Dr. Aaron Carmean Bringing Smiles and Hope to People in Middle Tennessee.

by | May 2022

A SMILE IS a powerful thing. At times, it can communicate better than spoken words. Flashing a smile is a simple way to brighten a room or lift a mood. To the broken and hurting person, it can communicate care and compassion. To the vulnerable and insecure, smiling can show encouragement and approval. In atmospheres charged with tension, a smile can express mutual respect while softening the feel of the room. And when someone is really happy, with a genuine smile plastered on their face, it’s been said that it is the most attractive sight. 

But what happens when you loathe your smile and are ashamed of even opening your mouth in the slightest? You hide when it’s time to take a picture, even at family gatherings. You chew your food very cautiously, avoiding giving anyone a glimpse. When you are free and happy, and a smile naturally fills your face, you quickly stifle the joy in an attempt to hide your teeth once again. Maybe you haven’t had access to dental care or the finances associated with ongoing maintenance. For some, life choices have led to the current state of decay. Regardless, the work it takes to constantly hide and cover up is exhausting. Are you tired yet?

Leslie Simmons was tired. Simmons found herself caught up in a life of addiction. Her lifestyle took a toll on her overall health, specifically her oral health. She shared, “As my teeth crumbled, I became more and more accepting that an addict is just who I was and where I came from.” Again, a smile is a powerful thing. The state of Simmons’ teeth and lack of a beautiful smile convinced her of her identity. She accepted her “fate” because that is all she could see when looking in the mirror. 

Cue Dr. Aaron Carmean, DDS. As Simmons was riding the dizzy, never-ending ferris wheel ride of addiction, Dr. Carmean and his wife, Brooke, felt like God was calling them to Tennessee from Ohio. Starting in 2015, the two started to periodically drive through Tennessee to explore different parts of the state. Dr. Carmean investigated over 20 different dental practices that were for sale. Finally, he found a little practice owned by Joe Canary, DDS, in Decherd, Tennessee, and something hit him. He said, “this is where we need to be.” The decision was made in 2017; the Carmean family officially moved to Tennessee in August of 2018. Carmean Family Dental opened, and Dr. Carmean began making connections throughout the community 

One relationship he formed was with Jon Bell of First Vision Bank. Bell invited the Carmeans to a Blue Monarch banquet. Bell was sure they would enjoy it. Dr. Carmean shared, “we bawled our eyes out, listening to the women share their stories.” During the banquet, he skimmed a pamphlet and noticed a couple of lines that mentioned volunteers. It immediately dawned on him what he wanted to do. After the banquet, he reached out to Blue Monarch to share what was on his mind. He said, “This is my plan. This is what I want to do. Tell me if you guys are down 

with this. We will see anybody and everybody at Blue Monarch, totally pro bono, no strings attached. I want these girls to leave this program and be able to smile and get back out in the world just like everyone else.” Blue Monarch’s administrative director, Deanna Barnes, shared, “Originally, we thought Dr. Carmean was offering extraction services. We assumed he would pull teeth that were beyond repair. We never imagined that he would go above and beyond to restore beautiful smiles and rebuild confidence in women who have been beaten down and belittled for years.” Needless to say, Blue Monarch gladly accepted his offer for a corporate sponsorship. 

From that day forward, Dr. Carmean got busy seeing the Blue Monarch residents. Regular cleanings, implants, dentures, fillings, extractions, and bridgework all filled his appointment book. Barnes shared, “After the first few residents visited his office, it was apparent that Dr. Carmean and his staff believed in each lady as much as we did. They saw past the broken smiles and into the potential of each woman. Dr. Carmean developed a personal plan with each Blue Monarch resident that would ensure that she would walk away brighter and more confident and feel beautiful and worthy of healthy relationships, a promising career, or any other dream she has in her heart. What he has given the ladies at Blue Monarch is way more than dental services… it’s a renewed sense of self, and hope for the future.”

Leslie Simmons is one of the residents who had the opportunity to sit in a chair at Carmean Family Dental. Dr. Carmean, with advanced digital dentistry techniques, was able to restore a beautiful smile to her face by using his on-site 3D printer to print her dentures. Simmons shared, “I always found myself with self-esteem issues and bound to the identity the world gave me as a drug and alcohol addict. The gift Carmean Family Dental has given me means so much to me. It means I get to shake off the shame of addiction and judgment of the world as I step into my purpose and identity in Jesus Christ. It means I get to be proud to smile and love myself like I never have before. My smile is more beautiful than ever and has opened doors of opportunity and hope. Every day I get to look into the mirror, and I am reminded of the love Aaron and his staff shared with me. My future is limitless now.” Again, a smile is a powerful thing. -GN 

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