July 18, the “Let’s Raise Spirits” fundraiser was hosted at Dooley’s Pub and Eatery in Old Forge, Pennsylvania.

This event was held in order to help raise money for the “Prescription Assistance Fund,” in association with the Medical Oncology Associates of Kingston, which “has been providing medical oncology and hematology care and services to residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1977.” All proceeds from this event benefit local cancer patients to aid them with paying for their prescriptions and medical needs.

The mission of the Medical Oncology Associates:

Provide exceptional, innovative, and compassionate hematologic and oncologic care to residents of northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond; to offer cutting-edge clinical trials locally to our patients; to support and encourage our patients and their families in navigating diagnosis, treatment, and recovery; to provide psychosocial support to our patients and their families; to foster a sense of community among cancer patients; and to provide educational opportunities and materials, and wellness programs for our patients and their families.

With this in mind, Sharon Matylewicz, organizer and leader of the event, knew she wanted to help patients and families in medical need make this process a little easier.

The “Let’s Raise Spirits” fundraiser took place in the upstairs and downstairs of Dooley’s. The event featured a Chinese raffle, free giveaways, appetizers and desserts, and live entertainment by the Streetlife Serenaders, a Billy Joel tribute band.

The Chinese raffle consisted of 20 baskets, including one from Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distribution company. Benco Dental generously donated an Oral-B PRO 5000 electric toothbrush, a travel mug, a T-shirt, 12 PRO-SYS toothbrushes, an Incisal Edge magazine and more!

With baskets donated from family and friends and the public’s kind donations, the fundraiser was a success, according to Matylewicz.

Over $3,000 was raised and, with that donation, families in the local community will be assisted with their medical needs.

Attendee Krista Jackson, of Effort, Pennsylvania, was the excited winner of the Benco Dental basket.

“I’ve heard about Oral-B Pro’s Bluetooth features and can’t believe I won the basket! I’m even more thrilled to help the very necessary organization and support cancer patients through this event.”