Dr. Christine Beninger, Restorative Sciences
Dr. Christine Beninger, associate professor
“I love to see the dawn of understanding in a student’s eyes or to hear it in a student’s voice, and to know that, in some small way, I played a role in that epiphany.”
If you ask Dr. Christine Beninger what she likes most about her job as associate professor in restorative sciences, she’ll give you a two-word response, straight and to the point: the students.
Her reason for staying at the dental school for 30 years is pretty much the same. It should come as no surprise that many conversations with students remain ingrained in her memory.
“I am gratified when I have the occasion to work with a student, preclinically or clinically, when he or she has an ‘ah-ha!’ moment,” says Beninger. “I love to see the dawn of understanding in a student’s eyes or to hear it in a student’s voice, and to know that, in some small way, I played a role in that epiphany.”
Beninger acknowledges the ever-expanding role technology plays in today’s modern dental education. In her time at the dental school, she’s watched paper charts and film X-rays give way to digital health records and radiographs.
“The routine use of dental implants and the advent of digital impressions further pushed the envelope,” Beninger says. “As far as I am concerned, the D2 simulation lab has made the most difference for our undergraduate dental students. They now enter the D3 clinics more prepared and more comfortable in delivering patient care than they ever did in previous years.”
When Beninger isn’t advising D3s as a comprehensive care group leader or teaching third-year treatment planning and ethics courses, she can be found working with D1s and D2s in preclinical operative dentistry or overseeing the D2 clinical practice simulation course. She also is director of the Dental Auxiliary Unit and D3 operative clinics and courses.
After three decades in the department, Beninger admits it can be hard to pinpoint a single favorite memory, but she does point out one highlight.
“The camaraderie within the Department of Restorative Sciences made it feel as though we were family rather than just colleagues,” says Beninger. “It has been a pleasure to work with such great people!”
Beninger’s interests outside of work:
“I enjoy reading, gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.”
“I have been blessed with a great family.”