About Dr. Tom and Team
“Years ago when I became an orthodontist, I knew it would be an interesting and challenging career. But I had no idea just how incredibly rewarding it would be. Many kids and adults that come to me will conceal their teeth when they smile or during regular conversation because they’re ashamed. But very shortly after we begin treatment, their confidence increases— they are no longer ashamed, and they smile all the time. And that is the reason I love what I do.”
“I’ve been a “jack of all trades” for many years, having remodeled several houses over the years—essentially by myself. I took the opportunity in 2012 to design and build a home near downtown Greenville, and used the knowledge and experience I had gained to incorporate many custom personal touches. Most of these I’ve made myself in my home woodworking shop: art glass window coverings, a dining table, stairwell niches for sculptures, a unique sink pedestal made of 3 stacked antique trunks, an outdoor antique cabinet/hutch, custom picture frames, custom bookcases, a garden gate . . . and I have quite a list of new things to create next.”
“The art of fine woodworking is a passion of mine. I almost always design the pieces I build, and they either find their way into my home, or I gift them to family and friends. I think a wedding, Christmas, housewarming gift, etc., can’t be any more meaningful to the recipient than if it’s made personally, autographed and dedicated just to them. The pieces I build are of the highest quality so that they will last for many generations, whether it’s a picture frame for a friend or the sheet music cabinet for my daughter’s Furman graduation.”
“Music is a big part of my life. I started playing electric bass while in middle school and have kept it up all this time— a high school rock band, church bluegrass and gospel combo, various church performances, etc. Photography is also a hobby, though mainly during my travels. It’s too easy to take bad pictures, so why do it? It’s much more fun to share a photograph that’’s well composed and artful.”
“My parents still live in the same house in which I grew up here in Greenville, directly across from Sara Collins Elementary where I went to school. Beck Middle, J.L. Mann High, and Furman University— yep I’m definitely a Greenville native. My son was born in Charleston during my senior year of dental school and my daughter just as I finished orthodontic school in St. Louis, MO. And I was fortunate to begin my career practicing for a few years with my father before he retired from a long career as the first pediatric dentist in South Carolina.”
- Class of 1984 Furman University (Greenville, SC)
- 1987: DMD from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine (Charleston, SC) with 4 academic awards— International College of Dentists: Outstanding Achievement, Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics: Outstanding Achievement, The Quintessence Award for Academic Achievement, and The American Association of Endodontists: Certificate of Merit.
- 1990: Masters of Science in Orthodontics from Washington University (St. Louis, MO)
- Membership in the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists, Lingual Study Group.
- Dr. Atkinson continues his education constantly, studying with some of the world leaders in orthodontics.