BUSINESS

Baseball injury leads Jackson native into dentistry

Photo of Dr. Earl Stubblefield. Photo by Sims Bryan.

Sims Bryan
Oxford Stories
csbryan@go.olemiss.edu

Jackson native Dr. Earl Stubblefield attended Jackson Academy for 14 years, where he was involved in many sports and clubs throughout high school. While playing baseball, Stubblefield suffered an injury and lost his front tooth. 

“Getting my tooth knocked out first sparked my interested in dentistry,” he said. 

Stubblefield graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in biology and received his doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry in 2003. Then he began his private practice, Stubblefield Dental Clinic, located at 508 Azalea Drive in Oxford. After opening, he remained in school studying orthodontics and implant dentistry. 

After completing dental school, Stubblefield married Jenny Word, a UM graduate. Today, they reside in Oxford and have two daughters, Merritt and Camille Stubblefield. 

“Without the support of my wife and kids, I would not be the person I am today,” he said.

Stubblefield has adapted to being a husband, father and successful dentist. He enjoys taking time off to be with his wife and children. Like most healthcare businesses, he said dentistry has changed over the past years. The clinic has tripled in size. 

“There was only one office phone, one computer, one hygienist, and no such thing as social media when I started,” Stubblefield said. 

Dr. Earl Stubblefield. Photo by Sims Bryan.

His practice now has active social media accounts, showcasing his dentistry skills. The office, once the size of a bedroom, is now the size of a standard dental office.

“I remember it being very slow in the beginning,” he said. “I wasn’t married, and I didn’t make a whole lot of money. There were around six dentists in Oxford, and 18 years later, there are over 20. Things in dentistry have changed quite a bit.” 

Stubblefield is best known for same-day crowns done within one visit. Dental crowns are made to correct decaying or cracked teeth, which help the tooth’s shape, size, and function.

For traditional crowns, the patient must schedule two appointments two weeks apart, and the crown is created between appointments. Stubblefield has been doing same-day crowns for over 10 years and has produced thousands. 

Dr. Earl Stubblefield. Photo by Sims Bryan.

“It used to take us two weeks to do a crown,” he said. “A patient would leave with a temporary crown, and then we would send their impression off. The company we sent it too would make the crown and ship it back to us. Two weeks later, we would give the patient their crown. Now, you leave with your crown on the same day.”

The dental clinic is fast-paced while still offering a family-friendly environment. For each patient, the dentist pays excellent attention to detail and truly cares about each individual. 

“We start at 7:30 a.m. and only sit down for lunch,” he said. “There is zero downtime. My team and I work hard until the end of each day.”

Stubblefield Dental Clinic office manager, Margie Mayfield, helps keep the practice running smoothly. She is responsible for supervising staff, maintaining appointment schedules, and overseeing billing. Managing internal protocols and procedures daily is also one of her primary roles. 

“We could not run this office without her,” Stubblefield said. “She is a vital part of our team.”

Stubblefield and Mayfield have been working together for over 18 years.

“This job is challenging while also rewarding,” Mayfield said. “I could not imagine myself doing anything else.”

Leadership is a vital skill when owning your own business.

“Hard work and leadership within a dental practice bring great reward,” Stubblefield said.

He urges young dentists to think about the entirety of a dentistry career. What kind of procedures they are interested in doing? Would they like to own their own practice someday? 

“Being a dentist can be hard,” he said. “Look at your non-dentistry goals, whether that be climbing a mountain, starting a family, or traveling the world. You will spend many years studying, and if you are considering being a dentist, make sure you look at all factors. I love dentistry, but the job is more intense than I had originally thought going into college.”

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