One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"

Benson Family Dental Care
September 2005

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Laughing is probably the last response you associate with a visit to a dentist but there is a team of professionals in Benson who can not only make you laugh but who can make your dental care experience so relaxed and carefree that you actually look forward to seeing them. I used to have a fear of dentists so great I went as long as ten years between appointments. A very painful neglected tooth forced me to find a dentist recently and for various reasons I settled on Dr. Ryan Barney of Benson Family Dental Care. The experience was remarkably positive in every way.

I asked Dr. Barney if he thought it inevitable that everyone's first childhood visit to a dentist would be as terrifying an experience as mine was. He explained that at Benson Family Dental Care they have a step by step, visit by visit process for introducing a young child to dental care. Unless the child is in pain and needs immediate intervention the first visit is geared to giving the child a positive experience. He says the first visit should be around the age of two when the "baby teeth" should be checked to make sure they are coming in properly and to look for any signs of future troubles. To help relax the child and make him laugh they will often deliberately make mistakes while counting the teeth. The child leaves without having experienced any pain and with a small toy to remember the positive experience.

Although I didn't initially tell Dr. Barney or his staff of my traumatic childhood experiences they had me laughing throughout my visits. The banter between Dr. Barney and his assistants can almost make it difficult to stay still enough for them to work. Unbelievably, without their even knowing of my long-standing fears and history they made me actually enjoy getting into The Chair.

Benson Family Dental has reasonable prices and is associated with CareCredit and Healthcare Creditline, two payment options that allow you to pay for your dental services over time with no interest if the total is paid off within a pre-arranged timeframe. They also accept all major credit cards including Discover and American Express.

You can find all the following information and much more on their website at

Online Patient Information Form

To save time when you get to your initial appointment you can download a copy of the Patient Information Form from their website and fill it out before coming to the office.

Insurance Providers

Deltal Dental
BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
CMDP (Comprehensive Medical & Dental Program)

Contact Information

Address: 338 E. 4th Street
Benson, Arizona 85602
Voice: 520-586-3241
Fax: 520-586-9344
Emergencies, Dr. Barney's pager: 520-586-4831

Dr. Ryan Barney

Dr. Barney was born and raised in Benson, graduating from Benson Union High School in 1989. He prepared for dental school by attending Pima Community College and The Univerisity of Arizona. After obtaining his DDS from Indiana University he bought the dental practice of his family dentist in Benson. Dr. Barney met his wife, Becky at the University of Arizona and they now have four children, Kaitlin, Kevin, Jamie, and Jaden. He volunteers as coach of his children's baseball, soccer and football teams and enjoys playing softball and basketball.

Wendy, Dental Hygienist

Wendy has been with Dr. Barney for over a year. She is a highly skilled and gentle hygienist. She graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program at the Oregon Institute of Technology in 2001 and worked in Oregon for two years before moving to the Tucson area where she worked before joining Dr. Barney's team.

Tracy, Dental Assistant

Tracy has been a dental assistant since 2000 and has been with Dr. Barney since April 2002. Besides her job she loves working out, playing sports and riding Harley's with her husband.

Nancy, Dental Assistant

Nancy has been a dental assistant for ten years and has been with Dr. Barney for four years. She is married with one son and enjoys riding her horses when she is not at work.

Nellie, Dental Assistant

Nellie works part-time at Benson Family Dental Care. She has been a dental assistant for over 30 years. When not at the office she is happiest spending time with her family.

Cheri, Dental Assistant Trainee

Cheri has been with Benson Family Dental for two and a half months. She is training as a Dental Assistant and will be going to Dental Hygiene school in the near future. She was just married August 6, 2005 to her husband Zachary. Her favorite things to do in her spare time are Four-Wheeling, Barrel Racing and most sports.

Linda, Office Manager

Linda has been with Dr. Barney since February 2002. When not running the office at Benson Family Dental Care she spends her time attending her son's sporting events and helping her husband with his trucking business.

Nissa, Receptionist

Nissa has been with Benson Family Dental Care since February 2005. She answers the phones, schedules appointments and tries to answer any questions you may have. In her spare time you will find her working in her yard due to a recently discovered "green thumb". She likes to play cards, horseshoes, and golf with friends. She also spends a lot of time with her two "kids", Violet and Harry (her Welsh Corgi and Dachsund).