Dental laboratory allows Garrard woman to stay at home with her family

March 08, 2004|JOHN T. DAVIS

Like a lot of women with young children, Belinda Caldwell was looking for a career where she could put her skills to use yet stay home with her kids.

She had worked for a dental assistant in dentists' offices for 17 years when she began looking for some way to start her own business.

"I really wanted a career where I could stay home with the kids," said Caldwell. "I love dentistry ... I knew all of the technical terms. I thought, 'Why waste all of my knowledge of dentistry?'"

Instead of wasting her knowledge, Caldwell decided to build on it, and in August 2000 went back to college to earn a degree as a dental technician.


"I started back to college at the age of 35 with two children," Caldwell said. "Starting out in college at the time was a little rough due to my mother's cancer and husband's health, but after a few stressful months, things started going very well. My grades were maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average, and two years later I graduated with honors. It was a truly great experience to go back to college with a little life under my belt."

Caldwell started working in a dental laboratory in Lexington during her first year and continued working until July of last year. She received her certification as a dental technician in January 2003.

"I gained a lot of experience during that time," she said. "The time had come to make a decision on opening a business because I found out I was expecting our third child."

The result of Caldwell's search for a home business was BR Dental Laboratory, which opened in August at her Garrard County home. In her state-certified lab, Caldwell does crown and bridge work for local dentists, combining her interest in the field of dentistry with her desire to stay home and take care of her family which in addition to Dustin, 15, and Logan, 14, now includes a 3-month-old baby, Amy.

The laboratory was constructed in the backyard of Caldwell's home by her husband, Robert, an electrical engineer at Lexmark, her brother-in-law, Jack Caldwell, and a family friend, John Zinner.

The lab is fully stocked with all of the technical equipment necessary to turn the molds made by dentists of patients' teeth into shiny new crowns and bridges. The task of making the perfect crown or bridge is tedious and demanding, but Caldwell enjoys the work.

"I really enjoy the detail part," Caldwell said. "I hope to teach the kids this. My oldest son hopes to be a dentist. I'd like to teach him some the detail work of being a dentist."

BR Dental Laboratory is at 118 Eastern Ave., Lancaster, Ky. 40444. Phone: (859) 548-5160 or (859) 320-1151.

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