My Early Writing Days…

by Peter Pontsa

In the early years of my career as a registered dental technician in Ontario, our association published the ARDT Journal, a newsletter specifically for the Association of Registered Dental Technicians.

The very first article I had ever written was in this journal. Later, the newsletter was transferred to Ettore Palmeri, who was starting his own publishing company. He expanded the magazine by getting more advertisers and interesting articles from across the country to make the magazine viable.

The magazine was guided by his experience and became very popular within the profession, who were like-minded and were drawn to strong educational articles provided by accredited dental professionals.  

Two years later, the magazine entered the United States and became an instant success. It had been renamed Spectrum Dialogue. 

Our company Dent-Line of Canada was also growing, and we bought advertising space. 

I was encouraged to share my knowledge through articles I wrote ensuring they were instructional and accompanied by photos on the procedures. The products used were usually reflected in the advertisement appearing beside the article.  

The magazine became a topnotch educational forum with Q & A answered by the editor or advisory board. 

Over the years, Ettore and my relationship remained strong. Over drinks Ettore confided in me his goal was to introduce a denturist magazine to complement Spectrum Dialogue. 

I suggested, “Let’s get started. You have existing advertisers who would embrace a journal specifically for denturists. You have my support, and we can approach other dental professionals, and find an editor.” 

“We need an advisory board,” was his reply.

I had just signed an agreement with a new partner named Kevin Dillon for an exclusive distributorship from a dental manufacturer in the UK and I said, “If we combine Kevin’s contacts in the United States and the ones we have in Canada, then we would have a stronger market base.” I proposed that Kevin should be approached later when we were all together at Technorama, the dental convention due to start in Toronto.

My wife, Angela, and I were business partners, and we had arrived at the hotel to book our room and set up our booth. We were waiting at the reservation counter for quite some time. Check-in was taking so long, that it was suggested we dress in the swimming pool locker. Imagine being dressed in a suit and tie dragging a suitcase out of the changing room past families swimming around the pool? I promised myself I would never do that again! 

After returning to the front desk, hoping to finally check in, we had another lengthy wait. It was frustrating as many other people had come and gone and received their room keys and we were still in line!

Finally, “Sir, your room is ready. The bellman will show you up to your room.”

When the bellman stopped at the penthouse, Angela and I were quite surprised! It was the Prime Minister’s Suite!

 I said, “There must be a mistake.”  

“No, no mistake sir we are overbooked, and my manager wanted you to have the suite because of your patience.” 

Wow, it was an enormous room with bedrooms on one side and a large meeting room on the other with a bar and comfortable chairs and couches. There was space enough for fifty people!

With such a lovely locale, I invited Ettore and Kevin to join me in the Prime Minister’s Suite.  

We started developing a plan for the magazine. Over a pot of coffee and numerous notes, we came up with some ideas. 

Kevin and I would be sponsors, committing our companies’ advertising in the new journal. Ettore would also approach his current advertisers. I would serve as interim editor until we found someone permanent for the position.

Kevin’s dental supply company in the United States had the ear of the Denturist Association. The profession was in its infancy as many states had not recognized it yet, but there was interest.  

Our hard work paid off, and in December 2006, our inaugural edition volume was published and distributed to members of the denturist associations in both Canada and the United States.

For the second issue, we found a new editor-in-chief to take over my position. I remained on the advisory board with Kevin and became Associate Publisher, while Ettore remained Publisher. 

My business and personal life became more demanding and after five years, I advised the publication I was moving on. Also, during this time, Kevin, a great contributor, sadly had passed on; he was a loss to the dental profession as he was very well respected in Canada and the United States.  

As I reflect on the memory of that remarkable afternoon when three individuals came together to create a magazine, it is satisfying to see Spectrum Denturism Journal endures even today; a true voice for denturists across Canada and the United States. Because of the digital universe around the planet, it now reaches many more dental professionals than ever before.  

The written word is still powerful and reaches everywhere, even in the darkest of areas.

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My Early Writing Days…