By Kristen Wright, Assistant Editor. Cover and story photos by Brian Beard, Creative Images Photography
Dental assistant Carmen Mendoza knows she can look to her boss, Dr. Myles O. Eady, for inspiration and guidance. The Bloomfield, Conn., periodontist is the first black president of the Hartford Dental Society in its 108-year history. Getting there involved overcoming obstacles and setting many goals. He hopes his story inspires others to succeed within his office and his community.
“I grew up in Chicago,” Dr. Eady said. “I grew up in one of those neighborhoods that had gangs, although I was never in a gang. I learned how to get along with people and how to stay out of trouble.”
The oldest child with three brothers and four sisters attributes his success to a strong family that encouraged education. His great-grandfather was a veterinarian and his grandfather was a minister.
“My father was hardworking, and my mother, like most women then, stayed at home,” he said. “They instilled that you have to do better, you have to go to school, and you have to help others. I think I could be president of the United States and be the same person I am today.
“I thought I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger, but I didn’t know any black doctors.”
So he followed his artistic inclinations and decided to pursue architecture when he was a senior in high school.
“I asked my friend what he was going to be, and he said ‘a dentist.’ At that time, I’d never been to a dentist,” he said.
He went to college, but there was no architecture program. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics.
“There was a lot of political unrest, and the United States was still in Vietnam. I realized everyone knew the problems, but no one knew the answers,” he said. “I decided to attend DePaul University to get a master’s of taxation. I thought the middle class didn’t have many tax advantages.”
Then he visited a dentist.
“I noticed a Corvette outside,” he said. “I had always wanted one. The dentist was a cool guy. He said, ‘You see that car? All I have to do to pay for that car is work an extra hour each day.’ I loved that dental smell, and I was enamoured by that chair.”
The dentist gave him the name of a friend at a dental school.
“My wife encouraged me,” Dr. Eady said. “I dropped out of my tax program and began taking courses to get into dental school. I was accepted to the University of Minnesota School of Dental Medicine, and my wife was accepted into the medical school.”
During their schooling, Dr. Eady’s father was murdered in Chicago.
“A week after I buried my father, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. She begged me to stay in dental school. I dropped out my second semester of my sophomore year. She passed away shortly after that.
“I had super focus after that. I couldn’t let those people down. I graduated in 1983.”
He also found love again.
“I married a beautiful girl I met while in dental school. My wife is a chief attorney. Her name is Sandra Norman-Eady.”
After practicing general dentistry five years in Minneapolis, Dr. Eady decided to pursue periodontics.
“I tried a couple of perio surgeries by just reading textbooks,” he said. “Then I called the University of Connecticut and got accepted in 1988.”
He received a certificate in periodontics in 1990.
Dr. Eady built his current office in 1997. It’s equipped with intraoral cameras, plumbed nitrous, oak trim, and custom cabinets. He is the only dentist in a building that houses 30 physicians.
Dr. Eady’s services include conscious sedation, placing implants, and cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Dr. Eady says he hopes he can be a role model and inspire anyone who thinks about a medical career.
His staff also includes office manager Elaine Grigg.