Personal tragedy inspires Dr. Katie McCann Lee to restore smiles. #IE40under40

At a very young age, Dr. Katie McCann Lee learned the importance of a smile to one’s well being. At only the age of 14 she was involved in a horrific ATV accident.

This accident left her with a severely fractured face and missing teeth. Four years and nine reconstructive surgeries later, doctors were able to restore her smile.

“I had to go through four years of high school without front teeth, and that negatively affected my confidence and social development. I learned at a young age how important a smile is to one’s well being. I wanted to enhance other people’s well-being by being a dentist.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Many of Dr. McCann Lee’s patients don’t know about the life-changing experience that led her to dentistry

Dr. McCann Lee, one of the Incisal Edge 2019 40 Under 40 honorees, recalls those difficult days.

As a result of the accident, her right Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) was severely damaged and to repair the function of this joint, doctors used her rib bone.

The biggest challenge to overcome in her life this far, Dr. McCann Lee says, was not only the horrific accident, but the fact that it occured at a difficult time in her life.

“I also had to face tough bullying at school for the way that I looked from my accident and subsequent surgeries. At a young age, I was tested, and learned discipline and persistence. Luckily, that has carried throughout my adult life, so nothing seems out of reach anymore.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Those challenges culminated in Dr. McCann Lee’s passion for dentistry and ultimately, her decision to create Aurora Modern Dentistry in Colorado.

Dr. Katie McCann Lee surrounded by the supportive dental team at Aurora Modern Dentistry.

“I believe that dentistry should be affordable, be efficiently delivered, and tailored to the patient’s lifestyle.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Education is just the first step to the dental profession, and in order to be successful, that training needs to extend outside of the classroom to the patients.

At Dr. McCann Lee’s practice she initiated a ‘co-treatment plan’ which allows the patients to select the treatment plan of their choice. Within this process, she and her team inform the patients of the diagnosis and present all possible solutions. The patients are invited to select the one that will work best for their lifestyle.

The primary goal for Dr. McCann Lee and her team is to find and treat the source of the problem, not just the symptoms. They focus on issues such as chronic inflammation, sleep disturbances, occlusal discrepancies, and infection.

Dr. McCann Lee often sees patients on weekends, to accommodate their busy lives.

A passion for innovation.

Currently, Dr. McCann Lee is particularly passionate about the topic of salivary diagnostics, in which saliva is tested for inflammatory genes and oral bacteria. This allows a doctor to better diagnose and manage periodontics and chronic inflammation.

Her expertise in sleep and airway management allows her to provide treatment to improve the quality of a patient’s life, and systemic conditions such as sleep apnea.

This summer, Aurora Modern Dentistry will expand their office with a build out of a specialty center, to incorporate endodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, and sleep medicine.

Dr. McCann Lee has been an inspiration to many. Who inspires her?

Dr. Minh Pham is an experienced clinician with tremendous success in building practices and training dentists. Dr. McCann Lee credits him as her mentor.

“He has taught me how to stay humble and hungry, to always work hard, and to always put my team first.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

The most important lesson Dr. McCann Lee says she learned from Dr. Pham: No matter what, you should always focus on your team first. A dental practice is never one-person; the team helps the doctor create solutions and ideas.

Dr. Katie McCann Lee spends her free time traveling with the with friends and family. She is always up for a good adventure, or a scuba diving session!

To learn more about Dr. Katie McCann Lee, or her practice click here

Start spring with fresh ideas in dentistry: #6neatthings.

Blooming flowers, chirping birds, magical light cure composites — what else would you expect with the arrival of spring? When aiming to incorporate fresh ideas into your dental practice in the form of innovation, the nation’s largest family-owned dental distributor strives to make it simple to stay up to date with the latest equipment and technology.

With a commitment to #drivingdentistryforward, Benco Dental presents the newest and coolest technology doctors need in the form of its #6NeatThings promotion.

Activa Presto by Pulpdent offers nature’s magic within a light cure composite.

A universal, stackable, light cure composite, Activa Presto absorbs stress, resists wear, repels fractures and averts chips. It releases and recharges calcium, phosphate and fluoride, and is indicated for all classes of cavities.

Magic arrives in the form of patented resins and a realistic presentation. Once it’s cured and polished, the composite holds its shape. Mineral enriched and moisture friendly, Activa Presto delivers an ionic release/recharge of what teeth need: calcium, phosphate and fluoride.

Activa Presto by Pulpdent

Benefits from the Activa Presto include:

  • Ease of placement with 1.2mL syringes.
  • Versatility; a universal composite for all classes of cavities.
  • Penetration and integration with tooth structure for margin-free adaptation to teeth.

To learn more about the Activa Presto click here.

Easy Denture offers solutions in just five minutes.

Invented by Dr. Misael Otero with patients in mind, the patented, heat moldable denture can be fitted, and refitted by people at home in just five minutes.
The universal-fit boil-and-bite apparatus is created with a multi-layered design, made from the patented Nuovoflex material. The teeth and gum base layers provide a rigid skeleton – very similar to standard dentures. The upper layer of the denture consists of the Nuovoflex Stretch material, which is similar to soft reline and comprises the soft, moldable part of the denture.

Easy Denture

Benefits of the Easy Denture include:

  • Available in multiple sizes including small/medium, and medium/large.
  • Covered by most insurance companies.
  • Offers a 30-day warranty.
  • Able to be remolded up to 20 times in order to achieve the best fit for each patient.

Easy Denture is only available through Benco. For more information regarding the Easy Denture click here.

The PenBlade by Tidi is the first scalpel to offer safety without compromise at the practice.

A new generation safety scalpel, PenBlade by Tidi is a self-retracting and designed for a doctor’s use. 

Utilizing an ergonomic grip and a high-quality scalpel blade, PenBlade makes precise surgical incisions with minimal effort. The safety mechanism is activated without changing the grip, creating a truly safe solution.

PenBlade by Tidi

The benefits of using the PenBlade include:

  • Self-retracting blade.
  • One-hand activation.
  • A front release button that can be activated without looking, which allows clinicians to maintain focus on the patient.

For more information about the PenBlade click here.

Cut through the latest in high-strength ceramics with the Aeras 500 Elite Handpiece by DentalEZ.

The Aeras 500 Elite Handpiece offers the elegance of air with the authority of electric. Its RFID technology can unlock new options for complete practice interconnectivity.

Add space within your practice by using the Aeras 500 Elite Handpiece for all procedures.

Aeras 500 Elite Hand-piece by DentalEZ

Benefits from using the Aeras 500 Elite Hand-piece include:

  • Modern form that allows patient comfort and posterior access.
  • Maintenance control with in-office turbine replacements.
  • Lube-free technology.
  • Multi-port spray which keeps the bur cool while whisking away debris.

For more information about the Aeras 500 Elite Hand-piece by DentalEZ click here.

Aeras Ramvac by DentalEZ: A compressor that finally communicates with your devices.

DentalEZ’s new Aeras compressor is a connected device that allows complete monitoring of critical parts and systems, as well as remote control of its operation.

The Aeras Ramvac allows you to schedule when your equipment powers off and on, while also sending direct notifications to your device when maintenance is required.

Aeras Ramvac Compressor by DentalEZ

Benefits of using the Aeras Ramvac Compressor include:

  • Dual desiccant dryer technology that prevents the growth of bacteria.
  • A rocking piston design that cuts the ambient compressor noise, while doubling the life of the compression rings.
  • A high- pressure option perfect for practices that run a milling machine.

To learn more about the Aeras Ramvac Compressor by DentalEZ click here.

Floss effortlessly at home or on the go with Jetfloss Go by Benco Brands.

The PRO-SYS JetFloss GO is your solution to flossing, whether at home or while traveling.  This portable, handheld IPX7 waterproof design is equipped with five tips, a USB cord for charging and a convenient travel bag.

The JetFloss Go comes with two jet tips, one orthodontic tip, one periodontal tip, and one tongue cleaner.

The JetFloss Go by Benco Brands

Benefits of the the JetFloss Go include:

  • Three pressure settings.
  • Lithium battery that lasts up to 10-15 days when fully charged.
  • 360-degree tip that allows you to easily clean difficult-to-reach areas.

For more information about the JetFloss Go by Benco Brands click here.

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.

AERAS 500 Elite Handpiece brings streamlined power, safety to the dental practice.

In an increasingly complex world, smart devices simplify the intersection between technology and life. From the evolution of the smartphone, to the smart home revolution, smart is simplifying the way we live, streamlining the way we work and enhancing the way we play.

When the tools of your trade can communicate with each other, that’s smart. When they can communicate with you, that’s Aeras 500 Elite high-speed air-driven handpiece from DentalEZ.

To create an environment of patient care and practice efficiency that will revolutionize the way you interact with your dental office, the new Aeras platform from DentalEZ can:

  • collect data,
  • share information, and
  • streamline the standard of care processes.

10 ways Aeras is a dental changemaker

  1. Delivers power safely. The Aeras handpiece features an industry-leading 39 watts of power that rivals the performance of electric with the confidence and safety of air.
  2. Stability minimizes fatigue. Greater in-hand stability with exceptional balance minimizes effort and fatigue.
  3. Minimal maintenance. Exclusive lube-free technology makes it easy to maintain. Maintain control with in-office turbine replacements to ensure readiness and maximum performance is always within reach.
  4. Timesavings that benefits the entire team. Patent pending embedded RFID technology can reduce the burden for office staff by automating tracking and recordkeeping (when used in conjunction with a compatible RFID reader system).
  5. Prepared for the future. Adopting the latest technology makes customers’ future ready with new possibilities down the road.
  6. Powerful. The 39 watts of power help users cut through the latest in high-strength ceramics.
  7. Clean and cool. The multiport spray keeps the bur cool while whisking away debris.
  8. Optimum Visibility. LED fiber optics feature cool spectrum LED illumination of the oral cavity for eye-opening visibility.
  9. Patient comfort. The modern form has an optimal head size for patient comfort and posterior access.
  10. Immediate updates. The patent pending RFID technology can tell the user exactly where the handpiece is, where it’s been and when it has last visited the autoclave. Plus, it can let you know when it’s visiting somewhere it shouldn’t. This handpiece can protect you and your staff with verifiable sterilization data, track inventory and help combat loss & theft.

Together, this valued vendor partner Star DentalEz and national distributor Benco Dental, drive dentistry forward.

Click here to order yours today.

Connected Compressor: DentalEZ Aeras Leverages IoT Tech to Stop Downtime in its Tracks

Fix potential issues before they become a problem, plus eliminate multiple service visits with the compressor that continually monitors itself. *

Compressor trouble is the worst kind, because it can disable an entire office. Even with comprehensive preventive maintenance, compressors are subject to maintenance and wear just like every mechanical device. That’s where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in: DentalEZ’s new Aeras compressor is a connected device that allows complete monitoring of critical parts and systems, as well as remote control of its operation.*

Prevent downtime by alerting to possible issues: When sensors actively monitoring key performance parameters notice unusual activity, the compressor alerts you so you can contact Benco Dental for service assistance or, in some cases, resolve the issue over the phone.*

Eliminate multiple service calls: Because the Aeras provides data to the cloud that is accessible from any web browser, your Benco Dental service tech will know what the problem is without a diagnostic visit. When it comes time for service or repair, your tech will arrive with exactly the parts needed in one visit.*

Operate the unit automatically and remotely: You can turn the compressor to on and standby, disable and enable motor heads, and enable/disable the schedule for turning on and off.*

Monitor your unit’s performance: Whether you use the web interface to access data on your PC or mobile device, or refer to the LCD display on the unit itself, you can check all sensor data including tank pressure, dew point, ambient temperature and runtime for equipment and motor heads.*

Multiple service visits are a thing of the past. Aeras actively monitors performance and provides data to the cloud that is accessible from any web browser, so your Benco Dental service tech will know the nature of any problem without a diagnostic visit.

Customize your dashboard: View all of your DentalEZ connected devices from your web browser and select exactly what you want to see so users can focus on the data that is most relevant to them. You can also easily access all maintenance reminders and records, alert history and historical performance data.*

Connect to your Aeras compressor through the web browser of your PC or mobile device and access data, service information, and even control key functions and programming, remotely.

Enjoy extended warranty coverage: When you enable Smart monitoring at the time of installation, DentalEZ will extend their industry-leading warranty by two full additional years, for a total of eight years of coverage. That’s substantial added peace of mind, from a name that’s legendary for dependability.

“The Aeras Compressor from Ramvac is as easy to install and situate as the established Osprey line of compressors, but with so much more capability.
Benco Dental has been connecting customers’ devices since introducing BencoNET in the 2000s, and more recently, our OneVisit® open CAD/CAM solutions. That technology experience, plus our long relationship with DentalEZ and 90 years of installing mechanical equipment, makes Benco the best source for modernizing your mechanical room—and making downtime practically a thing of the past.”

Nicole Gilligan, Senior Marketing Product Manager.

To learn more, please contact your Friendly Benco Rep, call 1.800.GO.BENCO or visit benco.com. 

*With subscription to monitoring service.

ABOUT DENTALEZ

DentalEZ ® is committed to providing state-of-the-art dental practice solutions for unlimited interconnectivity, choice and control. A true dental pioneer, the Company stands as an indispensable industry staple with over 100 years of experience. DentalEZ provides real-life solutions for everyday challenges in oral healthcare through a unique union of advanced technical expertise and rich practical experience. With unwavering top-level customer service and support, the Company has securely established itself as a trusted partner in dentistry. DentalEZ has a proven history of providing tried-and-true dental products and equipment, and continues to manufacture a full line of technologically-advanced front-to-back office solutions from well-known brands including Star, Ramvac,Forest®, Nevin™ and Columbia Dentoform®. Visit dentalez.com for more information.  

ABOUT BENCO DENTAL

Benco Dental Drives Dentistry Forward℠ through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Company firsts include CenterPoint design/equipment superstores, OneVisit™ open architecture CAD/CAM, Painless® electronic ordering and automated supply management. Independent since founded by Ben Cohen in 1930, Benco has grown to become the country’s largest family-owned dental distributor. Over 1,400 dedicated associates serve customers at locations coast-to-coast including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco is one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for three consecutive years, a NAFE Top Company for Executive Women for two consecutive years, and among Pennsylvania Best Places to Work® for 12 of 14 prior years.
For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.