Tillman Smiles January 2019





I n Frank Capra’s Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart spends much of the movie in a dream, only to realize that when he wakes up, all his hopes and dreams are realized. Such is the case for me. This month, my team and I are filled with anticipation and excitement about making the big move to our new office on 1100 South Lake Street, on the corner of Rosedale Street, less than a mile from our current office. As the final touches are put on the brand-new office, I can’t help but think back to the very first day I opened my practice: Monday, July 12, 1993. I had just completed my general practice residency at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City that June, and had recently asked — and been accepted — for marriage with Julie, my now 25th-anniversary bride. My life lay before me like an unwritten Capra classic, and I knew that only good things were ahead. The previous year, I had traveled throughout Texas to find the perfect dental practice with the ideal location, only to return to Fort Worth, my childhood home. I purchased a small dental practice from a retiring 72-year-old dentist, and I immediately got to work. The building was old and the dental equipment outdated, but it was a start, a beginning; my name on a business with a bright future ahead. The location, 901 College Avenue, wasn’t the best, being right across the street from Trimble Tech High School. Students or vagrants occasionally broke into patients’ cars during appointments, and in fact, an employee’s car went missing for half a day while a student took it on a joyride! We knew we needed to move, and in 2003, we did, moving to our current location. In the process, we upgraded from a 900- to a 1600-square-foot facility, improving to a 4 1/2 chair office, with new equipment and a wonderful location. We’ve now been here for the last 15 years, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. However, with my practice’s growth, we have outgrown this office and it’s time to move on. I originally purchased the bare lot for our new office, previously a fire department building, from Fort Worth in 2010. In a closed-bid city auction, I bid the minimum amount and somehow got the property!

While my practice these last 25 years has met all of my expectations, God has also tremendously blessed my 25- year marriage to Julie. We married

on December 4, 1993, six short months after I opened my business. We started in a small 600-square- foot apartment behind Hulen Mall. But for the past 15 years, we have lived in

a wonderful home in Aledo, filled with children, dogs, and lots of love. Even during some recent challenges with cancer, God has been good, blessing me and my family beyond any expectation. While I had personal health challenges, our new building had similar challenges. After the builder and bank were no longer able to get along, the building process stopped for nearly two years. The bank threatened to foreclose; requiring a bankruptcy, lots of lawyer bills, a search for a new builder and bank, compliance with new city regulations, and lots of fix-ups, with construction that had to be redone. But after years of planning and preparation, construction and reconstruction, we are finally ready to have our first day in a building full of great amenities and the most up-to-date comforts and technologies for our patients. So, from my first day in business until we open the new office, we will have grown from a 900-square-foot office to a 3400-square-foot office, moving from a 3 1/2 chair facility to an 8-chair facility, all to improve our dental care for you, our honored guests. Keep an eye out for announcements detailing our grand opening. We hope to see you all there! –David Tillman


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