Mother and Son Dental Practice: Happy Smiles May 2019
By Nannette Benedict
Most of you reading this paper have kids. So I am writing about the joy of sharing my passion of dentistry with my kids. Dentistry is an exacting profession so I did not want to push my passion onto my kids. The profession requires a love of people, a desire to help, and an understanding of both science and art.
I could tell early on that my son Devin would be able to enjoy dentistry(since he excelled in everything), but it needed to be his decision. I hired him and his brother to help in the office—installing the best sound system, converting paper charts to digital—things I thought teenagers might enjoy. They both were amused that I spent my day chit chatting with their friends and their parents and the atmosphere was fun and friendly.
Then I bought the CEREC in 2006. That is the equipment that I use to digitally scan and then design crowns with 3-D software so I can mill crowns in the office.
Devin had just spent his last high school summer on a scholarship to the Art Institute of SF learning 3-D modeling software.
He was so impressed with my new equipment that he started thinking about my career. As a freshman at U.C.S.D. he joined the Pre-Dental Club and started volunteering, took the time to get his dental assistant training and X-ray license, so he could volunteer with the US Navy on their humanitarian ship.
That first summer he spent on the ship he found his passion. Later that summer he joined the rest of our family in Guatemala where we volunteered with Los Medicos Voladores, an organization I have volunteered with for the previous 20 years. My whole family worked together in the clinic. Devin and Brigette assisted me for dentistry. Jacob worked fitting eyeglasses. My husband (who had been a lab tech)worked in the lab. We loved the local people and our volunteers and had a special time.
My middle son told me, “This is the vacation we should always take, where we help other people, and have a really fun time.”
After graduation, Devin took a gap year volunteering for three months on the U.S. Comfort where he coordinated the volunteers, translated, and dental assisted.
He asked me to join him to train the dentists on the CEREC and treat patients. What a delight to be greeted on board as the mother of an exceptional helper! We worked together in the villages and then received special recognition for our team work! I am so proud of his accomplishments and appreciate working with him. He fits right in, loves kids and became our tech support as well as dentist. (He does consult with his brother on tech problems). We both graduated from UCSF the first mother and son to do so!