Priscilla Berlanga, who just turned 25, grew up in a family of denturists. Her grandparents, her father, her uncle, her mother, even her cousin has played a part in the Berlanga denturist legacy, so it makes sense that one of the Berlanga children would join the practice, but Priscilla never thought it would be her.
She attended Roger’s High School in Puyallup, WA, and graduated in 2012. During high school she played varsity softball, winning numerous awards and accolades, and went on to attend Washington State University (WSU) where she pursued a degree in Human Development. At WSU, as a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi, she became very active working with and mentoring students who had interests in the community. It was this work that made her realize she had a passion for working with and helping others.
She continued to play softball, travelled a bit and enjoyed time with her family, but after college, Priscilla started helping her father occasionally at Parkland Denture Center and Puget Sound Dentures. Joey hinted that she might like to consider becoming a denturist, but Priscilla wasn’t sure. Besides her passion for helping others, which she could see would be beneficial as a denturist, she also has an artistic side. She calls herself “Tinker Bell” because she likes to “tinker” and fix things. She enjoys crafts and artistic projects, and she always thought this would be part of her life career. However, as she began working alongside her father, she realized how her artistic skills would become an intrinsic part of a becoming a denturist. Dentures are hand-crafted and require precision and an infinite eye for detail. For dentures to look and feel natural, it requires someone who can get to know you, understand your needs, make recommendations for the right fit, style, and budget that suits you, and then fabricate the exact set of dentures specifically for you.
After a short time Priscilla knew that with her background in business, her artistic gifts, and her love of helping her others, becoming a denturist was the right path for her. Berlanga Dentures welcomes, Priscilla as she prepares for denturist school.
Meanwhile you’ll often find her with one of her pets, Busch, her black lab, or Coco and Angel, her cats. Travelling. Or spending time with her sister Taylor.
Quarter Midget Racing is a family sport that involves racing on oval tracks, about 1/20 of a mile, in specially prepared cars for children ages 5 to 16 years of age. Started in the late 60’s, the Little Wheels Quarter Midget Association, held its first races in parking lots like the B&I and Fred Meyer. They opened their location in Graham, WA in the early 70’s, and are still there today.
Joey Berlanga raced when he was a boy, and the sport has always held a special place in his heart. When Joey heard that Landon Sproles, whose mother, Laura Sproles, works for the Tacoma Dental Lab, he knew that this would be a great way to help this ambitious young man participate in this great sport.
Midget racing safety features include full roll cages, multi-point seat harnesses, full face helmets, and additional gear that make the sport safe for children. In fact, the sport has fewer injuries than little-league football. The Quarter Midget Association reviews and evaluates safety rules to ensure that it remains a safe and competitive sport.
The environment at the races, and the sport in general, is all about family involvement. The children learn valuable skills and sportsmanship, make great friends, and the whole family gets involved.
Landon, who is 6-years-old, started racing this year, and as you can see from the photos, he is a natural! He came in first place in his category, Junior Novice, this year.
Berlanga Dentures is active in the community, supporting young people like Landon. To learn more about midget racing, and the Little Wheels Quarter Midget Association, visit their website at littlewheelsqma.com.
The season has come to end for 2018, but Joey Berlanga is helping Landon continue his racing in 2019. Stay tuned as we feature more photos and stories about Landon and his great racing success!
Landon Sproles with Joey Berlanga and his parents, Micheal and Laura Sproles.
The Berlanga family history is not only about this wonderful family and their dedication to the denturist community here in Western Washington, it’s also about being pioneers in their industry. Joey Berlanga Sr., Joey and John’s father, started the denture business at 17-years-old with Harold Moss, who was the mayor at the time, and called the business the Wright Park Denture Clinic. They were considered lab technicians at the time, since denturists didn’t exist yet. In 1992 local “lab technicians” got together to change this, and in November of 1994, the People of the State of Washington passed Initiative I-607, allowing persons other than dentists to manufacture and sell dentures to the public. This new professional would be known as a Denturist. Following the passing of I-607, Denturists in the state were allowed to become licensed and open a denture practice.
In 1992 Joey Berlanga married Jeri and together they opened their first clinic, Puget Sound Dentures, in 1994. In 1996, Joey Sr. retired, and Joey opened the Parkland Denture Center. In 2008 John Berlanga joined the family practice, he was licensed in 2010, and in 2013 they opened the Meridian Denture Center in Puyallup. In 2017, Joey’s oldest daughter, Priscilla Berlanga, joined the practice and is working towards her license.
Today Denturists are recognized as an important part of the health profession, and thanks to pioneers like the Berlangas who helped pass the initiative, the public now has the right to choose an affordable alternative when it comes to denture care. A Denturist in the State of Washington is a licensed professional whose field of dentistry is dedicated solely to providing removable full and partial dentures directly to the public and who constructs, inserts and adjusts removable dentures as well as other dentures or implants. Denturists have served many years fabricating dentures and have passed a comprehensive practical exam on the fitting and making of dentures along with a thorough written examination conducted through the State of Washington Board of Denturists.
For more information on Denturists visit the Washington Denturist Association.