Foothills Oral Surgery

A History of Our Legacy Practice

Foothills Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a foundation of the health care landscape throughout the Foothills of North Carolina, serving the region for over forty-five years. The practice began with a strong sense of professionalism, vision, and rediscovery of dental health care and building upon that legacy.

Dr. John Miller, the founder of the practice, hails from the state of Michigan. He completed his undergraduate work at Kalamazoo College before pursuing his dental degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Following his dental training, Dr. Miller moved to the University of Minnesota, where he completed his master’s degree in conjunction with a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in Minneapolis.

Following his Residency, Dr. Miller moved south to head the Oral and Maxillofacial Department at the United States Army Redstone Arsenal Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. He served for two years during the Vietnam era, where he became board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Following his military service, he joined Dr. William Holt’s practice in Hickory, North Carolina, for one year, before establishing Foothills Oral Surgery. Thus, our legacy begins.

Our practice was first located at the Newton Conover Plaza, while our present Medical Village location was constructed. Dr. Miller’s philosophy, which continues to guide us today, is to “provide excellent surgical care while treating patients like family.” As the practice grew, in 1991, Dr. Miller invited Dr. David Darab, who completed his Residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Parkland Memorial, and Affiliated Hospitals in Dallas, Texas, to join. Simultaneously, with Dr. Darab joining Foothills Oral Surgery, our Lincolnton office opened and continues to serve today’s Lincolnton community.

By 1993, Dr. Darab spearheaded our second office in Statesville, which remains a vital part of its health care community. With continued practice growth, in 2001, the practice recruited Dr. Paul Richardson, also a military veteran who completed his Residency at the United States Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and who served at the United States Naval Hospital in Beaufort, South Carolina. Together, Drs. Miller, Darab, and Richardson practiced for 12 years until Dr. Miller’s retirement in 2013.

With the increasing demand to serve patients, Foothills Oral Surgery acquired the Statesville practice of O. Jerry Hill, Jr. DDS, PA, a long-time colleague of Drs. Darab and Richardson. He earned his undergraduate degree and his dental degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completing his Internship and Residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Kentucky, Albert B. Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Hill practiced as an Associate with Drs. Darab and Richardson from 2013-2016. He retired from Foothills Oral Surgery in 2016.

In 2021, we welcomed Dr. Jesse Onekhena, who also completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery Internship and Residency at the University of Kentucky, just like Dr. Hill. Dr. “O” brings new talent and vision to our well-established practice, helping us to grow in new directions and continue the legacy that began forty-five years ago. What distinguishes Foothills Oral Surgery is our shared vision and deep commitment to community service. As a part of our practice, we donate our services to a select number of local service organizations and charities, offering a helping hand. We are excited to continue to be a vital part of our communities.

We look forward to growing our practice, expanding our legacy while continuing our core Tenets of… providing exceptional surgical care, treating our patients like family, and always placing our patients’ best interest above all else.

Hickory Office

Hickory Office located in Medical Village

Lincolnton Office

Lincolnton Office

Statesville Office

Statesville Office