Meet Dr. Tom and team

Dr. Tom Atkinson: Father, Orthodontist, Musician & Woodworker

“I grew up constantly hanging around and working in my father’s dental office— he was the first pediatric dentist in South Carolina. So it seemed that from an early age I was destined to become a dentist. And 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. I have both children and adults come to me concealing their teeth during conversation or when they smile because they’re ashamed. And almost always shortly after we begin their correction, their confidence increases— they are no longer ashamed, and they smile all the time. And often someone will write me a note after we’ve removed their braces telling me exactly how much of a difference we have made in their lives. That is the reason I love what I do— I get to make a significant positive impact for a person which lasts their entire lifetime.

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 a 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.

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— yes 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)
  • Earned DMD in 1987 from the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Dental Medicine  (Charleston,SC)
  • Winner of 4 academic awards:
    • International College of Dentists: Outstanding Achievement
    • Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics: Outstanding Achievement
    • The Quintessence Award for Academic Achievement
    • American Association of Endodontists: Certificate of Merit.
  • 1990: Masters of Science in Orthodontics from Washington University (St. Louis, MO)
  • Member:
    • American Dental Association
    • American Association of Orthodontists
    • Southern Association of Orthodontists
    • Lingual Study Group
  • Leader with Boy Scouts of America
  • Past church deacon with significant youth leadership involvement

Dr. Atkinson continues his education constantly, studying with some of the world leaders in orthodontics.

Tasha Cisson: Certified Dental Assistant

“I grew up in Marietta, SC and still live there near my family. I married Justin, the love of my life, in 2005 and we have 2 beautiful girls. Iris is my oldest who enjoys softball and basketball while Mallory who is 3 years younger adores playing dress-up. My church life is very important to me as I sing in the choir, teach Sunday School and coach basketball for my daughter’s team. I love being a mom and a wife and enjoy working in my yard. Dr. Tom knows that I also love to travel because I’m always telling him I’ll go anyplace, anytime.

I was graduated from Traveler’s Rest High School in 2000 and obtained my Certified Dental Assistant degree from Greenville Technical College in 2002. Dentistry has been my only career; I began with a pediatric dentist in Greenville for 5 years and then joined Dr. Tom’s team in 2007. “

Fun Fact: I have hyper mobility (“double-jointed”) in my shoulders and arms.

Linda Hartman: Treatment Coordinator

“In 1988 my husband (Jim) and I were the first couple to be married at a small historical church in western Pennsylvania where we lived for many years close to towns from which Arnold Palmer and Mr. Rogers came from where Rolling Rock Beer was brewed. We moved to Taylors, SC in 1998 and both of our children are graduates of Wade Hampton High School. Nick is a nurse and lives with his wife in Columbia, SC while my Jamilyn is a surgical-tech living in Topeka, KS with her husband and their son. In my spare time I enjoy movies, jigsaw puzzles, weekend trips with my husband and giving back through the ASPCA and my church council.

In 1982 I finished Connellsville High School, then earned an Assoc. Degree in Computer Programming from Westmoreland County Community College in 1984. I began my dental career in 1993 via on the job training first with an orthodontist and then a prosthetic dentist. I came to work with Dr. Tom in 2000 and have filled several roles— dental assistant, lab technician, x-ray and orthodontic records specialist and now I serve as our Treatment Coordinator.”

Fun Fact: I was on Romper Room for 2 weeks in 1970 in Pittsburgh, PA, worked at Cedar Point Amusement Park for 3 years, and I have owned a ferret named Furman.

Lauren English: Appointment Coordinator

“Cranford, New Jersey was my childhood home but I’ve also lived in Clearwater, FL and I graduated Flagler College (St. Augustine, FL) in 1991. Prior to joining Dr. Tom’s team in December of 2013, I worked as a merchandising specialist and as a pharmaceutical sales consultant. My husband John and I have two beautiful girls- Maryn is the creative-free-spirit-dreamer, while Grace is a peacemaker-book lover-broadway music fanatic.

I love exploring new craft breweries with my husband, and I particularly enjoy decorating and “re-creating” things into something wonderful. I have a dream of buying land and opening what I call the “Rescue Ranch” where I see and care for dogs that nobody wants anymore.”

Fun Fact: I have opened 3 Etsy online shops where I sold handmade wooden fairy doors, felt hair bows, and unique jewelry pieces.

Kelley Duncan: Financial Coordinator

“I am a Greenville native, having attended Hillcrest High and Greeville Tech and I currently live in Simpsonville. My husband Bruce and I have 4 children along with 4 marvelous (and busy) grandchildren. I came to work with Dr. Tom in 2013 after having been the Office Manager for an Internal Medicine group for 12 years, and involved with medical billing for about 5 years before that.

I love spending my time at the lake with family, working in my flowerbeds at home, and babysitting my grandchildren.”

Fun Fact: I used to lift weights and compete in powerlifting matches.

Emily Ray: Certified Dental Assistant

“I’m the most recent addition to our team, having started Summer 2018. I grew up here in Greenville, but I’ve lived in Florida. My 3 year old daughter was born when I lived in Charlotte. She is full of life and she lights up any room.

For fun, I enjoy walking around our downtown, spend time with girlfriends, and take my daughter on weekend trips.”

Fun Fact: I used to paint landscapes and abstract art in my spare time.

Kayla Maness: Certified Dental Assistant

“ I joined Dr. Tom in 2012 after having worked in general dentistry for about a year. I’m from the Duncan, SC area and have lived there all my life. I attended Byrnes High School in Spartanburg and graduated from Greenville Technical College in 2011 with my degree as a Certified Dental Assistant.

I have 3 children— Brayden, Camden are my mischievous boys that love to play football, and Tinsley is my girl that enjoys gymnastics and dance. I don’t know how to have fun outside of working with Dr. Tom— ha! When I’m not at work i enjoy playing with my children, swimming, spending time at the beach, and watching Clemson football.

Fun Fact: I played the violin for 8 years (but no longer).