After a long difficult battle, the Belgian government has officially announced that Denturism is now recognized as an autonomous profession in the dental health field along with dentistry and dental hygiene! This is a most significant event in the history of the UBDD with major implications for the profession as a whole. Congratulations are sent to those who were dedicated and persistent in winning their professional freedom.


Mr. Urban Christen Mendez was inducted into the Brotherhood of Sterkenburgers at the 2016 International Federation of Denturists Annual General Assemble in Luzern, Switzerland, Mr. Christen is an exceptional member of the International Federation of Denturists, who truly carries out his duties as Switzerland’s representative with the utmost honour and respect. He is an active member of Schweizerischer Zahnprothetiker Verband.

For more International info, please visit the IFD website:



Join this historic movement – If you live or work in one of these regions please contact your Region Chair. This outreach program is just the beginning of big things for this beautiful profession. Not only do denturists deserve the right to practice wherever they wish, the American public deserves the right to choose a denturist as their provider wherever they live. Together we will win our battle for the freedom to serve that we, as denturists and the U. S. Citizens deserve. While helping denturists achieve success we are providing access to a much needed dental service and improving the oral health of millions of Americans.

(AR, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, MN, MS, OH, WI)
Chair – William Wirth

Chair – Amy Varshock

Message from the Chair:

As the Region Chair for Texas I have been reaching out to folks there introducing myself and letting them know about the happenings within the profession and the activities of the NDA, USA. Hurricane Harvey had me change gears from introduction mode to disaster relief mode. My first thought was to provide replacement dental appliances to those who lost their denture or partial denture during these horrific disasters. Even though there are several of us willing to go to Florida and Texas to provide this service, unfortunately it is not quite that easy. My profession of service is not recognized or tolerated in these two states. The dental monopolies there prohibit it. So, what to do, we want to help. I contacted the Salvation Army; they are appreciative and delighted to know we want to help. The best way is to send financial support. I have teamed up with the Southwest Region Chair whose area includes Florida; he is also committed to helping so our donation request includes funds for the relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Please join us by sending your generous gift.

(ME, MA, VT, NH, PA, NY, NJ, MD, CT, DC, RI)
Chair – Philip Sanguedolce

Chair – TBA

Chair – Glen Anderson
Email: glen.anderson@

Message from the Chair:

We have some exciting happenings in our region and are anxious to share this, however, we are concentrating on our friends in Florida. Some people have lost everything. The devastation left by hurricane Irma has been overwhelming. Teaming with the Midwest Region Chair and working with the Salvation Army we are soliciting financial aid. There is a donation form sent along with this magazine. You tax deductible gift will be given to the Salvation Army in its entirety; they are supplying food, water and other necessities such as tooth brushes, soap, clothes, etc. Denturists are benevolent; I know you will prove this to be true by your generous donation. Florida: As you know Florida was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Our NDA, USA members are safe, some with minor damage to homes, but parts of the state were almost entirely destroyed. Nearly everyone has friends or family that has sustained major damage. So your continued prayers are much appreciated. Kentucky: We are determined to get legislation established in Kentucky. A major dental crisis is rampant here and denturists are waiting to be “allowed” to provide the prosthetic dental needs which is critical for a person’s health and overall well being. The restraints against our profession is unjust; we intend to right this wrong. Thank you for your continued support. We will win this battle! For more information or to donate, please visit our website: or call 606-521-6208.

Chair – Melissa Brulotte

(CA, CO, NV, UT, AK, HI, ID, MT, WY)
Chair – Henry Babichenko




Fall 2017 – Realizing the best way to gain independence is the initiative process, consideration to organize for the 2020 election is being discussed. To join or support our efforts or to learn more about the Wyoming Denturist Association please visit their website:

Spring 2017 – An Interim Topic Request was filed by Wyoming State Representative Eric Barlow who is on the Wyoming Labor, Health and Social Services Committee to present the fact that the denturist profession is locked out by the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners. Wyoming denturist Gary Vollan reports he is registered as a Wyoming lobbyist and will continue to fight for the right to work and reports progress. More legislators are willing to go up against the state dental board on the grounds that the board has the responsibility to regulate the denturist profession not ignore it or lock it out. Realizing the best way to gain independence is the initiative process; consideration to organize for the 2020 election is being discussed. To learn more about the Wyoming Denturist Association please visit their website:

Realizing the best way to gain independence is the initiative process, consideration to organize for the 2020 election is being discussed. To join or support our efforts or to learn more about the Wyoming Denturist Association please visit their website:

12/2016 – Wyoming denturist, Gary Vollan, reports he is meeting with State Representative, Nathan Winters to discuss denturist legislation. “Representative Winters has been a supporter and is willing to introduce a denturist bill at the next legislative session; however, we must find supporters. Also a citizen’s voter initiative is considered; the upcoming election will give us the signature count requirements for such an effort.”

Mr. Vollan, is also meeting with his attorney, William Simpson, regarding his being prohibited, as a licensed denturist, from working; thus his livelihood. They have challenged this before the Wyoming Supreme Court, and are looking toward the U.S. District court for his right to serve in his profession. The slowing of the oil industry has created shortfalls and budget cuts in Wyoming which may encourage the legislators and citizens to support denturists who offer an alternative to the high cost of prosthetic dental care. The ever increasing cost of dental care and the lack of access to affordable care has created a national crisis, the epidemic of periodontal disease, and the lack of preventive dental education in the elementary school levels is critical. We are fighting for the citizens of Wyoming. We will advance the profession in Wyoming and provide access to affordable care. We are inviting denturist to consider Wyoming to join this effort The need for the denturist profession is now.

Wyoming is a great place to live and raise families. Where the untamed spirit of the West, the majestic natural beauty and breathtaking mountain vistas, Yellowstone Park, the Big Horn National Park, the Painted Desert, the Black Hills and much more are anchored by cities such as Cheyene, a retirement mecca or Casper with a ski area within a twenty minute drive of downtown. Please consider Wyoming: Also, please visit The Wyoming State Denturist Association’s website at





Often we think of those who support the denturist profession or are in the profession’s leadership as denturists, however, that is not always so — case in point, Mike Sullivan. Mike is a businessman; he represented Fricke Dental International for several years until his retirement this year. His involvement with the denturist profession began when he, as a dental supply representative, visited their offices. He was the company’s representative for several dental laboratory technicians. Most of his clients were regular technicians working in dental offices for dentists or filling prescriptions from dentists for dental appliances. But there were a few who were different, they were serving people directly; omitting the dentist, or middleman. He was impressed with their apparent professionalism; however; he just considered them “bushwhackers,”, a not too endearing term. He said he realized he was quite wrong with that assumption, in fact, not only was that impression wrong but he was soon to be very much impressed with this group. They invited him to be a guest at one of their meetings where he heard the term and learned about denturists — individuals with goals, in this case dental laboratory technicians who were seeking avenues to serve patients independent of the status quo…..or eliminating the requirement to have a middle man between the actual provider and the patient. They were also different in that they were openly sharing ideas with each other about techniques, new methods and products. But most impressive was their goal to further their education. They were also sharing their horror stories about being harassed and arrested, or avoiding being arrested for “practicing dentistry without a license.” It was almost like a badge of honor for them; they were dedicated. He felt a strong since of unity and loyalty….actually, it strengthened his respect of them realizing they had shown him that same loyalty as his customers. He liked what he was hearing about their goals, believed in their vision and wanted to help. So he got involved. He registered as a lobbyist promoting the profession legislatively, he registered the name denturist in the state of Georgia, generated questionnaires for mailings to like-minded individuals soliciting participation, ideas for meetings and avenues for growth, coordinated seminars, represented his company, Fricke, at their conferences, was event coordinator for national conferences and served in leadership on state and national levels. He was disappointed that politics within the dental industry and even the dental supply companies prohibited him from reaching his ultimate goal for national recognition and regulation for denturists before his retirement, but is very proud to have been a part of the progress and respect within the industry that the profession has seen and believes it will be nationally recognized in the near future. He expressed utmost respect for those denturists who became his mentors like the late Fred Gerrity, Georgia denturist Sam Whisenant and others; he considers them lifelong friends. Mike says he will continue to support denturists even in retirement, but will also enjoy more time in his organic garden, “winning” poker tournaments, but most of all spending more time with his wife and grandchildren. Mike wants the denturist community to know he and his wife will forever be grateful for the generosity and support shown them after a tornado destroyed their home. Mike said, “Their act of thoughtful generosity only strengthened my resolve to promote denturists. I am convinced they are compassionate professionals who are gifted with a beautiful talent, and are dedicated to serve.” Thank you, Mike for your support and dedication to the denturist profession.




Washington Denturist Association and Oregon State Denturist Association Joint Conference
April 27 -29, 2018

Skamania Lodge
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way
Stevenson, WA 98648

More information & Online Registration

Questions contact:
Carol Carbone – 1-800-680-9255 – WDA
Krissie McBride – 1-541-654-5885 – OSDA


We would be remiss to not honor a dear friend and fellow denturist that we lost last year. Jim Peterson, an active and faithful member and leader of the Oregon Denturist Association, lost his battle with cancer. He received his denturist license in 1994 and practiced in Portland and Umatilla since then. He continues to be missed by the denturist community and his patients. As a caring and excellent practitioner he was instrumental in generating positive change in many lives. Jim was a denturist that loved to use his talent to improve people’s smiles and went out of his way to help people in need. We miss him; he is remembered and his legacy is respected by everyone fortunate enough to have known him.



Spring 2018 – The Denturist Association of Montana – By: Cliff Christenot, Allen Casteel and Carol Casteel

As everyone has heard before, the Denturist Association of Montana has filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana’s Department of Labor and Industry and the Board of Dentistry. The issue of fabricating and placing dentures over implants is the main focus of the suit along with several other discriminatory factors.

Due to the Supreme Court’s decision concerning Active Supervision in the North Carolina case, our legislature created a statute that assigned the Commissioner of the Department of Labor & Industry to be the supervising authority for the Board of Dentistry. Upon this appointment, the Commissioner was tasked to review what we believe is the illegal rule concerning dentures over implants, “Rule J” as we call it. In his decision he sided with the Department’s attorney, Board of Dentistry and the Montana Dental Association’s opinion that the rule should stand as written. Once his decision was published, we reinstated the lawsuit which we had put on hold until the Commissioner’s decision was made public.

Presently our attorney is working on identifying experts from states and countries where denturists are allowed to fit dentures over implants. He has been in contact with Trevor Neat, a denturist in Arizona, who is working on an affidavit describing Denturitry in both Ontario and Arizona. Trevor has been in contact with dentists who work with denturists in Arizona, and he has been given a summary of the types of opinions we are looking for from dentists who have worked with denturists who fit dentures over implants. Our attorney expects to receive the draft affidavit soon, along with the list of dentists he can contact. From that point the discovery requests will be revised and reserved to the Board of Dentistry.

The Association will appreciate any assistance it receives in the form of testimony or financial support. A positive outcome to this lawsuit will have a nationwide impact on the practice of denturitry and the thousands of people we will be able to serve throughout the country. As an aside from the lawsuit, the state of Montana has found itself with a budget deficit, and the Governor asked all departments to trim 10% off their spending to alleviate the shortfall. In order to accommodate the Governor’s request, The Montana Department of Health and Human Service has proposed to cut ALL denture services from its budget beginning March 1st. for anyone who reaches the ripe old age of 21, as that is the age which the State has agreed adulthood begins. Interestingly enough, Diagnostic, Preventative, Restorative and Extractions will remain on the list of services for all ages after the cuts are applied. This means you may have your teeth extracted but not replaced.

In reviewing the proposed fee schedules for dentists and denturists, it is clearly a discriminatory act against people over the age of 20 who are missing some or all of their teeth, as well as a discriminatory act against denturists since we place at least 90% of the dentures provided to Medicaid recipients in the state of Montana.

The Department’s decision places an extreme hardship on immediate denture patients who have either just entered into the process or are midway in their treatment plan. We all have immediate denture patients who will forego the rebuild or refitting as they will not have funds available to pay for completing the process when the time comes. This leaves these patients with no choice but to live with ill-fitting dentures that will cause them nothing but problems as time goes on.

This change is in yet another Administrative Rule, has been fiercely fought by the Association and its members. Letters to the editors of various newspapers and senior citizens centers, television public service announcements and radio ads have been used to bring this “Rule” change to the public. Each day we hear from Medicaid recipients who are stunned that the Department has not warned them about these changes and how it will affect their lives. Our instructions to all of our Medicaid patients is write your legislators, the Department, the Medicaid Bureau Chief and spread the word via whatever means. Keep the pressure on and the comments going to Helena. This is a “Administrative Rule” change not a “Statute or Law” change and can be reversed at any time; just as it was enacted. The only need for legislative input is to allocate the funds needed to provide for denture services.

To donate to help with the costs of attorneys PLEASE send a donation to the NDA Benevolent Fund earmarked for Montana. This can be done by credit card of check. You may also send funds directly to: Denturist Association of Montana 215 Smelter Ave NE Suite #3 Great Falls, MT 59404

As we all know attorney bills are usually paid by a few, and this is true in Montana. Any help is muchly appreciated.

9/2017 – The Denturist Association of Montana is continuing to move forward with litigation against the MT Board of Dentistry to get relief from anti-competitive, illegal rulemaking, specifically dentures over implants. During the legislative session that just ended, a statute was passed and signed by the Governor concerning “Active Supervision”. This statute gives the Director of the Department of Labor & Industry veto power over decisions made by boards that may be anti-competitive. We are not sure at this time, exactly how well that law will be adhered to or enforced. The Association and its attorney will be monitoring the events of the next several months to review the changes that take based on this new statute.

7/2017 – The Denturist Association of Montana is continuing to move forward with litigation against the MT Board of Dentistry to get relief from anticompetitive, illegal rule making, specifically dentures over implants. During the legislative session that just ended, a statute was passed and signed by the Governor concerning “Active Supervision”. This statute gives the Director of the Department of Labor & Industry veto power over decisions made by boards that may be anti-competitive. We are not sure at this time, exactly how well that law will be adhered to or enforced. The Association and its attorney will be monitoring the events of the next several months to review the changes that take based on this new statute.

Spring 2017 – The Montana denturists’ lawsuit against the Montana Dental Board and the Department of Labor and Industry seeking a return to their complete scope of practice as determined in their initial regulation is still in a holding pattern waiting for the Judge to develop the scheduling order for discovery, briefs, responses and trial dates. Cliff Christenot’s term as member of the Montana Dental Board expires this year; we anticipate he will be reappointed.

He has done an excellent job protecting the autonomy of the profession. As the denturist on the Montana Board of Dentistry, Cliff was sent to Toronto to observe the Comprehensive Denturist Qualifying Exam developed and administered by Mike Vakalis and Carlo Zanon. Cliff reported, “It was an enlightening trip and an honor to work with dedicated consummate professionals like Mr. Vakalis and Mr. Zanon. They take great effort to make sure the content and documentation of their exam is beyond reproach.

Consensus was this examination exceeded the criteria required for Montana licensure.” Montana denturists send a grateful thank you to those who have donated to their association this last year and hope others will join these and be so gracious in 2017. A successful outcome to their legal challenge will have positive national ramifications. For more information or to donate please contact: Allen at

1/2016 – The Montana denturists are still actively pursuing their lawsuit against the Montana Board of Dentistry and the Department of Labor & Industry. They are seeking a return to their complete scope of practice. Also, 2017 is a legislative year for Montana. One of the items on the agenda for the December Board of Dentistry meeting is draft legislation created by the Montana Economic Affairs Interim Committee (EAIC). The subject of this draft is “active supervision” LC0392 – Provide licensing boards with active supervision in antitrust liability cases. It appears this is a direct result of the FTC ruling against the North Carolina Dental Board.

9/2016 – The news from Montana – we are still in a holding pattern. The Montana Supreme Court sent our case back to District and we are working on the discovery process to see what the opposition is bringing to the table. It is the interest of the Montana denturists to defend and promote the profession as a whole by raising the standard of denture care, defend and promote the profession by working to change laws that restrict the public’s right to choose their denture care provider and to defend and promote the profession by changing the laws that restrict the definition of removable prosthetic appliances and dentures. Montana denturists are dedicated to use their resources and skills to achieve societal reforms which serve the interest of justice for Montana’s citizens. We appreciate those of you who contribute to this effort. You may contact Carol Casteel, Secretary, Montana Denturist Association at



Representative: Austin Carbone – Email:

Everyone is cordially invited to attend the MLDA conference on June 1-2, 2018 in Bangor, ME at the Hollywood Casino and Hotel.  For more information or to register please e-mail us at:

Representative: Philip Sanguedolce – Email:

Paul Levasseur, the International Federation of Denturist Vice President representing North America and other MSD members attended the recent World Symposium in Boucherville, Quebec and report an excellent conference. Everyone is encouraged to attend these outstanding world meetings. Also, the MSD members want to congratulate Anita Ogle for being awarded the 2017 Denturist of the Year award.  Anita holds a Maine denturist license.

Spring 2017 – The Maine Denturist Association and the Maine Society of Denturists presented the following issues to the Ad Hoc Committee of the State Dental Board. The Association was represented by Austin Carbone. The Society was represented by Paul Levasseur.

Denturist Issues for consideration:

1) Increased scope to include dental radiographs and all removable prosthetics with justified exceptions.

2) Replacing abutments on implants.

3) Denture ID’s to include scanning technology.

4) Repopulating the dental board to reflect the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the FTC’s antitrust action re FTC v North Carolina Dental Board.

5) Allowing any licensees majority ownership of a dental practice.

6) Allowing approved schools, CERP providers and state, national and international denturist associations to accredit continuing education.

7) Requiring internship to LD’s before unsupervised practice.

8) Reflect legislative intent to provide up to 2 years of externship for denturist students.

9) Use of International designation / identification of ( DD ) by Maine denturists.

10) Allow denturists to delegate authority for denturist assistance and lab technicians in their employ.

Most of these issues were determined, by the Board’s Executive Director, to be issues for the legislature to address. We disagreed with that assessment on several of the issues, but the list will be presented to the Board and ultimately to the legislature. Issues numbers 5&8 were determined to have been already addressed. Issue number 6 will be addressed at Rule making hearings. All the rest of the issues will need to be put before the legislature.

12/2016 – The Maine Board of Dental Examiners has put together a committee to review our Dental Practice Act. We are actively involved in this committee and excited for the opportunity to review and potentially redefine our scope of practice. This committee could allow us to better focus our legislative efforts in the Spring. The MLDA is actively planning and prepare for our 2nd annual Maine Dental Education Forum. We are excited to offer new continuing education to our member and fellow dental professionals. If anyone is interested in attending our two day forum please check our website for updates:


We are sad to report the passing of Bill Buxton, Jr., the founder and director of The New England School of Denture Technology. This school was his dream. Bill’s address to the graduates inspired us all as he shared the satisfaction of seeing twenty years of a dream and determination materialize. He most appropriately closed his remarks with a quote by Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams—Live the life you’ve imagined.” We are all sadden by the sudden loss of our mentor, friend, colleague, father, and son. But we will do as he did as our example—we will live life to the fullest and work toward our dreams. Here is another article written about Bill Buxton, Jr. from the The International Denturist Association newsletter.

Duffy Malhabre, Editor
The International Denturist Association Newsletter
The Denturist Advocate

It is with sadness and a woeful sense of loss that we announce the sudden passing of a great man in the Denturism world. William Buxton (Jr), or Bill as his friends called him, was large in physique, but had an even bigger heart and often went out of his way to assist and serve others, even strangers. He was a giving kind person, a man with humour and humility, and major driving force in the Maine Denturist movement. He loved being involved, to see the profession move forward and grow. He certainly deserved the respect of his colleagues and friends and the many who looked up to him. When I attended the IFD World Symposium in the USA last year, it was a highlight to eventually meet William Buxton personally! His passion for the profession was contagious and he enriched my life!

Bill was the CEO at New England School of Dental Technology in Maine, USA, and President at New England Denture Center since his father, legendary Bill (Sr) passed away 5 years ago and served the profession in numerous capacities. Firmly rooted in his local community he was also Partner at Coffee Break Cafe 2012. He lived in Eastern Maine just outside Bangor.

Bill attended Fredericton High School in New Brunswick, Canada and studied Denturism at George Brown College in Toronto. He worked for 16 years as a registered Dental Technician in Canada and around 18 years as a Denturist in the USA. Bill has licence #4 in the state of Maine and his dad was #3. He served on the Maine state Dental Board for more than 10 years. He was the first Denturist to achieve that distinction, along with numerous other accomplishments and would have had grounds to be very proud of himself, but always remained humble. Bill (Jr) and his dad Bill (Sr), devoted their adult lives to further the objectives in this profession. They employed and provided bursaries for numerous Denturists to graduate from George Brown College in Toronto. His daughter Stephanie was amongst them. Bill adored the women in his life: his daughter Stephanie, his mother Nancy, (another stalwart of the profession) his maternal grandmother Gloria, and of course his fiancée since 2009, Cheryl. Only a month ago Bill had the pleasure of attending the graduation of the first group of students attaining the Denturism qualification at NESDT; on the day he certainly beamed with pride.

Nancy, Gloria, Stephanie and Cheryl, and to the entire family, we are very sorry to hear of your loss. Bill will be missed greatly – his sphere of influence ripples wide; in Maine, the USA nationally, and certainly internationally. We at Denturism Advocators send our sincere condolences.


The MLDA hosted the 1st annual Maine Dental Education Forum in April. We had a great turn out of Maine dental professionals including CDT’s, Denturist, and Dentists. The continuing education classes and vendors were inspiring and informative for all that attended. The MLDA would like to thank our Gold and Silver sponsors: GC America and Ivoclar for all of their support.


The New England School of Dental Technology (NESDT) is proud to announce they will soon be graduating their first class. Of the eleven students in this graduating class ten are from various parts of the state of Maine and one student is from Vancouver, Washington. Being the first class, they have experienced the bumps and hurdles expected with such an undertaking including the approval of the curriculum from the Board of Dental Examiners, program accreditation and the involvement of the legislature approving the externship program. The overwhelming cooperation and support of the students, board members and the denturist community during this growing process has allowed this realization of a life-long dream and they are to be commended. As these students enter their last winter block of classes they must prepare the sit for the Denturists Qualifying Examination. We wish each of them the best of good fortune. The NESDT administrators and board of directors would be remiss if they did not acknowledge the sponsors who have contributed to the success of the school. GC America and Nobelium are much appreciated; without their generous support this journey would have been a much greater challenge.

New England School of Dental Technology (NESDT) is proud to announce its recent National Denturist Association, USA Education Certification. As a member of the denturist community, is it important to have the recognition and support that the U.S. national association can offer. If you are interested in the NESDT outreach program, applications are being accepted. For more information please contact our admission office directly at (207) 907-2530 or visit our website:


The Maine Society of Denturists and the Maine Licensed Denturist Association are working together to combine the two groups to form one cohesive association. Both groups represent the licensed denturists practicing in Maine. We are inspired by the strides made by both associations to strengthen the denturist profession within our State. We were delighted to have a delegation from Maine attend the recent 9th World Symposium on Denturism held in the Washington, D.C. area and report an excellent conference with outstanding classes and fellowship. We are encouraged to continue our efforts and report progress.

In Maine, our members have narrowed and focused our legislative efforts to the following topics: expanding the scope of practice to include all removable prosthetics except orthodontics; the ability to grant a Bachelor of Science for denturism; to allow licensed professional to own dental offices; and the requirement for disclosure of fees and origin of denture fabrication.

The scope of practice bill came out of committee “Ought to pass.” It will add whitening trays and gel and athletic mouth guards. The extern bill also came out with an OTP. The bill to allow NESDT to award BSc degrees was held over to next session. A resolution to set up a work group to re-write the dental practice act received an OTP. We have great expectations for the re-write and we will be prepared to argue convincingly for equal representation. House and Senate action should take place soon, the Governor professes to be on board. All of the relevant remaining dental related bills have been killed for this session. We are encouraged for the positive activities we are experiencing.



Plans continue and we are excited and believe our goal for recognition in our state will happen. We are being told that this success will also benefit other states in our Circuit Court area. As you may know, part of Kentucky, Appalachia, is one of the most poverty stricken areas  of our nation. A major dental crisis is rampant there and denturists are actually waiting to be allowed to serve these Kentucky citizens. Your generosity is appreciated and invaluable and will help us reach our goal.

For more information or to donate, please visit our website: or call 606-521-6208.


POINT OF INTEREST – Denturists’ efforts to serve citizens in several states are too often thwarted by powerful state dental associations with encouragement and possible financing from the American Dental Association (ADA). Recent efforts to recognize denturists in Kentucky fought this dental lobby. It will be interesting to the reader to consider the Kentucky Dental Association’s claims of concern and the rebuttal in defense of the denturist profession.

Concern #1: Safety. Dentists in Kentucky are concerned that “legalizing a practice merely providing dentures will prevent the patient from receiving comprehensive oral care, including the teeth, gums, jaw and related structures, cancer screening and health screening, by a competent provider.” The litany of concerns went on about the many problems and diseases which can be determined by an oral examination and that “only a dentist is educated to recognize these oral symptoms.” “They are undetectable to a denturist with only technical and mechanical skills.” “There is a reason why only 6 states have licensed denturists.”

FACT #1: Safety. First it has to be asked what the Kentucky Dental Association knows that would endanger the health, even lives of patients receiving care from a denturist that the Chief Dental Officer of Canada, dental experts and thousands of practicing denturist all over the world and the United States need to know. Surely they must be warned! Ridiculous, of course! The KDA refuses to acknowledge the distinction between a denturist and a dental laboratory technician. Their concerns may be credible if addressing the technician whose education is limited to “only the technical and mechanical skills.” However, the denturist’s education rivals that of the dentist considering the sciences needed in order to serve the patient removable dental prosthetics.

In most states denturists have been licensed after citizens demanded their right to choose the services of denturists by having the issue placed on the ballot for a vote. Many states do not give citizens that privilege. Washington State, for example, said yes to licensing denturists by the greatest percentage of any issue ever placed on the ballot….this was after the legislators had denied that right. However, that same legislature recently approved an increase in the scope of practice for Washington denturists; acknowledging valuable and excellent service denturists offer to the people of Washington.

It would be a challenge to find a documented case in the literature with supported evidence where a denturist has caused harm. However, dentists kill people; people die in the dental chair and as a result of dental treatment. This is tragic and certainly not accepted by the dental community. No one wants to see a child die due to a dental overdose of sedation, but it happens. However the point is made, we do not discredit the entire dental profession because of these tragic occurrences. Yet the dental community continues to discredit the entire denturist profession with no evidence of such harm. It can be argued that the KDA, by continuing to prohibit citizens from being served by denturists is actually harming the public.

Concern #2: Training. According to the KDA, “a denture patient is in as much need of biological services as any other dental patient. The dentist is the only person with the clinical training, educational background and clinical experience essential to deal with the biological and psychological problems of denture construction and denture wearing……..denturists are trained in a two-year post high school program where they are trained in the mechanical aspects of denture fabrication with little education in the basic biological science.”

FACT #2: Training. Ignoring that this statement is arrogant it is also not based on fact. The curriculum required for a candidate to sit for the 2 – 3 day state board examination rivals that of dentists. The exam includes both a one-day written exam of the sciences and a one to two day practical exam testing the ability to actually see the patient and fabricate the appliance. This exam requires that the candidate serve an actual patient starting with the initial evaluation of the patient’s health/oral health/dental history and the fabrication of an appliance that meets required standards.

Denturists are required to have all the ‘ologies! Pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, histology, embryology, gerontology, etc., and the anatomies, as well as general education classes pertaining to a healthcare profession. Granted dental schools have excellent programs and perhaps rival is expected, but it would be difficult to have a dental student from a Kentucky dental school told his/her training was inferior to someone graduated from Harvard Dental School because a college degree was not required for enrollment. There are dental schools that accept students directly from high school. Comparison of dental and denturist schools have shown the denturist program often exceeds the dental program for the education needed to serve a patient with a removable dental appliance. This is not to discredit the excellent dental programs, but to advocate the credibility of alternative care. Dentistry is far behind the medical field in not recognizing the major benefits to physicians (dentists) and their patients in not adopting the least restrictive environmental care. According to Dr. Jay W. Friedman who advocates for dental reform.

Concern #3: Cost and Access. The KDA suggests that fees from denturist, when licensed soon escalate to that of the dentists and they have evidence of that. They also claim that Kentucky citizens have adequate access to dental care offered by 2230 licensed dentists and at the two dental schools (dental students) that provide access to high quality dentures at a low cost. Also, they claim there are multiple low cost denture service centers (corporate chains) that concentrate on removable dental prosthetics that are run by licensed dentists that provide affordable dental prosthetics. According to the KDA, Kentuckians are receiving the best quality of oral health care.

FACT #3: Cost and Access. There is no clear evidence documented that denturists’ fees escalate to that of a dentists when licensed. Internal studies within the denturist community show that many denturists charge from 10% to 50% less than dentists. It is true that denturists would assume the same governmental regulatory costs by following the compliance protocol of any healthcare provider. However, denturist equipment, liability insurance and general overhead are less than the general dentists. It is also noted that the job of a dentist is considered one of the highest paying. Dentists have a higher median pay than doctors. Critics of the U.S. Dental industry have long complained that dentists are insulated from market forces, resulting in higher prices. They are afraid of competition, according to Dr. Jay W. Friedman, a dentist and researcher in Los Angeles who has long advocated for dental reform.

There is an unquestionable need for access to dental care in Kentucky. If Kentucky dentists do not recognize this then they are a major cause of this crisis. A large part of Kentucky is recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas, meaning residents often cannot find or afford a dentist. Today 38.1% of Kentucky’s seniors are edentulous; only a slight decrease since 2000. Kentucky has the highest percentage of her citizens UNDER 65 years of age who are toothless. Kentucky hospital emergency rooms are inundated with people seeking help for treatable dental problems and the main reason is cost or no access to a dentist. Many corporate-dental chains offering low cost dentures and dental services are being involved in class action law suits and scrutinized for reports of substandard care and complaints of patients being locked into debt as well as being overcharged and given unnecessary treatment.

There is a need in Kentucky and denturists will serve. Evidence shows that denturists, with a lower overhead, are more willing to see Medicaid patients. Also, denturists’ fees are less because there are no outside cost markups. This makes their services more affordable, thus accessible.

Denturists recognize and appreciate the valuable service most dentists offer patients and there is a reciprocal relationship between dentists and denturists in those states and countries that recognize denturists. With the patient as our focus, desiring to provide the best professional care available, denturists are reaching out to the KDA to join forces to serve, knowing with this cooperative effort the patient will be the winner. Kentucky legislators will be respected as the vanguard acknowledging and serving the need in Kentucky especially Appalachia. This is FACT!

FTC Staff Comment: Kentucky Legislature Should Consider Potential Benefits to Consumers of Enhanced Competition Among Denture Providers

March 28, 2016 – Federal Trade Commission staff submitted a comment on the competitive implications of proposed legislation that would license and regulate denturists within Kentucky. Denturists are trained to make and fit removable partial and full dentures. Currently, Kentuckians who need dentures must obtain them through a dentist. The comment responded to a request from Kentucky State Representative Tom Burch.

The comment, submitted by staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics, recommends that the legislature consider the potential benefits of enhanced competition among denture providers that could be facilitated by House Bill 77 and “maintain only those scope of practice limitations necessary to ensure patient health and safety.”

“Competition among oral health care professionals has the potential to benefit consumers by improving access to care, containing costs, and encouraging the development of more effective care delivery models,” the comment states. “If denturists can provide safe, quality care to patients, allowing them to practice at a level commensurate with their training may bring benefits to Kentuckians in the form of increased access to care, more choice in how their care is delivered, and more costeffective treatment. Because these benefits of competition could be significant to Kentuckians who need dentures, we encourage the legislature to carefully consider whether denturists can appropriately provide dentures, consistent with patient health and safety.”

The Commission vote to issue the staff comment was 4-0. It was sent to Kentucky State Representative Tom Burch on March 25, 2016. (FTC File No. V160008; the staff contact is Ellen Connelly, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2532.)

The Federal Trade Commission develops policy initiatives on issues that affect competition, consumers, and the U.S. economy.

CONTACT INFORMATION MEDIA CONTACT: Frank Dorman Office of Public Affairs – 202-326-2674



Statement by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
Regarding North Carolina Dental Board Matter

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez issued the following statement regarding today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission:

“Today, the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s position in recognizing that a state may not give private market participants unsupervised authority to suppress competition even if they act through a formally designated ‘state agency’.

In this case, the North Carolina dental board’s members, primarily dentists, were drawn from the very occupation they regulate, and they barred non-dentists from offering competing teeth whitening services to consumers. The Court’s decision makes clear that state agencies constituted in this manner are subject to the federal antitrust laws unless the state actively supervises their decisions.

The FTC works to promote competition across the economy and advocates on the behalf of Americans to help prevent occupational licensing requirements, which now govern a significant and growing segment of the economy, from unduly suppressing pro-consumer competition.

We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s recognition that the antitrust laws limit the ability of market incumbents to suppress competition through state professional boards. We will remain vigilant through our enforcement initiatives and advocacy to safeguard competition and ensure that American consumers benefit from entrepreneurial initiative.”

The Court’s decision affirms a 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit upholding a 2011 Decision and Order by the FTC that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners illegally thwarted lower-priced competition by engaging in anticompetitive conduct to prevent non-dentists from providing teeth whitening services to consumers in the state. In so finding, the FTC rejected the Dental Board’s claim that the Board’s conduct is protected from federal antitrust scrutiny by the state action doctrine.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts.

Submitted by Gary Vollan, LD President of Wyoming Denturist Association



Senator Rayborn has the heart of a denturist, a pioneer denturist. The age-old adage, “He does not just talk the walk, but he walks the talk” is true of him, meaning his actions prove his dedication. As you know the Rayborn Fund was created to honor his faithful monthly contributions and to encourage others to show that same dedication by also donating to this benevolent fund. These gifts are generating a war chest that will ultimately open the pathway for denturists to serve patients in every state. Senator Rayborn has faithfully donated monthly to this fund; however, as a Christmas gift to this fund he donated five times his usual contribution. It was this kind of dedication that ultimately worked before and will ultimately work again to allow every citizen of our nation the right to choose the superior services of a denturist. We encourage everyone to consider gifting to this fund; your contribution will ultimately help literally hundreds upon hundreds of individuals in need of these services. Thank you Senator Rayborn and thank you to everyone that participates by contributing to the Rayborn Fund.




Washington Denturist Association and Oregon State Denturist Association Joint Conference
April 27 -29, 2018

Skamania Lodge
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way
Stevenson, WA 98648

More information & Online Registration

Questions contact:
Carol Carbone – 1-800-680-9255 – WDA
Krissie McBride – 1-541-654-5885 – OSDA

WASHINGTON Denturist Association (WDA) leaders have established a PAC fund and working with their lobbyist have made a positive influence with their legislators. They have been able to maximize these efforts under the guidance of their lobbyist. Contributions are welcomed. For more information or to donate, please call the WDA Political Action Committee – PAC, 1-800-680-9255.

Washington Denturist Association Conference 2016


Our WDA retreat was fantastic. Excellent classes sponsored by GE America and DENTSPLY featuring state of the art procedures and products for implant dentures received rave reviews. Guest speakers Lonnie Johns-Brown from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and Steve Hodgson Director of Finance Office with the Department of Health were informative and very interesting. Our Hawaiian Theme dinner was a huge success with everyone donning there hawaiian attire seeking to win the costume contest. That prize went to Josh Brooks from Prosser, WA, and Coco Grant, from Tacoma, WA. The weather at Lake Chelan was beautiful as we enjoyed dinner on the terrace; the fellowship was priceless. For more information or to join the Washington Association please contact: Carol Carbone, Executive Director, 1-800- 680-9255,,

WDA Conference 2015 Follow-up

WA_conferenceWashington denturists enjoyed a productive conference with excellent continuing education classes. The location was beautiful and several attendees participated in the golf tournament on the world renowned course. The spirit of fellowship and camaraderie was exceptional. The Washington Denturist Association unanimously agreed to continue their state’s membership in the National Denturist Association, USA, expressing appreciation for the successful dedicated work by their leadership. Special guests Carolyn Logue, Washington Denturist Association’s lobbyist, Vicki Brown, Washington State Department of Health Program Manager for the Board of Denturists and Diane Baum, Health Care Authority Dental Program Administrator of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services gave an update on the political and legislative activities which directly affect Washington denturists. A special expression of appreciation was extended to Carolyn Carbone, the association’s executive director for organizing the outstanding conference.

Honoring Stephen Hemenway

stephen_hemenwayFew people can exceed the dedication to the denturist profession that was demonstrated by Stephen Hemenway. A native of Washington State he was the initiator of the group of individuals who won independence for the denturist profession in his state.

After his graduation from Queen Ann High School in Seattle he joined the Air Force and served in the military for 10 years. He was introduced to the dental profession while serving in the Air Force and enjoyed the dental laboratory work for which he was assigned. While in the Air Force he attended and was graduated from New York State University.

After retiring from the military he chose to continue his career as a dental laboratory technician, however, and as many dental technicians realize, he knew he could better serve the patient’s needs if he could actually see the individuals for whom he was making the dental appliance. So in 1979 he helped coordinate a meeting with a small group of technicians. This group formed the Washington Denturist Association; their goal was to seek recognition and licensure for denturists. These efforts initiated a study of the issue by the Washington State Health Coordinating Council which confirmed the need and qualification of the denturist profession and recommended a path to recognition and licensure. However, even with this recommendation from the state health department, House and Senate bills were rejected by the state legislators year after year. So this group had no alternative other than to put their energy and finances into attempting a citizen’s initiative; let the people demand their right to be served by denturists. This required enormous effort, time and unselfish financial commitment but It worked; the initiative won by the greatest margin of any issue placed on the ballot. Stephen said by this time he was 65 years old and had not been in school or studied for years, but he met the educational requirements, passed the two-day state board examination and received his license. He was proud to say, “My license is Number 21 and now there are over 500 denturists in the state.”

Stephen left us on April 28; a month shy of his 82nd birthday. He was proud to say he was the oldest denturist in the state and served patients almost to the end. When asked on his 80th birthday if he would ever retire he said, “I like what I do. I am helping people….and I get satisfaction out of that. I don’t think I will ever retire.” He was enormously proud of his two daughters, Stephanie and Susan, his son-in-law, his grandson and great grandson. He enjoyed several hobbies, he loved to read and loved to dance saying, “I was in the ‘follies’ as a young man and I can still shuffle pretty well.” He was especially happy to have Stephanie work with him in his clinic; Stephanie plans to earn her denturist license soon. Every denturist in Washington is thankful to Stephen Hemenway, for without his unselfish commitment and the pioneers that first gathered with him to organize in Washington, the profession would not be where it is today. To honor his dedication to his profession his family says donations may be made in his memory to The National Denturist Association Scholarship fund. We will miss our dear friend and associate. He is remembered and honored!

Honoring – Chet Charron

chet_charronChet Charron certainly deserves a position in the “Denturist Hall of Fame” as an individual who was instrumental in bringing the denturist profession to the attention of the citizens in Washington State. His efforts along with other dedicated individuals worked diligently to get the issue on the state’s initiative ballot for a citizen’s vote, promoting the people’s right to choose a denturists for their removable prosthetic dental needs. The citizens of Washington State approved the initiative by the greatest margin of any issue ever placed on the ballot. These dedicated pioneers had proved their talent and service and the citizens of Washington awarded them. That was over 20 years ago.

When Chet was a youngster, just 15 years old, he worked as a gofer for a dentists. He laughingly says that he even chair side assisted with extractions. He enjoyed this “after school” job and enjoyed his home in Pawtucket, RI. However, just a couple years later he found himself in the Navy and shipped off to fight the war in Korea. He was fortunate to return to the U.S. unscathed and was stationed in Washington State until his honorable discharge from the Navy. It was in Washington State that he met the love of his life he described as “a 16 year old blond beauty named Elsie.” Two years later they were married and made Washington their home and became a complete family when they adopted their two sons, Vallon (Val) and Kevin.

Chet had determined he was going to choose dentistry as his career and enrolled in the pre-dental program at the College of Puget Sound. As income he worked in a dental laboratory and enjoyed the work especially the artistic challenge for fabricating dentures. He loved it, he was good and decided he preferred this to being a dentist. Soon he was making dentures for his friends. He saw right away there was a void not being met by general dentistry. He became so busy he soon opened his first dental clinic, The Dental Plate Laboratory. In order to better serve his patients he partnered with a dentist. He was quite the entrepreneur and soon owned several clinics.

During this time he was invited to work in the dental laboratory at McCord Air Force Base. It was here that he met the pioneers who would eventually introduce the profession to the people of Washington. They were instrumental in encouraging the Washington State Health Department to implement research into the denturist issue. As a result of this comprehensive study the Health Department recommended recognizing the profession; however, year after year the politicians rejected the proposed bills. So these pioneers donated their time and finances to have the issue brought to the citizens. This effort was enormous and required sacrifice both with time and finance, but proved successful. The rest is history.

Chet passed away in 1997, but his legacy lives on as the denturist profession in Washington has certainly proved itself; denturists everywhere are grateful for his dedicated vision. He was very proud of their victory, however, he was most proud of his sons and they continue the dedication to his vision. Val is a denturist and now serves the children of the patients his father served in the same clinic now much larger and renamed North West Dental Services and Denture Implant Center. Kevin is the laboratory specialist in the clinic. People still remember Chet and always speak kindly of him. In memory Val says, “Dad was the strongest person both mentally and physically I have ever known. When he determined to do something, it would get done. Both my parents are respected by everyone they knew or worked with. My Dad was a leader and a natural entrepreneur. He recognized the void in the services offered by dentists and determined to fill that void; and he did. I am proud to be a denturist and to be called Chet and Elsie’s son.”

We are Saddened

kurtOn September 6, 2014, we said our final goodbyes to Kurt Roehl – the epitome of a pioneer denturist.  Kurt was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1928 and at aged 23 he immigrated to the United States. Within a year of his naturalization he was drafted into the US Army and was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington.  He fell in love with Washington and a pretty lady, Agnes Fredrickson whom he married and they determined Washington would be their home.  They purchased a forty acre farm in Graham, Washington, where he lived for the rest of his life; Kurt and Agnes have five children.  Kurt was an avid outdoorsman and loved to hunt, backpack, and take his horses into the mountains, usually with several children in tow.  He had a special affinity with the Blue Mountains and hunted there for more than thirty years. He was a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Kurt was also very active in the Continental Club, a German-American club, and was often in the center of  action at the pig roasts, Faschingsballs, Schutzenfests, and other parties at the Berghaus at Hyak.  He loved to laugh, tell stories, and to dance – polkas, waltzes, foxtrots – often taking unsuspecting partners on energetic romps across the dance floor. Kurt was assigned to the dental corps when in the army and was introduced to the denturist profession when he met a gentleman in Washington who was seeking denturist regulation. This was exciting for Kurt and he was soon involved and would not keep quiet.  He knew the restraints prohibiting professional freedom was wrong and he was soon challenging these unjust laws.  Kurt’s efforts joined by other Washington denturist pioneers proved successful…they won their freedom to serve and the friendships formed were priceless.  Washington denturist, Eric Hansen remembers Kurt:   “ Kurt was a great man. I first met him at a state Denturist meeting I attended with my Dad; I was about 18 years old. We would listen to Kurt laughingly tell how when he would serve patients he would get arrested, fingerprinted, put in the “cage” and fined $50 and when released go right back to work.   He also said that he had made dentures for the Sheriff that arrested him.  We attended countless meetings with Kurt over the next 30 years.  Once while going to classes at Idaho State University we were to meet Kurt and ride together. We were delayed in traffic and late but he said don’t worry he knew a short cut, so off we go on this horrible rutted dirt road bouncing in this little car really needing a four wheel drive; we laughed the entire way.   He was jovial all the time even when we would get turned down in our legislative efforts; he would just laugh and say we’ll get it when we do an initiative and let the people vote.  No one was happier than Kurt the day the initiative passed.  I will  also never forget the pig roasts at his house.  When I was elected president of the Washington Denturist Association, he started calling me Captain My Captain in his big booming German accent; he called me that from then on.  I cherish my memories and friendship I was fortunate to have with Kurt.”    Another fun story about Kurt from a friend.  “For some reason Kurt decided I liked Peach Schnapps…..well I’m not a drinker, never have been and as a petite little lady could not manage more than a sip of anything, but he got it in his head I liked Peach Schnapps.  Whenever we visited him, during a pig roast or just a visit he would get out “my special glass” and fill it will Peach Schnapps.  If he didn’t see it disappearing from the glass he would insist I take a nice big drink in his presence….this happened enough times that I made sure he never saw me with a full class of Peach Schnapps, so my husband would secretly  drink it for me. When he would see my near empty glass he would give his big wonderful laugh,  give me his popular bear hug and boom, “That’s my girl!”   Kurt never knew that my husband was drinking my Peach Schnapps….and I would not have wanted him to ever know.  To know Kurt was to love him; he will be dearly missed.”

Family, friends and associates will testify to Kurt’s dedication to his profession. He was honored by his peers in 2000 with the President’s Distinguished Person Award and in 2014 he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award.   This dedication to his profession is only superseded by  his warm-hearted hospitality.  Being invited to one of his famous “pig roasts” was always an anticipated pleasure, not only for the fellowship and delicious German cuisine, but also to enjoy visiting his unique Bavarian chalet that he designed and built with logs harvested from his own property.  However, the highlight was always to visit with Kurt and enjoy the warmth of his contagious laugh and inviting bear hugs.  It bears repeating, to know Kurt was to love him; he will be dearly missed.

FettigBob_205607Robert (Bob) Fettig – It is difficult to say goodbye to our friend and report that Robert (Bob) Fettig passed away on August 18th of this year.   Bob was a denturist and had a beautiful practice in Vancouver, WA.  He was an active member of the Washington Denturist Association, the National Denturist Association, USA and was a board member of the Washington State Denturist Board.     Bob was proud to say he found his calling when he became a denturist.  He had a genuine desire to help people by using his talent to serve his patient’s prosthetic dental needs.   He had several hobbies, wood carving, camping, fishing, and hunting with his boys, but he enjoyed most spending time with the love of his life, his wife Sally.  They had four children.  We send our sincerest  condolence to the family; he will be dearly missed by his denturist family.  Condolences can be sent to the family at 5400 NE 49th Street, Vancouver, WA  98661.

WDA Conference 2014

The 20th anniversary celebration of the Washington State Denturist Association (WDA) honoring Washington denturists and the passing of the denturist initiative I-607 was a great success with outstanding attendance, excellent classes, speakers and exhibitors. Classes presented by Canadian denturists, Carlo Zanon, LD, DD, FDAC, and Shannon Brinker-Pace from Ultra-dent products were amazing. Sixteen denturist college students were part of the record breaking attendance for the WDA’s annual meeting as well as the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the National Denturist Association, USA. The conference theme, Celebrating 20 Years, since via a citizen initiative vote Washingtonians won the freedom to choose the services of a denturist was enhanced by recent legislative action which increased the scope of practice for these professionals.

Several individuals who have contributed to the success of the denturist profession in Washington were recognized with special awards.   Washington State Representatives Dawn Morrell and Laurie Jinkins were honored with 2014 Legislator of the Year Awards by the Association for their confidence and unwavering support of the profession. Their untiring effort, along with Carolyn Logue, WDA’s lobbyist, was the strength behind the most recent positive legislative action.

Special honor was given to those pioneers who 20 years ago joined forces and finances to organize the initiative that gave the citizens of Washington the opportunity to demand recognition of the denturist profession.   The first Washington State Denturist Association meeting was held in 1993 and several of those present at that first meeting enjoyed this 20 year celebration. These were, Gary Fox, Eric Hansen, Don Jensen and Don Matthews.

A Professional Recognition Award was given to Eric Hansen. He and his father, Ron Hansen now deceased, were major contributors to the efforts and ultimate success of the initiative.   The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Kurt Roehl; none deserved this honor more. His absolute support and efforts, enduring hardships and persecution for his profession are so deserving of recognition. There were few dry eyes after these presentations.

A champagne toast concluding the gala dinner saluted the Washington denturists who sacrificed time, effort and finances to accomplish the passing of I-607.

Congratulations to Bill Disantis, President of the Washington Denturist Association for a successful meeting and kudos to Carol Carbone, WDA Executive Director, for her tireless effort planning and coordinating the meeting. Ms. Carbone says, “It was fun celebrating with such a great group of people!”

NDA Leadership visits Washington Denturist Association’s Celebration

Celebrating the 20 Year anniversary since the passing of Initiative 607 was a joyous occasion for Washington State denturists and Washington citizens.  This popular initiative proved loud and clear that the citizens of Washington State liked their denturists and wanted them free to practice unencumbered.   Enjoying the fellowship of Washington denturists and friends at this celebration can definitely be listed as a major highlight for the NDA, USA leadership.  Hearing the stories of success and progress in Washington was encouraging and absolutely inspiring.  Special guests included several of the original group of denturists who risked their livelihood to challenge the system by promoting the initiative, WA state government officials, state representatives and the association’s lobbyist.  Tokens of appreciation were given to several for their invaluable support.”

Mary Charron

We send our deepest condolences to Vallan Charron, Washington State denturist and are saddened by the loss of his wife, Mary.  Val has been an active member of the denturist profession, of the Washington Denturist Association and the National Denturist Association, USA.   However, his devotion for the last few years has been  supporting his wife who bravely fought an 8-year battle with breast cancer.  The family asks that in Mary’s memory a charitable donation to a breast cancer research project of your choice would be appreciated.  Online messages can be received at:


Amy-ProfileAmy’s efforts were successful in getting volunteers and getting the word out that the OsoClean Laundry service is available to the Workers up at the Oso Mudslide.  To show the National guard, task force one, first responders, and the local volunteers how much we appreciate the hard work they are doing by seeing to it that they have a clean towel to dry off with, and freshly washed clothes for tomorrow.

The goal was to get the folks up top to bag and tag their clothes and let Suds and Duds OsoClean Team get the clothes down to the volunteers who cleaned rebaged and sent the clothes back up to the workers.

YOU succeeded in getting the workers up there clean clothes!

Thank you to all the AMAZING people who have volunteered to drive laundry between sites, To all the OsoClean Team, YOU made this project happen and work! Fantastic Job Everyone!!

Here is a link for more info if you want to help!

For more info about the Washington Denturist Association,



Exciting activities going on in Idaho. Four new denturists challenged the state board examination and are now on board. Henry Babichenko, Idaho denturist and owner of the Babichenko Dental Laboratory, is coordinating their state meeting scheduled September 16 – 17, 2016. He along with other Idaho denturist send an invitation to everyone to come join their activities.

Congrats Nicholas Sanders!

Idaho denturists welcome Nicholas Sanders to their professional roster. He recently passed the state boards and received his denturist credentials. Congratulation Nicholas!

Congrats Fred Giovanini!

Fred Giovanini, Past President of the Idaho Denturist Association was appointed to the Board of Directors at the recent annual conference in Las Vegas.   Fred is a strong advocate for the profession and has worked tirelessly in Idaho.  We are fortunate to have Fred join the NDA, USA leadership team and look forward to a successful year of continued progress.  Congratulations!

Unity and Progress

Unity and progress can be the rally cry in Idaho these days.  Two new denturists have challenged and passed the Idaho State Boards and received their denturist licenses.  We congratulate these two young denturists for their accomplishments and to the state of Idaho for the positive growth this represents.   Several Idaho denturists attended the NDA, USA conference in September 2014 and have expressed their enthusiasm about getting involved with other states and fellow denturists.  The state also hosted a seminar presented by representatives from Global Dental Science discussing the AvaDent Digital Denture System.  Fred Giovanini, Idaho State Denturist Association president, Fred Waid and Geno Giovanini recently accepted the invitation from this company to visit their facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.  They had the opportunity to participate in the fabricating process for the three dimensional digital denture.  They were impressed and believe this method could become a valuable tool in the denturist laboratory.



In Appreciation

We were saddened to report the loss of Jason Salome in our last issue of The National Denturist, USA.  We shared memories of him at our recent meeting and were saddened even more realizing he had introduced the denturist profession to friends in New Jersey and plans were made for them to attend that meeting with him.  We would be remiss if we didn’t share evidence of Jason’s respect and dedication to his profession.   Jason’s mother, Judy Armstrong and grandmother, Cecile Schneider donated a substantial portion of Jason’s estate to The National Denturist Association, USA.  They knew his commitment to the goal of national recognition and respected his wishes.  There was no one more dedicated to this goal than Jason.  His determination and passion should inspire and motivate us all to push a little harder and give a little more; his memory will certainly prove to heightened our vision and encourage us to go forward with the confidence this goal will be met.  Thank you Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs. Schneider for remembering the association and thank you Jason for the inspiration.



Welcome Aboard

The National Denturist Association, USA’s leadership team and members welcome Michigan State Denturist Society into the fellowship. Congratulations to the dedicated workers in Michigan. Our voice is getting stronger.

Officers and members of the Michigan State Denturist Society recently elected Jose Rene Martinez as their association president.  Unfortunately, Chuck Ritter, immediate past president, had to step down because of health problems; the association members are concerned and appreciative of his service and wish him well.  However, they are delighted Jose has accepted the position and are looking forward to much progress for the profession in Michigan.  These dedicated practitioners are enthused and plans are on their drawing table to progress the denturist profession in Michigan starting with a state association membership drive as well as encouraging all the members to join the national association and get involved with the national activities.

Michigan continues its membership renewal campaign and reports new excitement and energy from their relationship with the National Denturist Association, USA. They are the newest state association to join the National Denturist Association, USA. They will be hosting study sessions for the National Board Examination later in the year and will be sending delegates to the National Denturist Association, USA annual conference in September.

Michigan’s denturists are excited about the progress they are seeing for the profession and send this message:  “The Michigan State Denturist Society membership renewal is in full swing with many people getting back on board.  It is great to be a part of the national movement as members of the National Denturist Association, USA.  Although dentistry tried to attack some of our members and destroy our businesses they failed; we are busier and more prosperous than ever.  It should be a lesson to other states to avoid feeling intimidated by dentistry.  They will not stop us and ultimately they cannot prevent citizen access to the excellent affordable denture care denturists provide.  Please be bold, people!  Organize in your state.  Bring members to the National meetings .  Represent your state as a delegate to these meetings and learn how to change the laws in your state.  It can be done and you are the ones to do it.”

 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”… Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Fall 2014 Update

Jose Rene Martinez, Michigan Society of Denturists president and his wife, Nora, attended the NDA, USA conference in Las Vegas and reported a productive and exciting collaborative experience.  We are seeking to effectively change the law in our state and appreciate the resources and helpful guidance from the NDA, USA.  Many of us in Michigan are reporting a  surge in our businesses and believe it is the first wave of the baby boomers increasing the demand for dental prosthetics.  Dentistry knows they are not prepared to handle the huge volume of patients needing dentures.  We tell our associates to prepare now.  The government authorities will be searching for answers in the unregulated states as more and more denture wearers demand available, affordable, quality denture care.  Anticipating this opportunity many experienced  denture  and crown and bridge technicians in Michigan are inquiring about furthering their career into  denturitry; we refer these people to the American Denturist College.  The baby boomers are very discerning consumers and are accustomed to getting the best value and quality from their investments.   There is no better time than now to prepare to seize the opportunity to offer the utmost in denture service for the people that need and will value our service.  Michigan is on the move.



We are Saddened

Joseph Hock, Jr. passed away August 29, 2014.   He will certainly be missed by his family, many friends and business associates, and the denturist profession has lost a dedicated advocate.  Joe was a denturist and one of the first to be licensed in Arizona; however, his heart was in his home state of Illinois where his goal was to see his profession recognized; he stayed active in efforts to meet that goal.  He was secretary and then president of the Illinois Denturist’s Association and a member of The National Denturist Association, USA.   In order to practice he partnered with supportive dentists, one with whom he worked for 30 years.  Many newly graduated dentists sought a position in Joe’s clinic; he was an artist and highly respected within the dental community as well as with his patients.  It was not uncommon for his patients to confront him in restaurants or stores with a beautiful smile announcing how pleased and grateful they were to be Joe’s patient.  Joe was devoted to his wife and children and dedicated to his church where he served as an elder.  He was lovingly called Pastor Joe.   Joe’s wife, Linda, said Joe was passionate about the denturist movement in Illinois and was confident his goal would be realized.   Knowing Joe would be pleased she has asked that memorial contributions be sent to The National Denturist Association, USA, PO Box 5011-PMB28, Ferndale, WA  98248.



We are Saddened

dale_obitDale Neiswender, a pioneer denturist and NDA, USA member passed away on May 7, 2013. He was among the first to obtain professional recognition for denturists in Arizona and served his community for 32 years. His contribution to the denturist profession proved invaluable. It was said by an associate that Dale was the most talented practitioner he knew and he would miss his advice. He was always ready and willing to help another denturists. Another expressed how we will miss his big smile; he always had a positive big smile. He will be missed by his many friends and associates. Donations to the Heart and Lung Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, 500 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013, in memory of Dale are appreciated.