Dr. Terry Holder, DMD, was fresh out of dental school, attending a meet and greet with the Army Dental Commander. Dr. Holder was asked what area he wished to pursue. “Since pedo was my least experienced area, I chose that as my specialty. As a result, the Commander assigned me to DC-7, the Dependent Clinic,” he shared. And so, his pediatric dentistry career launched officially during time serving his country from 1970 to 1972 at Fort Benning Army Base, located in Columbus, Georgia.
“Dr. Roland Hawes accepted me into the dental residency program at CWRU in June 1973, where I graduated with my Post Doctorate Degree in Pediatric Dentistry in June, 1975, said Dr. Holder. I became board certified in 1988 and was awarded Life Status in 2011,” he added. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Following graduation, Dr. Holder moved to Atlanta, GA where he worked with Dr. Ted Levitas until setting up his own practice in the East Cobb area of Marietta, GA in 1978. Hence, from 1978 to 1989, Dr. Holder had a combination pediatric dental and orthodontic solo practice.
As he reflected upon his private practice days, Dr. Holder recalled the summer of 1989 as one of the hottest in Atlanta. The office air conditioner went out, and after four days of smoldering heat, management issues, and parental complaints, he made the decision to sell his practice. He then worked with a large dental group and started to develop increased amounts of hospital time and as a result, in 2001, he established Hospital Dentistry PC.
Within months, Dr. Holder was doing hospital dentistry four to five days a week traveling to local Georgia hospitals within a 250 mile radius from his home base in Marietta. This included; the Hamilton Health Care System in Dalton, to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital. He also spent time serving patients from 2001 until their closing in 2022 at the Atlanta Medical Center South of the Hartsfield International Airport.
“I essentially became a hospital dentistry on wheels, as I furnished my own portable dental operating unit and all supplies as a one-stop shop for providing pediatric dental emergency needs at Atlanta-area hospitals,” said Dr. Holder.
By December 9, 2017, Dr. Holder completed his 10,000th hospital case at the main campus of the
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital. And on August 8, 2022, he documented his 12,000th hospital case at the Scottish Rite Outpatient Facility in Norcross.
Today, Hospital Dentistry functions four to five days a week with a four-patient a day schedule. Hospital Dentistry is an independent contractor and is currently working with Dentistry4Children, the largest pediatric dental group in the area for the past 14 years.
When asked about retirement, the 1975 alum quickly says, “NAH – I have the best of both worlds – the kids are sleeping and the parents are in another part of the building. Plus, I still want to do a lot of hiking, mountain climbing, and bow hunt the globe.”