A rep and his briefcase.


Jorge Rodriguez spends the better part of his day in the world of dentistry.

As a Territory Representative for Benco Dental in the Rocky Mountain Region and former Service tech in that same area, he puts his background in dental equipment to good use. Jorge, 34, who graduated with distinguished honors from the U.S. Army’s Department of Defense Biomedical Equipment Maintenance Technician course,  but his training in action in the Army’s 47th combat support hospital. His specialized knowledge in the dental field allowed him to begin work at Benco servicing, repairing and being the “go-to guy for all equipment related to this specialty, from chairs to x-rays”.

When not focused on dentistry, this El Paso, Texas resident’s side pursuits still reflect his attention to minute detail and dedication to an art. As a craftsman of fine leather, Jorge can spend upward of 30 hours on a handcrafted briefcase or bag, but he views it as time well spent.

JorgeSketchbook“They go from concept to reality. I dream them up, sketch them, develop the patterns, fabricate a protoype, refine it and ultimately make it for myself. I refine details on paper and implement them into the sketches to better visualize the final outcome,” said Jorge.

Although he loves the creative process, he equally finds satisfaction in sharing it with others. Jorge volunteers as a teacher at his local leather supply store.

“I volunteered to teach my first hobby which, was braiding leather, and it developed,” he said.

Jorge referenced his participation in the agriculture department of his high school, where he first began leather braiding for tack and saddlery.

Today, he creates everything from shoes to briefcases, and takes particular pride in the accomplishment of detail work. The complexity of a one-string knot, which he used to create a tassel closure on a bag, or shoemaking allows him to refine his skills.

“When you make shoes there really is a lot involved. Oddly enough you have to consider biomechanics. The way a foot moves, the way a person walks, how they step.”

Next time you see Jorge as a Friendly Benco Rep ask him about his briefcase.

“Many times I have been to a store, an art gallery or an antique shop and more often than not I run into a piece that draws my attention and a series of  inevitable questions always follows. I wonder, who made it? how did they make it? and how did they learn to do that?   When you find the object that catches your eye it is like seeing a reflection of the individual who created it. When you see the skill and complexity of the piece you can imagine the time it must have taken to make. More often than not the technique reveals that the artist or craftsman who created it must have had a long journey to reach that level of proficiency.”

Innovation podcasts feature Benco Dental



Researcher, consultant and renowned speaker Dirk Beveridge identified Benco Dental as a company that wasn’t standing still.

That’s why he visited the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor in December to record a series of five podcasts.

The first podcast was broadcasted earlier this week, featuring Benco Dental Managing Director Chuck Cohen and Benco Dental Vice President of Marketing Paul Jackson, discussing the processes they have embedded into Benco’s culture, as well as leadership disciplines put in place to put the customer at the center of defining the distant horizon.

Four future topics include:

  • Culture (Feb 15)
  • Value Proposition (Feb 22)
  • Business Model Innovation (Feb 29)
  • Transformational Leadership (March 7)

In Dirk’s words, “78% of distributors believe they get trapped in the tyranny of the urgent and don’t focus enough on creating the company’s future. However, the Benco leadership team has an amazing commitment and discipline to (and I love how they frame this) … navigate to a distant horizon”.

To listen to the podcast (and future podcasts), click on the link below


innovate-book-e1425677220256Dirk Beveridge is the author of Innovate! How Successful Distributors Lead Change in Disruptive Times. 

Is a sleep study in your future?


If bad breath, tooth sensitivity or a toothache is plaguing you, perhaps it’s a nighttime habit at the root.

Findings of a recent study back the theory that open-mouth breathing is associated with dental disease such as tooth decay and enamel erosion.

According to a story by Katherine Derla for Tech Times, the University of Otago’s Sir John Walsh Research Institute analyzed the oral pH levels of 10 participants. Alternately, these healthy volunteers were asked to sleep with and without a nose clip that forces them to breathe through the mouth.

The average pH level of those who slept with the nose clips was 6.6, which is slightly acidic compared to the neutral 7 of those who breathed through their noses. The team also found a visible pattern on the pH levels and temperature between morning and evening.

“Intraoral pH decreased slowly over the hours of sleep in all participants, but showed greater falls over a longer period of time when participants were forced to mouth breathe,” said Ph.D. student and study lead author Joanne Choi.

There are times when the pH levels would drop to 3.6 during sleep when the participants were forced to breathe through the mouth. Choi said the dropped rate is below the critical 5.5 threshold when the tooth enamel starts losing its minerals.


Which POTUS pouts are potentially potent?


Newly released data by Delta Dental Plans Association* provides a look at the style of smiles most preferred by the public in a fearless leader.

From former President Bill Clinton (more men – 22% – think he had the best smile than women – 12%) to President Barack Obama (11 point difference with women – 30% over men -19%), a certain smile is crucial.

Whose grin gripped the Greatest Generation? Go on, take a guess. Or read all about it: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3IY8WmqQATeamFQZzh6dnpkSmc/view


*Results taken from a Fall/Winter omnibus survey conducted for Delta Dental Plans Association by Kelton Global between October 26thand 29th, 2015 among 1,013 nationally representative Americans 18+. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percent.

Listen. Is that the sound of clean?



Mobile apps can motivate better oral hygiene habits, as demonstrated by the award-winning Brush DJ @BrushDJ, (free toothbrush timer app developed by a UK dentist to make brushing less boring) and the popular Disney Magic Timer App by Oral-B (app featuring 23 Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters that track progress for kids).

Might the toothbrush of the future inspire better tooth cleaning based on the sound of scrubbing (bristles)?

According to a report in sciencedaily.com, researchers in Japan have discovered that how effectively we clean our teeth and how satisfied we are with the brushing job we do depends a lot on the sound of the bristles scrubbing against the enamel:

 “In trials with volunteer teeth cleaners, the researchers used a tiny microphone in a modified toothbrush to ‘sample’ the sound being made in the mouth during brushing and to modulate it and then feed that sound back to the volunteer. The study, which is published in the International Journal of Arts and Technology, explains how modulating the brush sound affects brushing effi cacy and satisfaction. The authors found that if they manipulated the pitch, or frequency and loudness, of the brushing sound, they could alter the volunteers’ perception of comfort and accomplishment. They also found that if they gradually increased the frequency as teeth cleaning progressed, the volunteers felt like the process was more comfortable and that their teeth were cleaner at the end of the process.”

Are headphones the answer? Probably not. The report describes a prototype system in which the tooth brusher wears headphones … impractical in the day-to-day.

Bone conduction speaker systems (think: hearing aid technology) might be incorporated into the smart toothbrush so that the amplified feedback loop is created in the mouth.

The sound of scrubbing. Could a Super Bowl commercial incorporating  Simon and Garfunkel be on the horizon?

Monday fun fact: Bone conduction explains why a person’s voice sounds different to him/her when it is recorded and played back. Because the skull conducts lower frequencies better than air, people perceive their own voices to be lower and fuller than others do, and a recording of frequently sounds higher.