Meet the new dental spouses.

Drs. Leah B. and Talmadge D. Wilkins IV at Current at Chelsea Piers during the 2015 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 fashion photo shoot.
(Incisal Edge/Eric Larsen)

Dr. Wilkins, age 36, earned an undergraduate degree from Wofford College, magna cum laude 2001, and DMD from Medical University of South Carolina and serves as President Elect of the Central District, one of five districts of the South Carolina Dental Association.

The other Dr. Wilkins, age 39, serves as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for the SCDA and as the official team dentist of the University of South Carolina, Aiken-Pacers, Athletic Department.

Both spouses are equally committed to the care of their patients, and the two children (both under age 10) they raise together.

You’d never guess from these descriptions which South Carolina practitioner is male and which is female. And that’s exactly as it should be.

Equal partners in life, supporting each other’s goals and dreams.


Drs. Leah B. and Talmadge D. Wilkins IV at Current at Chelsea Piers during the 2015 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 fashion photo shoot. (Incisal Edge/Eric Larsen)

Meet the new dental spouses, in this case, Dr. Leah Bryan Wilkins, DMD, and Dr. Talmadge Wilkins IV, DMD, FAGD, respectively.

“Leah and I are both involved in organized dentistry.  We make sure that we do not take on positions that would require us at the same time; someone has to be with the kids.  I am involved at the state level, and she is with the district level of the SCDA.  We have to say no at times.  With church and school, we also try to offer our time, but with different events and different times.  That way we can also help each other with the projects,” explained Dr. Talmadge Wilkins IV on how he and his wife manage the delicate balancing act of a two- career family.

A dentist for 11 years, 8 of those in private practice at Center for Dentistry in Aiken, South Carolina, he credits his involvement with the Pankey Institute for helping him gain a sense of equilibrium.

“You have to remember to have a healthy work/life balance.  Additionally, you have to schedule everything, even date nights and down time.  For me, I do not like to be scheduled, rather more spontaneous, but that is not a luxury of being in a relationship and family of dentists,” he added.

They were both familiar with being part of a dental family long before they met and married.

“Both of our fathers went to the same college, the Citadel, then the Medical University of S.C. and became dentist in small towns.  I feel we were raised in very similar ways,” said Dr. Talmadge.

Dr. Leah B. Wilkins joined her father in practice 10 years ago in Edgefield, South Carolina (the town where she was raised), while her husband finished his general practice residency, followed by training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia. She describes their similar career paths as a unique benefit to their marriage.

“I absolutely feel like we can be empathetic because we have a clear understanding of what “work life” entails…staff, patients, insurance, you name it…we can relate. We work in a tiny, dark, bacteria-filled part of the body and have high expectations placed on us both by patients and ourselves, that creates a tremendous amount of stress. When you include managing a business, it can be daunting and debilitating. It is refreshing to come home and have someone who completely understands your challenges, frustrations, successes, and triumphs,” said Dr. Leah Wilkins.

Often, Dr. Leah tells young females in high school or college to choose dental school.
“It is a fabulous profession that allows time for family and work. No career is perfect, but I chose one that gives me autonomy, financial independence, and brings me satisfaction. Even on a bad day…that’s hard to complain about.”

Her husband dedicates some time outside the practice as an Instructor in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Georgia, as well as an Assistant Cub Master with Pack 115, Boys Scouts of America. When she’s not commuting 25 miles to work three days a week, or leading the SCDA Central District, Dr. Leah volunteers at their son’s school, drives the children to dance or soccer practice and finds a few hours for Crossfit.

Sometimes that nonstop schedule even allow for a few days together in NYC. The couple visited Chelsea Pier  recently to celebrate Dr. Talmadge’s honor as one of the 2015 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40, the best young dentists in America.

“Most individuals and others spouses have no idea of the challenges that dentist face daily.  When we talk, we can actually understand what we a speaking about and can offer advice and occasional criticism so we can become better dentists and people,” he said.

Other dentists could not agree more.

The dental lifestyle magazine recently interviewed three households in which one or both spouses are dental professionals. The story’s goal: to establish the concept that gone are the days in the dental profession “when the man was exclusively the doctor and the woman the spouse. Record numbers of female dentists mean a wide variety of new roles for the men to whom they are married.”

The magazine’s Ted O’Callahan spent time with three more dental couples:

* Dr. Amy Case and Dr. Brian Case started as associates for other dentists, and quickly began preparing to buy a small-town general practice in Cleburne, a town of 30,000 at the outer edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth orbit. She’s the primary dentist at the practice while he continues to work four days a week elsewhere as an associate, which helps pay down debt and generates a predictable income stream while they build their own patient base. Dr. Brian Case practices at the family operation one day a week, enabling him to make connections with patients in the area while also giving Dr. Amy Case at least one weekday with Emily, the couple’s 6-month·old daughter.

Dr. Kenia Campos and her husband, Abel Planas, were high-school sweethearts in Cuba, lost touch and then reconnected eight years later. Dr. Kenia Campos worked for a corporate practice as they got settled. Their son, Juan Pablo, was born in June 2012, and the next year they put down roots by buying a practice in which they would work together. While Abel occasionally fills in as a dental assistant, his job is to indulge his love of numbers as the office manager.
“Tm the dentist. That’s it,” Kenia says. “He takes care of everything else. I don’t know how much we pay for electricity or anything. I love it. I’d only want someone I trust 100 percent doing that, so it’s perfect.”

* When Dr. Marielaina Perrone and Dr. Gregg Perrone were planning out who would be the primary caregiver for their children they were also dividing the workload of running the practice. Given that Dr. Gregg had minored in business management in college, he took on the operations of the practice, while Dr. Marielaina did the dentistry.
“You have to figure out what people’s strengths and weaknesses are,” Marielaina says. “I’m all about peo­ple and patient care. Gregg is amazing at seeing the big picture and organizing.”
When their daughter, Ashley, was born, Gregg transitioned seamlessly to the role of a stay-at-home dad.
“My parents thought it was a little odd, since the man is supposed to be the breadwinner,” he says. “It works for us.”
Dr. Gregg still manages the practice – every­thing from accounting to updating the blog – which consumes 10 to 15 hours a week. But he’s in the office only once a month or so. He can fulfill most of his duties on the go while he’s at their daughter’s archery lessons or their son’s hockey practice.

Read their stories at:

Is Benco Dental in harmony with the universe?

Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois.

In tandem. In balance. In sync. Each phrase accurately describe the way Benco Dental’s CAD/CAM Bootcamp training session taking place in Chicago today conveniently aligns with the June 30 leap second.

In case you didn’t read about it on or in your Twitter feed, #leapsecond, the one extra second in your day June 30 evolved from a natural occurrence. explains it succinctly:

2015 is not a leap year, but it does have a leap second, set to take place Tuesday (June 30) at 7:59:60 p.m. EDT (23:59:60 GMT).

“Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement.

Ask any person the length of a day, and she’ll say 24 hours, which equates to 86,400 seconds. But the time it takes for Earth to rotate on its axis relative to the sun, called a mean solar day (or the average length of a day) is roughly 86,400.002 seconds. This happens because Earth’s rotation is slowing down, thanks to a kind of braking force caused by the gravitational tug of war among Earth, the sun and the moon, researchers at NASA said.

(Photo courtesy David Gardner/Benco Dental)

The Benco Dental team stays focused during a two-day CAD/CAM Boot Camp training session in Chicago. (Photo courtesy David Gardner/Benco Dental)

Pat Arsenault, Director of Equipment & CenterPoint Services for the nation’s largest privately owned dental distribution company weighed in on the serendipity of the leap second and Benco Dental’s two-day CAD/CAM Boot Camp training session: “It’s our last Bootcamp in Chicago.  They have been so fantastic and so jammed packed with information, they had to add extra time onto today.”

He joked, “Today will be one second longer to accommodate the amount of material we need to cover.

Arsenault referenced one of four events hosted across the United States to provide education and hands-on experience for the Benco Dental team around Benco’s OneVisit™ solution, which includes IOS TS150, 3M True Definition Scanner and the Roland Mill. waxed poetic on the leap second:

Maybe you think this is inconsequential. Even discussing it might seem like a waste of precious time. After all, how much can you get done in one little second? And don’t the really important things in life take time? Unless you work in a high-precision industry, or you’re watching an online clock on June 30 at midnight UTC (8 PM Eastern), you might not even notice this little gift of time.

But a lot can happen in one second.

Did we just steal your extra second with this post? chooses to think that any time spent floss is always worthwhile.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

ADA prepares for ‘Navigating The Sea of Genomic Data’


According to’s Michelle Manchir, the ADA is hosting a first-of-its-kind meeting in October about current issues involved in genetic testing and the expectations for genetics in dentistry.

Academicians, dental practitioners, regulatory bodies and leaders of professional dental organizations are encouraged to attend the conference scheduled for Oct. 28-29 at the Association Headquarters in Chicago.

The purpose of the conference is to develop guidance for interested parties that can be used to inform and assess the design and analysis of genomic studies of oral diseases, according to conference co-chairs, Dr. Daniel Meyer, ADA Chief Science Officer, and Dr. Michael Glick, editor of The Journal of the American Dental Association and professor of oral medicine and dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Thomas Hart, program coordinator for the conference and chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, said the conference is important because it will be the first time renowned genomic experts have come together to discuss pressing issues related to genetic testing in the context of dentistry. Dr. Hart is also the director of the ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center.

“They will discuss significant changes in our understanding of genomics and how genes contribute to disease,” Dr. Hart said. “Additionally, they will discuss the issues that the dental community needs to understand to develop and implement safe and effective genetic tests to improve clinical care.”

Dr. Hart added that many challenges dentists face in incorporating genomics into clinical practice are shared by clinicians in other areas in medicine.

At the conference, “we will see that we are not alone in facing these challenges, and that by working together and sharing experiences we will succeed,” Dr. Hart said.

To learn about keynote presentations and speakers, visit:

bb7 and Benco Dental Develop Award-Winning PRO-SYS Toothbrush

The PRO-SYS toothbrush, sold by Benco Dental, was designed and developed in collaboration with bb7.

The PRO-SYS toothbrush is the latest on bb7’s extensive list of new product development solutions for the dental industry. Sold by Benco Dental, the PRO-SYS toothbrush was designed and developed in collaboration with bb7. Past bb7projects  have included the first set of wireless dental loupes, a revolutionary dental curing wand and robotic testing equipment to evaluate toothbrush performance. Many of these products have garnered awards and recognition from Dentistry Today and The Medical Design Excellence Awards.

Benco Dental Territory Rep Lenny Lenz isn't only a talented salesman, he's also a gifted craftsman - of giant toothbrushes (shown)!

Benco Dental Territory Rep Lenny Lenz isn’t only a talented salesman, he’s also a gifted craftsman – of giant PRO-SYS toothbrushes (shown)!

bb7, a comprehensive product development firm, announced today that the PRO-SYS toothbrush was the recipient of a 2015 Silver Edison Award™. The Edison Awards™ are conducted by Edison Universe, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. The Awards have recognized and honored the best in innovations and innovators since 1987. They honor game-changing innovations at the forefront of new product and service development, marketing and human-centered design. The prestigious awards are one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of successful innovation. The PRO-SYS toothbrush was one of three winners in the Dental Patient Care category.

“Working with Benco Dental on their line of professional and consumer toothbrushes was a perfect fit for our capabilities and experience. Our design team sculpted quick form studies of sketched concepts, so decisions were reinforced with hands-on experience,” said John Miller, Director of Industrial Design and User Research at bb7.

PRO-SYS oral health care products unite design simplicity with clinical efficacy. The PRO-SYS Tapered Toothbrush includes (from the inventor of the nylon bristle) DuPont® Tynex filaments arranged in a multi-level design for improved cleaning. The design is intended to clean deeper in difficult-to-reach areas without sacrificing comfort; tapered bristles clean under the gum line.

The contoured handle of the PRO-SYS toothbrush – three years in the making – was shown to substantially reduce debris accumulation and bacterial contamination after prolonged use. In recent clinical findings by The Dental Advisor’s John A. Molinari, Ph.D. and Peri Nelson, B.S., the rubber-free handle on the adult and junior series toothbrushes in the PRO-SYS® oral care family remained 1,500 times cleaner than other brush handles after months of use.

Go to to learn more about bb7’s product development capabilities and experience in the Medical, Dental, Consumer and Commercial industries. Schedule a visit and see how bb7’s world-class researchers, designers, engineers, and scientists unite to solve the most complex challenges.

Amann Girrbach, Benco Dental announce distribution partnership


Delivering the right set of solutions. Two dental innovators are working in tandem with this purpose.

Amann Girrbach has proven itself to be a global leader and innovator of CAD/CAM equipment, materials and technology. Benco Dental has enjoyed 84 years of success in the U.S. market because of a commitment to deliver best-in-class products and solutions to a diverse customer base.

“When reviewing solutions to offer to our customers and prospects, we feel that Amann Girrbach, with their open architecture, truly allows for a seamless integration of digital function for doctors. Not only that, but no matter the size of the lab, we are confident that Amann Girrbach’s full product line is uniquely suited to any need or sophistication,” said Mark Nelson, CAD/CAM Product Manager at Benco Dental.

Paul Jackson, VP of Marketing for Benco Dental.

Paul Jackson, VP of Marketing for Benco Dental.

Benco Dental, the nation’s fastest growing privately owned dental distribution company, announces its distribution partnership agreement with Amann Girrbach, a pioneer in dental CAD/CAM technology and one of the leading innovators and preferred full-service providers in digital dental prosthetics. While the two companies have enjoyed success for years, they agree that a combined focus and alignment of synergies allow for one of the best offerings available to the market, and just at the right time.

“In meetings over the past several months, we have realized that we have the right people in both organizations, with the right expertise, to deliver a robust set of open solutions to our diverse customer base,” said Paul Jackson, VP of Marketing for Benco Dental. “Our agreement with Amann Girrbach affords both companies the chance to meet the needs of the dentist and the lab with leading edge equipment and materials.”

“I’m thrilled about the Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach partnership,” said Marco Ratz, CEO Amann Girrbach. “Benco Dental and Amann Girrbach have been in discussions for quite some time. Both companies have grown and evolved at such an accelerated rate in the past few years and we feel now is the perfect opportunity to focus our combined energies on delivering the right set of solutions to the market. The technology is ever-changing and we have seen a shift in the market; we are well equipped to mutually support it.”

CAD/CAM Product Manager at Benco Dental, Mark Nelson (third from left), offers Kat Dunham, Georg Eickhoff and Jacob Epelbaum a tour of ‪#‎CenterPoint‬ - Benco Dental's home office -- in Pittston, Pa. At Amann Girrbach America Inc., Dunham serves as Director of Operations and Service, Eickhoff's role is President and Epelbaum contributes as Sales Manager, North America.

CAD/CAM Product Manager at Benco Dental, Mark Nelson (third from left), offers Amann Girrbach team members Kat Dunham, Georg Eickhoff and Jacob Epelbaum a tour of ‪#‎CenterPoint‬ – Benco Dental’s home office — in Pittston, Pa.
At Amann Girrbach America Inc., Dunham serves as Director of Operations and Service, Eickhoff’s as President and Epelbaum as Sales Manager, North America.

“We realize that supporting the U.S. market is about more than just providing a full line of integrated solutions to our customers and prospects – it is about relationships, service and continuous dialogue with our customers to continue to innovate to meet demand. We are fortunate to have a greater reach to the voice of the customer through our distribution partners. Their feedback continues to fuel the innovation of our R&D team in Koblach, Austria – one of the largest in the industry – and we are excited to continue to innovate and deliver solutions to the market,” said Kat Dunham, Director of Operations and Service at Amann Girrbach America Inc.