Rest in peace, Bernie Weissman
NEW YORK, U.S.: At the age of 93, Bernard Weissman, president of Dentatus, passed away on April 9. He was renowned as an inventor of dental products, instruments and techniques whose focus was always the development of affordable solutions that would benefit both dentists and patients.
Born in Poland, Weissman survived the Holocaust and emigrated to the U.S. shortly after World War II. He settled in Brooklyn, New York City, where he made his first steps in dentistry as a technician in the mid-1950s. In 1971, he founded Whaledent International and served as the company’s president until 1988, when he acquired the Swedish dental company Dentatus. Shortly afterward, he established Dentatus USA in Hawthorne, New York state, to serve as the global headquarters and distribution center in America. Weissman also held an assistant professorship at the New York University College of Dentistry for more than 20 years.
A truly creative mind
Upon learning of Weissman’s death, the New York Times wrote that “his expertise and in-depth knowledge of restorative dentistry earned him worldwide recognition in the dental profession, and he formed close working relationships with many of the industry’s most respected clinicians and thinkers.”
Always devoted to developing specialized products and systems for better-quality dentistry, Weissman provided his company with a continuous stream of innovative and proprietary product ideas. During his over 60-year career in the dental business, Weissman filed over 100 patents, most of which have been used widely in the global dental community. One of his most notable innovations was the world’s first narrow-bodied implant (1.8 mm diameter), which Dentatus introduced in the early 1990s. It is a one-piece, self-threading transitional implant that would be inserted at the time of first-stage implant surgery and immediately loaded. At the time, it was considered an industry breakthrough that helped solve the problems related to lengthy implant restorative intervals.
Sales was never his focus
“I never allowed myself to project sales on paper or even in thought,” Weissman said in an interview with Dental Tribune America at the 2014 Greater New York Dental Meeting. “The only thought that matters is: ‘Will it improve dentistry?’ If it does, and everything is correct, the profit will come.”
Remembering his longtime friend, Stephen Pohlmann, a Tel Aviv-based veteran dental salesman, described Weissman as a man who was “small in stature, but a giant of a personality.”