Spring refresh at your dental practice? Fill your vision board with these #designtrends.

Art Deco, Scandinavian, Bohemian, and Mid-Century Modern — styles ideal for home … or home away from home (better known as your dental practice).

The bonus: each can help bring vibrance and showcase the personality of your practice.

Do bold colors, smooth lines, and geometric shapes inspire you? Check out Art Deco design styles.

Art Deco, short for Arts Décoratifs, can be characterized by rich colors, bold geometry, and decadent details. A trend popularized during the roaring 1920s can incorporate glitz, glamour, and bold designs into your dental practice a century later.

Art Deco interior design

Add Art Deco into the dental practice today, with an accent piece, or an entire room. Where to begin?

  • Geometric shapes.
  • Animal prints.
  • Glamorous lighting and fixtures.
  • Statement mirrors.
  • Abstract ceiling designs.

Luxury styles of the Great Gatsby era are some of the most popular trends today.

Prefer simplicity? Scandinavian designs deliver.

First gaining attention around the 1950s, the Scandinavian interior design style is known for its functionality, minimalism and simplicity. Expect clean cuts, natural shapes and materials, along with a touch of abstraction.

Scandinavian interior design.

Want to incorporate aspects of Scandinavian design within your practice? It’s simple.

  • Warm textiles.
  • Combinations of natural materials ( think: wood and metal).
  • Neutral colors.
  • Fresh plants and flowers.

Scandinavian style advantage for the dental practice: a clutter free workspace. For a minimalist looking to scale back, Scandinavian the ideal match.

Ready to relax your spirit and practice vibe? Bohemian design speaks your language.

“The word ‘bohemian’ refers to someone socially unconventional and often involved in the arts, making it a great interior design option for a rich and heady space full of visual interest and a relaxed spirit.”

Decoraid.com

‘Boho’ was founded by free-spirited people in the early 19th century and incorporated many cultures from all over the globe.

Bohemian interior design

Bring on the Bohemian style.

  • Simple base.
  • A play on patterns.
  • Distressed items.
  • Bright colors and metallics.
  • Layers.

Less is more definitely does not apply to Bohemian design. Looking to make a bright and exuberant practice? Bet on Boho.

Seeking functional and timeless appeal? Incorporate Mid-century Modern design styles at your practice.

In the late 1940s, after the end of WWII, mid-century modern design style evolved. Today it delights with its vintage vibe.

Mid-century modern designs use natural elements like wood beams and brick walls, then tie in a modern twist.

Mid-century modern interior design

Ready for retro? Lava lamps need not apply.

  • Vibrant colors (think: sage, orange, turquoise).
  • Modern textiles.
  • Vintage window treatments.
  • Low-lying furniture.
  • Abstract patterns.

Mid-century modern styles appeal with simple, clean and elegant aspects, and unique accents.

Ready to redefine your design? For expert advice, contact the CenterPoint Design team at 1.800.GOBENCO.

Benco leaders discuss masks, infection control products

Managing Directors at the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor — Benco Dental — recently shared an update with their dental customers and the dental community regarding masks and infection control products.

Below, a letter from Benco Dental Managing Directors Chuck Cohen and Rick Cohen:


“As you’re well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented and sudden worldwide spike in demand for infection control products. Severe supply chain disruptions are impacting our ability to fulfill certain orders at this time. Unfortunately, it will be some time before the situation normalizes.

Here’s what we’re doing right now to help ensure supply continuity for as many customers as possible:

· We are continually refining our methodology for rationing items like masks, gloves and wipes based upon your order history, our current stock, and expected stock.

· We are selling most asepsis products only to healthcare practitioners to ensure that the people who need these essential items most—you—have as much access as we can provide given the circumstances.

· In order to equitably distribute products, Benco reserves the right to ration the quantity of asepsis products being sold. In a majority of circumstances, Benco will only accept orders for asepsis products from existing customers, who had placed an order with Benco for consumable products in 2019.

· We continue to work with our manufacturers across multiple countries to minimize the impact of shortages.

Here’s what you can do to help ensure you get the products you need:

· Contact your Friendly Benco Rep or call 1-800-GO BENCO for the latest information on ordering and quantity limits per product type. The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on supply chains is fluid and changing by the hour. Because of this, Benco adjusts our rationing procedures as necessary.

Here’s what we know about price increases:

· Benco Dental has never, and will never, engage in price gouging. We will keep our prices steady except when manufacturers increase our costs.

· However, with a huge and sudden spike in demand for infection control products, price increases are inevitable.

· The vast majority of well-known manufacturers are honest and ethical, and they also know that greed is bad for business.

· While we expect prices to rise, sometimes sharply, bear in mind that manufacturers are working to identify suppliers that can keep up with demand for materials, and they’re also responding as best they can to pressure to increase production capacity. Anytime demand exceeds supply, costs rise all down the line. Everyone is doing whatever it takes to keep production lines rolling in the face of a worldwide health crisis. The increases we are starting to see are a result of supply chains stretched to the breaking point at every link.

· As always, when supply catches up, prices will normalize as well.

We understand how difficult this situation is. We’re proud of your commitment to providing remarkable patient care during this crisis, and we want to assure you that Benco is doing everything in our power to secure all of the product we can.
We value your business, we’re grateful for your loyalty, and thank you for your patience as we navigate these supply chain challenges due to extraordinary circumstances beyond our control.”

Benco Dental Managing Directors Chuck Cohen and Rick Cohen

Global Smile Foundation + Benco Family Foundation = access to care

In many developing countries, children with cleft lips or palates are generally ostracized from society, unable to go to school or make friends. As adults, patients with the same issues have little chance of making a living.

Fathers often leave the family, believing their child or their marriage, has been cursed; parents will abandon their infant in the hospital, unable to cope with the future the child will face.

For the past three decades, Global Smile Foundation (GSF) has been dedicated to changing those devastating consequences by making first-class cleft care accessible to all patients, regardless of geographic or socioeconomic barriers.

Who supports these positive changemakers?

Every contribution to their organization helps fund life-changing comprehensive cleft care for underserved patients. One of their longtime supporters is the Benco Family Foundation, the charitable division of Benco Dental, the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor.

“For the past 11 years, support from the Benco Family Foundation has helped Global Smile Foundation provide comprehensive cleft care for underserved patients born with cleft lip and palate.  
The people we serve live in parts of the developing world where access to proper care is extremely limited. By helping us reach these underserved areas, Benco Family Foundation has truly helped us change the lives of our patients and their respective families.”

– Usama Hamdan, MS, FICS, Co-Founder & President of Global Smile Foundation


What a difference a year can make.

In 2019, Global Smile Foundation (GSF) conducted six missions to four countries: Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Lebanon. Their teams of expert medical volunteers had evaluated more than 1,000 patients by mid-November in 2019 to determine the best individual treatment plan for each patient.

Their team shared comprehensive cleft care stats for 2019 with thedailyfloss.com:

  • 358 surgical procedures for 285 patients
  • 3,786 dental procedures for 576 patients
  • 520 speech therapy procedures and sessions, including 144 feeding consultations
  • 126 Psychosocial consultations

Learn how you can support Global Smile Foundation and keep the positive changes happening: visit their website for details.

COVID-19: Connect with an expert at free 03.17 webinar

Leslie Canham CDA, RDA, shown above, has been bombarded with coronavirus questions.

To provide reliable resources and timely facts, the recognized infection control consultant and speaker is presenting a free webinar with Benco Dental. Register here.

“I’ve immersed myself in gathering facts and trusted resources to disseminate to my clients and audiences. Hopefully, we can dispel some of the myths and hysteria, and get back to the business of providing dental care to our patients.”

Leslie Canham CDA, RDA

On March 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) she’ll present a free webinar, “Coronavirus: What Dental Professionals Need To Know,” hosted by the nation’s largest independently owned dental distribution company.

Attend a free coronavirus educational webinar for dental professionals

Register here. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2272256632991403277

Leslie Canham will present a free webinar March 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) , “Coronavirus: What Dental Professionals Need To Know,” hosted by Benco Dental.

Need to manage exposure now?

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued revised interim guidance on how to manage exposure to a person who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19.

Learn more about the expert

Leslie Canham is a Certified and Registered Dental Assistant with over 48 years of experience in dentistry. Leslie sought to continue her career by exploring the continuing education needs of dental personnel. Her research led to OSHA compliance training for dental offices. Dentists, astounded by Leslie’s expertise began referring their colleagues to her. Soon her outstanding reputation spread throughout the dental community.

She is authorized by the Department of Labor as an OSHA Outreach Trainer in General Industry Standards. Leslie’s memberships include:

  • The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention
  • The Academy of Dental Management Consultants
  • The Speaking, Consulting Network
  • The American Dental Assistants Association
  • The California Dental Association
  • The California Association of Dental Assistant Teachers
  • National Speakers Association

Leslie is listed as a “leader in consulting” by Dentistry Today. She is a Certified Speaking Professional, which is a designation conferred by the National Speakers Association. Fewer than 10 percent of speakers worldwide hold this professional designation.

It is earned by a proven track record of speaking experience, expertise, a commitment to ongoing education, outstanding client service, and ethical behavior. 

Anne Duffy comes full circle to uplift women in dentistry #InternationalWomensDay

There is nothing like a circle of women. A circle of women is healing and inspiring. A circle of women is powerful. When women join together with intention and purpose, mighty things are at hand. During this short life, some of us are fortunate enough to be welcomed into one of these circles.

We are lifted up. We are encouraged to spread our wings and set out to achieve our wildest dreams by other driven women. One woman in dentistry is creating the ultimate circle and giving women in dentistry a voice, a purpose, and a platform for success.

Anne Duffy, Founder and Owner of DeW (Dental Entrepreneur Woman) Life Magazine

Anne Duffy is the owner of DeW Life Magazine (Dental Entrepreneur Woman), also known as DeW Life.  To be a part of DeW Life is a special way of being.  It is not only a magazine, it is a culture, a lifestyle, and a trusted space for entrepreneurial women in dentistry to join forces in uniting their individual strengths.  After realizing her own strengths and falling in love with what she has to offer, Duffy began falling in love with other women’s gifts. This led her to the idea that we are all here to build on one another’s talents as long as we do it with great love. 

Duffy is a stunning statuesque blonde that can light up any room with her smile and personality. To have a phone conversation or be in the presence of Anne Duffy is inspiring and invigorating. She has a gift of encouragement that leaves you feeling like you can move mountains.  She is no stranger to dentistry and hard work.  As a long-time practicing dental hygienist of 46 years, Duffy presses full steam ahead to get women in dentistry their deserved recognition.  She has a “no scarcity” mentality meaning that she believes that there is room for all of our ideas in dentistry and business.

Duffy began to realize that women, in particular, were not loving and staying in the profession of dentistry.  This caught her attention and she began to wonder how she could get women to love dentistry again and feel fulfilled. 

“At age 42 is when I started to have a vision to dream outside of the operatory. The next 20 years have been a rocket ship.”

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

The First Step: Recognizing Achievements

Duffy’s passion for working with women began several years ago when she had the opportunity to take on a leadership role with a large dental-based company. As she acknowledged the slip in passion for dentistry and that women were not being properly recognized for their achievements and efforts, she decided to take a stand and started DeW Life.

The DeW Life is grounded in owning and working from your natural strengths.

“I wish I owned my strengths when I was younger. Now it is time we grab the arm of the person next to us and go together.” 

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

As dentistry grows and becomes more female influenced, Anne Duffy will stand proud with her DeW Life community that promotes love, accomplishment, empowerment, and connectedness. 

Become a member of the DeW Life Crew at https://www.dew.life/

DeW Life joins The Lucy Hobbs Project
in celebrating women in dentistry

Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Guest Panelist Amanda Butterworth, RDH, pay tribute to Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female to earn a dental degree in the U.S. at Benco’s 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Last October at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Anne Duffy supported women in the profession at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration hosted by Benco Dental.

Nominate an outstanding woman in dentistry for this year’s Lucy Hobbs Project Awards: https://goben.co/2tMwjv3

Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, who in 1866 became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, the project brings women together from all facets of the dental profession — dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events focused on “Mind+Body+Soul” with panel discussions, C.E. credits and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members — and all women in dentistry — to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home and Work.”

As a high point of the three-day event, the project honored six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession. The recipients:

  • Industry Icon Award — Linda Miles of Estero, Fla., speaker, consultant and author with AskLindaMiles.com.
  • Clinical Expert Award — Deborah V. George, DDS, of Miami, executive vice president and chief dental officer with Jessie Trice Community Health System.
  • Humanitarian Award — Tesa Jolly, DDS, of Jolly Family Dentistry in Pulaski, Tenn.
  • Innovator Award — Cathy J. Grinham, RDH, of Assonet, Mass., public health dental hygienist with Visiting Dental Associates of Massachusetts.
  • Mentor Award — Carole Ann Palmer, Ed.D., RD, LDN, with the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston.
  • Woman to Watch Award — Charmaine Ng, DMD, of Healthright360, San Francisco.
Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Benco Dental Director of Coaching, Kay Huff, right, celebrate their friend and colleague Linda Miles, recipient of the 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Industry Icon Award, at Benco’s Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Join The Lucy Hobbs Project today at: TheLucyHobbsProject.com

About the blogger

Kandice Swarthout, RDH, LPC is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She is a full-time dental hygiene educator in Texas. Kandice is the owner of Inspired Education & Wellness where she is a speaker and writer and combines her clinical dental and mental health experience to help other healthcare professionals have a fulfilling work-life experience.  Contact Kandice at kandice@inspirededucationwellness.com  

Thank a dentist tomorrow on #NationalDentistDay

Working on weekends, canceling plans for our tooth emergencies and caring for us even when we ignore their expert advice to floss daily and avoid gummy bears — just a few reasons to thank a dentist tomorrow, March 6.

Who else won’t wince in the face of our nasty coffee breath or hold a grudge if we cancel plans with them at the last minute?

Maybe none of those reasons prompted the dental holiday demigods to create #NationalDentistDay, but they definitely warrant at least one positive Facebook review for your favorite practitioner.

If you’re stumped for a few other ways to show your appreciation, Chris Barnard shared seven suggestions in a blog at the Social Dental Network:

“1. Be the first of your friends to post a smile selfie on your dentist’s Facebook or Instagram page – and be sure to use the #NationalDentistsDay hashtag!

2. If you’ve been neglecting any dental treatment, schedule an appointment to get it done.

3. Show off your smile, more. Every day. Multiple times a day.

4. Be more diligent with your daily dental hygiene regimen of brushing for #2min2x a day & flossing daily.

5. If you happen to be lucky enough to actually be at your dentist’s office on National Dentist’s Day, snap a pic with them & post it on your Facebook.

6. Educate your children, family, & friends about the importance of oral health and the connection to overall health.

7. Schedule and KEEP your next dental checkup & teeth cleaning.

Social Dental Network Managing Editor Chris Barnard

Dental distributor Benco Dental celebrates all dentists with a look at dentistry, past and present. View the video below and watch for more tomorrow on Benco’s social channels:

Facebook: @BencoDental
Instagram: @BencoDental
Twitter: @BencoDental

Benco Dental Video/Allison Simenkiewicz

At the lowest point in her life Dr. Brianna ‘Crash’ Ganson finds dentistry #IE40Under40

Uncertainty does not stop Dr. Brianna Ganson; in fact, she thrives when faced with obstacles and danger. The 39-year-old adrenaline enthusiast from Missouri has survived parachuting from planes, riding out a storm that inundated a Louisiana city and swimming with sharks off the coast of Hawaii.

The most challenging part of her career: “[The] desire to own my own business.” The determination to become an entrepreneur tested the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree’s perseverance and commitment to her goals.

Dr. Brianna Ganson after her first tandem-skydive.

The first time Dr. Ganson skydived unaccompanied (not in tandem), things did not go as planned. After jumping from a plane at around 13,000 feet, she free-fell for much longer than anticipated, missing the drop zone and earning her an appropriate nickname.

“Once you pull your chute, you are all alone. I was so mesmerized by my surroundings that I wasn’t paying attention to my altimeter (altitude gauge). I was expecting a voice to come over the radio when I needed to start heading towards the drop zone. By the time I realized no one was talking to me, I was too far away from the drop zone to get there in time. I “crashed” into the trees, hence the nickname: ‘Crash.'”

Dr. Brianna Ganson on her harrowing first time, solo skydive.

Ganson landed safely. That jump and crash landing took place near her alma mater, a school where she learned the inner-workings of the human mind at the University of San Diego.

Four years after “Crash” graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, she began her professional career as an underwriter for State Farm in Columbia, Missouri, in 2005. She planned to own a business like her father, who also worked for State Farm.

That same year, Dr. Ganson found a job over 700 miles away — a position that was accompanied by the pungent smell of Old Bay and the sounds of creole dialects. The city was New Orleans, a place where she knew no one. The Crescent City held what the doctor believed was a chance to start her own business.

“I ended up getting and accepting the position. I packed my bags in April and moved to a city I had never been to before. I continued dating the same guy long distance, and it was going well. I felt like I was on this amazing path, both professionally and personally. Then just like that, the switch flipped.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson on her long-awaited career opportunity with State Farm.

Stirring in the Gulf of Mexico was a threat to the livelihood and well-being of not only Dr. Ganson but to every person in New Orleans. One of the most deadly natural disasters in American history — Hurricane Katrina — made landfall in Southeastern Louisiana. Katrina, responsible for 1,833 fatalities, brought sustained winds and rain that pummeled the Bayou State. The hurricane blew away all sense of normalcy and left a city that resembled a dystopia.

Dr. Brianna Ganson saw devastation after Hurricane Katrina.

“My apartment was uninhabitable, so I had to stay with a couple in Baton Rouge and commute to New Orleans for work. Being in the insurance business, my job became a priority and was extremely stressful.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson, describing life after Hurricane Katrina.

After Katrina, insurance agents like Ganson were swamped with work. It did not take long for the two or sometimes three-hour commutes from Baton Rouge and tiresome workdays to grind and wash away Dr. Ganson’s happiness, leaving her in a state of perpetual stress.

She wanted a way out of post-Katrina, Louisiana, life. She found refuge where she began her career with State Farm in Columbia, MO, an agency that had the prospect of leading Ganson to entrepreneurship.

“I was so relieved to be out of New Orleans as well as to have what I thought was my dream job. My boyfriend proposed in December and I said yes. Even though Katrina totally upended my life, I felt like I was getting back on track.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson.
When driving through neighborhoods post-Katrina, Dr. Brianna Ganson saw x-codes. The left identifies the rescue squad; the top represents the date the team arrived; the right represents what hazards are inside; and the bottom lists the number of people found.

While training to become an agent, she worked in different State Farm agencies throughout Missouri. She soon discovered she was not in love with insurance. The five years she spent following the career path of her father, a trail adorned with car and home insurance policies, did not fulfill her. She wanted something else.

In October, 2006, nearly a year after Dr. Ganson was engaged, her fiancé broke off their engagement, bringing the insurance professional to the lowest point in her life. She was in a career she disliked, was separated from her longtime boyfriend and to make matters worse, the puppy she had adopted to bring her joy died due to health issues.

“It was like a country music song: ‘I went through a hurricane, got dumped by my man. Had to put my dog to sleep, got hit by a van.’ OK, the last one didn’t happen, but you get my point. I needed a serious change. As strange as it sounds, the lowest point in my life led me to dentistry. While helping others rebuild their lives in New Orleans, I was also learning the steps I would need to rebuild my own life.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson depicting her low.

Inspired by the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) that searched through desolate neighborhoods after Katrina, Dr. Ganson found a new career path, a new interest that she then did not yet understand. Using dental forensics, the team of doctors and pathologists helped identify bodies in the days and weeks after the hurricane.

Another X-Code somewhere in the devastated suburbs of New Orleans.

After a breakup and unfulfilling career, the girl from Missouri was driven by a new-found enthusiasm.

“I quit my job, moved back home, and worked for a whole year to get into dental school. In 2008, I started over on a new path, the right path, to become a dentist.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson realizing her new role.

Ganson spent four years at the University of Missouri School of Dentistry and earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2012. Shortly after, she accepted a position as a general dentist at Rhoades Family Dentistry.

She married Troy Ganson while in dental school. In her first year as a dentist, she experienced challenges in her personal life: she had her first child, Knox, and, unexpectedly, her father was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.

Dr. Ganson juggled the responsibilities of caring for her newborn, helping her parents adjust to her father’s disability and maintaining her new dental role. The vision of owning her own business never left her sight.

When the first opportunity arose to buy her own business, Dr. Ganson turned-down the chance to buy an established dental practice and instead began to work for a non-profit organization called Miles of Smiles.

“This organization is a portable dental clinic that goes into schools to help children who may otherwise not receive dental care. I loved every minute of it and discovered my passion to be a pediatric dentist.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson describing how she discovered her dental specialty.

She discovered her dental niche and her devotion to help children, but the final ingredient of her career continued to elude her. The last element Dr. Ganson needed was her own practice. A colleague of hers knew just the place, but when they presented the doctor with the opportunity of business ownership, fear struck her.

Dr. Brianna Ganson cave diving off the Hawaiian coast.

She made a list of pros and cons, discussed her options with her husband and family, to no avail. Although, one conversation that she will never forget gave her the nudge she needed to follow her bliss. That advice came from her father, who inspired her entrepreneurial spirit.

When her father began his business working with State Farm, “he worked tirelessly to start his agency from scratch. He was driving home from work one night after a daunting day in the office. He was so frustrated and scared that he wouldn’t succeed,” Dr. Ganson explained. “He needed to vent, so he rolled his window down and screamed as loud as he could at these poor cows. Then he told me, ‘Brianna, if owning your own business was easy, everyone would do it.'”

That conversation with her father was the last bit of advice the doctor needed. She bought the pediatric dental practice and turned it into Happy Teeth Dentistry.

Happy Teeth Dentistry is named in memory of her father. While recovering from his accident he went to therapy three times a week. “I always wanted him to walk again, no matter how impossible that may have seemed. I decided to name the practice Happy Teeth as a spin-off of the movie ‘Happy Feet.’ I wanted him to have happy feet. I wanted him to walk,” she explained.

(Shown, from left) Dental Assistant Dominique Fisher, Office Administrator Lacee Jordan, Office Manager Ann Roehl, Dr. Brianna Ganson, Dental Assistant Lauren Harris, and Dental Assistant Jaclyn York.

Today, the woman who survived hurricane Katrina helps children maintain and restore their smiles at her office in Leawood, Kansas.

“My most favorite part of dentistry is when I get a child out of pain. A child may have been having trouble eating, talking, drinking, embarrassed to smile, and I get the opportunity to make them happy and healthy again. When a parent says they are so relieved because their child is acting like him or herself again, I have done my job. I love that.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson on the joys of dentistry.

Aside from her career, Dr. Ganson is most passionate about her family. She husband raise two children together, son, Knox, 7, and daughter, Brinkley, 5. She and her family love adrenaline activities. Dr. Ganson and her husband swam with sharks on her recent trip to Hawaii for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry annual session.

“I have been scuba diving many times and have seen sharks before, but I wanted to get up close and personal.  I knew this would be my chance. We were in a cage and were so close to the sharks. I could have reached out and touched them. Sharks do not want to eat humans, but I didn’t want to take the chance since I need my hands to work.”

Dr. Brianna Ganson.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Brianna Ganson and her practice, visit https://happyteethbyganson.com/.

Read more about her in Incisal Edge here: Incisal Edge

How the 1st female dentist in the U.S. Army survived the 1906 California ‘Exodus’ #womenshistorymonth

Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch survived the horrors of the 1906 San Franscisco earthquake, set up her dental practice in the Presidio Army base during the aftermath and tended refugees in the makeshift camp. She became the first (and only) female dentist in the U.S. Army until 1951.

To begin March’s celebration of #WomensHistoryMonth, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch seems a fitting selection.

A Daughter of Aristocrats

Leonie was born in 1882 in Texas, the daughter of German aristocrats. When she was six, she moved with her mother and sister to California. They finally settled in San Francisco, where Leonie attended the local high school and in 1902 earned a degree from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, then known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. She became a practicing dentist in June, 1902 after passing the California State Dental Board examination. At first, she began a the practice of a Swedish immigrant dentist, but the work was long and punishing, so much so that after treating patients from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week for some time, she collapsed from exhaustion.

Earthquake, then fire

By the time of the earthquake on April 18, 1906, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch had opened her own dental office with a colleague. Unfortunately, on the second day of the disaster, her office succumbed to the fire that destroyed most of the city. Before the building went up in flames, she managed to get inside and save a few instruments.

“Before eight that morning, I was downtown persuading the Phelan Building agent to open the door to my offices. Water, coming through a huge hose from temporarily repaired and newly laid mains, was already breaking in the great front windows, tearing down curtains and flooding rich carpets. I had only time to get my colleague’s leather bag, pick up several dozen of his most cherished forceps and elevators, and save some instruments of my own. I could not get into the safe, so books and papers were destroyed. The roaring of the fire, the drumming of the water on walls, ceilings and furniture, and the frenzied yelling of men drove all but escape from my mind. In less than an hour after it had started burning, the whole large building was gutted.”

Leonie von Zesch, Leonie :A Women Ahead of Her Time

Afterward, the fire continued and forced Leonie and her mother from their rented rooms. They took what they could carry and started for the Presidio Army base, where many refugees were encamped.

“What I call the ‘Exodus’ fled down Van Ness Avenue to the water front, thence along the Barbary Coast and tough water front by an enormously long detour to the ferries; it was the only way, the town streets being on fire and close by the military.”

– Harry C. Carr, Complete History of the San Francisco Horror

There, her mother offered to assist the U.S. Army and Red Cross document survivors. Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch offered her skills as a dental surgeon with the Army and attended to the many now-homeless people. The Army paid and housed her and her mother. This arrangement went on until early July when the city tried to replace her in this role with a male dentist. Both the mayor, Eugene Schmitz and Brigadier General Funston, in charge of the Army, had her reinstated.

1906_SanFran_earthquake2

In total, 30,000 refugees were cared for by the government at the Presidio base.

“It should be called the ‘Exodus,’ for it was a Biblical scene. It was the headlong flight of those who were most terror-stricken to get out of the doomed city.”

Harry C. Carr, Complete History of the San Francisco Horror

Starting Again

By 1907, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch tried to start a private dental practice of her own. She did not receive many new clients, but she had additional income from appointments as dentist to the Children’s Hospital and to the Maria Kipp Orphanage. In 1908, she received agreements from commanders of both the United States Pacific Fleet and the United States Atlantic Fleet to bring dentists and lab technicians aboard ships and provide dental services to members of the crews. While this kept her busy, it was not particularly profitable.

On the Move

By 1908, she was on the move again, this time moving back to Texas with her mother. She became licensed in the state and afterward declined one offer from a Dallas businessman to front a statewide chain of dental offices that he intended to manage in the background.

After working for several years in Texas, she moved to Arizona, becoming licensed in that state. She started a business as a traveling dentist, driving around in her Model T, treating school children for free; she also treated many from the indigenous Indian tribes in the area. After being in practice there for a few years, she left for on a visit to her sister and brother-in-law in the territory of Alaska.

Time for New Adventures

She eventually moved her practice to Alaska and served several communities there for a number of years, practicing in remote Inuit villages and even a near-death experience.

More to the Story

There is much more to the amazing Leonie von Zesch’s story. She had many more adventures before dying at the age of 61 in 1944. Information can be found on her Wikipedia page here. Also, you can purchase her autobiography here on Amazon.

She was elected posthumously to the Alaskan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Celebrate women in dentistry with The Lucy Hobbs Project

Every day Benco Dental salutes women in dentistry, both past and present. The nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor created The Lucy Hobbs Project to promote all women in the profession.

For more information on The Lucy Hobbs Project, click here.

About the blogger

Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

Where is healthcare design headed in 2020? #HCDcon #mondaymotivation

Each year, thousands of design pros unite to discuss the latest research, trends, and strategies with peers and experts at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference.

Our CenterPoint Design team at Benco Dental attends annually and gains inspiration and new ideas for current and future dental practice projects.
At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana in November, I was able to participate at #HCDcon and today I’ll share a few ideas to provide #MondayMotivation for dental practices.

2 incredible dental office design ideas from HCDcon

  • Consider pastel and jewel tones. Pastel tones were featured at almost every booth that I visited. Light blue, sage green, lilac, and blush were the most common. A combination of the rich jewel tones with the light pastels (shown at top) created a great contrast and balance within the collections. Jewel tones most commonly featured were eggplant, emerald, and navy green.
Pastel tones (shown) took center stage at the Healthcare Design Expo in New Orleans. Shown are some vinyl options from Architex.
Patcraft flooring, Mark Making, shown, was created by a designer known for her watercolors. She used repetitive stokes to create this pattern.
  • Plan for future modifications with your current choices. Dental practices and hospitals can take months — or years –to build, and by that time new products and equipment needs to be incorporated into the space. Herman Miller (below), Kimball Health, and Steelcase Health all showed this trend with products to fit the new innovations that doctors and facilities are looking to incorporate. How do you prepare for continued innovation within the healthcare industry? Consider innovative practice designs.
    Herman Miller bonus: This Benco Dental vendor offers the ability to pattern match in two ways. They insure a pattered fabric is exactly lined up on the seams and can also pattern match so that the fabric is at the exact same place from chair to chair.
Herman Miller offers modifiable products to accommodate the innovations that doctors are looking to incorporate at their practices.
Herman Miller, above, offers the ability to pattern match in two ways. They insure a pattered fabric is exactly lined up on the seams and can also pattern match so that the fabric is at the exact same place from chair to chair.
Let’s talk textiles. Architex showed beautiful vinyl options (shown, above).

What other people are doing in the dental profession?

  • Focusing on the user experience. Incorporating similarities across multiple offices such as using the same equipment, colors, and scheme will make the patient feel comfortable. Including signature elements that repeat, such as check-in stations.
  • Addressing the generational divide. Create a space that attracts multiple generations at one practice.

Ready for more #MondayMotivation?

View more from the conference here.
Watch for an update after the next Expo, which will take place November 7-10, 2020 in Nashville, TN.

Me taking in the New Orleans scene at Healthcare Design Expo & Conference #HCDcon

Butterfly? Magical mentor? Benco Tooth Fairy illuminates preschoolers #NationalToothFairyDay

As the Benco Tooth Fairy took flight after a visit with the Illumination Early Learning Center in Kingston, Pennsylvania, Macklan, one pre-school student asked, “Where did that butterfly go?”

Pat Motyka, a 10-year associate at the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor, delivers smiles to youngsters throughout the year, but there’s no better time to share a tale of her recent adventures than today — #National Tooth Fairy Day.

Unless it’s during a visit to the dentist, people rarely volunteer details on their toothbrush and floss habits. Not the case with this pre-school class. Sixteen students were more than willing to express their enthusiasm for dental hygiene, as well as a love and admiration for the Benco Dental Tooth Fairy.

Resplendent in white attire and a glittering crown and wings, Pat Motyka, a Tooth Customer Service Specialist at the dental distributor’s home office in Pittston, entered the preschool classroom for a visit last fall.

“Visitors absolutely help the classroom. I think sometimes when the message is conveyed by another person (not the teacher or parent) they truly take it to heart. “

Elizabeth Muller, a teacher at Illumination Early Learning Center

Students intently listened and watched as the Tooth Fairy spoke on the importance of brushing and flossing, and handed out cartoon coloring sheets with a little magical help from Benco Associate Debby Wargo. Her audience jumped to the task when she offered a hands-on experience brushing the teeth of Finn, a plush shark puppet used for dental hygiene demos (shown at top).

Students coloring at Illumination Early Learning Center

Teacher Amy Wall reminisced about her childhood experience with a loose tooth.

“When I was little, I didn’t want to eat an apple because my tooth was loose and wiggly. So I would only eat mashed potatoes and jelly. One day at school I forgot and ate the apple. My tooth was stuck in it and I didn’t even realize it came out. I was a little bit petrified.”

Amy Wall a teacher at Illumination Learning Center

Students rushed to impress Tooth Fairy Pat with their brush and floss routines. An excited young boy raised his hand to explain that his Mommy always tells him to floss his teeth.

Wall said even before the Tooth Fairy arrived, students were excited and trying to guess what she would wear, some asking: “Do you think she’ll have wings?”

Before the Tooth Fairy made her exit for the journey back to Benco, she gifted each child with a take-home package, including a dental kit, stickers and other surprises.

Though new to the Tooth Fairy role, with just a few classroom visits under her wings, Motyka brings 10 years of dental industry experience to her position at Benco Dental.

Benco Tooth Fairy Pat Motyka with students at Illumination Early Learning Center in Kingston, Pennsylvania.

Along with being seen as a role model for many of the children and adding some sparkle to their day, she feels her visits always make an impact.

“A lot of parents don’t tell their kids about dental health — I know mine didn’t. I think it’s important, because that’s the first thing you see when you talk to someone: their teeth. Benco was kind enough to donate tooth gel, toothbrushes, and brushing charts for the dental kit, which will help them.”

Benco Tooth Fairy Pat Motyka

For details or more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.