Tindles first mother-daughter team trained in School of Dentistry
By Matt Westerfield
Second-year dental student Trevor Tindle has a lot in common with her mother, Dr. Raanne Ray Tindle of Cleveland.
Trevor Tindle catches up on homework before class.
They both play tennis. They each play the piano. They both graduated from college in three years.
And soon they will be working in the same dental practice.
Still, they are quick to point out their subtle differences. Raanne majored in chemistry; Trevor in biology.
But whatever differences they might have, the Tindles are leaving their mark on the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Dentistry as the first mother and daughter legacy to be trained by the school in its 37-year history.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dentist like my mom,” said Trevor, although in high school she began to have more interest about exactly what her mother did on a day-to-day basis. “So I started working in her office, filing records and stuff.
“And when I got old enough, she taught me how to be an assistant, and so I assisted all throughout high school.”
Making temporary crowns, performing laboratory procedures and taking X-rays (for which she got certified) was hands-on training that would give Trevor a huge leg up once she got to dental school. But first, she went off to Mississippi College, having already earned 15 college credit hours.
“It paid off knowing in high school what I wanted to do because once I got to college, I was like, ‘OK, I can finish in three years, and keep going in school and get out when I’m a little younger,’” Trevor said. “I’m pretty competitive — with myself, mainly. I’m going to do it the best I can.”
Raanne Tindle said she and her daughter come from a family of strong, capable women, including her own mother, Philene Allen, a retired elementary school teacher and past state president of Mississippi Professional Educators. But Raanne also had an uncle who was a dentist. Watching him work sparked an early interest that she maintained throughout her undergraduate years at Delta State University.
“There weren’t many women dentists back then,” she said.
Although she rushed through college, Raanne says she encouraged her daughter not to hurry.
“My thinking was that I would be in school for a minimum of seven years, and that seemed like a long time to me,” she said. “But I’m constantly reminding Trevor to enjoy it and not be too stressed out. Enjoy it while she’s young.”
At 20 years old, Raanne came to UMMC, trading the Mississippi Delta for the capital city and coping with homesickness and constant studying. But, she says, she made some of her very best friends in dental school and remains very involved with her Class of 1987.
After graduating, Raanne worked at Parchman Penitentiary for two and a half years before returning to Cleveland, where she would open a private practice one month after Trevor was born in 1990.
Trevor practically grew up in the clinic, Raanne said, helping out in the office as she grew older before eventually working as an assistant.
“She was a wonderful dental assistant, but she’s going to be an even better dentist because she knows it from both sides of the chair,” Raanne said.
Trevor said she’s not sure she would have pursued dentistry if she had not seen first-hand how much her mother enjoyed it. As a student, she’s focusing on general dentistry, so that she’s well-suited to practicing in rural Mississippi.
“I think being able to do so many different operative things is going to keep me on my toes and be a lot more relevant for working in a small town,” she said. “Working for my mom is probably the best residency anyone could ask for.”
In fact, Trevor is a recipient of the four-year Ottilie Schillig Memorial Scholarship, which is given to a student with high academic ability who intends to practice in smaller Mississippi towns.
What’s the most important skill she learned from her mother?
“Probably the most important is compassion,” Trevor said. “She’s very compassionate toward her patients and really strives to make relationships with them. They really trust her.”
“I look forward to having her back in the same area so I can be with her,” said Raanne. “Trevor just never ceases to amaze me. She’s so dedicated to her goal, so disciplined.
“She always goes beyond what is required to achieve her goals.”
Raanne and Trevor will be the first mother and daughter dentists to practice together in Mississippi. Raanne will coat her daughter during the School of Dentistry’s White Coat ceremony Feb. 22.