It has been a pleasure to have created and grown a successful dental practice filled with so many wonderful members of our Metro Atlanta community. I was born and raised in the small town of Nelson, Georgia. I was the middle child of fifteen children that my mother and father were blessed to be able to conceive, love, raise and instill in each of us their good work ethic, common sense, pride, and sound value system.
I decided early in life that I wanted to help others by providing excellent healthcare treatment and disease prevention. My chosen path was to become a pharmacist. I attended Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. From there I entered the army for three years where I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in Infantry. After spending my final six months stationed in Korea at the end of my tour of duty, I was discharged as a Captain. I married at the end of my second year in the military. I left the military to enter pharmacy school, but life has many twists and turns, as each of us sometimes learns, and for us our first little bundle of joy decided he was ready to be born.
At that moment I decided I needed a regular job to provide for my wonderful wife and our beautiful addition to our family, so for one year I put pharmacy school on hold. A little over a year later I enrolled in the Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy in Atlanta and graduated three years later with a B.S in Pharmacy. While enrolled at Mercer I joined the Army Reserves and spent seventeen years serving in the Reserves, initially as a supply office and later as a dentist. At the time I aspired to own my own pharmacy, but the large chain stores were just beginning to come to the south and at the time I did not feel I could compete with them. I worked at Grady Hospital as a pharmacist for a year and had looked at both medicine and dentistry as a new profession. I thankfully chose to enter dental school at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia where I paid my way by working as a Pharmacist at Talmadge hospital. I was fortunate to be a member of the Army Reserves because several of my professors were also members of the Army Reserve Dental Corps. My pathology instructor was the leader of the unit along with a restorative professor, an oral surgeon, and many general dentist members.
Being a member of the Army reserves allowed me and two other students who were also members to have a decided advantage over our fellow dental students. The fact that we had our actual dental school instructors overseeing and training us, where we had their undivided attention, two days every month, and two weeks of active duty every year, for three years, we were able to treat and counsel more patient in two days than most students at school would see in a month. This one fact gave us superior clinical skills and patient relation skills in dental school and when we first started practicing dentistry. I am so grateful for each of those dentists for being so patient, understanding and willing to share their knowledge, skill and experience with us as though we were their peers, not their students. I had to laugh years later when I realized it also allowed them to be in the reserves and not have to work very much to earn their checks. I am still eternally grateful. I love each and every one of them, even the one whenever we returned to school was always a pain in our proverbial rear ends.
As a child I was a sweet fanatic or sugar addict. It did not help that I have worked since I was eight years old and always had some money in my pockets that my parents allowed me to do whatever I desired with those funds. I was the pied piper of my community, regularly providing sweet snacks and impromptu picnic for my siblings and friends. That freedom caused me to have several cavities, even though I brushed daily. I remembered the pain and embarrassment I experienced from having a toothache and swollen face as a child and how terribly painful and agonizing it was. I decided to pursue a dental degree so that I could help other people, especially children, learn how to avoid this painful experience from tooth cavities and gum disease. Being a dentist has been the most rewarding experience of my life, ranking right up there after the births of my son and later my daughter. I get the opportunity, daily, to interact with young people and have had the ultimate satisfaction of being able to influence several young patients to attend college and a few even to become dentists. Believe it or not, one of those dentists was one of the worst kids I have ever treated. She did, eventually, become a very good patient. Patience, and persistence, will pay.
I have found each of the different stations of my life has definitely prepared me to be able to practice dentistry at such a high level that thankfully my staff and our patients both can appreciate the depth of the skill, and the genuine care and concern I am able to share because I have experienced that same pain and extreme discomfort.
I am an old country boy. I was raised to do unto others. Empathy is an emotion that I believe allows me to connect with just about any patient. I believe as a dentist we have a responsibility to inspire our patients to improve their oral health and overall, their total health and wellness. I love what I do and therefore I could never look at it like a JOB. Every day, someone will say or do something that reminds me of how blessed I am to have been allowed to become a dentist. I hope that you will allow my staff and I to share our blessings with you. We really look forward to meeting, greeting, and treating you and your family and friends.
Away from dentistry, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love reading, especially books on self-improvement and psychology. I do enjoy exercising also since it allows me to have a healthier and much more fulfilling life.