Delta Dental Employee Named 2017 South Dakota Hygienist of the Year

Delta Dental Employee Named 2017 South Dakota Hygienist of the Year


Jean Gross, a dental hygienist who serves as a Regional Educator for Delta Dental of South Dakota, was recently honored by her peers. Jean was named 2017 South Dakota Hygienist of the Year by the SD Dental Hygienists’ Association at their annual meeting.

Jean Gross, RDH, (L) is presented with the 2017 Hygienist of the Year award by SDDHA President Darlene Bogenpohl, RDH, (R)

Fellow dental hygienist and then-president of the SDDHA Darlene Bogenpohl, RDH, MS, nominated Jean for the award, saying “I’ve never met a hygienist with as much passion for the profession of dental hygiene as Jean.”

We feel the same way.

We’re fortunate to have her as part of our team at Delta Dental of South Dakota.

Each year Jean teaches thousands of kids why it’s important to take care of their teeth. She visits school classrooms, speaks at public events, and pre-screens potential patients for our mobile dental clinics. She uses models, puppetry—even magic—to engage kids in oral health.

Jean’s outreach is an effort to prevent problems that impact more than just teeth. The pain of a cavity can keep a child from eating, sleeping, and paying attention in class. And nearly all cavities can be prevented with routine care that Jean shares in her lessons.

Jean started her career in oral health when she graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown in 1982 as a dental assistant. She then earned her degree in dental hygiene from the University of South Dakota in 1993.

Congratulations, Jean! Thank you for helping so many kids across South Dakota!

Teeth don’t usually giggle, but these three did when they helped Jean demonstrate how to properly brush.