Thomas Grabeman DDS - Your Troy Ohio Dentist
Dayton, Ohio – “The Gem City” – central hub of aeronautical and aviation innovation in the country, a job-making, economic powerhouse, and home to such esteemed individuals as Orville and Wilbur Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Dr. Thomas A. Grabeman.
If the name Thomas A. Grabeman doesn’t sound familiar to you, not to worry, it doesn’t mean you didn’t pay close enough attention in history class. While you may not find his name in textbooks or your encyclopedia, Dr. Thomas A. Grabeman is most definitely an important figure in his own right, and the impact he has made during his life can’t be understated.
As you may have guessed, Dr. Grabeman is a dentist, and his path to becoming one is a good tale all by itself. But his story reaches well beyond the dental practice. Since he was young, Dr. Grabeman had been taught that being a great dentist must include a commitment to giving back to the community one serves. This philosophy was repeated to him by several important people in his life, and Dr. Grabeman took it to heart.
Thomas was born in Dayton, Ohio, and when he came along, his family name was already highly respected in the community. His father was a man of the people, a kind and very well-liked individual who spent a lot of his time volunteering and giving back to others. He also happened to be a dentist and would regularly visit local nursing homes to provide free dental care for those who were otherwise unable to get it. This was not part of his business or an education requirement. Dr. Grabeman, Sr. offered his help purely out of the goodness of his heart and an innate sense of social responsibility. And the impact of his kindness was not lost on his son.
“My father was more than just an influence to me when I was growing up,” said Dr. Thomas A. Grabeman. “He was like a superhero. My brother and I would follow him around as he did his volunteer work, and people’s faces just lit up when they saw him. It had such a huge impression on me and I always knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
And follow he did. While Dr. Grabeman, Sr. preached charity and giving back, he never pushed his profession on his children. But it turns out he didn’t need to, because Thomas went off to college with a plan to pursue a career as a dentist anyway. The future Dr. Grabeman, Jr. earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1977, then graduated with his DDS degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1980. Before venturing out into the world and starting his career, Dr. Grabeman joined his brother, also a dentist, to complete a one-year residency at the Ohio Medical College at Toledo. It was here that he met another mentor who would be an important influence on his career and life.
The director of the Toledo dental residency program shared a professional vision very similar to that of Dr. Grabeman’s father. Aside from helping dentists hone their clinical skills, the director consistently expounded on the importance of giving back, and Dr. Grabeman latched onto every word. “The program director at Toledo was adamant about going above and beyond in dentistry,” said Dr. Grabeman. “To him, that not only meant excellence in the dental practice, but in service to the community. I remember being a bit surprised at how much he sounded like my father, but I also think that’s why it has always stuck with me.”
Needless to say, as he entered the professional world of dental practice, Dr. Thomas A. Grabeman now had a very firm idea of the kind of dentist he wanted to be.
During his time at Toledo, Dr. Grabeman met a hygienist named Lisa who would become his wife before the residency was over. It ended up being the perfect fit. They were very much in love and ended up working side by side for over 30 years. But there was another facet of their marriage that was equally impactful and perhaps even more serendipitous.
His new father-in-law also turned out to be a dentist. Not only that, but he happened to be the President of the Ohio Dental Association. Naturally, they always had plenty to talk about at family gatherings, but one thing in particular stood out to Dr. Grabeman. “Amidst all our conversations about clinical procedures, recent case studies, and the latest dental technology, my father-in-law never missed an opportunity to convey the importance of being active and charitable in your community,” said Dr. Grabeman. “He used to say that as dentists, we are fortunate to be in our position and it is our duty and responsibility to give back to those we serve.”
If there was any doubt left in Dr. Grabeman’s mind, it was quickly erased. He was now thoroughly convinced that being a truly great dentist meant much more than being skilled in clinical procedure. It meant being compassionate, charitable and socially responsible. Dr. Grabeman had learned many things from his mentors over the years, but this one lesson continued to present itself, and it was now deeply ingrained in his own personal philosophy.
Shortly after Dr. Grabeman and his wife were married, they started a practice together in Kettering, Ohio, which is a nearby suburb of his hometown of Dayton. From day one, Dr. Grabeman went about distinguishing himself as a skilled and compassionate dentist. “Patient relationships have always been important to me and my practice,” said Dr. Grabeman. “Sure I want to provide excellent care, but I also want to be more to my patients than just their dentist. I want them to see that I’m their friend and neighbor too.”
"It is so important to me to take one patient at a time and help them keep their teeth for a lifetime of comfort and function," says Dr. Grabeman.