Rising Dental Health Leader Award: Vanessa Benavent, DDS '09, MSD, FAGD

Alum Vanessa BenaventThis award recognizes recent alumni from the past ten years whose accomplishments enhance the perception of the dental profession and has demonstrated remarkable service to their community. In its inaugural year, the award honors Venessa Benavent, DDS '09, MSD, FAGD, for her outstanding early-career contributions to organized dentistry.

Benavent, who practices in Clarksville, Md., with a specialization in oral-facial pain, served as president of the Maryland State Dental Association from 2017-2018 and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD). In her role as MSDA president, she testified numerous times before state legislators on behalf of the dental profession and her passion for dentistry is an inspiration to her colleagues and students.

Benavent previously served as a Clinical Assistant Professor in UMSOD’s Department of Neural and Pain Sciences as well as an Associate Graduate Faculty for the University of Maryland Graduate School. She earlier served on the Dean’s Faculty from 2009-2012 and as Clinical Director of the Brotman Orofacial Pain Clinic from 2012-2015.

She became a Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain in 2012 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and the Academy of General Dentistry in 2013. Benavent also is a member of the International Association for the Study of Pain, American Association for Dental Research, International Association for Dental Research, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Howard County Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

In 2018, Benavent was listed as a 2018 American Dental Association’s (ADA) 10 Under 10 awardee. This list recognizes professionals who are “making a difference and inspiring colleagues through their work in science, research & education, practice excellence, philanthropy, leadership and advocacy.”