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Appalachia Family Dentistry constructing new $750,000 facility


  • This artist’s conception depicts the new building under construction by Appalachia Family Dentistry on Andersonville Highway in the Bethel community. It is expected to open for patients in April 2020.

An Andersonville Highway dental practice, Appalachia Family Dentistry, has begun construction on a new $750,000 clinic facility in front of a small strip business center that includes the Norris Animal Hospital.

Plans are to move the practice to the new building by April 1, according to the owners, lawyer Ameesh Kherani and his wife, Dr. Sonia Kherani. Dr. Kherani is one of two dentists who practice at the current clinic location in an old house just west of the entrance to the Museum of Appalachia on Andersonville Highway (Tennessee 61).

The other dentist is Dr. Gary Fox. Appalachia Family Dentistry also has an office in Jacksboro, where Ameesh Kherani also has a law office. He has a second law office in Knoxville.

Dr. Kherani has practiced dentistry in the current location for about two years, since purchasing the facility from Dr. Trish Sullivan, who retired. Before Sullivan practiced there, the building housed the dental practice of Dr. Michael Beeler, who moved out after building a new clinic nearby on Bethel Road.

The Kheranis’ new building will have a total of about 4,800 square feet, with about 3,000 of that reserved for Appalachia Family Dentistry, Ameesh Kherani said. “We will have about 1,800 square feet of extra space that perhaps we can lease to an orthodontist,” he said.

At the new facility, there will be five “operatories” for patients, and all-new, state-of-the-art dental equipment, Ameesh Kherani said. About $500,000 will be invested in the building, with an additional $250,000 to be spent on equipment and furnishings, he said.

“We’re adding capacity,” Ameesh Kherani said. “Dr. Sonia Kherani and Dr. Gary Fox will be the primary dentists offering treatment, and both have years of experience. We also have an office in Jacksboro that used to be Dr. Nichols’ practice. We’re accepting new patients and can take them at either location.”

The current facility, which is in Norris, has a total staff of eight now, but the clinic expects to hire “two or three more” staff members at the new facility, Ameesh Kherani said.

Work on the new building began in November. The foundation and slab are in place, and work is underway on installing plumbing in the slab, he added.

The Kheranis own their current facility, which has been a dental clinic for more than 10 years.

“We’ve got some plans we will explore for that building, but not as a dental office,” Ameesh Kherani said.

Dr. Kherani earned an undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, then went to dental school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, graduating in 2008. Since completing her residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, she has been in private practice for the past 11 years. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family – including a seven-month-old son -- and loves nature.

Dr. Fox grew up in Oak Ridge and graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1971.

He went to the University of Tennessee for his undergraduate degree, then went to dental school at UT. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 38 years, and previously had his own practice in Clinton. He loves UT football and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, he said.