Benco associates experience Christmas kindness in Dunmore, Pennsylvania

WNEP-16 Reporter Elizabeth Worthington and Videographer Mike Cholko paid a surprise visit to Regulatory Compliance Specialist Ashley  Yando  DeFlice and Tax Manager Amy Yando at the Benco Dental home office. Their purpose: to learn more about an outpouring of holiday kindness the sisters experienced in their community. On Thursday, December 12, the news station reported the story.

John Yando, the dad of two Benco associates, Regulatory Compliance Specialist Ashley Yando DeFlice and Tax Manager Amy Yando, has long taken pride in decorating for the holidays at his home in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Two years ago, John experienced a serious stroke. Though he has made great strides with determination and the support of loving wife Julie and family, John, who turned 73 on Tuesday, no longer is able to continue the tradition of stringing countless yards of colorful garland, wreaths and lights to brighten his neighborhood.   

John Yando, center, the dad of two Benco associates, Regulatory Compliance Specialist Ashley Yando DeFlice (shown) and Tax Manager Amy Yando, has long taken pride in decorating for the holidays at his home in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Two years ago, John experienced a serious stroke and this season his community lent their support.

When John mentioned to Ashley that he felt disheartened and requested help, his youngest daughter recalled the outpouring of support their family received during her father’s recovery. “People were always asking what they could do to help, so I thought this might be a time to ask,” said Ashley. 

Last week, when Ashley shared a post to the Facebook group “You Know You’re from Dunmore” requesting assistance to decorate her parents’ home, she wasn’t sure what to expect. 

Last week, when Ashley Yando DeFlice shared a post (shown above) to the Facebook group “You Know You’re from Dunmore” requesting assistance to decorate her parents’ home, she wasn’t sure what to expect. 

 “I thought I would get a few people, and in the first hours, I received supportive comments,” she referred to the social media group with 6,062 followers. “Then, we got so much help, we were overwhelmed by the kindness.”  

Ashley said it was not long before she received a call from the Dunmore Police Department who offered assistance from Cadet program of the police and fire departments.  

On Saturday morning, Amy arranged for their mom to be away from home for a few hours and the volunteers began arriving.  Before long nearly 20 members of the community came out, including neighbors, an elementary schoolmate, the Cadets, among others.  

On Saturday, December 7, nearly 20 members of the community came out to help the Yando family decorate in Dunmore, including neighbors, an elementary schoolmate, the Dunmore Borough Police and Fire Department and Cadets, among others.  
John Yando watches from inside his Dunmore home as friends from the community continue his holiday decorating tradition.

“Our mom had been feeling overwhelmed and having trouble getting into the spirit of the season,” said Amy. 

When she arrived home, their mom, Julie was awestruck and delighted.

On Saturday morning, Amy Yando arranged for her mom Julie to be away from home for a few hours and the volunteers began arriving to decorate. Here she arrives on the scene.

“I am extremely proud of my sister for reaching out to the community to help us and even prouder of the individuals who volunteered. I am grateful to be part of the Dunmore community,” said Amy.  

On Saturday, December 7, nearly 20 members of the community came out to help the Yando family decorate in Dunmore, including neighbors, an elementary schoolmate, the Dunmore Borough Police and Fire Department and Cadets, among others.  

 Ashley and Amy offered gratitude to all, especially the Fire and Police departments and neighbors Jim Becchetti and Nicole Archangeli and her two children, Natalia and Gianni. 

-Editorial Intern Sean Mickalitis contributed to this story.

Gain vision, energy for your dental practice with Kay Huff

When it comes to dental practices, Kay Huff’s got vision.

It was over 30 years ago that this one-woman whirlwind began helping teams as a dental practice coach, and since then she’s been channeling that energy as a driving force to help hundreds of practices reach and exceed their professional goals.

Passionate about her work, this Director of Coaching with Benco Dental’s Practice Solution Team brings a strong background in dental business systems, team motivation, leadership, and practice profitability.

Last week at the Greater New York Dental Meeting, Huff was inducted as a Fellow in the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics. This honorary service organization is driven by the mission of fostering interdisciplinary relationships and cooperative education in the area of facial esthetics.

Kay Huff was inducted December 2, 2019 as a Fellow in the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics.

In the last five years the IADFE opened the Fellowship to consultants by invitation only, and after being nominated by Debra Nash, co-founder of the Nash Institute in Huntersville, North Carolina.

As Director of Coaching with Benco Dental, Huff consults with dental practices and leads educational events across the U.S. In the coming months, she’ll address audiences at a Build Your Future™ design workshop in Costa Mesa California in January, Yankee Dental Congress and Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Dental Meeting in February.

Ready to be empowered at your dental practice?

Those heading to Yankee Dental Congress January 30-February 1 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center can benefit from Huff’s insight.
On February 2 from 10 a.m. to noon, she will help dentists take the leap to build better systems, but not before creating their parachutes — high-performing dental teams. Register here.

In “Don’t Forget Your Parachute,” attendees will:

  • IDENTIFY opportunities for team members to increase interoffice communication and empower growth through successful team meetings, department meetings, communication board and morning huddles.
  • SUMMARIZE what it takes to have a successful recare system with a healthy hygiene program, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a followup system for recare success and the power of words.
  • DESIGN steps to reduce cancellations and no shows by controlling and reviewing downtime.
  • IMPLEMENT systems to fill the scheduling gaps and increase practice profitability.

Want to learn more and attend? Register here.

Interested in finding Practice Solutions for your dental office?

Schedule a session with Kay Huff at 1.800.GO.BENCO.

Watch for details about Huff’s upcoming courses at Chicago Midwinter Dental Meeting: “Piecing Together Your Insurance Puzzle, “ February 21, 2020 from 1-2:30 p.m. and “The Fearless Dental Team,” Friday, February 21, 2020, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Register for “Piecing Together Your Insurance Puzzle. “


Utah dentist and family dedicate 10 months to giving back in Guatemala

Dr. Cameron Quayle couldn’t find a nonprofit group whose vision for dental missions aligned with his. So he started one himself.

After completing his first humanitarian mission to Guatemala a decade ago, Dr. Quayle was startled by the deprivation he’d witnessed—and was determined to go back.

“I knew I couldn’t change much of what they lacked, but I could improve their oral health and dental education,” says Dr. Quayle, who practices at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, with two locations near Salt Lake City.

Politely rebuffed by a number of nonprofit groups he approached—he wished to undertake longer missions than they could accommodate, he says—he decided to found his own organization, Mason Gives, in 2017. (The name is a nod to Mason the Moose, his practice’s mascot; Mountain View Pediatric’s web address is themoosedentist.com.)

Dr. Cameron Quayle couldn’t find a nonprofit group whose vision for dental missions aligned with his. So he started ONE HIMSELF.
MISSION CONTROL: Dr. Quayle and his family in Guatemala. His wife Mandee, 38, daughters: Kate, 14 and Charly, 11 and sons: Jack, 9 and Cannon, 5 joined him on a 10-month trip.

The Benco Family Foundation was the first outside group to donate; companies including KaVo Kerr, Ultradent and 3M, among others, followed suit, enabling Dr. Quayle to embark on a 10-month trip to Guatemala in 2018-19. He and his fellow travelers were able to comprehensively treat more than 1,000 patients in that time.

Read about the high points and the challenges in his recent interview with Incisal Edge magazine.

What motivated the Quayle family to give back?

The desire to live intentionally guides his family, says Dr. Quayle.

“We wanted to do something different, to share our talents for something more than just higher production and more money.  We wanted to make a difference in the world.  What initially was the scariest thing we have ever done turned out to be the greatest thing we have ever done.”

His advice: 
“Go for it!  If you have a dream or a passion you are putting aside, ask yourself why you aren’t pursuing it.  Pursuing our passions make us come alive.”

Shoutout to 4 who inspire
Dr. Cameron Quayle

  1. Glen Dean, DDS. “He was the dentist who initially invited me to Guatemala to volunteer nearly 10 years ago.  Since then he has mentored me, answered hundreds of my questions and helped by letting us borrow some of his equipment in Guatemala.”
  2. Greg and Lucy Jensen. “They moved to Guatemala from the U.S. nearly eight years ago with their four young boys.  Since then they started Cultiva International, a non-profit that teaches local, indigenous people to grow their own vegetables and improve their nutrtion.” 
  3. Gaby Munoz.  “Gaby is the director of an organization by the name of Faith Seeds. … They work with the extreme poor. These families live on $4 to $5 per day.  She has faced enormous challenges and yet still shows up every day to serve these families.  She is Guatemalan serving her fellow Guatemalans.” 

How can you help?

To help support Dr. Cameron Quayle and Mason Gives through donations or other means, please visit masongives.com.

Dr. Cameron Quayle cares for a dental patient in Guatemala as his children observe.

Proven performance, new versatility: Benco presents Ivoclar Vivadent® IPS e.max® blocks for Amann Girrbach, expanded selection of mills

Proven products partner with the introduction of Ivoclar Vivadent IPS e.max blocks from Benco Dental certified as compatible with Amann Girrbach Ceramill Motion 2 and Mikro IC chairside mills.

“We’re excited to offer dentists and laboratories the world’s best-selling CAD/CAM material. Ivoclar Vivadent’s IPS e.max enhances our already strong portfolio of blocks,” said Terry Barrett, Benco Dental Chief Marketing Officer.

IPS e.max ceramic materials are known worldwide for their long-term reliability and esthetic excellence. Proven patient after patient and study after study, this is innovation that has stood the test of time. Following more than 10 years of clinical evidence and over 120 million restorations, IPS e.max boasts a remarkable 96% survival rate and 98% customer satisfaction. No wonder e.max remains the go-to for clinicians who demand quality backed by years of hard evidence.

Amann Girrbach’s in-office mills are proven, durable products that bring affordable one-day digital dentistry within reach of more practices through Benco Dental. Today, proven products partner with the introduction of Ivoclar Vivadent IPS e.max blocks certified as compatible with Amann Girrbach Ceramill Motion 2 mills (shown).

Amann Girrbach’s in-office and laboratory mills are proven, durable products that bring affordable one-day digital dentistry within reach of more practices. They’re easy to purchase, easy to integrate, easy to support and manage. The Amann Girrbach mills incorporate seamlessly into existing practices thanks to simple training and a short learning curve. Step-by-step personalized tutorials and demonstrations are always available. All mills are also confidently backed by Benco Dental’s OneVisit® team and our nationwide network of customer support.

Together, the products are a dream team for any practice that wants to add affordable and proven reliable single visit dentistry capability.

Amann Girrbach’s in-office mills are proven, durable products that bring affordable one-day digital dentistry within reach of more practices through Benco Dental. Today, proven products partner with the introduction of Ivoclar Vivadent IPS e.max blocks certified as compatible with Amann Girrbach Ceramill Mikro IC mills (shown).

Ivoclar Vivadent IPS e.max blocks for the Amann Girrbach mills, as well as Carestream CS 3100 and Straumann C Series mills, are available for order from Benco Dental today. For more information or answers to your questions, contact Benco Dental’s OneVisit team via email at onevisitsupport@benco.com or by phone at 1-800-GO-BENCO (select option 5, then 1).

Benco helps practices grow with Dental Intelligence

Dental Intelligence, a leader in helping dental practices use actionable data to improve patient care, team collaboration, and practice profitability, aligns with Benco Dental, the nation’s largest independent dental distributor. Their shared goal: helping all dentists in the United States grow in ways that are important to them and their patients.

“All of us at Dental Intelligence are thrilled with this opportunity to be aligned with a dynamic organization like Benco. We love how focused they are on addressing and resolving the many unique challenges faced by the dental industry today,” says Weston Lunsford, CEO at Dental Intelligence (shown at top).

“Our company has a single vision: To help dental practices to do more and even better dentistry, more efficiently. Everything we do revolves around this purpose – and we’re passionate about succeeding. Benco’s commitment to helping the practices they work with achieve greater success makes them an ideal partner for Dental Intelligence. We’re so excited to work together.”

Dental Intelligence works behind the scenes to gather data, analyze and find opportunities for dental practices. Their desktop dashboards, shown, provide complete transparency and eye-opening insights available instantly.

The Pleasant Grove, Utah-based company connects to a doctor’s Practice Management Software, then analyzes instantly, automates, finds opportunities, and communicates. Dental Intelligence smart tools work to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, while saving time, helping more patients, and increasing production. Among the smart tools:

  • Morning Huddle, a presentation automated with the click of a button, that in 15 minutes unites the dental team with clear and measurable goals, reviews yesterday, today, tomorrow and next week, celebrates victories and creates teaching moments.
  • Call Insight, a smart caller ID that improves patient experience and displays valuable patient opportunities.
  • Today’s Follow Ups, a daily communication assistant, auto-generates call lists for appointment confirmations, hygiene recare and unscheduled treatment.

“Benco Dental and Dental Intelligence share a passion for innovating to help dentists achieve more. This product delivers measurable results through a remarkable combination of hindsight, insight and foresight so users learn from what has already happened, respond better to what’s happening now and anticipate how to react smarter and more efficiently in the future.”

Terry Barrett, Chief Marketing Officer at Benco Dental.
Benco Dental will collaborate with Dental Intelligence, a leader in helping dental practices use actionable data to improve patient care, team collaboration, and practice profitability. Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, shown, is the largest independent dental distributor in the United States Benco drives dentistry forward through innovative solutions and caring family culture while delivering a full array of supplies, equipment, technology and services to dentists nationwide.

Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the largest independent dental distributor in the United States, driving dentistry forward through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Benco delivers a full array of supplies, equipment, technology and services to dentists nationwide. Benco Dental firsts include Painless® electronic ordering, automated supply management, BluChip®customer loyalty rewards, CenterPoint design/equipment superstores and OneVisitTM open architecture CAD/CAM. Over 1,500 dedicated associates serve customers nationwide including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco has been named one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for three consecutive years.

To learn more about Dental Intelligence software, used by thousands of dentists to manage and grow their practices, please visit: https://offers.dentalintel.com/benco-snapshot

Benco launches practice management solution powered by Open Dental software

Pioneers in open architecture, open source solutions for dentistry partner to deliver robust offerings, regular updates and affordability for every budget.

Benco Dental now offers Open Dental software, a total practice management solution for dental offices. Scalable for any practice size, this open source program designed by a dentist is available through the nation’s largest independent dental distributor.

“Open, not closed, is central to our philosophy on innovation. Partnering with Open Dental software to power Benco Dental Practice Management means we’re providing our valued customers with a proven, tested, affordable, continually improving solution, customized for us and backed by a robust support system of both Open Dental employees and users.”

Chuck Cohen, Benco Dental managing director

A pioneer in open architecture platform solutions, Benco Dental today presents its customers with another avenue for increased choice, rather than restrictive exclusives. Open Dental, based in Salem, Oregon was created in 2003 out of the belief that “powerful practice management software should also come with a price that’s within reach of every dentist”.

Among Open Dental’s robust offerings:

  • Powerful system. Reports are easy to generate, and the selection is comprehensive. Software optimizes workflow and lays the foundation for positive patient experiences. Paperless charting, online patient forms and text reminders generate easily. Claims process electronically to maintain a digital appointment book.
  • Effortless support. Expert telephone, chat and email available. Webinar training included. Software updates regularly and deploys rapidly. Automated features save time and energy.
  • Adaptable to every practice. Compatible withmost imaging software. Plug-ins and customization options available. Converts date from 200+ dental Product Management systems.
  • Affordable. Free trial. Low or no initial investment. Low Monthly support fees. Discount after 12 months.

Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the largest independent dental distributor in the United States, driving dentistry forward through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Benco delivers a full array of supplies, equipment, technology and services to dentists nationwide. Benco Dental firsts include Painless® electronic ordering, automated supply management, BluChip®customer loyalty rewards, CenterPoint design/equipment superstores and OneVisitTM open architecture CAD/CAM.

To learn more about Benco Practice Management powered by Open Dental software, please contact your Friendly Benco Rep, call 1.800.GOBENCO or visit benco.com.

Looking for a way to innovate? Try 6.

Elastic-edge sensors. Auto-retractable forceps. Universal resin cement. ClingShield® x-ray aprons. Award-winning handpiece attachments. American surgical-grade steel tip hygiene instruments.

Benco Dental is driving dentistry forward with the newest and coolest technology doctors need, in the form of its Six Neat Things promotion.

The nation’s largest independently-owned dental distributor strives to make it simple to stay up to date with the latest equipment and technology. 

Palmero Cling Shield X-Ray Apron

This smile is here to stay

Palmero Cling Shield X-Ray Apron:  Finally an apron that stays put when you place it on a patient.  Upgrade to a Palmero’s ClingShield® x-ray apron. They feature a medical grade vinyl backing that is textured to prevent sliding and provide stability. 
Protectall™ versions have a built-in thyroid collar.  Available in 10 different colors with a Smiley Face option for children (or anyone who needs some cheer!). 
Features include easy-to-clean materials, and nylon loops that allow for easy storage.  High density lead and lead free materials effectively shield radiation.
Order today.

Frings® by ids

Forceps, meet springs. Hello, Frings®

Imagine a pair of forceps that offer a spring-driven “auto-retractable” design. ids presents Frings® so that dentists no longer have to use fingers to open forceps.
In the mix, a Lifetime Guarantee. Available in a wide range of beak designs, for optimal grip, Frings are designed to reduce the risk of tooth fractures.
Frings are crafted from 100% German Stainless steel and feature a trademarked two-tone blue finish with an ergonomic handle. Selected by The Dental Advisor as an Editor’s Choice, Frings bears a +++++ rating.
Order today.

Premier ZR-Cem

This bond is strong.

As an inert material, Zirconia is very difficult to bond with, but Premier ZR-Cem solves this issue.  This self-adhesive universal resin cement is specially formulated for zirconia restorations, but enables a strong bond to all ceramic materials, dentin and enamel.  Unlike other cements, ZR-Cem’s BPO/Amine free initiation system translates to long-lasting color stability. 

For ease of use, dispense the cement and seat the restoration. Room temperature storage is optimum, so there is no need for refrigeration. ZR-Cem also features optimal viscosity, easy handling and a fast and easy clean-up

A better patient experience is possible thanks to virtually no post-operative sensitivity and lasting color stability.

Order today.

NSK Nano 95LS handpiece attachment

Small, but mighty.

The NSK Nano 95LS 1:5 increasing handpiece attachment offers the quality and durability of the Z-Series of attachments (titanium body, ceramic bearings, Quattro spray, DLC coating, cellular glass optics, clean head system, push-button chuck, microfilter).

It is 10 percent lighter and shorter than conventional models, making it a perfect fit for smaller hands, such as those of the female dentist. The size makes it feel as though it is a natural extension of the hand.

NSK Nano 95LS reduces fatigue during procedures and improves fingertip dexterity.

Order today.

Vatech Wave Sensor shaped for comfort

Vatech’s Wave Sensor features an elastic edge that makes positioning much easier than before.  It conforms to the shape of the lingual surface of the teeth and reduces overlap.  Along with great resolution, the sensor is comfortable to the touch and has ergonomically rounded corners.

The Wave Sensor is rated at the highest level of ingress protection- IP68; It is classified to have complete protection against contact from dust and is able to be immersed under water for a prolonged period of time.

Order today.

Feel the difference in modern instruments.

Iris hygiene instruments from Benco Brands are made with medical-grade silicone and American surgical-grade steel tips. They offer a cushioned, comfortable grip to ensure control and a tactile feel.  

Optimal efficiency is possible with Iris instrument tips designed with precise angles. Metal core offers handle strength and security without  adding too much weight. 

Order today.

Incisal Edge earns 3 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards

This prestigious recognition in the publishing community benchmarks excellence in editorial, design.

Incisal Edge earns top spot in three categories and honorable mention in nine during the 2019 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards that celebrate excellence in journalism and design across all sectors of publishing.

The nation’s premier dental lifestyle magazine — Incisal Edge, published by Benco Dental since 1997 — is recognized for its offerings across digital and print media, as well as video. Winners from B2B, consumer, association and regional publishing brands were announced during a celebratory gala on October 30 during The FOLIO: Show at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.

In the B2B, Healthcare / Medical / Nursing category, Larry Cohen, Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate for Benco Dental received an Eddie for “Larry’s Collection,” a column on dental artifacts culled from hundreds in his personal reserve.

Kristie Ceruti, the magazine’s Digital Editor, garnered an Eddie for a series of articles that takes an architectural and interior design tour of the country’s most impressive dental practices.

IncisalEdgeMagazine.com received an Eddie for website with a revamp of the digital product by Christopher Cruz, Kevin Garubba, Kristie Ceruti, Rachel Pugh and Loriah Webby.

Incisal Edge earns top spot in three categories and honorable mention in nine during the 2019 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards that celebrate excellence in journalism and design across all sectors of publishing. Kristie Ceruti (shown) garnered an Eddie for a series of articles that takes an architectural and interior design tour of the country’s most impressive dental practices. (Photo courtesy Eric Larsen)

Categories in which Incisal Edge received honorable mention awards include:

Eddies, awards for journalism

Ozzies, awards for design

  • Cover Design, B2B, Above 100,000 Circulation: Incisal Edge, Fall 2018 by Loriah Webby
  • Feature Design, B2B, Above 100,000 Circulation: Incisal Edge, 40 Under 40: the 8th annual Kind of Blue, Fall 2018 by Loriah Webby
  • Overall Design (Single Magazine Issue), B2B: Incisal Edge, True North: Winter 2019 by the Incisal Edge Design team of Sharon Fiorini, Donna Shrader, Jimmy Musto and Loriah Webby.
  • Photography, B2B, Print: Incisal Edge, True North: Winter 2019 by Eric Larsen
  • Site Design, B2B: Incisal Edge, IncisalEdgeMagazine.com by Christopher Cruz and Kevin Garubba

“Our readers are a constant source of inspiration, and Incisal Edge is the direct result. Their passion unites us around the shared purpose of driving dentistry forward, and that in turn pushes us to constantly elevate our standards of quality,” said Incisal Edge co-founder Chuck Cohen. “We’re very proud that our team’s hard work is being recognized alongside so many worthy fellow nominees.”

The Folio: team, along with their panel of 200+ judges, received more than 2,000 entries submitted this year in 33 categories. Other publishers among the 2019 finalists are: ESPN the Magazine, Forbes Media, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation and Variety. View the full list here.

Incisal Edge is a previous recipient of an Ozzie Award for Under40Summit.com in the category of Site Design for in 2018. To learn more about Incisal Edge, visit: http://www.incisaledgemagazine.com/

About Incisal Edge

Knowledge. Success. Life. Those three words, printed on the cover of every issue, guide editorial content for the national’s premier dental lifestyle magazine — Incisal Edge. Published by Benco Dental since 1997, Incisal Edge celebrates dentists’ achievements both inside the operatory and during their hard-earned downtime. Known for its “40 Under 40 — America’s Best Young Dentists,” which highlights the country’s brightest rising stars, the magazine’s content ranges from “The 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry” and news about the latest techniques, tools, and dental practice designs, to the best in travel, automobiles, and timepieces. Incisal Edge magazine’s print edition reaches 130,000 readers quarterly via a direct mail distribution package with Dentaltown magazine. Digitally, incisaledgemagazine.com, leads with dynamic visuals and follows with exclusive web content, an improved mobile experience, and a centralized nomination hub for the magazine’s signature awards: the aforementioned 40 Under 40, the Lucy Hobbs Project Awards for Exemplary Women in Dentistry and the Incisal Edge Design Competition for interior design, architecture and space planning within the dental profession.

Be inspired by this PA dentist who is helping to provide a ‘lifeline’

Susan lives alone in Pennsylvania and enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren whenever she can. Unfortunately, Susan (shown above) suffers from several challenging health problems, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, joint swelling, chronic pain, and mental health issues.

The former certified nursing assistant and medical assistant is no longer work, due to her health, and relies on a modest Social Security Disability benefit to make ends meet.

When her dental health deteriorated—only nine remaining teeth and some decayed—she was not sure where to turn. Susan’s existing partial dentures no longer fit correctly and caused pain and sores in her mouth. She could not afford the treatment needed to address her dental problems. It seemed she had nowhere to turn for help.

Finding a ‘dental lifeline’

Susan was referred to the Dental Lifeline Network and its Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. There she was linked with several generous volunteers, including Benco customer and Donated Dental Services volunteer Dr. Arnold Pfannenstiel.

How did Dr. Pfannenstiel (shown above) change Susan’s life? He extracted teeth, donated root canal treatments and crowns, an implant supported upper partial denture, and a full lower denture.

“Volunteering as a dentist with DDS is very rewarding. Giving back to the community, helping people who otherwise would neglect their dental care—puts a smile on your face as well as the patients face!”

Dr. Arnold Pfannenstiel, Dental Lifeline Network • Pennsylvania Donated Dental Services Volunteer.

Earlier this year, Dental Lifeline Network hosted it third annual Every Smile Counts Day, and during the campaign raised more than $165,000 for its efforts. Among the dental suppliers and manufacturers who contributed was the Benco Family Foundation, with a commitment of $24,616.00.

“We cherish our longstanding relationship with Benco Family Foundation as you have played a significant role in our ability to provide comprehensive dentistry to the most vulnerable citizens,” said Matt Yeingst, Dental Lifeline Network, VP Development.

Want to help?

Labs and dentists are invited to volunteer with the Dental Lifeline Network’s flagship program Donated Dental Services (DDS) to change a life in their community. Gain details about volunteering.

Donor partners are needed to support comprehensive care for those who need it most. Learn how to offer financial support.

Learn more about Dental Lifeline Network

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1974, DLN nationally provides access to dental care and education for people who cannot afford it and:

  • have a permanent disability or
  • who are elderly: age 65 or older or
  • who are medically fragile

Where can you get smiles like these? Try Pittsburgh. #countdowntoHalloween

If you want to see some transformational teeth, Jordan Patton suggests any number of the mutation scenes in John Carpenter’s The Thing.  

“The majority of those creatures just had such interesting anatomy choices, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Another great one is the transformation scene in American Werewolf in London! There were so many different dentures used through each stage of the transformation each one getting more and more intense.”

Jordan Patton, Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center

If Patton sounds like he’s got insight on the subject, it’s not just because those Rick Baker creations are among his favorite dentition-related scenes in film. The artist dedicates his talents as a Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center, just outside of Pittstburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jordan Patton during a painting demo for a graduation class portfolio at Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program before he became an instructor at the school.

Realism is vital in these projects, says Patton, who in 2018 was featured on SYFY’s FaceOff, a competition/elimination series in which special effects make-up artists participate in elaborate challenges for a grand prize and the honor of being Hollywood’s next great effects artist.

“Some of the biggest challenges to achieving a realistic look comes from subtle detailing that most wouldn’t think to pay attention to. If you want to achieve realism, you have to replicate every little detail to create the illusion of life inside your piece, down to broken capillaries, veining, pores, body hair, gloss finish versus matte finish.”

Jordan Patton, Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center

The freelance sculptor, mask maker, and special effects artist explains some of the curriculum at the school. Before students begin working on major projects, they learn the fundamentals of anatomy.

“We start with a basic human anatomy class. We also stress the importance of anatomy in all of our base sculpture courses, as well as all of our prosthetic makeup classes, because anatomical knowledge is one of the main keys to being able to create a believable makeup.”

Photos courtesy Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program at Douglas Education Center.

Like Patton, graduates of Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center move on to successful careers, some where the teeth aren’t designed to, well, terrify. Like dental labs.

“Our first introduction to dental labs as a viable employment option for special makeup effects graduates occurred when many years ago one of our graduates obtained a job in a local dental lab. This graduate realized that the skills he learned at DEC could be applied in a different industry and he was very excited to share that revelation with the Career Services office. By engaging with current students via Mock Interviews and classroom presentations, we were able to present a different career path option to upcoming graduates.”

Dana Melvin, Career Services Department at Douglas Education Center

“In addition to dental labs, our graduates move on to develop successful careers in the film industry, theaters, special effects and prop-making shops, medical prosthetics labs, theme parks, set design, toy making, professional makeup artistry, and much more.

Amanda Smith, a graduate of Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor works today as a CAD CAM Production Manager at a dental lab in Pittsburgh. Seven years ago, she was hired for her artistic ability. Here she explains her role.

Back at the school, Patton shares some of the techniques that help students advance in their fields.

“Here we teach a digital sculpting program called Z-Brush that gives the students an introduction into the 3D modeling world and how to utilize those tools, as well as the knowledge of how to work with different file types. Both will be helpful tools to utilize with the ever-advancing world of dental prosthetics.” 

He also explains the evolution in the field, using prosthetic dentures as an example.

“While some prefer to stick with the techniques of sculpting in clay on a stone positive and making molds of that, others might be more inclined to go a more digital route by utilizing 3D modeling programs, as well as 3D printing.”

Jordan Patton, Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center

Haven’t got your fill of special effects as related to dentistry yet? See a few more examples of student creations at Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program Instructor at Douglas Education Center, shown below.

Learn more:

About Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program at Douglas Education Center: https://www.dec.edu/

About Jordan Patton: https://twitter.com/jpattonfx