Measuring “influence” is a little like measuring love, or the water view from an apartment terrace. It’s a formula that includes a few numbers, some guesswork and a whole lot of you-know-it-when-you-see it.

In dentistry, a multibillion-dollar health-care industry that’s home to some of the nation’s most innovative and interesting people, no ranking of “influence” existed – until now. Months ago, Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine embarked upon the quest: to shine a light on 32 such “voices” – one for every tooth, of course.

“We ultimately nailed down a few key metrics. We counted dollars – company size, or size of budget controlled – as most important. Next we looked at the weight an organization can throw around. Finally, we tried to calculate ‘size of voice’: how much influence an individual has through his or her speaking, writing or research activities,” Incisal Edge Founder Chuck Cohen said.

“In the end, we were (and remain) proud of how wide ranging this list is. Only 14 of these 32 are actually dentists, a reflection of just how diverse, broad-based and, yes, influential our industry has become.”

screenshot-2016-12-02-10-48-14The 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry for 2017, ranked by Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine, include:

  1. Jeffrey Slovin, CEO, DentsplySirona,
  2. Rick Workman, DMD, CEO and President, Heartland Dental,
  3. Howard Farran, DDS, MBA, Founder,, Dentaltown Magazine,
  4. Stanley Bergman, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Henry Schein,
  5. Martha Somerman, DDS, PH.D., Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research,
  6. Steve Bishop, Group President, Procter & Gamble Global Health Care, Including Oral Care,
  7. Ben Carson, M.D., Health-care Adviser to President-elect Trump,
  8. Marco Gadola, CEO, Straumann,
  9. Kathleen O’Loughlin, DMD, MPH, Executive Director, American Dental Association,
  10. Michael Graham, Senior Vice President, American Dental Association’s Division of Government and Public Affairs,
  11. Gordon Christensen, DDS, MHD, PH.D., Founder, Practical Clinical Courses,
  12. Amir Aghdaei, Group Executive and Vice President, KaVo Kerr Group,
  13. Steve Thorne, MHA, Founder and CEO, Pacific Dental Services,
  14. “Dr. Doe,” Plaintiffs,
  15. Michael Cohen, DDS, Founder, Seattle Study Club,
  16. Representative Mike Simpson, DMD, U.S. Congressman, Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District,
  17. James Glidewell, CDT, President and CEO, Glidewell Laboratories,
  18. James Ingebrand, MBA, President and General Manager, 3M ESPE Dental Division,
  19. Kevin Jackson, Senior Vice President, Underwriting and Actuarial, Delta Dental of California,
  20. John Kois, DMD, MSD, Founder and Director, The Kois Center
  21. Don Moody, Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis,
  22. Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, MPP, Dean, Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine,
  23. Michael Helgeson, DDS, CEO, Apple Tree Dental,
  24. Gary Price, President and CEO, Dental Trade Alliance,
  25. Susannah Schaefer, CEO and Executive Vice Chair, Smile Train,
  26. Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, Dean, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health,
  27. Ed Snyder, Managing Director, Northcoast Research,
  28. Gwyneth Paltrow, Actress, Oral Cancer Foundation Activist,
  29. Roger Levin, DDS, Founder and CEO, The Levin Group,
  30. Ann Battrell, MSDH, CEO, American Dental Hygienists Association,
  31. Major General Dr. Roosevelt Allen, DDS, Chief of Dental Corps, United States Air Force, and
  32. Peter DuBois, Executive Director, California Dental Association.

Meet these dental demigods in Incisal Edge magazine at: Incisal Edge, Winter 2017.

Published by Benco Dental, Incisal Edge celebrates dentists’ achievements both inside the operatory and during their hard-earned downtime. For additional information regarding the magazine, visit: