Tom Starkey’s career was born from his passion for the life sciences and caring for people. And so began his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota followed by the University of Tennessee, where he received his dental degree. From there, Dr. Starkey attended Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX for one semester and then studied at the Institute de Touraine, France for one year in preparation for the next four years as a dental missionary in Benin, West Africa.
Dr. Starkey returned to the United States to pursue a one-year hospital residency program in Tennessee, followed by a move to Charlottesville Virginia, where he worked at the health department and in a group dental practice before launching his own private practice in 1988. He found Charlottesville to be the ideal location to raise his family of three children and still have access to the mountains, beach and Washington DC.
A humble man whose team approach included daily prayer, Dr. Starkey found his greatest delight in getting to know his patients on a personal level – just another facet of his interest in languages and cultural missions. His number one priority was to meet his patient’s needs in the most suitable manner for that individual. In doing this, his reputation grew to be officially recognized as the “Best Dentist in Charlottesville.”
Each day was fulfilled by ensuring that patients experienced their visit in a caring and gentle environment, where their needs and interests were valued and addressed by the office team.
During his 42 years in dentistry, Dr. Starkey has sought to create and continue such an environment, and in 2014 he invited Dr. Ryan Buckwalter with his passion and skills to join and lead the experience, continuing the legacy of smiles.