NSK recognized for their handpiece designed with women in mind: Nano 95LS

From Phoenix to Chicago and across the U.S., NSK Dental made an impression on women in dentistry this fall.

On September 28, the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) recognized the company’s Nano 95LS electric handpiece attachment in the 2019 Best New Product Contest. During the 98th Annual Conference of AAWD at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, in Phoenix, 2019 President Dr. Brittany Bergeron presented the award to NSK representative Katie Capalungan.

NSK Representative Katie Capalungan (left) accepted recognition for 2019’s Best New Product from American Association of Women Dentist President Dr. Brittany Bergeron.

During the event, AAWD conference attendees voted on exhibitors’ products, and the NSK Nano 95LS received the most votes.

A few days later, October 3-5 in Chicago, NSK supported Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration of women in dentistry as one of the event sponsors.

 “Women are an important and growing demographic in dentistry. We wanted to show our support through a line of handpieces that meet their needs from an ergonomic perspective, which will ultimately impact their outcomes while in practice, and we believe that the Nano handpieces deliver on this.”

Colan Rogers, President/GM at NSK stated in a press release.

Lighten up? The Nano answers that call

The NSK Nano 95LS 1:5 increasing hand-piece 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).

However, the award-winning product 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. The NSK Nano 95LS has a maximum speed of 200,000 min-1, for FG burs, and a suggested retail price of $1,629.

“I was delighted to see a new partner of AAWD won our product of the year contest! It’s exciting to see that manufacturers are starting to make more products for women and their individual needs.”

Dr. Britany Bergeron, AAWD president and 2019 conference chair stated in a press release.

The NSK Nano 95LS is available through Benco Dental.

About NSK

NSK America specializes in ultra-high-speed rotary equipment and is passionate about creating innovative products that deliver outstanding value. NSK delivers a growing range of dental equipment, including air-driven and electric handpieces, specialty handpieces (endo, surgical, hygiene), electric motors and maintenance systems. NSK manufactures almost all parts in-house to guarantee precision, reliability and unmatched performance of its products.

About AAWD

In 1921, during the annual meeting of the American Dental Organization, the Federation of Women Dentists was formed. Now known as the American Association of Women Dentists, the organization is committed to advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists.

The organization’s membership is comprised of a diverse group of women at different stages in their careers and working in all areas of dentistry. AAWD connects women of all generations to improve the overall health and personal lives of the people they serve. For 96 years, the American Association of Women Dentists has been a trusted resource and voice for women in the dental profession.

For more information, visit www.aawd.org.

From East to West: Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad exemplifies determination #IE40Under40

What would you do to protect your family in a country plagued by war, poverty, labor camps and the very real possibility of execution? Would you escape?

That’s what Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad’s parents did to flee post-war Vietnam, although it wasn’t as easy as hopping on a plane. In fact, the government declared leaving the country illegal.

“We were so poor, and living in that state of poverty was no way to live. We didn’t have much food. My parents’ jobs didn’t provide for a hopeful future for our family.”

Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad said, recalling the stories her parents told of Vietnam.

The only way many Vietnamese people could escape communist oppression was by boat, a risky attempt some refugees did not survive. Those who were brave enough to flee, an estimated 1.5 million of them from 1975 to 1995, were known as “Boat People.”

This is the same type of boat Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad and her family spent 38 days in as they drifted in the South China Sea. (Photo Courtesy Dr. Tori-Thuy Conrad)

In 1980, when Dr. Conrad was just six weeks old, she and her family boarded her father’s fishing boat, a vessel not designed for the open ocean, and were joined by seven other siblings and cousins.

They sailed into the South China Sea from Hue City, not knowing where, when and if they would make landfall. They sailed for days, weeks, over a month, not knowing where the tides would take them.

“We spent over 38 days at sea without a definitive destination. We arrived at a refugee camp in Hong Kong, where we resided for months until we were brought to a brighter future by the sponsorship of a United States family.”

Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad, recalling the stories her parents told of Vietnam.
Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad, held by her mother. Her brother and father to the right. Photo taken shortly after their arrival in the U.S. (Photo Courtesy Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad.)

Dr. Conrad ended up in Denver, Colorado, a stark difference from the tropical climate of central Vietnam, and began to live an American life.

Finding her dentistry destiny

Dr. Conrad attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, but the atomic mass of atoms was not all she found. She also met her husband there, and a burning desire to help people.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be in the health care field, helping others heal through medicine, especially children.”

After graduation from Coe, she moved to Minneapolis to study dental hygiene at the University of Minnesota, but she wanted more, and continued her education to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Today, the 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree owns and practices at Tweet Pediatric Dentistry in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and is a mom of three. She juggles the responsibilities of a full-time dentist and a mother, an act that has its challenges.

“I think the most challenging aspects of dentistry is not the dentistry, it’s running a business. I had to learn as I went along and made a lot of mistakes. My mentors have guided me along the way.”

Although it’s difficult to run a business, Dr. Conrad loves her patients. She believes she makes a difference in their lives, and they return the favor to her.

“I am so grateful I get to do this and make such a difference in these children’s lives. The high-fives and hugs that I’m left with when my little patients leave their appointments leave me beaming with happiness.”

Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad

When not in her operatory, Dr. Conrad is in the kitchen experimenting. She loves to cook for her family — and with them. Her favorite cuisine is Italian, without the pasta. She likes to stray from her cookbooks and allow her creativity to take over.

“I love using the fresh herbs and flavors, and pairing them with more proteins and vegetables in place of pasta. I try to create dishes without a recipe. I find it most rewarding when I have someone who eats my creation and provides raving remarks on a recipe that does not exist. It’s the best compliment.”

Dr. Conrad’s dreams never end. She wants to improve her culinary skills and one day compete on the Food Network show Chopped, a challenging competition where three chefs battle for supremacy. She also wishes to pilot a plane.

With many years of dentistry behind her, she has advice for those who dream to be who she is—a successful, practicing dentist.

“Utilize all resources and mentors out there. There are so many people willing to lend advice, reach out often and be willing to extend the same as you gain experience and knowledge. I give many thanks to my mentors for helping me reach my dreams, but also to alleviate and get me through the challenges I face.”

If anyone doubts their dreams, they need to speak with Dr. Conrad, whose tenacity and motivation is the stuff of inspiration.

Learn more about Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad and the #IE40Under40 experience.
Nominate an inspirational dentist at Incisal Edge today.

Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad (front left) during the 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 photo session in NYC. (Photo courtesy Incisal Edge/Macrae Marran)

Striving for vs. attaining perfection. Where do you fit in?

Dentistry in one of the few fields of study where what we create, as practitioners, is physical in nature. As a result of that, it’s easy for us to compare the fruits of our labor to photographs found in textbooks or ones referenced on the lecture circuit. All too often we lose sight of the fact that we work in a very unforgiving environment of a human mouth. We try to recreate the ‘Taj Mahal‘ of crowns in patients who are fearful, who wiggle and dance in the chair, who cough and spit during procedures, and who are constricted by finances. Furthermore, our fairy tale mouth rehabs are limited to an hour of chair time and are constantly interrupted by hygiene check, patient messages and the occasional compressor mishaps.

This idea of seeking perfection isn’t an instinct, but is rather self-taught and further reinforced by our educational background and consequently our practice. Growing into a relationship with what is perceived as perfect we suffer both physically – as we hunch overtime in tedious practice and emotionally – in lacking self acceptance and resorting to self deprication). And as we fail to produce the textbook endo, each and every time, we are unable to forgive ourselves and often forget that we, too, are human. We struggle with wanting to be perfect when we should realize we are just good enough being perfectly imperfect. As far as the quality of work is concerned: striving for perfection and attaining perfection are two very different things. In understanding and separating them, we can find more peace in our mind and satisfaction in our work.

How does it all begin?

As early as high school we begin in our pursuit of numbers. In those numbers we develop an anchor. We start chasing that ‘the high score.’ .This doesn’t necessarily pertain to everyone, there are some very talented people out there to whom this won’t apply to; but I’d estimate that most of us, who have the seed in ourselves to seek higher education, any kind of graduate study, will end up making ourselves vulnerable to numbers.

In its infancy this relationship with numbers is fairly underdeveloped and as inexperienced and vulnerable students that’s when it’s initiated. At first it’s very unassuming. Higher grades in high school tend be received with much less study, than in college or professional school.  As we keep those grades high, we gather the attention, and dare I say respect, of our parents, teachers and classmates. In time, chasing the A, becomes like a casino machine payout. Get an A: ding! ding! ding! And so, we keep chasing the payout. The other thing that begins during these formative years is a quest to be the number one, and looking at our peers as our fierce competition.


The ease of high scores settles a bit in college. It’s a larger pool of thinking minds, chasing that same A. But as our plans toward graduate school sharpen, so must our grades. And once again: we chase the A, the DAT score, the ranking. Ding, Ding, Ding, goes the payout. Like an addiction. The anchor is established even deeper. And as before we continue to compete. Upon college graduation, having been habitually graded, we become comfortable with our anchor number. And this in turn, ends up tying to our self worth. It becomes automatic on our minds: high score produces a good day, it increases our self worth and a low score can lead to self loathing. 

Maggie W. Augustyn, D.D.S.


Each one of us comes up with a sort of scale of what that lucky  anchor number. Is it a 3.5 GPA or 3.9 GPA? The higher the number with which we have this relationship, the more intense the pressure. And this goes on all the way thru dental school, who knows maybe even post grad. As does the peer rivalry. Our self esteem is at its peak as we gain that acceptance to dental school. That’s the we hear the biggest Ding! of all.

Once in dental school we may crash a bit. We are no longer that 5%, 10%, maybe not even top 25%. Now, we are all pretty much the same. Similar GPA, test scores, extracurriculars. Nothing to make us extraordinary.  The Ding’s don’t come as often. Of course, as with everything, there are outliers, but most of us, are just average, smack down in the middle of the bell curve. And now what: does the occasional C, or mostly Bs cloud our self worth? No, we are forced to find a different type of anchor; we begin to tie our self worth to what we perceive to be the quality of our dentistry. 

Remember that we have been chasing a number on a grading scale, we have tied our self worth to some anchor; we have tied our self worth to the act of being graded; And now comes the translation which starts with our preps being graded. Our endos being graded. But not just that, we can see the tangible prep, its inclination, the uniform margins, the fill to the apex, or past the apex; and we start to grade ourselves. Sometimes, we repeat in our minds what even our toughest critics wouldn’t dare to say. A dry socket can make us feel like a failure. A dry socket can make the patient look at us as a failure. None of this is true! We replace the number grading system to which we tied our self worth to, with an anchor of biased self evaluation of the quality of our work. 


How do you overcome it? How do you balance the scales?

We can ask ourselves: Can we do better? Can we produce more ideal dentistry, to increase the highs and eliminate the lows? Can we work harder at being perfect? It’s a simple answer, and the answer is: no. I think all of us do the best that we can, with the skill set that we have, with the procedures and materials, with the flow of the practice and with the quirky environment of the oral cavity. We care about our patients and we care about our reputation. So to say, that if we just became better dentists, our lows would be eliminated is unrealistic and erroneous and quite frankly impossible. It’s impossible to attain perfection, each and every time, maybe even ever.

Overcoming the desire to attain perfection: A how-to

First and foremost we must accept that we are perfectly imperfect. We must stop using our short crown margins and endo underfills as the definition for our self esteem. But how? As trivial as it may seem, allow me to restate: we must forgive ourselves for the imperfect. Not walk away from it, but simply forgive, and build on it. We tried our best, we may not have attained that grade-A endo fill, and we forgive ourselves. Or maybe, look at it this way, we give ourselves permission to be imperfect. Please understand that imperfect doesn’t translate into sloppy dentistry, nor is it substandard care.

Imperfect is simply what it states: not perfect, or at least not perfect each and every time. “I have permission to do the best I can, and still come short of what is ideal.” And as we have that permission, we also piggyback the fact that we have room to improve in the current clinical situation and in the future. If the endo fill isn’t ideal, we can redo it, or we can refer out to a specialist. We can choose more continuing education, which may lead to ease of practice. But in truth, neither a referral to an endodontist, nor an 8- hour course in the use of microscope will produce perfection every time. Accepting the idea of imperfection will keep us grounded. And in time will add humility. Because aren’t we just a bit arrogant to expect that every treatment we render be textbook worthy?

We must define and recognize our weakness.

We can’t turn weakness into a strength if we keep denying our weakness. A weakness can be a learning experience. But more so, we also can’t forget that imperfection isn’t a weakness, it isn’t even a characteristic… it’s an unavoidable reality. We have to acknowledge when we are being self critical and recognize that every emotion, serves a purpose; negative feelings are simply a way of receiving information. Having recognized a negative experience we give ourselves permission to be upset and to be regretful. And that’s how we stop it from becoming an exercise in self loathing. This entire exercise will lead to forgiving ourselves our shortcomings. When we are unable to forgive ourselves that’s when we forget that we too are human.

Another practice to follow is to make a commitment to celebrate! celebrate! celebrate! our strengths. If necessary, take a minute each day and write down what is celebration worthy. When receiving a complement, take the time to marinade in it. Really, take a nominal 90 seconds and allow yourself to just be present. Let it seep in. Let it sink in. Stay mindful of it as much as you can all day.

Now, if none of those are working and if we are still really having a hard time with guilt or shame or other negative emotion: writing a note of apology to self can be very helpful.

And last, if your self critical nature is disallowing you from a mindful living, if your self loathing prevails, seek the help of a professional. 

About the blogger

Maggie W. Augustyn, D.D.S. is a practicing dentist with over 15 years of experience. She graduated from Benedictine University as a University Scholar and pursued her education towards a dental degree at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a co-owner of Happy Tooth, a private practice in Elmhurst Illinois. She resides in Lombard Illinois with her husband and daughter. Contact her at dr_augustyn@yahoo.com

“Each day I try to be a better person than I was yesterday. The most rewarding part of life is cultivating and maintaining relationships, but more importantly helping one another navigate the turbulent times of our existence.   My mantra is ‘Life Is Good’, even if you have to shift your focus and look for it, with the right skills and attitude life is nothing short of being an amazing gift.”  

Dr. Melissa Ing teaches STEM through Mini Medical School

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.

Dr. Melissa Ing, an associate professor in the Dept. of Comprehensive Care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (shown at right), and her team instruct students about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) topics before delving into interactive medical investigations and procedures. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

“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. 

Dr. Melissa Ing, shown fourth from right, with her Mini Medical School team of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine students and faculty members. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

“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.

At Nantucket Island Public School, students use medical instruments and learn how they help industry professionals every day. Photos Courtesy Dr. Melissa Ing

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.

Celebrate November, Women and Girls in STEM Month

Find out what the Museum of Science in Boston has in store for Women and Girls in STEM Month: https://www.mos.org/women-and-girls-in-stem-month

Get giving in October! Support Keep A Breast Foundation™

The Keep A Breast Foundation™, a non-profit organization, uses art and educational programs to raise awareness of practices of prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

Their mission: to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support.

During the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Benco Dental is donating $.40 cents for every box of Natural Extensions® Fuchsia Gloves sold and $.50 for every box of Natural Extensions® Fuchsia Masks sold to the Keep A Breast foundation.

Last year, the nation’s largest family-owned dental distributor presented Keep A Breast Foundation with a check for $24,516.

How is Keep A Breast making a difference?

They’ve created the Check Your Self app, free, with over 67,000 downloads and counting.

According to their website, here’s what you can expect:

  • Step-by-step self-check instructions including animated gifs (artwork by Sandi Calisto)
  • Schedule an automatic monthly reminder
  • Breast health information
  • In-app sharing tools
  • Available in 6 languages (more to come!)

Early detection is the key and knowing what is “normal” for your body is an integral part of that. We developed our Check Yourself! App to do just that: help young women all over the world to develop a healthy life-long relationship with their bodies. By checking yourself once a month, you are able to detect abnormalities at the first sign of change.

We wanted to create something to support women all over their world and assist in their access to healthcare, literally putting lifesaving information in the palm of their hand: give them a step-by-step guide, tips, information, and automatic scheduling in order to make it as simple and accessible as possible. That way, people would be most likely to really carry out a self-check routine.

Keep-A-Breast.org/check-yourself-app
Courtesy https://www.keep-a-breast.org/blog/breast-cancer-prevention-gift-guide-2019

How can you support the cause?

During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a number of brands join in this effort to raise funds and awareness. Keep A Breast features a gift guide almost 40 products ranging from surf fins to nursing pads. Visit their site to view apparel, beauty products and so many unique items that support Keep A Breast with your purchase.

Check out the Keep A Breast Gift Guide: click here.

Courtesy https://www.keep-a-breast.org/blog/breast-cancer-prevention-gift-guide-2019

Celebrate the art of dental invention with the Edison Awards

Celebrate a savings of $300 if you nominate your dental innovation by the 2019 Edison Awards™ early bird nomination deadline on October 18. Nominate today: https://edisonawards.com/

The Edison Best New Product Awards™ is an annual competition honoring excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. Past winners have included Fortune 500s, small startups, and everything in between.

Companies and dental professionals who’ve recently launched outstanding innovations are invited to apply by November 22, 2019, but can save $300 on the entry fee by nominating next week.

Need some encouragement?

Meet some previous honorees in dentistry. Edison Award-winning dental innovators at the Gold, Silver and Bronze have included:

2015: Vatech, 3M, 3D Systems, Aribex, Convergent Dental, Kerr Endodontics, Olympus Corporation of the Americas, NSK, Molar Media Mount, Benco Dental, and Inventionstring.

2016: Solea ®  by Convergent Dental, Multi-Axis Spiral Suction by Ghost Mfg, Oral B Pro 5000 with Bluetooth by Procter & Gamble, Dr. Kim’s Shadowless Headlamp by DrKimUSA.com

2017: ECO Balance by GLO Science™, Inc., Throat Scope® by Holland Healthcare Inc. and 3M™ Mobile True Definition Scanner by 3M.

2018: Senior Mobile Dental, The Periogen Company, Akervall Technologies Inc., Carestream Dental and St. Renatus, LLC.

2019: Invisalign Treatment with mandibular advancement by Align Technology, Bond Apatite® by Augma Biomaterials®, Airway Armor™ by Zirc Dental Products Inc., Goccles® by Pierrel Pharma S.r.L., CS 9600 cone beam computed tomography system by Carestream Dental.

Ready to nominate

https://edisonawards.com/

Dr. Lavasani Shares Her Dentistry Philosophy

Dr. Setareh Lavasani has been dubbed the “Queen of Radiology” and “The Selfie Queen,” by her students and colleagues. Events in her life, though, were not always ones to smile about.

The 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree recently spoke with TheDailyFloss.com about her early career and the battle she raged with life-threatening illnesses in her 20s. The selfie-slinging (shown above, at far left), chihuahua-loving board-certified radiologist discussed how she persevered to become the professional she is today. 

Shown in NYC at the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 photo session, clockwise from bottom left: Drs. Setareh Lavasani, Valerie Okehie, Corey Brick, Jeffrey T. Moon and Rebecca Pounds.
Courtesy Incisal Edge/Macrae Marran

The Pomona, California Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist comes from a long line of dentists; as she says, “[It] runs in my family.” Her sister is an endodontist, her cousins and aunt, dentists. Dr. Lavasani jokes, “We have a mini dental convention of our own when we get together!”

Originally from Iran, she attended Ajman University of Science and Technology, earning her a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Her education did not stop there.

Dr. Lavasani moved to San Antonio, Texas to attend a radiology residency program at the University of Texas Health Science Center. There she would be given the most critical test of her life to date. She was diagnosed with breast cancer as soon as she received her admission to the radiology residency, a disease that affects 3.5 million people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This caused an interruption in her studies, but she did not give up.

After her treatments, Dr. Lavasani returned to her studies in San Antonio. Within a year, she was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, a progressive and rare illness. Leukemias are cancers that start in cells, typically in bone marrow, and then quickly spread to other parts of the body, according to the American Cancer Society.

Thanks to the generosity of a donor, Dr. Lavasani received a life-saving bone marrow transplant, beating the 4 out of 5 mortality rate, and giving her a second chance at attaining her dreams. She had battled — and won — a fight for her life on two occasions.

Earlier this year, Dr. Setareh Lavasani celebrated her 10th cancer-free year.

“I learned to never lose hope and always try to look on the bright side, even when there is barely a single ray of light,” she said.

Dr. Setareh Lavasani

Determined not to let her health lower her spirits, Dr. Lavasani continued her radiology studies in San Antonio and graduated with a certificate in Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology and a Master’s in Dental Diagnostic Sciences. 

“I saw firsthand that the generous donation of a bone marrow saved my life, so I promised myself to focus on this cause (dentistry) and hopefully make a difference. I learned that this is what real life is about! I also realized that our time is so short, so I try to say more ‘thank yous’ and more ‘I love yous’ to people who matter to me and have shown me unconditional support all along.”

Dr. Setareh Lavasani

Dr. Lavasani received most of her support from her parents, family members and close friends who inspired her during treatment in school and throughout her career. Her mother was a star role model who raised two kids, earned a Ph.D. and became a well-known editor-in-chief in Iran.

Today, Dr. Lavasani is an associate professor and the Director of Oral Radiology & Advanced Imaging at Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Dental Medicine in Pomona, California.

Often, she travels for speaking engagements. Dr. Lavasani is an internationally recognized lecturer. She frequently speaks at California Dental Association (CDA), UCLA School of Dentistry Advanced Education in General Dentistry program and the American and International Academies of Oral Radiology. She is a fellow and speaker for the southern California Oral Pathology Society and the Global Dental Implant Academy (FGDIA).

Though amid her prestigious positions, she takes particular pride in her role as the “The Selfie Queen.” She smiles for her past, present and future. Now, she takes the philosophy gained through her experiences and expresses it with every student she meets.

“I find that I’m happiest when I’m teaching and sharing ideas with students and fellow colleagues. So, inside and outside of school, I try to focus and grow.”

Dr. Setareh Lavasani
At the Global Dental Implant Academy (GDIA) USA symposium 2018, Dr. Setareh Lavasani presented, received the exclusive #GDIA fellowship recognition, and won the first place prize for scientific poster presentation. (Photo courtesy Dr. Setareh Lavasani)

Dr. Lavasani is at a pinnacle of her career, ascending from the uncertainty of disease she fought. She teaches and encourages future dentists while following and sharing her virtue:

“Give back in any way you can and as small or large as you can. I think each of us, in one way or another, have a cause that is close to our hearts for any personal reason. I think giving in any way that is possible makes a huge difference in our sense of happiness and fulfillment.”

Dr. Setareh Lavasani

Women in dentistry to convene at The Blackstone in Chicago next week

A distinguished destination for celebrating change makers in dentistry

Since 1910, The Blackstone has attracted celebrities, socialites, and politicians. It is named after Timothy Blackstone, who was the president of Union Stock Yards and the Chicago & Alton Railroad. 

In 2019 it will host exemplary women in dentistry (read about all six award recipients here!) during the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration. On October 3-5, Benco Dental, in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists, invites women in dentistry to bring their dental team together and join a special celebration of in Chicago… three days of fun, networking, and discovery focused on living, practicing, and thriving smarter. 
Read more about the 10 incredible speakers, including featured guest Poppy Harlow: https://thedailyfloss.com/?s=lucy+hobbs+celebration+the+blackstone

If you haven’t already, register today. Then take a moment to learn more the historic venue where it will take place.

Heads of state, legendary mob bosses and treasured artwork


Aptly named “The Hotel of Presidents,” this historic Chicago hotel has hosted several heads of state, including Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.

The hotel also had a notorious streak, as it was favored by legendary mob bosses “Lucky” Luciano and Al Capone. It’s been said that Al Capone held meetings while getting his haircut in the windowless barbershop at The Blackstone.

Rivaling the most prestigious Chicago art museums, The Blackstone’s art collection is one of the city’s treasures. With over 1,600 works, primarily created by local artists, the collection includes pieces that not only conjure up Chicago past and present, but also evoke this legendary hotel’s regal architecture.

When you browse the selection of works, you can almost hear the sounds of Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne and Nat King Cole through the halls. On permanent display throughout guest rooms, meeting rooms, and public spaces, our art collection is an extension of The Blackstone’s role as a Chicago cultural icon.

Enjoy one of the city’s most intriguing art collections during your stay, and come away with an enriched perspective of Chicago. 

Prepare to be enchanted:

Smart Meetings magazine recognizes Benco Dental Event Supervisor among 2019 Planners of the Year

Lindsay Pross is one of only 17 event professionals in the United States to earn Planner of the Year recognition from Smart Meetings. As Benco Dental’s Events Department Supervisor, Pross (shown on Smart Meetings magazine cover, top left) oversees internal sales trainings, incentive trips, award shows, customer-facing seminars and trade shows for the nation’s largest independent dental distributor.

Smart Meetings’ annual Planner of the Year Awards recognize event professionals who are leading the way with innovative, transformational programming. They are role models and pioneers in the industry, creating value for their companies and elevating the experience for attendees. Read the complete story: SmartMeetings.com

“We’re grateful to have talented, impactful leaders like Lindsay on our team, and deeply proud to see her efforts recognized alongside fellow professionals at innovative companies like Cisco, Autodesk and Sisense.”

Terry J. Barrett, Chief Marketing Officer at Benco Dental
Lindsay Pross, Benco Dental Events Department Supervisor

Pross joined the Benco team in 2014, bringing more than a decade of corporate event planning to her role. Within three years, she was elevated to department head. Pross plans more than 25 events per year for the company, ranging in size from 20 attendees to 900.

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the largest privately-owned dental distributor in the United States, offering a full array of supplies, equipment and services to dentists across the nation.  Founded in 1930 by Benjamin Cohen, the company has remained focused on its unique mission to drive dentistry forward through innovative solutions and caring family culture. Within the past 88 years, the company has grown from a single downtown location to a national network that includes five distribution centers, and three design showrooms, one at the company’s Pa. headquarters, one in Southern California, and one in Texas. Benco, which has been named one of Fortune Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for the past three years, one of the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women for the second consecutive year, and Pennsylvania’s Best Places to Work® for 12 of the past 14 years, is proud to feature a highly skilled team of more than 400 professionally trained sales representatives and over 300 factory-trained service technicians. For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

About Smart Meetings

Smart Meetings is the leading media company and the most trusted resource for meeting professionals. Providing best-in-class service, Smart Meetings publishes cutting-edge meetings content in print and digital magazines, hosts world-class hosted-buyer networking events, provides CEU-accredited webinars and offers myriad digital resources.



Arguments for equality in dentistry and in life #tbt #WomensEqualityDay

The blog is part of a series paying tribute to pioneers in dentistry. Celebrate changemaking women in dentistry at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration, set for October 3-5 at The Blackstone in Chicago. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

I am writing this post on August 26, #WomensEqualityDay. It’s the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, that gave women the right to vote. Today, I’m focusing on a few voices that advocated for and against allowing women to practice dentistry. There were many against, but only a few brave souls who felt women were equal to men and that dentistry was a place where women could excel.

Sarah Grimke, Early Suffragette
SaraGrimke

I ask no favors for my sex. All I ask our brethren is that they will take their feet off our necks. – Sarah Grimke, early suffragette.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

The Dental Times Dispute

If you follow The Lucy Hobbs Project, you’re familiar with the story of Lucy Hobbs, the young woman who sought a career as a dentist, but was constantly denied entrance to dental school based solely on her gender. This was common across a range of educational institutes; law schools, medical schools, and dental schools, among others, frequently denied women admittance to their programs.

Dental Times

Around the same time Lucy Hobbs was finishing up her dental studies in Ohio, a dispute was brewing in Pennsylvania between the pages of The Dental Times, featuring arguments both for and against allowing women to be dentists.

The 1866, Volume III, Number 4 issue of The Dental Times featured two articles, one advocating for women in dentistry, and the other arguing they are “not fitted physically for such taxing work”.

girl-graduates

The first article is the Valedictory address of James Truman, DDS, dean of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery from 1865-1876. In it, he states:

The recognition of the right of every human being to an equal share in the privileges that we enjoy, has not yet become a principle of faith and practice, as I think it should. We say to one-half of the human family, stitch, stitch, darn stockings, make shoes for a shilling, stand behind counters for two or three dollars per week, do anything, but don’t enter the sacred precincts that we have marked out for our peculiar benefit…Talent is of no sex, color or clime…

This thought was revolutionary for the time and Dr. Truman knew it.

…It may be that I stand alone in these views, both with the Faculty of this College and the audience; but I trust not, as in my judgement, the advancement of the world depends, to a large extent, upon their adoption.

The Opposing View

JesseCastleLaMoreaux

Within the same scientific journal, there came the opposing view, with the glaring title, “Dental Surgery – Should Females Practice It?” Its author, Dr. George T. Barker, editor of The Dental Times, emphatically believed women were not suited for the physical rigors of dentistry.

Dr. Barker states, in part:

Should females be encouraged to enter the dental profession? I contend they should not, and it is with no disrespect that the assertion is made. The same reason holds good against females practicing dentistry that it does against a feeble male, for the reasons as previously stated. The very form and structure of a woman unfit her for its duties…

By 1872, three women were admitted to the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery; however, after completing the first year, they were not allowed to return because they were women. When that occurred, there was a dissenting vote by a member of the faculty. The matter then was brought to a committee of members of the board, who rendered the decision that “a student could not be cast out without due cause.” In 1874, two of the three women graduated from the college. Obviously some agreed with Dean Truman, regarding women in dentistry.

1911-Suffragettes

On this #WomensEqualityDay, we are glad that more and more people are of the mind of Dr. Truman rather than Dr. Barker. Here’s to more women in dentistry and to the pioneers, like Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Henriette Hirschfeld, and others who defied convention to become dentists.

Next year, the 19th Amendment turns 100! Here’s to more “firsts” for women!

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.