Photo by Diane Cox
Dr. Martin Carrow sits at his desk just moments before seeing his last patient. Carrow retired after 35 years as a Greater Alton dentist.
ALTON — Dr. Martin Carrow decided after 35 years of literally pulling teeth to pass the pliers off to the next generation.
On July 1, Carrow turned his practice, Carrow and Chapel General Dentistry, over to Dr. JR Keller.
“I think Dr. Keller is very well-qualified to take over the practice and will do a good job,” Carrow said. “I have to say I am ready for retirement, although I’ll still be in the area doing some consulting work in the Midwest. I do plan to take some time to just enjoy life for a while. My family is very ready for me to have more time available.”
Developing a lasting relationship with clients is how a service such as dentistry is maintained over a span of 35 years.
“I’ll miss the relationships with my patients,” Carrow said. “My staff is another part of my career I’ll miss. They’ve been a big asset and great to have in the office.”
Patients like Elyse Strebel will always appreciate how he took the time to make her feel special from beginning to end. Strebel was Carrow’s final scheduled patient June 30.
“As a doctor, he has been awesome,” Strebel said. “My first interaction with him was during a snowstorm here in Alton and I wasn’t a patient of his prior to this. I had an abscessed tooth and he said just to bring me right in. My husband brought me in and Dr. Carrow took care of me. I lived in Chicago and when I moved back to this area, I made sure he was my dentist. It makes me feel special to be his last patient.”
After graduating from Marquette Catholic High School in 2005, Keller received his dentistry education through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville dental school in 2013.
“I began working here with Dr. Carrow and Dr. Chapel immediately out of school,” Keller said. “It’s great to be able to begin my career with established patients and I’ve had two years under the hand of Dr. Carrow. That experience in itself is priceless. Seeing how he handled himself not only in the field of dentistry, but how he was with his patients, you can’t gain that kind of experience in school.”
Carrow and Chapel is located at 4113 Humbert Road in Alton. For information, call (618) 465-7777.