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 14 years.

Dr. Bhende has always been enthusiastically involved in the community. Dr. Bhende has given 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 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) in 2012. Dr. Bhende also provides 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 have went to Romania and Haiti to provide dental treatment to those 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

I have been with EcoDental Since Oct. of 2016. I moved to Hickory in August 2016 after marrying the love of my life. I have a beautiful little girl. I enjoy going on mission trips. I started as a Dental Assistant in July 2015. One of the things I love about EcoDental is how it feels like a family. We have a great working environment that makes our patients feel at home. I love to see patients achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.


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.


Caelee Powell

Hi, I am Caelee,
I have been apart of the EcoDental family since 2018. I graduated WPCC as a Dental Assistant II in 2016. I love to see all of our patients smile while helping meet their dental needs. I truly value my job here and love helping our patients feel comfortable while receiving quality care. When not working I enjoy spending my free time with my husband, daughter, and stepson.


Karla Clara

Hi I am Karla,
I graduated from Lake Norman Dental Assistant School in 2018. I have been with the EcoDental family since March 2019. I love helping our patients accomplish their dental needs. In my free time, I love going to concerts and hiking with my family.