• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Meet the Dental Products Report Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

    Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to introduce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.


    Carolyn Primus

    Carolyn PrimusCategory: Researcher/educator

    When it comes to innovation, Dr. Carolyn Primus is a familiar face within the dental industry. While she has worn many hats within her career, many of the opportunities she’s had come from her eye for invention and modernization. When she started working within research and development of medical and dental devices, she really found her niche. After being awarded an SBIR grant from NIH based on her ideas for bioactive materials, she was inspired to open her own business, Avalon Biomed Inc., a medical device corporation to manufacture bioactive materials. 

    “In my corporation, our mission was to help people in developed and developing countries have access to the newest, bioactive dental materials at affordable pricing for all,” Primus says. “Inventing cost-effective materials to save teeth from extraction or restoring teeth with reliable, durable and esthetic materials is a big motivator for me.”

    One of the innovations she is most proud of is her NeoMTA root and pulp treatment material. This bioactive material is now used in many countries as well as within veterinary dentistry. 

    “Innovation for me is the synthesis of one’s knowledge to improve an outcome,” she says. “I read articles from many sources, in- and outside of dentistry, to learn what others have invented or thought or need. Sometimes those ideas can be used in my current research.”

    Primus has three engineering degrees in materials science and engineering; she’s glad to see her field and the growing field of biomedical engineering opening up and welcoming more and more women.

    “Women of my age in science and engineering have faced many obstacles for our ideas being heard and appreciated. I joke that my career would have been easier if I were a few inches taller and had an operatic alto voice. It’s nice not to be the only woman in a meeting anymore.” 

    In 2016, Primus sold Avalon Biomed Inc. to NuSmile Ltd. Since then she has served as an adjunct associate professor at Augusta University and Texas A&M dental colleges for research and lecturing opportunities with great minds in dentistry. She also works part-time doing consulting within the dental industry.

    In the future, Primus foresees that dental education of children and their parents will reduce caries and that more bioactive dental products will be commercialized. 

    “We must emphasize prevention and minimally invasive care and affordable products globally,” Primus says. 

    She also believes in the importance of mentoring students or junior researchers when you can. 

    “Interacting with dental students to enhance their appreciation of dental materials has been enriching for me,” she says. 

    Her advice to those students?

    “Do more of what inspires you, although it may take time to come into focus. Learn about the materials you use to enable you to make the best choices for effectiveness for the patient.”



    Add Comment
    • No comments available