Dr. Bhende


Dr. Bhende has been practicing dentistry for over 18 years. He received his B.D.S. (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) from India. He went on to do a residency and then practiced in India before coming to the United States. He attended Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine where he graduated with Honors and received his D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree in 1999. He later attended New York University for training in Implant Dentistry. He received a Fellowship from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (F.I.C.O.I.) in 2003.

Dr. Bhende moved from New Jersey in 2006 to settle in Hickory. He lives in Hickory with his son. He established EcoDental in 2010 to serve the Western Piedmont area.

His patients include Doctors, Surgeons, Pediatricians, other specialists, nurses, CEO’s, other dentists, hygienists and dental lab technicians and their families. Some of his patients travel over an hour just to be seen in the practice. Some of his patients have been with him over 10 years.

Dr. Bhende has always been enthusiastically involved in the community. In India, Dr. Bhende has given free consultation and treatment in several villages for the underprivileged population. He volunteered for the “Special Olympics” dental screening for patients with special needs in Boston in 1998 and 1999. He was featured in the popular newspaper “The Boston Globe” for the same.

Dr. Bhende has also served in the US Army. During the Iraq war he was deployed for the mission, “Operation Noble Eagle” in 2005. He retired from the Army as a Captain after serving the country for 8 years.

In North Carolina, Dr. Bhende has volunteered for the dental bus sponsored by the NC Baptists Association to provide free dental treatment for underprivileged adults and children in Hickory, Newton, Conover and Lenoir areas. He has also volunteered for providing dental treatment for children in need at the Viewmont Baptist Church. Dr. Bhende has been an integral part in facilitating and volunteering at the NCMOM (North Carolina Missions of Mercy) Dental Clinic in 2012. Dr. Bhende also provides free dental treatment at the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) on a regular basis.

Dr. Bhende was the past president of the Western Piedmont Dental Society and is currently on the Board of Exodus Homes. Dr. Bhende also supports causes like the Child fund, WWF, Salvation Army, Shriners Circus, UNICEF, and Doctors Without Borders. Dr. Bhende and some staff members are going for a mission trip to Haiti this July to provide free treatment to patients in need.


Heather Young


I graduated from Western Piedmont in 2006 as a dental assistant. For the last twelve years I have enjoyed assisting and helping patients feel comfortable during dental treatment. I love spending time with my patients, helping them understand their dental treatment needs and oral hygiene care. The most satisfying aspect of my job is seeing the transition of our patients smile after treatment.


Karen Dillon


I have been a dental assistant for over 30 years. It is an honor to have the ability to educate people about their dental hygiene and help restore their self-confidence. Dr. Bhende and the staff make working a true pleasure.


Bekah Soots


Hi, my name is Bekah. I have been with EcoDental Since Oct. of 2016. I moved to Hickory in August 2016 after marrying the love of my life. I enjoy going on mission trips to Haiti every summer to see a sweet little boy named David. He is the little boy that my husband and I are in the process of adopting from Haiti. I started as a Dental Assistant in July 2015 then moved to the front desk. One of the things I love about EcoDental is how it feels like a family. We have a great working environment which makes our patients feel at home.


Marti Lingerfelt


I graduated from the dental hygiene program at Catawba Valley Community College in 2001. Since then, I have enjoyed a career in dental hygiene, helping patients maximize their overall health through proper oral hygiene and treatment. I have been employed with EcoDental since November 2016 and LOVE my job here with my work family and patients. I live in Granite Falls with my husband and three children. April through November you can find us at Lake James boating, hiking and swimming.


Beata Muccini


Hi, my name is Beata. I moved to NC 10 years ago from Brooklyn, NY. I’ve been a Dental Assistant for over 20 years now. I enjoy meeting patients and helping them reach a higher point of oral health. I look forward to keeping your smile healthy.


Deanna Melton


My name is Deanna Melton and I joined this wonderful team at Eco Dental in February of 2018. I am passionate about getting to know all of our patients and making sure they receive quality service and attention. I graduated from Bandy’s High School in 2014. I finished Dental Assisting school in 2017. I value quality time with my family and friends and in my spare time you’ll find me in a gym.