Spring 2018 – Edison Awards

The newest, greatest, and smartest innovations in dentistry ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Tips to Improve Your Practice Groundbreaking Office Designs Around the World with Premium Spirits

FOUNDERS’ LETTER – Bringing Dentistry Outside the Box

Bringing Dentistry Outside the Box The best thing about our profession is its boundless innovation. We salute the Edison Award nominees— and push new ideas to the fore. By Chuck Cohen and Rick Cohen The best thing about our profession is its boundless innovation. We salute the Edison Award nominees— and push new ideas to the fore. IN THE DARK YEARS B.G.—Before Google—the fax machine defined communi­ cation cool. (For readers under 40: Think of […]

WOMEN IN DENTISTRY – Lucy Hobbs, From Coast to Coast

BENCO DENTAL’S initiative to celebrate the contributions of women in dentistry, The Lucy Hobbs Project, surges into its sixth year of driving positive industry change—from sea to shining sea. The biggest get-together in Lucy’s datebook is the annual Celebration, at which guests honor the year’s half-dozen Lucy Hobbs Award winners—this time in San Francisco from September 13-15, 2018. The Lucy Hobbs Project itself, however, is very much a year-round concern, and the final meetup of […]

JUST ASKING – The People’s Choice

Does the general public regard dentists more or less favorably than it used to? WELCOME TO “Just Asking,” in which Incisal Edge puts forth a handful of questions—some serious, some less so—to dentists nationwide. Want to play? Email editor@incisaledgemagazine.com and we’ll add you to the respondent list. LAST ISSUE, OUR quarterly survey addressed an old chestnut: Why are dentists always portrayed so negatively in works of art and entertainment? readers’ favorite fictional docs were a […]


Youth Will Be Served Free dental care is wondrous. Free dental care and looking after orphaned children, as Dr. Angela Cotey does, is special indeed. TRAVEL, THE APHORISM says, can change your life. it certainly transformed Dr. Angela Cotey’s: A physical-therapy student during her first year at Marquette university in Milwaukee, she embarked on a mission trip under its auspices that led her instead down the path toward dentistry—and a life hallmarked by a boundless […]


Down on the Farm When she’s not tending to teeth, multifaceted Minnesotan Dr. Jaime Preble tends to a patch of fertile, beautiful Gopher State land. WOULD IT BE a stretch to say that Dr. Jaime Preble is a bit like Leonardo da Vinci? Well, maybe; few of us could easily withstand comparison to the Renaissance genius, after all. Yet like da Vinci, Dr. Preble is a master of many pursuits—specifically those that combine science, art […]


Virtue’s Rewards Dr. Nicole Andersen and her husband, Scott, on “B Corporation” certification, socially responsible dentistry and the value of service to others. Nicole: You can go through so many phases throughout a dental career—mastering procedures, learning more about business, finessing a new skill or a new technology. At some point, though, you need to look at the big picture and ask “How am I helping others, the planet, the community?” SCOTT: The most fulfilling […]


To the Mountaintop Few states are in need of access to quality dental care as much as West Virginia. For two decades its flagship university has worked hard to help deliver it. By Joshua Coe WHEN DR. DON KINES graduated from West Virginia University’s School of Dentistry in 1990, he knew just where he wanted to practice: Davis, the minuscule West Virginia town near the Maryland border, in the area where he’d grown up. Fresh […]


Three’s Company A sparkling new practice is helping one tight-knit trio bring top-notch dental care to their longtime patients in San Antonio. By Mellanie Perez IN 1980, WHEN Dr. Dirk DeKoch opened his San Antonio office, Alamo Heights Dental, he never could have imagined, he says, that “A DeKoch Family Practice” would one day be part of the establishment’s slogan. Nearly four decades on, though, two of his three children—son John and daughter Susie—have not […]


Light Curing 101 Composite restorations are an important weapon in the dental arsenal—and both the science and the technology have come a long way. By Howard Strassler, DMD THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS as they appear, in dentistry just as in life. Most composite resins seem to be the same, and most light-curing devices seem bright enough to cure most composite resins. Significant differences abound, though. It’s important, when choosing your materials and equipment, to understand the […]


Dust in the Wind New federal rules mandate reducing people’s risk of exposure to some fine particulates common to dental practices and labs. Here’s a primer. By Jill Obrochta, RDH, BS NOT LONG AGO, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—yes, OSHA, everyone’s nosy neighbor—updated its strictures regarding dental offices and laboratories, and the presence of silica and beryllium dust therein. Both of these, of course, are commonly found in a range of dental materials. Why […]


Avoiding Extinction Dental technology has the ability to help your practice evolve for the better. Don’t be a dinosaur: Embrace it. By Dona Schulz, RDH, BS, MBA AS ALL SCHOOL CHILDREN learn in science class, dinosaurs roamed the earth for nearly 180 million years until their disappearance some 65 million years ago. A definite cause—meteor, mammals, too many saturated fats—has never been conclusively established, but we do know that the beasts’ inability to adapt to […]


Powerful Stuff The BMW 5 series perfectly meets every dentist’s need—in the operatory and on the highway—for the finest instruments and materials available. By Dr. Adnan Ahmed PERFORMING A ROOT CANAL on No. 15 with an MB3 canal? Not fun. Driving the new BMW 5 Series? The purest entertainment. Shuddering at the memory of having to retrieve that small root tip you pushed into the maxillary sinus while extracting No. 4? This sublime vehicle will […]


Gin with Terroir An array of funky local botanicals make up a veritable United Nations of new versions of this classic spirit. Care for a world tour? By Lauren Mowery FYNBOS. DEVIL’S CLUB. Rowanberry. Tasmanian pepperberry. Arctic thyme. No, these aren’t ingredients in the latest hipster toothpaste. they’re some of the wild seeds, berries, roots, fruits and herbs that define today’s terroir­based gins. A term more commonly used in reference to wine, terroir refers to […]


The Mystery of the Trans-Illuminator Before X-rays were standard, this innovation helped diagnose patients with blasts of white light. By Larry Cohen BEFORE YOU READ any further, take another peek at the item pictured here. At first glance, it looks a bit like a science-fiction ray gun or a jumbo sparkplug. (That’d be some car.) Now look more closely. It is, in fact, a piece of dental equipment. Notice the electric cord, the threaded back […]


By Elizabeth Dilts and Kristie Ceruti BOUNDLESS INNOVATION has long been central to the advance, and indeed the very self-conception, of medicine and health care of every conceivable variety. Dentistry, of course, is no different. And although just how much our beloved profession still welcomes and promotes the grand experimentation that’s the lifeblood of discovery is a matter of some debate—see “Lights Out?”—what’s not really up for argument at all is that certain enlightened corners […]


Ideas with the potential to transform dentistry, such as the ones nominated for this year’s Edison Awards, don’t spark to life every day. When they do, it increasingly seems that high-tech products are the only ones with a prayer of breaking into a hidebound marketplace. Experts are divided on a question fundamental to the future of our profession: Has true dental innovation ground to a halt—or are we in the middle of a golden age? […]


Diver-turned-orthoDontist Dr. Joe Schuchert has built a Pennsylvania practice perfect for kids, parents and all other landlubbers in need of oral care. By Kristie Ceruti Photography by Joel Knepper WHEN HE WAS a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Joe Schuchert was a varsity diver—an ardent swimmer overall, in fact, with his mind on competitive triathlons. It was those aquatic pursuits through which he ended up straying from his lane, however, into the profession […]