CLEVELAND DENTAL HEALTH CENTERAbout our Practice
DR. EBEN A DEARMOND JR.
Dr. DeArmond has been practicing in Cleveland Tennessee since his graduation from The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 1982. His undergraduate degree was completed in 1978 at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville following graduation from Cleveland Day School in 1974.
Dr. DeArmond has been active in the community as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 10, as a member of the Cleveland YMCA Endowment Fund Board of Directors, and as President of the Cleveland Branch of the Chattanooga Area Metro YMCA Board of Directors. Dr. DeArmond is also a member of the Cleveland Noon-day Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
Dr. DeArmond has been committed to professional growth and excellence since he began his career. His treatment philosophy and clinical skills have been developed through relationships with several of the most recognized mentors in dentistry.
Early contact and training with dentists such as Peter Dawson, Pete Roach, Jack Turbyfill, and Jose’ Medina were the beginning of a personal journey toward excellence as a professional. Through excellent mentors, the new leaders and educators have been identified and are strong influences in the continued growth of the practice philosophy.
Dr. DeArmond served a five-year gubernatorial appointment to the Tennessee Board of Dentistry where he severed on and chaired several committees. He served as President of the Board of Dentistry in 2005-2006. During his year as President, he also served as the Vice-President of and a program presenter to the Conference of Southern Deans and Dental Examiners. The Conference of Southern Deans and Dental Examiners organization represents all of the southeastern dental schools and their Boards of Dentistry. Through the Board of Dentistry, he has served and continues to serve as a Southern Regional Testing Agency Examiner for Dental Licensure. He has served on the SRTA Long-range Planning Committee, the Examination Committee, and the Examination Review Committee. He most recently served as a Clinic Floor Coordinator.
He has remained active in organized dentistry through his membership in the American Dental Association and its state and local constituencies serving as President of the Chattanooga Dental Society in 2001-2002. Following his year as President, he was awarded the Fellowship Award by the Tennessee Dental Association, which is one of the highest awards presented by the TDA. He has held other leadership positions within these organizations on local, state and national levels.
His peers recognized Dr. DeArmond in 1997 for his “conspicuous services rendered in the Art and Science of Dentistry” when he was inducted as a Fellow into the International College of Dentists. In 2000, he was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Dentists “in recognition of services and devotion to the advancement of the science and art of Dentistry,”
Dr. DeArmond has been an Advisor to the Pankey Institute Board of Directors. The Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education is one of the world’s premier institutions for advanced dental education. The Institute has over 50 years of training some of the finest comprehensive care dentists worldwide. The Institute’s commitment to complete oral health through thorough patient examination followed by patient education and treatment has established a pattern of treatment that serves as a model for other teaching institutions to follow. Dr. DeArmond has served as a member of the Visiting Faculty at the Institute since 2007 and is currently enrolled in the Pankey Scholar Program.
Dr. DeArmond is also active in several internationally recognized academies, including The Operative Academy, The Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics, The Academy of Gold Foil Operators, and the Hollenback-Medina Operative Dentistry Seminar, which is an affiliate club of the Academy of R. V. Tucker Study Clubs. In 2006, he was invited to present a program to the prestigious American Academy of Restorative Dentistry during their annual Chicago meeting. Following his presentation, he was invited to join the Academy as a full member. Dr. DeArmond has served on the Academy of Operative Dentistry council twice. He recently served through the chairs of the Academy, where he was programmed chairman, followed by his year as president of the academy. He continues to serve on the nominations and program committees. Local dental study clubs, Tennessee Valley Study Club, and Cleveland Study Club allow for personal interaction with colleagues while enjoying short programs of interest.
Dr. Dearmond and his wife, Denise, have been married since 1997. Denise is an officer at Southern Heritage Bank. She serves as Director of Marketing and is responsible for coordinating and implementing the banks marketing efforts. They both enjoy travel and sports, particularly UT Football and Basketball, as well as gardening. In addition, Dr. DeArmond is an avid golfer and fly fisherman. Dr. DeArmond and Denise attend Broad Street United Methodist Church.
Interview with Dr. DeArmond
First Job: I was a day camp counselor at 15. I started working early.
What drew you to dentistry? I went to a small private school here, and it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t going to inherit a chair factory or stove company. My dad was a CPA because of tax seasons; he was gone a great deal of time. Medicine bothered me because, at the time, all I could see was having to go out and tell somebody that even with my best efforts, their loved one had died. So the other people I saw were dentists, and two were particularly strong influences in town. Wayne McCully was the strongest. He was really happy with what he did, he was successful in the community. McCully had a good image and reputation in the community. So I thought I’d check this out, and he wound up being a great promoter and a great encourager along the way. He was a really strong influence.
Where did you study? University of Tennessee, Knoxville undergraduate, and then University of Tennessee Medical Units in Memphis.
What did you do your undergraduate degree in? It is biology. I had to take one elective class in my spring quarter and was back in the quarter days; the only one I could fit in the schedule was the History of Black Literature in America, it was a night class, and I made an A.
Why did you set up practice in Cleveland? I wanted to come home.
What was your first day like, as a dentist? It was very quiet. I associated with Dr. Randall, Stoneciper. He was running for county sheriff, so I filled in and kept his office open while he was campaigning. And then, after the election, he wasn’t successful. But young doctor Ronald Himes had a debilitating stroke, and I came in and worked two days a week for them for about three months. And then they brought me in full-time. After about 18 months, I had an opportunity to buy the practice.
So what’s a typical day like for you? Usually, get here somewhere around seven, you know, review things I didn’t finish the prior day. Make sure that everything’s ready for the patients we’re going to see. And then I’ll normally see somewhere between 5 and 10 patients on my side, and then I’ll check probably, 10 hygiene patients during the course of the day.
When I first started, I was seeing 30 and 40 people a day. I had to change what I was doing, or I was going to burn out. How do you have time to see that many people? You don’t. And there was a push; there are trends in dentistry that some of the throwaway journals will say, “Well, you can add an extra assistant and see five more patients in a day.” You still have to do the work. And you have to do well. So the first thing I did in trimming that schedule down was eliminate things that I didn’t like to do.
Well, I didn’t like pediatrics. We have Dr. Bacon, and he did a great job. I didn’t like doing oral surgery. We had oral surgeons in town. I hated doing root canals, and we had specialists to do that. The orthodontics was, I mean, that’s a three-year residency, right? So you know, let the orthodontist do their specialty. And so, as I began to par things down, all of a sudden, I had time to do the things I wanted to do and do them well. It’s actually something we teach down at the Pankey Institute. You’ve got to build the practice of your dreams, but it’s got to be your vision of what you want to do, and then you have to be courageous enough to do it.
What would you say is your favorite part of your practice? The people!
What would you say to somebody who is afraid of the dentist? It takes time to earn trust, and then I’ll do everything I can to earn your trust over time, and the first thing I’ll promise you is I won’t hurt you.
What would you call the highlight of your career? There have been several. One was being invited to join the American Academy of Restorative Dentistry. The first major meeting I went to was in Chicago, and I went as a guest, and it took me until 15 years ago to earn an invitation. It is very prestigious, it’s the oldest, and it’s considered the most exclusive. You have to present to them in order to be considered for membership.
I’m just a guy living in town and doing this for a living, but I’ve had some really good opportunities.
What has been your favorite opportunity that’s come? It’s been around dentistry. A lot of us, the people that I have met and some colleagues and friendships that wouldn’t have happened had. I just finished 39 years, and I’ve been to 37 of the last 39 American dental association meetings. So that gets you all over the country, and you start finding out who the people are that you really want to learn from. And then that group kind of narrows down even more.
You know, these are the people to really listen to. They’re the pioneers. They’re the ones that are going to give you all the facts about what’s going on inside. And so just being involved with those groups. It first generated mentors, and then it generated great friends and a lot of opportunities to educate other young dentists as well.
Well, that’s kind of the payback I’m doing now. Teaching is one of the conditions of some of these really great people, which is that you have to carry things forward. You have to find people that are willing to learn and mentor them the same way that I’ve been mentored. Now people open doors for as long as they see you do the work tomorrow.
Where are you teaching it? It Is the Pankey Institute. It’s just a wonderful place. It’s fifty-two years old now. The oldest and the only nonprofit advanced dental education institute in the country. Dr. Pankey’s requirement was it has to be self-sustaining, but he said, I want this done so that we can have a foundation to support more causes.
So, what would you say you are most proud of in your career? I’ve gotten to enjoy a very nice life in my community, and I think I’ve got a nice reputation here. So you know, living a life that’s been fulfilling and at the same time maintaining a good reputation in the community.
It sounds like your reputation is very important to you. It is. I mean, I’m a fourth-generation DeArmen in this community, and my dad was a decorated war hero. He was wounded at the Normandy invasion, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Cross, and retired as a full major. He was in and out of hospitals for two years before he came home. But when he came home, everybody knew who he was. He went through UC and got an accounting degree because he thought he wouldn’t be able to do a lot of Engineering with a bad hip. And so, he became a CPA. For ten years, he was the Hamilton County Auditor.
So in 1966, he moved us back to Cleveland, and we lived in this house next door until they found a place to build a home.
So I would imagine that because of who your dad was even growing up as a kid. Everyone knew who you were? Not really. Because I went to a very small school and they’re only 12 people in my graduating class. Cleveland High had opened maybe four or five years before I went to high school. I originally passed the exam to go to Baylor. They didn’t have buses back then, you couldn’t dorm until the ninth grade, and I was in going into the seventh grade. The Cleveland Day School had opened, and most of its faculty were from Baylor, GPS, and McCauley. So the same college-bound college intended curriculum was developed, and it worked out great. Look at your ratios. You know 12 people, you’re going to get the attention you need. If you’re willing to do the work, they will prepare you for college. The accountability is a lot higher in those small environments.
What other professional organizations are you involved with? The Academy of Operative Dentistry, and I was President three years ago. I went through their council twice and was program chairman. In addition, I am a part of The Academy of Gold Foil Operators, The Academy of RV Tucker Study Clubs, The Hollenback Medina Operative Dental Seminar, and a faculty study club at the Pankey Institute.
One of the things I told Dr. McCully when he really did go to bat for me to give me a chance was that I promised him I would never disappoint him. He was a past president of the Tennessee Dental Association and quietly did things for the community. We were the second community in the state to have fluoride in our water.
And the only reason we were second was the LG Knoll foundation that he was on, it was five dentists and five industrialists across the state, and it was people like Andy Holt in Knoxville, and when they would meet, they had three objectives.
One was student education, scholarships in public health, and dental research. The scholarship stuff kind of took care of itself with government programs. So it continued partially sponsoring a nationwide student dental research project and is partially sponsored through the Hinman Association. But in that group of five doctors, they decided they would florid water in this public health thing.
Dr. Denny was from a little town in West Tennessee where he was the mayor. Dr. McCully came home, and they had to go to our mayor at the time, who was also a dentist, Dr. Park. So there were just two jumps for Dr. McCully to make. Dr. Denny just went in and said we’re going to do this. I’ve got a photograph somewhere of Dr. McCully standing down in the utility room with a great big valve in the fluoridator, the dignitaries from the utility and the state.
I mean, that’s what really started to address the rabid decay in kids’ teeth.
So it sounds like you had some excellent advice along the way. Great mentors. What is one piece of advice that sticks out to you? Be true to yourself. And one of the things that I’ve talked to young doctors about is that you have to be sure that when you recommend a procedure, the first one to benefit from that procedure is the patient. There are trends now. It’s all about production. And if the doctors are the ones benefiting before the patient, Then you’ve got some things that aren’t aligned properly. And that’s one of the things that the American College of Dentists emphasizes are ethics and professionalism. And that was another one of the really nice things that happened through those friendships that developed. I was invited to become a fellow in the American College. And shortly before that, through the Hollenback study club, one of our members was the American president of the International College of Dentists, and he called a local older dentist that was in the college and asked him to sponsor me because you had to have somebody from your state. So that doctor I knew very well showed up and said, I don’t know who wants you in this organization, but they want you in bad.
How have you seen the industry change since you started and where we are now? In the beginning, it was all about disease management. It was shortly into my career that a pretty smile became a bigger deal than a healthy mouth. So I saw an industry-driven more by aesthetics and appearance than disease control. Somebody comes in and says they want you to re-do their smile. I’ll ask them,” Well, what do you want to look like? The cover of People magazine, or you just want a pretty smile?” People magazine, that’s been photoshopped. Some people think that’s real, and you’ll say all right, this is your choice. Let’s look at shades of teeth and try to keep that in mind.
It’s got to match the frame of your face, Right? So the whitest I want somebody to have their teeth is the point of their eyes because that becomes your comparison.
What mark would you like to see as your personal influence on the industry? First, I’d like to be remembered as a conscientious and talented clinician, then also that I tried to be a good teacher.
What advice would you give to someone trying to start in this industry? You really build stable practices on personal relationships with patients. So the first time you meet someone is going to set the stage for relationship building. That happens over time.
What do you think is the key to professional success? It is still all about honesty. Be honest with people about their problems, and be sure that you try to tailor their treatment to what’s appropriate for them.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job? The complex issues! When I have somebody come in that’s having muscle and joint issues and breaking their teeth. And they’ve got all these different issues going on. So the idea of putting that puzzle together, laying out a plan, and getting them to a good place is what I enjoy.
What’s been a moment in your career that was difficult? When my partner died. That was really hard. 23 years together. It was devastating. It happened very, very fast.
What would you do if you could pick a day and just do whatever you wanted? It would be golfing, fly fishing, or working at my farm. You learn more about somebody’s character in 18 holes of golf than you will in 100 hours. Somebody who will cheat on a two-dollar bet, they’ll cheat on anything.
How do you feel about how dentists are represented in pop culture? Dentistry gets a bad rap. It really does. Comedians have had a heyday with us. Root canals are probably the biggest problem they take on, and it’s true that there are complications, but it is usually because somebody’s doing something they’re not qualified to do.
You know, if you look at the outcomes of the specialist, you go in, in pain, and you come out, you might be sore, but you don’t have pain. If it’s not managed correctly, you enter in pain, you come out in pain, and you got to do it again.
Who would play you in a movie? Oh gosh. Oh, shoot. It would be somebody kind of quiet, I think. I’m really enjoying Yellowstone right now. It’s fabulous. I mean so many stories within stories. That’s probably one of Kevin Costner’s best roles. I mean, he got the academy for Dances with Wolves. But his kind of quiet-driven demeanor, I think as a character, is probably close.
So tell me about your family? Both parents have passed away, and both lived well into their 80s. Oh, I have one brother that’s 18 months older; he is retired and lives up in the mountains in Tellico. My wife and I married late, so we don’t have kids.
How long have you and your wife been married? 25 years, just celebrated.
What do you do for your 25th? Well, we went to the beach. Oh, we had two nice dinners. There’s a place in Destin that we’ve gone to for years on anniversary dinners because we’re usually down there at about that time, and then we came home and had another anniversary dinner. She’s been wanting some kind of a silver necklace, and so I gave her a diamond pendant set in white gold.
What is the best gift you have ever given someone? My time.
What animal would make a good dentist? Oh, Golden Retriever. We have a golden retriever named Daisy. She might as well be our child.
Besides your teaching, how have you given back to your community?
Early on, I was assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scout Troop I was in growing up, troop 10.
One of our other assistants was a guy named Charlie Alms, that was with the forest service; he got permission for us to do what we call the great river raft race, where they had to use inner tire tubes, and they used no nails, no screws. It all had to be stuffed lashed together with their knots that they had to do, and they started at Web Store and when all the way down to the get-out at 411 Highway. And of course, the scoutmasters, we got to be out there on kind of safety patrol because those things fell apart. Make sure they had their life jackets on and that they were going on the right side of the rapids. But, oh, it was fun!
I worked through the YMCA for a number of years. I was on their foundation when it was just the Cleveland YMCA. And went into the chairs when we merged with the Chattanooga Y and then chaired our Cleveland branch after about 10 years of being on the committee.
And I think the YMCA is one of our greatest assets in this community.
Where do you attend church? Broad Street United Methodist. I’m at least a third-generation DeArmond there. Dad told me stories about running into the church on Sunday morning to see Who’d get to ring the bell? First one of the rope! This was a really good community to grow up in!
What is one thing you would like people to know about you? I mean, just I’m not wanting to make this sound like I’m the best in the greatest and the smartest and all that but just let people know that I’ve done more than just practicing the community that I have gotten involved outside the community, and the organizations had been pretty much driven toward becoming better at what I do.
She brings to us a background in medical billing and insurance as well as experience in the finance field. She is skilled in helping patients deal with insurance and financial matters that can be so confusing. Her warm smile and “what can I do to help you” approach to her job make her a valuable member of our team.
Brittany is a graduate of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, GA. She is married to Dax McGowan of Cleveland. Brittany has a stepson Knox and a son Jaxson.
She and her family are members of Clingan Ridge Baptist Church. Brittany has always been athletic and continues to enjoy outdoor activities in addition to shopping and spending time with her family and friends.
Cleveland native and a Graduate of Bradley Central High School. She attended East Tennessee State University earning an Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene in 1982 and a Bachelor of Science in Community Health in 1983.
Cathy returned to the Cleveland area in 1983 and divided her time between a general practice in Athens, TN and Dr. Paul Bacon’s Pediatric practice in Cleveland. She continues to share her talents with our practice and Dr. Bacon.
She is married to Charlie Smith, a career educator in Bradley Country. They have twin daughters. Amanda Gibson who is and ICU nurse at Skyridge and Megan Pope who is an ER nurse at Parkridge. They have one grandson Carter Gibson. Cathy and Charlie are active members of Westwood Baptist Church. Cathy’s main interests include reading and spending time with family and friends.
A busy schedule of work and keeping up with two active young children creates a full schedule. She does enjoy painting, riding horses, fishing, riding four wheelers and spending time with her family and friends.
Connie and her husband Greg have two adult sons, Hayes and Alexander. She loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends. One of her favorite trips was going to Israel with Precept Ministries. She is a member of First Baptist Church in Cleveland.
We are a general dental practice with emphasis on preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. Our goal is to help you and your families establish and maintain excellent oral health for a lifetime. We base our treatment recommendations on current and scientifically supported principles.
We, as a dental team, will continually strive to assist our patients in achieving a higher quality of life as a result of our contact with them. We will approach each of our patients with compassion and genuine concern for their well-being. We will make every effort to understand our patient’s personal needs and help them to accomplish their desires. With personal commitments to excellence and professionalism, we will educate our patients so that they will understand and appreciate the importance of good health.