Does near record-breaking snowfall support award-winning dental research? Ask Tufts students.

Tufts University dental students and presenters Shankeertha Sundaralingam, Yamila Garber and Elena Ciciolla spend a moment with Incisal Edge magazine during  Bates Day 2015, March 4 in Boston.

On the cusp of surpassing an all-time snowfall record of 107.6 inches set in 1995-1996, Boston encourages its great healthcare thinkers to break through barriers to knowledge and challenge the status quo.

Students at Boston-based Tufts University School of Dental Medicine spent March 4 showcasing research they had prepared under the guidance of talented mentors.


Tufts School of Dental Medicine third year international student Kunal Dani presented  "Comparison of Two Different Delivery Techniques for the Placement of Bulk Fill Composites" during Bates-Andrews Day 2015 in Boston.

Tufts School of Dental Medicine third year international student Kunal Dani presented “Comparison of Two Different Delivery Techniques for the Placement of Bulk Fill Composites” during Bates-Andrews Day 2015 in Boston.

Invading oral cancer cells, delivery techniques for bulk fill composites, LED headlamp use, fluoride content in green tea — just four of an impressive 72 topics tackled through their initiatives. During Bates-Andrews Day 2015,  predoctoral and postgraduate students showcased their research with poster presentations.

Great dental minds are nourished in an environment that encourages and supports student participation in research, and the mentors, administrators and educators at Tufts graciously provide those necessary factors. Dean Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D. offered a shout out to Eileen Doherty’s guidance as director of predoctoral student research and Dr. Gerard Kugel’s leadership as Associate Dean for Research.

Onetime Bates-Andrews Day presenter  (2001), Ancy Verdier, DMD, returned to campus from his flourishing practice at Worcester Periodontics to share his unique insight with “The Complete Clinician: Evidence Based Research in the Dental Office.”

In between presentations, students visited with commercial exhibitors and contributors on campus. Their quest for answers continued in this forum. “What makes a PRO-SYS toothbrush innovative?” queried several students of the Benco Dental team’s private label offering.

The answer they received: DuPont bristles, a rubber-free (thus gunk-free) handle and a one toothbrush donation to global charities for every toothbrush purchased.

Satisfied with this, they moved on the other questions: How are dentists selected for Incisal Edge 40 Under 40? Will this cell phone screen cleaning cloth work on dental loupes?

Inquiring minds never rest.

Tufts third year dental student Christina Penn congratulates #LucyHobbsProject award recipient Dr. Esther M. Wilkins.

Tufts students, faculty and visitors learn this from the best examples in their midst, including Professor Emeritus Esther Wilkins, D49, DG66, who recently received notification that she will be honored as an Industry Icon by Benco Dental’s Lucy Hobbs Project during the program’s annual celebration to honor exemplary women in dentistry, slated to take place June 4-5 in Baltimore.

Passersby at the Benco Dental table participated in photo ops to congratulate Dr. Wilkins, one of three women who started at Tufts with the class of 1949.

Groundbreaking Root Canal Sealer from an experienced innovator



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Known for their heritage and expertise, leading innovation, and vision and values, Septodont has developed a wide range of high quality products for dental professionals. Part of their philosophy includes maintaining close relationships with dental professionals and bringing innovative, safe and effective solutions for dentistry worldwide

Their bioactive and biocompatible revolution, the BioRoot™ RCS Root Canal Sealer,  a mineral-based innovation, reveals four positive features:

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To view more of what BIOROOT™ RCS has to offer, view

The Sasparilla Equipment Feud

Electrodental dental unit

By Larry Cohen/ Benco Dental Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate

Soon after the turn of the last century, the unit you see here emerged as the Cadillac of dental units (or, perhaps more accurately, the Duesenberg of its era). The brand carried a name that sounded modern for its time: ElectroDental.

It contained a warm-air syringe, a cold-air syringe, a cold-air cut-off (for attachment of a spray bottle), an electric cautery and a little electric flashlight that could be used to illuminate the inside of the mouth. The drill was a separate low-speed cable engine that hung on the wall next to the chair. The operatory light was called a cluster light: four frosted-glass globes that hung from the ceiling on a pulley that could be raised and lowered.

There’s a fun back story to this unit. At the beginning of my dental sales career a half-century ago, I called on a dentist in the twilight of his career. Surely in his late seventies, he had started using this unit sometime a little before World War I, and he practiced with his original equipment until the day he died.

Larry Cohen, Benco Dental Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate, has over the past half-century collected hundreds of unique dental artifacts, which reside at Benco’s world headquarters in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

Larry Cohen, Benco Dental Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate, has over the past half-century collected hundreds of unique dental artifacts, which reside at Benco’s world headquarters in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

This gentleman shared an office with his dentist brother, a relative youth in his late sixties. For their entire dental career, each brother had practiced in one operatory, at the same eastern Pennsylvania location, and shared a common waiting room. Both of them worked alone without a dental assistant. Each answered his own phone, booked his own appointments and called his patients into his operatory from the same waiting room.

And they had not spoken a word to each other in about 40 years!

I very much enjoyed my monthly calls on these characters, with whom I would freely talk, even as they refused to address each other. Slowly, the story behind their four-decade feud emerged.

On almost every visit, the curmudgeonly older brother would whisper the exact same words: “You know that equipment in my brother’s office? I bought that for him. And you know what he paid me? Sasparilla!

One day, I came in to find the older fellow gleeful: “His X-ray is broken!What’s he gonna do now?”

He then repeated his mantra: “You know that equipment in my brother’s office? I bought that for him. And you know what he paid me? Sasparilla!”

The broken X-ray was one of those old Ritter boxes with the exposed overhead wire. There was no way Benco would attempt to fix it, and the younger brother, already past standard retirement age, would not consider investing in a new machine. We eventually found an old, coral-colored floor-model Weber X-ray, which our service people were planning to junk. This big clunker would look ridiculous in the younger brother’s operatory alongside the original mahogany gear that this brother was still using. No matter — I made little brother very happy by offering it to him for free.

On my next visit, the older brother greeted me with the same line: “His X-ray is broken! What’s he gonna do now? You know that equipment in my brother’s office? I bought that for him. And you know what he paid me? Sasparilla!”

I informed him that his brother was getting a replacement X-ray the following week. Then I whispered a most audacious follow-up line — it just popped out: “Oh, by the way, your brother told me to send you the bill, since you always pay for his equipment.”

They don’t make ’em like they used to: Soft drinks. X-rays. Or dentists.

LARRY COHEN has over the past half-century collected hundreds of unique dental artifacts, which reside at Benco’s world headquarters in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Read Larry’s column quarterly in Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine:

Two thumbs up from Sophia. But what does the teddy bear think?

A child in upstate New York offers two thumbs up to her dentist.

“It just felt like nothing,” said Sophia, a youngster who entered the  office of Lawrence A. Kotlow, D.D.S., P.C. with eight caries. She had never experienced a filling prior.

Dr. Kotlow credits Solea, the first FDA-approved, CO2 9.3 micron dental laser for hard and soft tissue ablation.

“There was no downside to what we did,” he said.

He refers to the fact that Solea enables anesthesia-free treatment.

An array of dental lasers have been on the market for the past 30 years, but Solea is the first to enable reliable anesthesia-free and blood-free procedures.

A new partnership will make the laser available to 35,000 dentists across the country.

Convergent Dental Inc., a privately held dental equipment and technology company, announced this week it has partnered with Benco Dental, the largest privately owned, full-service distributor of dental supplies, dental equipment, dental consulting & equipment services in the United States.

Effective immediately, Benco Dental will offer Solea, the first FDA-approved, CO2 9.3 micron dental laser for hard and soft tissue ablation, to its 35,000 customers nationwide. For more than 80 years, Benco Dental has established itself as a trusted partner to dentists, helping to recommend and integrate the industry’s latest technologies into dentists’ practices. Solea fits perfectly into the dental distributor’s portfolio of innovative products and services that empower practitioners to efficiently perform more procedures and facilitate revenue growth.

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Benco Dental Vice President of Marketing Paul Jackson

“We are thrilled to add an exciting new product to our portfolio with proven capabilities to greatly impact our customers’ bottom line and patient experience,” said Benco Dental Vice President of Marketing Paul Jackson.

Benco Dental’s tireless commitment to putting high-quality products in thousands of dentists’ offices throughout the country has made it one of the most trusted names in dentistry. The dental supplier provides strategic guidance and support on everything from cost management to the integration of high tech equipment aimed at enabling improved clinical outcomes and practice growth. Benco Dental’s role as a strategic partner to dentists is even more critical now as significant advances in science and technology introduce dozens of new tools to the market every year.

“Benco Dental’s decision to select Solea for its product portfolio speaks volumes about Convergent Dental and this dental laser,” said Dr. Hugh Flax, a Solea user and long-time Benco Dental customer. “Having replaced my erbium laser with Solea’s advanced CO2 technology, it is clear to me that Solea represents an entirely new paradigm in dentistry. Joining forces with one of the most trusted dental suppliers in North America is a tremendous union that will make it easier for more dentists to deliver an entirely new patient experience.”

Solea dentists save time from not injecting or waiting for patients to get numb, enabling four-quadrant dentistry and bloodless procedures that they would not have performed with traditional tools. They routinely perform six or more additional procedures per day as a result. Convergent Dental’s partnership with Benco Dental will help more practitioners increase their efficiency, decrease chair time and grow their revenues with the fastest-growing hard and soft tissue laser on the market.

“We are honored to partner with Benco Dental, one of the most respected, professional and knowledgeable dental suppliers in the country. Our corporate cultures are perfectly aligned, with the focus being squarely on delivering on our promises to our customers above all else,” said Convergent Dental CEO Michael Cataldo. “That priority is certain to drive ongoing success for Convergent, Benco Dental and the customers we have in common.”


Two days to join a texting challenge for Kids’ Healthy Mouths.

To coincide with National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives are extending their successful Kids’ Healthy Mouthscampaign to encourage children to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Throughout February, the campaign announced the winners of a national video contest (one shown above). They also introduced a new SMS texting challenge (it takes less than a minute to sign up) and new characters for their popular mobile app, Toothsavers.

  • Toothsavers App Update: The widely popular mobile app Toothsavers got an update this month with three new characters (Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Rabbit). The new characters were announced on Kids’ Healthy Mouths social channels. Since its launch, more than 68,400 people have downloaded the app.
  • Texting Program Challenge:  Kids’ Healthy Mouths invites parents to join their free texting program which further supports the campaign’s main goal of encouraging parents to make sure their children brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Texters can take part in a five-day family brushing challenge this month, and will also receive personalized tips and support. Text TOOTH to 97779 to join.

In December, the Ad Council kicked off its first ever video contest with Zooppa, the world’s leading crowd sourced marketing platform for producing creative content. The Kids’ Healthy Mouths contest called on Zooppa’s community of over 27,000 amateur and professional video makers to leverage the existing campaign strategy to create their own videos showing parents trying to give important advice in just two minutes. The final videos were reviewed by creative directors at ad agency Grey New York and the Ad Council.

The Ad Council is pleased to announce the following videos as contest winners:
Eyes on the Ball (Sam Benenati), How To Weed The Garden (Joseph Binetti), Mime (Jason Kraynek), Birds and Bees (Jason Kraynek), Children’s Oral Health Career (Sean Tracy), Big Boy Time (Justin Pinder) and Sharing (Terrence Jones) with Let’s Change the Oil (Cynthia Bravo) and The Talk (Allen Baldwin) as early entry winners.

Created pro bono by Grey New York, the Kids’ Healthy Mouths PSAs stress that while most parenting is difficult to do in two minutes, such as learning how to cook or ride a bike, making sure kids brush for two minutes, twice a day is something a little simpler. The contest winners capture the spirit of the original PSAs and feature a lighthearted look at parenting today. The videos were highlighted on the Kids Healthy Mouths social pages throughout the month of February.

“This contest and our Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign celebrate the dedication of parents,” said Ad Council CEO and President Lisa Sherman. “This is one of our most successful campaigns because the message is simple and succinct, and the creative strategy is compelling and fun – while parenting can be challenging, this simple daily task is a bit easier.”