Dr. Carlos Blackmon owns and operates Guided Smiles Prosthodontics and Implant Center located at 153 Fort Wade Road, Suite 100 in Ponte Vedra. He is a veteran having proudly served in the United States Navy and he has called the Northeast Florida home since being stationed at Mayport in 2015. He specializes in prosthodontics and enjoys the difference he can make in his patients’ lives.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m originally from Killeen, Texas and my parents were in the Army, so I was born on a military base and spent my childhood there and in Atlanta.
I went to the University of Georgia and then dental school at VCU before joining the Navy where I did dentistry for several years before deciding to go back to school to specialize in prosthodontics.
We came to the area in 2015 by way of the military when my wife and I were relocated here when I was stationed at Naval Station Mayport.
I ended up going to UF for my prosthodontic residence.
When did you realize dentistry was the right career path for you?
It began when I was going off to college and I went in for a dental checkup.
Before I had wanted to be a sports broadcaster becasue I was a huge sports fan and grew up playing sports, so I thought I wanted to do what I could to remain around it.
However, I also knew I liked working with my hands and I was always into legos growing up, so seeing all the tools they had in the dental office intrigued me, as well as the fact that I found out I could help people.
I was offered the chance to shadow my dentist and I knew it was the right fit for me.
Did you always want to join the military?
My dad was retired from the Army and he really encouraged me to serve my country and how its an honorable thing to do.
It gave me time to figure out my direction in dentistry and the career path I wanted to take.
What led you to prosthodontics?
This aspect of dentistry is even more of an arts and crafts form of dentistry because you learn how to make a lot of the prosthetics that you end up using.
It did not take me long to gravitate to it because it goes back to me liking to use my hands and the training to do it yourself was a totally different type of experience than anything I had done.
It’s extremely rewarding to see the difference you can have in a person’s life.
Usually, the patients I encounter are individuals with drastic and extreme cases. They could have had cancer and had some of their jaw removed or a person could be missing all their teeth.
Patients are usually with me for a year or half of a year as I’m with them through the rehabilitation process that takes place. It’s the healing process and all that goes into it.
What are the most rewarding parts about your job?
The journey that you that you and your patients take together is the rewarding part.
You get to know your patients, and you’re there sharing in their highs and lows with them.
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
We like to get out to the beach and walk around any chance we get, and of course the year-round weather here is unbeatable.
What do you and your family do in your free time?
The Riverside Arts Market is someplace we’re at almost every other Saturday. We love to do our part to support the local arts scene and all that is going on with it and we stay open to anything else going on in Jacksonville.
Also, the Georgia-Florida game is always a fun time and something we enjoy. I went to both schools so that’s always a big game in our household.