A native Atlantan who grew up in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, Georgia, Dr. Marion graduated in 1988 from the Emory University School of Dentistry.
As a child, he had a chemistry set he enjoyed a lot. He also enjoyed working with his hands and would disassemble and put back together antique phones his dad brought from work. When he got to know a wonderful pediatric dentist who embodied how he saw himself as a grownup and realized that dentistry would give him an outlet for his love of science, of working with intricate things, and of working with people, he made up his mind to become a dentist.
A formative experience occurred when he was 15. He was trying to sell his boat and motor so he could purchase a mini-bike. Someone was coming to see it, and his grandmother asked if he had washed it. He told her he didn’t have to. She said, “You go out and wash that boat,” to which he protested, “Why?” She told him, “You can’t sell something that looks like crap!” Her bluntness got his attention, so he washed the boat and sold it that day. He remembered that lesson and from that time forward he made sure everything he did was as presentable as he could make it.
His Dental Practice
Dr. Marion feels that his dental school experiences were just the beginning of his training. He continues to pursue continuing education at triple the rate required by the state of Georgia.
Two years out of dental school, he was working with a dentist who had been trained at the Pankey Institute in Florida, where they teach advanced restorative dentistry and bite equilibration. After learning that Dr. Marion had headaches almost daily, the other dentist checked his bite and discovered that he had significant bite irregularities. After 15 minutes of bite equilibration, Dr. Marion was cured of his headaches—they were gone. So Dr. Marion decided to attend the Pankey Institute himself and qualify himself to provide that level of service. He now says of this work, “When I equilibrate someone who truly needs this and they finally for the first time feel what a solid bite feels like, they look at me like I’m a superhero. This brings me great joy!”
Another of his principal joys in his work comes from his cosmetic dentistry. “I had a CEO of a major company come to us,” he says, “and we noticed that whenever he laughed he’d subconsciously cover his smile with his hand, pretending to be rubbing his chin. The first time we saw him after his smile makeover, he was literally a different man, coming in with confidence on steroids and a massive grin. It makes my day, heck, it makes my month to change someone’s life with a new smile!”
His Treatment Philosophy
- Dr. Marion doesn’t believe in prioritizing between beauty and function in his work. “A beautiful, shapely smile and its function are closely intertwined; one can’t truly have one without the other.” So he loves both aspects of his work.
- Another thing that is important to him is saving teeth and conserving existing tooth structure as much as possible, to the point of using specialized techniques to keep tooth reductions as small as possible.
- A third thing important to him is the development of a trusting relationship with his patients. He feels that his patients are his friends, and when they refer their friends, those patients then become Dr. Marion’s friends. These relationships are very important to him.
Based on the recommendation of oral surgeons that he works with, Dr. Marion has qualified as an Associate of the American Society of Implant and Restorative Dentistry. He has also recently been elected a Fellow of the International College of Dentistry, an organization set up to honor the world’s leading dentists.
But the honor that pleases him the most was when his favorite dental school professor chose him to provide his personal dental care.
Dr. Marion has also pursued extensive post-graduate education. He is a graduate of the Dawson Master’s program of the Pankey Institute in Florida where he was taught complex restorative dentistry, occlusion, and TMJ treatment.
He is a member of the following professional organizations:
- American Dental Association
- Georgia Dental Association
- Academy of General Dentistry
- Hinman Dental Society
- Northern District Dental Society
- Associate of The American Society of Implant & Reconstructive Dentistry (ASIRD)
- Fellow of the International College of Dentists
His Personal Life
Dr. Marion showcases his artistry outside of the dental office with his hobbies of woodturning and woodworking. In his spare time, Dr. Marion also enjoys exploring the Appalachian Trail and cycling the back roads and trails of Georgia and North Carolina with his wife, Paula. On one of their bike rides they found two kittens in a culvert, which they took home and adopted into their family. They have raised one son who is in college, and the two kitties are still at home.
Dr. Marion’s Contributions to the Community
Dr. Marion enjoys giving back to his community and helping those who cannot typically afford even basic dental care. He supports local sports teams and events and has an active share in providing professional volunteer dental services. Dr. Marion has been happy to give of his time to serve in the following capacities:
- Hebron Dental Clinic: volunteer dentist
- Dental Lifeline Network volunteer where they provide pro bono dental work for needy individuals
- Good Samaritan Charity Clinic supporter
- Greater Atlanta Dental Foundation member