The Short Story
3 Generations of Orthodontists,
4 Generations of Dentists
A family owned business in Alexandria, VA since 1958
Years of wisdom & experience are shared and passed on
The Long Story
The Hughes family dental legacy began in 1922 in the coal mines of eastern Kentucky. Dr. James Reuben Hughes was a pioneer in dentistry and would routinely travel to the coal mines and set up his portable dental chair to extract teeth for the miners. Back in that time it was not uncommon for him to barter chickens or fresh vegetables for his dental services. After 30 years, he moved his family to Elizabethton, Tennessee where he continued to practice for another 20 years.
Dr. Herbert Hoover Hughes had a front row seat watching his father work on patients in their home office in Elizabethton and in 1949 decided that this was an occupation that he too would enjoy. After graduating from the U. of Tennessee School of Dentistry he joined the Air Force and practiced general dentistry at Andrews Air Force Base. This gave him the opportunity to explore different areas of the country and eventually open his own private practice. Orthodontics was a new specialty in the 1950’s and it was a risk to take the step into this unknown specialty. After graduating from the U. of Missouri-Kansas City orthodontic program he decided that Old Town Alexandria would be a great place to raise a family and open his unique orthodontic practice.
In 1958, the Old Medical Building held the beginning of a legacy. Small but centrally located, it allowed Dr. HHH the opportunity to start from scratch and build a practice that would later flourish and become a pillar of the dental community. Twelve years later it was time to expand and relocate to a larger office. The Androus Building on South Richmond Highway was an ideal layout for the next chapter of Hughes Orthodontics. After 30 years of providing excellent orthodontic care, Dr. HHH retired in 1988.
Dr. Herbert Marshall Hughes’ orthodontic journey began at the age of 15 as a lab technician in his father’s practice. After graduating from St. Stephen’s School he attended the U. of Richmond. It was while he was strolling the halls of VCU dental school that he met a delightfully cute dental hygiene student, Tammy. She later became his wife and the mother of three wonderful sons. Dr. HMH joined his father in practice in 1986 and they worked side by side for two years as Dr. HHH shared his wisdom with his son.
Thirty years later, Dr. HMH has well exceeded even the community reach of his father. He has had the privilege to serve as the President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontics and as a board member on the Council of Communications for the American Association of Orthodontics. He has appeared on television and enjoys speaking for 3M and sharing his experiences with doctors across the nation. What you probably will always know and remember him best for though is his magic! Dr. Hughes brought his passion for magic to Hughes Orthodontics in 1992. Over 25 years later he continues to bring magic to children’s smiles every day while watching his son, Dr. Justin, grow and flourish within the practice.
Dr. Justin Marshall Hughes grew up right here in the community that he loves! Attending St. Louis and St. Stephen’s, he is overjoyed to be settling back into the community that raised him. Dr. Justin’s passion for orthodontics came to fruition while in dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also met his beautiful wife Laura. Seeing the joy his father found in the profession, Dr. Justin was inspired to pursue a career in orthodontics. After completing a one-year dental residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City, Dr. Justin received his Masters in Orthodontics from the U. of Iowa, graduating in the summer of 2016. Dr. Justin is thrilled to have the blessing of working alongside his father and learning from generations of Hughes experience, including learning magic! He also enjoys sharing new and innovative ideas, such as creating an Adult Smile Center, which allows Hughes Orthodontics to continue serving our community.