GOLDTHWAITE, Texas (KWTX) – A Central Texas dentist born at the height of the Great Depression says genetics and a genuine love for his patients has kept him working nearly 70 years, five days a week, and he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
Robert Henry Johnson, 90, is believed to be the oldest practicing dentist in the United States.
“It makes me feel good,” Dr. Johnson said when reached by phone. “It makes me feel good because I don’t feel old. In fact, I’m fixing to go to work right now.”
Robert Henry was born in the house where he was raised 10 miles south of Goldthwaite in 1931 to parents who farmed and ranched.
“I was raised very poor,” he said. “We were on a farm down there, had no running water, had no electricity in Goldthwaite, Texas, out in the country.”
“We got to go to town on Saturday and you’d get a dime to go to town. You’d get six cents to go to the show and four cents to spend otherwise and, boy, a penny would buy a lot of candy back then.”
Johnson had a driver’s license at the age of 12, the same year he also decided on the profession which he would ultimately pursue of dentistry.