John Wesley Halliburton was born and raised in the small community of Defeated, Tennessee. His family owns a farm where they raise cattle and maintain an annual vegetable garden. His family and their way of life has instilled in him strong values that taught him the foundation that he applies in all endeavors of his life.

Growing up, dentistry was a large influence in his life, since his grandmother was a dental receptionist for over 20 years at the local dental office where he frequently accompanied her to work. It wasn’t until he started his undergraduate career, though that he decided to pursue a career in dentistry.

In 2009, after graduating High School in Smith County, TN, John Wesley began his undergraduate career at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. After receiving his degree in 2013, he was accepted to the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry’s DMD program in Lexington, KY, where he graduated in 2017.

John Wesley is currently working as an associate dentist at a private practice in Cookeville, TN, with plans to purchase and own the practice in the near future. 

He is married to his beautiful wife Samantha, and they are expecting their first child, a boy, in August. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, hunting, fishing, Crossfit, and cheering on the Tennessee Volunteers!  

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Paducah, KY

Cole Hackett was born in Nashville, TN, but grew up on a small farm in Paducah, KY. Cole knew he wanted to be a dentist since he was young, and so it was always a goal of his. 

In 2007, Cole enrolled at the local college in Paducah so that he could continue to manage his family’s farm. In 2009, he enrolled at Murray State University as a pre-dental student, and he went on to graduate as the “Outstanding Senior Man/Valedictorian” in 2011. Cole was then accepted to the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry where he graduated in 2017.

Cole is currently a Resident at the University of Florida’s AEGD program in St. Petersburg, FL. He plans to move back to the Kentucky/Tennessee area to practice once he finishes his residency. 

Cole is an avid outdoorsman and loves hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. He also is a big Tennessee football fan and Kentucky basketball fan (yes he gets a lot of slack for this). 

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Crossville, TN

Meet Joe Blalock. Probably the coolest member of the Life and Dentistry Podcast, and definitely the best looking. He grew up on his family’s beef cattle farm in Crossville, TN with his three younger sisters. Most of his childhood consisted of playing sports and working on the farm. He always knew that he wanted to purse a career in medicine, but it wasn’t until college that dentistry became his passion.


Joe attended college at Tennessee Tech University graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science Biology. During his freshman year at Tech, he developed a relationship with a local dentist who inspired him to pursue a career in Dentistry. In 2013 he was accepted into dental school at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. While he was there he served as the student member of the College of Dentistry’s admission committee. Joe graduated with distinction from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in May 2017. 


He has been married to his lovely wife, Kayla, since 2014. They are now living back in their home town of Crossville, TN where they recently purchased their first home together. On the weekends you will find Joe either spending time with his friends and family, watching college football, or helping out on his family’s farm. Joe is an associate dentist at Maple Leaf Dentistry. 


Sylvester, Georgia

    Scotty was born and raised in the small South Georgia town of Sylvester.  Growing up, Scotty always heard stories from his dad about how much he loved the memories he made as a dental assistant in the U.S. Navy and how much he wished he would have pursued dentistry after finishing his service. 


Dentistry was always interesting to Scotty but it was not until he started shadowing his life-long dentist, mentor, and friend, Dr. Larry Daugherty, that he decided that dentistry was his passion and what he wanted to devote his life to. 


Scotty attended Valdosta State University where he played football two years with the Valdosta State Blazers, was a part of the 2007 national championship team, and graduated Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree.  It was also at Valdosta State University where Scotty met his beautiful wife Lauren.  Scotty was accepted to and started dental school at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry where he graduated in 2017. 


Scotty currently resides in Waycross Georgia where he is an associate dentist at Dental Care Associates of Waycross.  Scotty loves staying fit through weight training and is an avid outdoorsman.  Scotty and his wife Lauren are expecting their first child in November 2017.  


Cookeville, TN

Matthew was born and raised in his small hometown of Jackson County, Tennessee. Growing up he spent most of his time at his Nanny and Pa’s farm learning the value of hard work. The strong values and faith in God he learned from his family have truly made him the person he is today. 


From an early age, Matthew knew he had a passion for dentistry. This was further solidified when he had the opportunity to work for Drs. Steve and Mary Johns during college. The knowledge and skills he learned from them have been invaluable and he credits a lot of his success to the amazing opportunity they provided him with. 


Matthew attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN where he majored in Biology Health Science. During his time, there he held the office of Chief Justice in the Student Government Association, was president of the Lion’s Club, and graduated with honors in 2012. After undergrad, Matthew attended the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry where he graduated with his DMD degree in 2017. 


After meeting in Microbiology Lab in college, Matthew married his wife, Kali. They were married in 2014 and are expecting their first child August 2017. In his spare time, Matthew loves cheering on his Tennessee Volunteers, fishing, and being on the lake. Most importantly, Matthew loves spending time with his friends and family.


Since graduation, Matthew has been working at Jessamine Family Dentistry – a practice he has co-owned with Daniel Dela Cruz since their third year of dental school along with planning for future adventures. 

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Luis Mariusso

Tampa, FL


Luis was born in Campinas, Brazil but grew up in Tampa, Florida with his parents and brother. Luis' desire to help others, interest in science and healthcare has driven him to dentistry.  While working on his Bachelors of Science in Biology at the University of South Florida {2008-2012} he met his now wife, Tori. Together they completed their undergraduate studies, applied to 17 dental schools and were accepted together to ONE. They were married a month before moving to Lexington to pursue their Doctors of Dental Medicine degrees {2013-2017} at the University of Kentucky. 
Luis continues his dental education through courses focused on dental implants, full mouth rehabilitation, and the latest in dental technology. 

Luis is using his dental profession to help others with his time, skill and financially through humanitarian organizations. He enjoys traveling the world with his wife and local adventures with his best friend and dog, Oliver. He is passionate about sports and cars.

Currently living in Cookeville, TN and looking forward to where God leads him next.