Congratulations to RDH Under One Roof on celebrating a milestone! This summer, July 16-18, an event in Denver will mark two decades of their dedication in offering quality dental hygiene education.
To share the excitement, RDH magazine spotlights 11 Colorado licensed hygienists on its January cover and within its pages. Among them: Dona Schulz, MBA, RDH, the Lead Clinical Coach and Technology Trainer with Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor (shown below, first row, third from right).
Dona brings more than three decades of expanded dental practice experience to Benco, where she trains dentists and practice teams on dental CAD/CAM, digital x-ray software and equipment. She is certified in Straumann Dental Wings, 3M True Definition Scan technology and Glidewell TS 150 Mill.
“Dona elevates practices to create interoffice synergy, balance and growth while achieving clinical excellence.”
Also spotlighted in the magazine’s January issue: Kari Brennan, RDH, Becky Comstedt, BS, RDH, Susan Cotten, BS, RDH, OMT, Jennifer Geiselhofer, RDH, Edie GIbson, MS, RDH, Lani McBeth, BS, Diane Osso, MS, RDH, Cindy Purdy, BS, RDH, Angie Rhoades, RDH, and Jackie L. Sanders, MBA, RDH.
“Each of these individuals have a unique path that drove them to their current roles in our profession.”
What can you expect in addition to the Rocky Mountain view?
Focused solely on dental hygienists, RDH Under One Roof provides opportunities to earn up to 20 CE credits in general sessions and workshops on topics including: • Cannabis • Anesthesia • Vaping • Periodontics • Special Needs • Oral Cancer • Alzheimer’s • Sleep Apnea and • Pharmacology.
That product was Pulpdent, a premixed calcium hydroxide paste used for treatments like pulp and root canal therapy. Dr. Berk began selling the product in 1947. Today, Pulpdent Corporation’s third generation, Leah Berk, Pulpdent Media and Communications Manager, and cousin Lewis Berk, Pulpdent Strategic Operations Manager, work with their family to continue a legacy that began over 70 years ago.
“Dr. Harold Berk was my grandfather, and company founder. Dr. Berk and Benjamin Rower started a company to manufacture and market the product known as Pulpdent Paste. The company name was eventually changed to the Pulpdent Corporation in honor of Dr. Berk’s original product.”
Leah Berk, Pulpdent Media and Communications Manager.
Today, the multi-million dollar company is a world leader in esthetic bioactive restorative dental materials. Leah, with the company four years, plays a significant role marketing the company’s wide array of award-winning products and its mission.
“My role is to create, package and distribute content for print and digital media channels. I help tell the story of Pulpdent, our products and the people who use them. One of the highlights of my job has been the opportunity to collaborate with practitioners and industry thought leaders to develop content pieces that educate and inspire clinicians.”
Leah Berk, Pulpdent Media and Communications Manager.
She is not alone in her quest. Five family members also work to grow and manage the dental business in Watertown, Massachusetts as part of Pulpdent’s leadership team.
They include Dr. Harold Berk’s sons — the second generation — Ken, Fred and Don, and his grandchildren — the third generation — Lewis Berk, Strategic Operations Manager and Leah.
The Pulpdent family team thrives together; it’s no wonder why the company has continued to grow and provide dental products for industry professionals for nearly eight decades.
“We have two generations working together with complementary skill sets and are continuously learning from one another. The older generation has over 130 years of combined dental industry knowledge, while the younger generation has experience with newer technologies and social media. Having grown up together, we know what makes each of us “tick” and how to communicate effectively with one another.”
Leah Berk, Pulpdent Media and Communications Manager.
Family collaboration and company growth has enabled Pulpdent Corporation to add new and innovative products to its dental catalog. Most recently, the company has introduced the first light cure composite designed to mimic the properties of natural teeth: ACTIVA Presto.
ACTIVA BioACTIVE products help stimulate the formation of apatite (the building blocks of teeth), chemically bonds to teeth and help protect against decay. The products in this line are the first dental resins with a bioactive ionic resin matrix, shock-absorbing rubberized resin and reactive ionomer glass fillers. The material actively participates in cycles of ionic exchange, which helps tooth maintenance and oral health.
Leah shares advice for aspiring family partnership:
“Capitalize on each family member’s unique skills and experience. Have everyone play to their strengths and find ways to compensate for their weaknesses. Understand that what may be obvious to one family member may not make sense to someone else. Take the time to explain and re-explain your ideas and realize that it takes time for everyone, even family members, to assimilate new information.”
Leah Berk, Pulpdent’s Media and Communications Manager.
It also helps to spend time outside the office together. Leah says she and her family have fun outside the dental industry. They often spend their summers together on the sandy shores of Cape Cod, swimming, boating, playing tennis and grilling.
“We all love to cook and often have potluck dinners together,” added Leah.
Want to learn more about ACTIVA BioACTIVE?
Contact your Friendly Benco Rep or visit Benco.com
The answer is…absolutely! Production is the key factor in any business because without it there is no profit or income. At the same time, dental practices are service businesses. And excellent customer service—or as we at Levin Group like to call it “Five-Star” customer service—can be the factor that sets your practice apart and catapults production to another level.
According to the Levin Group Data Center, most practices score themselves much higher on customer service than patients do. Why? They feel that they are always very nice to their patients. And while they are, the kind of customer service that makes a lasting impression—Five-Star customer service—involves much more than being nice.
Five-Star customer service requires a specific program that is followed and continually reinforced. Take the Ritz Carlton for example. They have 21 principles that every employee is taught to follow. They review these principles regularly, almost daily actually, with different employee groups. They are so dedicated to customer service that they empower employees to spend up to $2,000 when necessary to solve a guest problem.
“Of course, dental practices are not hotels. But they are a service business that should have principles of customer service that lay the foundation for the patient experience. When patients have an ultra-positive experience they equate that with excellent clinical care and their trust level goes up. Trust is the key factor in case acceptance and practices with outstanding customer service typically have higher case acceptance and, therefore, production. This is why production and customer service go hand-in-hand.”
Five-Star customer service also leads to increased production through high patient retention and referrals. Patients become so enamored with the service they receive in the practice that they never want to leave and are always motivated to tell other people about their great experiences.
I was recently on an airplane headed out to a seminar when my seatmate realized I was a dentist. She spent the next 20 minutes raving about her dentist and how incredible he is. She had been with him for 35 years and said that she never wants to go to any other dentist for the rest of her life.
So if you’re wondering about how production and customer service fit together it doesn’t get any clearer. Outstanding customer service always leads to outstanding production.
About the blogger
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
Do you remember your middle school anatomy class? The endless evenings spent reading page after page about cells and skeletons was a timeless, yet boring, way to learn about our bodies.
The human muscular and central nervous systems were complex subjects I grappled to understand. I struggled to keep attention in class as my teacher presented slides featuring charts and diagrams of muscle groups and functions I could only abstractly and vaguely comprehend.
Dr. Melissa Ing, an associate professor in the Dept. of Comprehensive Care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, employs a unique approach when she teaches. Dr. Ing (shown above, instructed a middle school student) manages, orchestrates and creates real-life scenarios about subjects related to health and dentistry through the Mini Medical School program she organized to teach middle school children at Boston’s Museum of Science.
“We teach kids the components of a blood vessel and have them build a vessel using different sized red buttons and white marshmallows to represent white blood cells. We teach them about dental forensics and how it can be used to solve a crime.”
Dr. Melissa Ing describes the lessons she teaches on STEM topics.
“Who Stole All the Toothbrushes?” is an activity where students use medical investigation techniques to solve a mystery. Students do more than listen to lectures; they are fully engaged and active participants in the program.
“We made little plots to go with it, and clues, so that the kids can try and learn about forensics. For instance, a fingerprint, a piece of hair, teeth marks, bite marks, saliva, a lip print on a glass…” says Dr. Ing.
She and her team use a problem-based approach and create situations that students must solve using appropriate medical techniques and procedures.
“Then, for the next module, a Good Samaritan passenger trips over a piece of luggage at the airport breaking his arm. We teach the kids how to cast a broken arm.”
Her students’ favorite lesson: one where they learn how to suture a wound. Of course, they don’t suture a real, live participant, instead they use bananas.
“The kids are given masks, gowns and gloves, so they have a great time as a doctor for the day. They sometimes can’t stop stitching the bananas and will name their bananas afterward, which is really funny.”
Students of Dr. Melissa Ing learn how to suture a wound using a banana as their patients.
Dr. Ing isn’t alone. She enlists a team of dental students and faculty members who help make the Mini Medical School possible.
In 2015, she started the program in Boston, but two years ago, she set sail and took the program to Nantucket Island Public Schools, a school district on an isolated island where students have limited resources to learn about STEM fields—which are occupations that encompass Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
The Mini Medical School operates on grant funding and the kindness of volunteers who help make it possible, although when she first visited the school district in 2017, the school didn’t have a grant to pay for the program. Luckily, the town helped the school secure the funds.
The following year, the Nantucket school district received a donation from Innovation Pathways, an award granted by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, that enabled Dr. Ing and her colleagues to visit a second time.
Dr. Ing draws on nearly 30 years of dental experience. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
After completing her studies, Dr. Ing built and operated her own private practice and taught at the University of Connecticut. Shortly after, she became a full-time employee at UConn, where she held various positions, such as Team Leader and Director of Predoctoral Clinics. After 20 years there, she secured an associate professor position at her alma mater—Tufts University—and began teaching in 2011.
What’s next for Dr. Melissa Ing’s Mini Medical School?
The program will continue at Boston’s Museum of Science. Through grant funding, Dr. Ing and her team hope to return to Nantucket for a third year. She plans to visit Martha’s Vineyard for the first time as well, where students await the opportunity to suture bananas and learn about dental and medical professions.
STEM fields have grown to 17.3 million jobs or 79 percent since 1990, according to the Pew Research Center. Dr. Ing and her Mini Medical School are helping inspire the scientist, physicians and dentists of tomorrow.
The dental school’s new innovation center is driving change—and numbers are rolling in to prove it. WVU’s Dr. Lauren Yura talks what’s happening behind the scenes to boost her alma mater’s national profile.
It only recently turned two, but West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s Dr. W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation is already having a profound impact. The only clinic of its kind on the East Coast when it opened, it was one of just three nationwide in 2017 where students experience a real-world environment that operates much like a private practice and also get access to the latest technology. (Benco Dental was one of dozens of donors who helped bring it to life in partnership with the Center for Research and Education in Technology, Inc.)
For starters, it’s a recruiting boon that’s shifting the student body’s demographics. The vast majority of dental students—about 80%—were West Virginians prior to the center’s opening. Today, about half come from out of state. With such a major shift, the school understandably felt compelled to start surveying applicants about what drew them. The results: 99% said the center was a major factor in their decisions to apply.
“Students say it’s the first time they feel like real dentists. They get to broaden themselves as clinicians through increased repetition and exposure to more materials. They also get exposed to practice management and what it means to deal with insurance, fee setting, and staff training.”
All of which, says Dr. Yura, is changing the way students transition. “They’re better prepared, no question. Since it’s a higher-end environment, it’s also influencing where’d they’d want to work, or what type of practice they’d create for themselves.”
Time will tell, but as a proud WVU alum herself, Dr. Yura is clearly passionate about sending her students into the world as the best prepared graduates in the school’s history.
“We want to fill a void that exists regarding female leaders and inspirational voices. To show young ladies entering the profession that the opportunities are real. To encourage those already digging in to raise their voices and for those seasoned veterans to give back and refuse to quit…” is the credo prominently displayed on their website.
Opening the event on November 14 and 15 at the Providence Country Club: Learning to Live Your Strengths, with presenters from Strengths Savvy, an inspirational journey from Connie Dugan and a welcome from Chief DeW-er Anne M. Duffy, RDH.
“Bossy little girls become strong leaders. My dad used to lovingly call me a pushy broad. My grandmother lovingly noted that I was very loud, and my brother was grateful when I tried to chase the bullies away from him. To this day I will ask for raises for my co-workers if I think they are deserving. It came as no surprise that when I realized women in dentistry were not getting their due, not getting paid the same, not getting the keynotes, not getting the respect they deserve, being bullied and /or harassed at work, (need I go on?) that I would do what I could to change that. Yes, the birth of DeW Life was in my DNA.”
Editor and Publisher Anne M. Duffy, RDH
Don’t miss this lineup of experts
Guest speakers at the inaugural event will include:
This accomplishment, along with many other great feats, such as graduating from the top of her class at Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine (while also waiting tables at her local diner) and starting a new dental practice, Edge Endodontics in Austin, Texas, makes it clear that Dr. Salmeron is equipped with a ferocious and undying drive to succeed.
Just as everyone faces difficult times, Dr. Salermon had struggles of her own to overcome while trying to pave the path for a career in dentistry.
Dr. Yuliya looked her troubles straight in the eye and came barreling at them, determined to overcome all of the odds pinned against her.
This determination and endless perseverance is the reason Dr. Yuliya Salmeron is where she is today.
Hardships growing up
Coming to the United States from Russia as a child, Dr. Yuliya had a bit more to work through than the average child.
The key to her success? Constantly staying positive. Her good attitude is responsible for all that she has and will continue to accomplish.
“I was hungry for a better life. My family was still in Russia, and I wanted to help them tremendously. Honestly, I had no time to be negative.”
Dr. Yuliya Salmeron
This survival instinct sparked a fire in Dr. Salmeron, and
she knew that she would stop at nothing to bring her family the life they
Despite this unwavering determination, Dr. Salmeron still admits that there were a few moments of fear and stress that made her question the achievability of her goals.
“The fear of failure came over me several times when I was going through college in my twenties; it caused a lot of stress.”
Dr. Yuliya Salmeron
Overcoming the struggles
By remembering all that she had on the line – both in her
family life and professional life – Dr. Salmeron learned to overcome the stress
and not let it bother her, no matter how intense things seemed to get.
“Without the safety net of my parents to back me up, I
stopped doubting myself and realized that the only way I could go was forward.”
Soaking up the family time
Today, Dr. Salmeron soaks up every minute of family time she is blessed with.
“One of the best parts about my family life is being with my boys and watching them grow. They are incredibly smart, and sometimes the best memories are made doing something as simple as watching cartoons with them,” Dr. Salmeron said.
Prioritizing her practice
Apart from her family life, Dr. Salmeron also enjoys making
memories in her professional career. She
aims to make a difference in her patients’ lives every day.
“As an endodontist, I try to save my patients’ natural teeth, so seeing them right away is critical when they are in pain. I aim to create a relaxing, almost spa-like experience when I perform procedures that alleviate any discomfort they might be having.”
Dr. Yuliya Salmeron
Future Plans for her Practice
In the future, Dr. Salmeron plans to continue building upon her professional successes. Since her practice, Edge Endodontics, has only been up and running for a little over eight months, Dr. Salmeron recognizes that there’s still a lot of work to do.
“My goals include things like providing infinite support to my fellow dentists, as well as offering immediate appointments for emergency cases to relieve my patients’ pain,” Dr. Salmeron said.
Juggling it all
With running a new practice comes its own difficulties. Dr. Salmeron recognizes that there are still some roadblocks ahead, especially as a single parent in the field of dentistry.
“Juggling motherhood, personal relationships and my professional career is sometimes exhausting and very challenging,” Dr. Salmeron said. “Most people say it’s important to find a balance, but I don’t think there is one.”
Dr. Salmeron realizes that it’s impossible to do all things well. Some days are more centered around her practice and other days around her kids. In the end, she has to remind herself of the sacrifices she’s making to ensure her kids have a good, solid future ahead of them.
Her advice to other doctors
In the end, Dr. Salmeron urges all others in similar situations to remind themselves that working hard doesn’t make you a bad mother, partner, friend, or anything along the lines.
Dr. Salmeron is looking forward to the challenges her future career will hold. The bigger the challenge, the better-suited doctor she will become.
“Opposition is good. Just as lifting heavier weights in the gym builds a stronger muscle, facing a harder challenge builds a better professional.”
An alum of the Incisal Edge’s 2015 40 Under 40, Dr. Janice Doan never rests on her laurels – she continues demonstrate her hard working and ambition every day.
In recent years, Dr. Doan has made several advancements in her professional life as well as in her family’s practice, A+ Family Dentistry. These depict how dedication to career can result in endless opportunities for connection and empowerment.
Yesterday, A+ Family Dentistry announced that in addition to their locations in Poway and El Cajon, they are opening a third office in Sorrento Valley in mid-August. Founded by Dr. Justene Doan and Dr. Roger Tran in 2002, this family owned dentistry has been providing affordable dental care service to the San Diego community for over 17 years.
“With the two offices that are already established in different areas, the Sorrento Valley location will be managed by my sister Dr. Janice Doan to provide comprehensive dental care at affordable costs for those residing between Poway and San Diego.”
Dr. Justene Doan
The further she advances in her dental career, the more Dr. Doan is recognized for her wisdom and abundance of knowledge.
A community activist, Dr. Janice Doan has also been volunteering and participating in various programs in the community including one called Give Back a Smile or GBAS. This program was established to connect eligible survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence who’ve received dental injuries from the abuse with volunteer cosmetic dentists throughout the United States and Canada.
“This year, the program I have volunteered for is to provide dental care to a domestic violence survivor who suffers from teeth injuries. The patient that I am working with suffered a life-altering situation that affects her smile and her well-being. As it is something that everyone sees and is such a major physical attribute, a smile can affect every aspect of life.”
“At A+ Family dentistry, we make it a point to let patients know that we’re here to help. Not only the dentists and the office want to help, but the businesses that support our dental office as well. One of our labs was also able to contribute the parts and ceramics imperative for this patient’s well-being, free of charge. Thanks to the GBAS program, she can now live her life as she was meant to, happily and with a gorgeous smile.”
Dr. Janice Doan has been sharing advice on topics such as freedom in the workplace and the empowerment of women in dentistry across several different platforms.
On August 9 and 10, Dr. Doan will be speaking at the “Action to Win” event at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego, California. The event unites dentists from all over the world to discuss how to create profitable, impactful and enjoyable businesses.
Dr. Doan will speak about her role as a Community Influencer at this year’s event.
“I want to create a massive impact that will have a positive ripple effect not just in my own community, but also worldwide. A community isn’t just where I live, it’s who I connect with and who I can help.”
“The ultimate goal is freedom physically, financially, and spiritually, and what that means for each person. For me, it is being able to prioritize and be willing to sacrifice some things for others so that I can reach my goals,” Dr. Doan said.
Dr. Doan reflects on what she was doing well in her professional career and figures out how to duplicate her areas of success. Ultimately, Dr. Doan aims to create systems that work well and are simple enough for everyone to adopt.
Family life: Leading by example
Dr. Doan also showcased how her professional life relates to her family life. In regard to her five-year-old son, Jake, Dr. Doan said she often teaches him the how to handle the basics of life through leading by example.
She enjoys watching her son pick up on these behaviors and eventually implement them.
“For example, I went to the gym for my workout. Jake came with
me and wanted to do what I was doing. He and I had a great training session at
the gym with my trainer,” Dr. Doan said.
Dr. Doan loves watching her son adapt and pick up on the positive habits she sets forth for him. Family has and continues to be a staple in Dr. Doan’s life.
Gaining strength through strife
Family holds such a special place in Dr. Doan’s heart mostly because of the hardships she and her family first encountered when they arrived in the United States from Vietnam.
As a child, Dr. Doan grew up with her brother and sister, all of who were raised by their grandparents. Absent from their early childhood lives were their parents, who were raising their youngest brother in a different city.
Dr. Doan said growing up without her parents around was difficult, but she knew what they were sacrificing to ensure that she and her siblings would have plentiful, successful lives. Dr. Doan explains what occurred when they reunited.
“When we finally reunited for good, it was awesome, but also
very difficult. We had all grown so much that rekindling that relationship
again was difficult,” Dr. Doan said.
What made everything fall back into place though was the solid
foundation of love her parents put in place.
“Having such a strong foundation of love really helped us through everything. Being able to build on that foundation even more made it all worth it,” Dr. Doan said.
Getting started in dentistry
Her family was even the spark that lit Dr. Doan’s passion for dentistry, stemming from her sister’s education to her own summer volunteer work.
Through these frequent visits, Dr. Doan watched her sister learn about dentistry through lab and clinical work. Dr. Doan was inspired meeting some of her sister’s professors and peers.
Additionally, Dr. Doan took part in a summer program called “The Dental Explorers”. The two-week summer camp hosted by the University of Southern California helped Dr. Doan fall in love with dentistry even more.
“I enjoyed the summer camp so much that right after I finished dental school, I became the director for the Dental Explorers Program and taught the summer class,” Dr. Doan said.
What’s happening now?
To no surprise, both themes of family and dentistry continue to be central in Dr. Doan’s life. Her family’s practice, A+ Family Dentistry, keeps improving and expanding.
Dr. Doan said the goal of the family practice is not success
but rather accessibility.
“We want to help people, not just in Poway and San Diego, but everywhere. The way to do this was to open another office in Sorrento Valley to help the people there,” Dr. Janice Doan said.
Dr. Riley Clark, recently honored as one of the Incisal Edge 2019 40 Under 40 – America’s Best Young Dentists, will share insight as featured speaker this fall at an event hosted by Carestream Dental and Benco Dental
Sip ‘n’ Learn with Carestream Dental: Guided Implant Placement to Restoration will take place on Thursday, October 17, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., PDT, at Ballast Point: Miramar, 9045 Carroll Way, San Diego, California 92121
This practical course focuses on preoperative protocols for guided surgery with Carestream Dental’s CBCT and the CS 3600 digital impression scanner. It will also discuss intra-operative surgical technique and lastly, restorative procedures with digital impression taking.
Other topics to be covered: • Implant planning software • 3D printing; surgical guides and analog models for immediate milled temps • Immediate placement with guided surgery
About the featured speaker
Professionally, Dr. Riley Clark takes great pride in optimizing clinical efficiencies and digital workflows. He spends the majority of his time in private practice doing full-mouth dental implant rehab. He also teaches and mentors at WhiteCap Institute. He acts as a consultant to WhiteCap Dental Lab and Milling, where he focuses on full-mouth treatment sequencing and digital workflows in pre-operative procedures and final restorative procedures. He is passionate about dentistry and transforming patients’ lives through their smiles with dental implants.
Dr. Riley Clark completed his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Portland State University and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio for his D.M.D. program at Case Western Reserve University. Shortly after graduation he attended advanced training in anesthesia. Today, Dr. Clark and his wife, Kolt, have settled in Medford, Oregon with their three daughters.