You may have seen him striding along a Tamworth street in his tailored mink fur coat, Birkenstocks and Akubra hat and wondered who is that interesting looking man?
When Melbourne dentist Jonathan Hartley retired from his successful practice in South Yarra five years ago, he expected to spend his retirement painting. Without having to run a business, “a big weight off my shoulders”, he found he was not quite ready to step away from dentistry and offered his services as a locum. He has worked in Bendigo, Cessnock, Port Macquarie and Mt Isa where he saw his first rodeo and served beer and snags for the Vintage Racing Club.
He came to Tamworth at the invitation of Amana Doran, widow of the late Professor Gregory Alwyn Doran who was known and loved by many Tamworthian patients, to fill in at Parkside Dental Care in Fitzroy Street overlooking the Bicentennial Park for two weeks. That was two years ago. Jonathan fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle, the friendly locals, the ease of getting around – “everything is five minutes away”.
“One of the reasons I decided to stay in Tamworth was to build relationships with my patients. As a locum I would start to treat someone and then have to leave,” says Jonathan. A highly skilled and experienced dentist, Jonathan has been a member of various international Dental Associations for three decades and has lectured at universities here and overseas.
He was instrumental in bringing 40 dental hygienists to dental practices in Victoria in the seventies. Most importantly, his forte is practicing hypnosis (he was a member of the American Hypnosis Society) which helps clients to relax in the dentist chair and past president of the Victorian Crown and Bridge Society.
Jonathan’s passion in general dentistry is ongoing and his services include implantology, crown and bridge work, as well as endodontics – root canals. He was taught by Peter K Thomas, “the greatest dentist in America” and international head of gnathology – how the muscles, teeth and jaw work together and periodontics – the science of healthy gums.Another emerging field Jonathan will offer to his patients and clients is anti-wrinkle treatments and dermal filler injectables. The cosmetic results that are achievable, are nothing short of incredible. “Dentistry is basically a craft – it’s just another form of sculpture,” he says.
After dentistry, art is Jonathan’s passion. He enjoys painting and has been an avid art collector for well over 40 years. He has supported artists by assisting them with their teeth and as a result has been the subject of many paintings entered into the Archibald Prize – 13 times in all! Two paintings in which he appeared were runners up in 1972 and in 2005. From football players (he was the resident dentist to Collingwood Football Club) to politicians, from struggling artists to troubled youth, Jonathan has treated many people in his surgery over the years. He has also supported many charities particularly those assisting young people.