Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Steinmetz to retire after 40 years in dentistry

Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. Thomas Steinmetz has practiced dentistry in Huntington for over 40 years. On Wednesday, December 22 he will retire and in order to ensure that his patients continue to receive the best possible care, Dr. Steinmetz and Dr. Matthew Eckert will merge their respective practices into a single practice called Downtown Dental. Dr. Eckert will carry on the Huntington dentistry practice as Downtown Dental.

In honor of Steinmetz’s 40 years of dedication to dentistry in Huntington, an open house will be held on Saturday, January 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 429 N. Jefferson Street. The open house will also showcase the changes that are taking place at Downtown Dental and the public is invited to attend.

Dr. Eckert has been Dr. Steinmetz’s partner for the past 17 and a half years and Steinmetz believes he is extremely well skilled in all phases of dentistry. “I have been blessed in my practice over the past 40 years and especially the past 17 and a half years working with Matt Eckert. Matt and I had a very unique relationship. Matt is a very talented dentist and I know I am leaving the practice in good hands,” said Steinmetz.

Steinmetz is originally from Garrett, Indiana and graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1968. After graduation he spent two years as an army dentist and then moved to Huntington and opened his practice in 1970. He has had four offices in different locations over the years. The first was on Market Street above Barnhart’s Bookstore (now Bob Troyer Real Estate). Steinmetz explained that there were 25 steps to his office on the second floor. He said, “I felt if a patient could physically make it up the stairs, they were healthy enough for me to work on!”

The second location for Steinmetz’s practice was on the second floor of the Community State Bank building (Wells Fargo building now empty), the third was at the former Cut Rate Drugstore (now the Visitors’ Bureau), and it was finally moved to its current location at 429 N. Jefferson Street. The name also changed over the years from Steinmetz D.D.S. to Family Dentistry.

Downtown Dental will soon replace the Family Dentistry name and along with this some unique changes are coming to the practice. Steinmetz explained that Downtown Dental will have all new computers and top-of-the-line technology. Digital x-rays will be offered to better serve patients and a website will soon be online at www.downtowndentalhuntington.com. Downtown Dental believes that this improved use of technology will be a positive addition to the dental practice.

Dr. Ryan Hart will also be joining Dr. Eckert in the practice. Dr. Hart grew up in a military family and has lived in several places over the years. He graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dental School and currently resides with his wife Vanessa in southwest Allen County. Dr. Hart will be officially introduced also at the open house at Downtown Dental on January 15.

Dr. Eckert said the business will continue to keep on the cutting edge in technology. “We are going to be adding Friday appointments to better accommodate our patient’s schedules and Dr. Hart will see a full range of patients to include children,” he explained.

When asked about his years with Dr. Steinmetz, Dr. Eckert commented, “I am going to miss Tom. It is hard to see him go. We have been blessed to have such a wonderful relationship. It has been a blessing working with Tom, but I want Tom to be able to enjoy his retirement since he is in such good health. And after talking, we both feel this is a good time. I am also excited to have Dr. Hart join the practice. It is certainly going to be different.”

Dr. Steinmetz has always loved working, coming home, and enjoying the outdoors. He has been married to his wife Kathy for 44 years. They have two children, Matthew and Kari, and four grandchildren, 2 boys and 2 girls. When asked what his plans for retirement include, Steinmetz said, “Right now I have no plans. Since I love the outdoors so much I do want to spend time hunting, fishing, and doing some traveling. We will be going to Arizona for a visit this winter. I am just going to take it one day at a time and see what happens.”