CHICAGO - The recipient of DentalEZ's StarDental Museum of Handpiece Art (MoHA, bien sur) grand prize was announced Thursday morning on the convention floor of the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.
Robert Rachlin, DDS, of Wanamassa, NJ, won a trip for two to Paris after his submission was selected from more than 3,000 initial entries submitted to the contest, which ran from November 2009 to December 2010.
To participate, dentists had to submit an illustration rendered on DentalEZ's newest website, www.starmasterpiece.com. The site simulates using one of five virtual StarDental handpieces to etch, finish, brush, or polish to create images on a variety of surfaces, such as wood, stone, or paper. Once a month during the contest period, a different dentist's work was chosen as the winner of a free handpiece; the grand-prize winner was selected randomly from the 12 finalists.
Dr. Rachlin, while initially skeptical, sent five entries. "My receptionist knew I was a doodler and said to me, 'Why don't you doodle here?' " Dr. Rachlin recalled. When asked if he had submitted the best selections from his efforts, he quipped, "No, I used the Donald Rumsfeld approach and sent in what I had."
For DentalEZ, the contest made sense. "Dentists are artists themselves," said Randy Arner, vice president of marketing. The submitted images ranged from Mickey Mouse to still lifes, and dentists were permitted to send in as many as one per day.
The grand prize includes a tour of the Louvre Museum, business-class airfare, four-star hotel accommodations, and $7,500 spending money. Dr. Rachlin and his wife are taking the opportunity to stretch their three-night, four-day stay into a 10-day trip by spending additional time with friends and family in France, he said.