Thirty eight years ago I borrowed my girlfriend’s VW bug and another friend’s “professional” outfit. I headed out to the few dental offices listed in the yellow pages along the coast from Carlsbad to Del Mar, handing out my resume. I had just returned from a year abroad and needed a job. As I was returning through Leucadia, I noticed a sign for an office too new to be listed in the phone book. The carved wooden sign was of a hand, with the index finger pointing toward the office and “DENTIST” spelled out along the top. I was intrigued to say the least! I turned around, went inside, and my life as a dental hygienist changed forever.
The hours were 2:00pm until 10:00pm . . . I couldn’t believe my fortune as I was a late night kind of girl. The dentist, Howard Benedict, was a surfer and chose those hours to suit his lifestyle and help patients who couldn’t come during conventional hours. We hit it off immediately and I began my career there May 1, 1979. Up to this point, I had practiced in various offices for a year or so until I saved enough money to quit and go traveling. Having graduated from Old Dominion University in Virginia in the early 1970s, I worked in five offices following this pattern—and then jetted off to Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. My parents were worried about me, but I was having a ball—until I met Howard and the office I never wanted to leave!
Here I was allowed to have the opportunity to practice perfection dentistry. I could have a whole hour per patient, which in those days was unusual. This allowed me to be the best I could be. Our little office treated each patient like they were family. And to my eternal gratitude, my wanderlust was understood.
I have been blessed to have had the pleasure of working with the most dedicated dentists whose skills and love of dentistry have inspired my own practice. My fellow hygienists have always “raised the bar” and have graciously shared their wisdom and skills with me. The staff are all friends, which brings a lightness and grace to the office each day. After 21 years, Howard sold the practice to Bogdan Madurowicz. I was distraught. But of course, he chose wisely, and for the past 17 years I have been equally thankful for the opportunity to work with such an artist of dentistry. Now I am once again delighting in the fact that Bogdan has carefully passed the torch to Steve Horne, a man I like and respect. A wonderful continuation of the philosophy and quality started so long ago. I am proud to be part of this harmonious team. I have loved every day, taking care of my charming and wonderful patients year after year.