Dr. Glenn Ashmore is a family man, through and through. The father of two opened his private dental practice in 1978 after serving in the Navy. His original office space featured train memorabilia and antiques and was housed in a converted residential duplex in the historic Linwood neighborhood of Oklahoma City.
“Life was a lot simpler back then,” Dr. Glenn said.
“It was easier to have a traditional family and business; you could just adjust your schedule for family activities.”
Arlene, a dental hygienist and Dr. Glenn’s wife of more than 40 years, decided to stay at home with the kids as they grew. Still, Arlene had a big part in the business. She is the brainchild behind the Dental Depot brand, Dr. Glenn said.
“Pretty much [the kids’] whole lives I was out of the house before they got up,” Dr. Glenn said.
But Dr. Glenn was always home for dinner and he was very involved in his kids’ lives growing up.
“Dad coached all of our teams,” said Dr. Cody Dunnington, Dr. Glenn’s daughter. “He taught me how to water ski by the time I was four years old, and how to slalom by seven years old. It’s my claim to fame,” she jokes.
As a child, Dr. Cody “had a good imagination and could easily play by herself,” Dr. Glenn said. “She was very active and fun.
“I remember Cody playing at home with her My Little Ponies,” Dr. Glenn said. “And throwing the hamster up the slide.”
“In my head, [the hamster] was having a really good time,” Dr. Cody said. “[Dad] wouldn’t get me a dog! So, I had to play with the hamster!”
“I remember being in his supply room [at the dental office], digging through all the posters and toys that he used to give to kids,” Dr. Cody recalled. “Every time I’d go to the office I would go and steal a poster.”
During the late 70s and early 80s, the rules surrounding dental offices were a lot less strict. HIPPA didn’t exist, and having children in the workplace was much more acceptable than it is today.
“Back then, there weren’t all the rules about who could go where in the practice,” Dr. Cody said. “We were there all the time!”
Dr. Cody recalled being able to meet patients and pretend to be her father’s assistant, allowing her to learn about her father and his profession at a very young age.
“I used to play in the ‘spit dish,’” she said. “I always thought that was so cool. It was a porcelain cuspidor with circulating water. All dental units used to have cuspidors where patients would rinse and spit into.”
Dr. Glenn maintained his private practiced for 25 years before the second Dental Depot office was built in 2001. That same year, disaster struck. An electrical fire destroyed much of the internal structure of the original office and led to a complete rebuild from the ground up. Still, he never imagined that his private dentistry practice would one day morph into the family of offices it is today.
The true catalyst which propelled Dr. Glenn into the business adventure of his life, was simple – he had a need to keep busy.
After sending both of his kids off to college, Dr. Glenn simply couldn’t sit still. With no more teams to coach, no more homework to help with, and a new amount of ‘free’ time, he needed a new project.
“He had major empty nest syndrome!” Dr. Cody said about her dad.
The development of the company happened organically over time, with Dr. Glenn simply doing what felt right at the time. It wasn’t until she went to college that Dr. Cody and Dr. Glenn realized that she would join the family business.
“She went to college. At one point she thought she might go to medical school, but in the end she chose dental school,” Dr. Glenn explained.
Dr. Cody grew up with many of her family and friends being involved in dentistry and spent a good deal of her youth undergoing orthodontic care, so it was sort of a natural gravitation, the duo explained.
“I knew that if I went to dental school I’d go into practice with the family,” Dr. Cody said. “I started orthodontics after getting out of school and I built my orthodontic practice inside of my general dentistry practice. It’s great to be able to blend family and work lives.”
A blended family is exactly what Dr. Glenn and his family work every day to create here at Dental Depot – a family of professionals who are dedicated to the same mission, providing patients with the high quality dental care they need and deserve. From the Dental Depot family, we wish Dr. Glenn and all fathers a very special Father’s Day. Enjoy your day!