About Us Main Image

AboutValley River Dental

Welcome to Valley River Dental! Our caring dentists and team are proud to provide quality dental care using the latest dental technologies. We offer a full range of services to meet your needs, including preventive care, dental implants, clear aligners, oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry, root canals and periodontal treatments. When you and your family visit our office, we will take the time to understand your needs and help you understand your oral health so you can make informed decisions about your care. Your health, smile and comfort are our highest priorities.

Give us a call at 828-360-9114 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Jared Houston, Dr. Tom Mims or Dr. Courtney Marshall and learn more!

We are proud to provide comprehensive dentistry in Murphy, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas, including Andrews, Brasstown, Franklin, Hayesville, Marble, Robbinsville and Warne, North Carolina; Blairsville, Hiawassee and Young Harris, Georgia; and Copperhill, Tennessee.

Courtney Marshall, DMD

Dr. Courtney Marshall completed her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Augusta University before attending Dental College of Georgia for her dental degree, graduating in 2021. Dr. Marshall also participated in research with DCG doctors during her undergraduate studies, and during her time in dental school, she served on two dental mission trips to Haiti and Romania through the Medical Campus Outreach organization.

She regularly completes additional courses to stay at the forefront of the dental field and is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society
  • Dr. Marshall joined Valley River Dental in August 2021 and, as a dentist, is committed to increasing her patients’ dental education and providing them with individualized quality care and a pleasant dental experience.

    Jared Houston, DDS, FAGD

    Dr. Jared Houston completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Abilene Christian University before attending the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Dentistry, from which he graduated in 2005. He completes continuing education courses regularly and completed his advanced education in general dentistry training through the U.S. Navy at Camp LeJeune. Dr. Houston is a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD).

    Dr. Houston is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • American Dental Association®
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society
  • He has practiced in the Murphy area since 2022.

    Dr. Houston and his wife, Jenn, have three daughters, Charly, Sam and Alice. Outside the office, he enjoys fishing, hiking and skiing.

    E. Tom Mims, DMD, FAGD

    Dr. E. Tom Mims completed his undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He attended the Dental College of Georgia for his dental degree, graduating in 1979, and completes at least 25 hours of continuing education each year to stay abreast of developments in the dental field. He has practiced in the Murphy area since 1988.

    Dr. Mims has received advanced training in implant dentistry through the International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Mims and his wife have five children. His hobbies include building, flying and maintaining his airplane.

    Dr. Mason

    Dr. Joe Mason is a 1985 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and, upon graduation, immediately began his career in rural western Kentucky. In 1998, he and his family moved to North Carolina where he continued to offer comprehensive care with the philosophies and skills he obtained while attending the L.D. Pankey Institute and the Peter E. Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Studies.

    During Dr. Mason’s 30 years of private practice, he provided a vast array of treatments, including implants, laser-assisted periodontal procedures, treatment of occlusal dysfunction and TMD syndrome, as well as life-like complete rehabilitation of worn and weakened dentitions. As a result, he developed a preference for performing endodontic procedures, and in 2015, he sold his private dental practice to begin providing traveling endodontic services for general dentists in rural North Carolina. Since that time most of Dr. Mason’s professional training has been focused on the best and most efficient modern endodontic therapies available. He currently performs mostly endodontic procedures along with some oral surgery and minor restorative procedures.

    Dr. Mason, and his wife of 38 years, Sherry, enjoy traveling and finding remote areas of natural beauty where she paints the landscape for studies to take back to her art studio for larger studio paintings, and he plays the guitar and looks for trout streams. Dr. Mason loves the outdoors and when not in the office, he can be found biking, hiking, fishing, and enjoying an occasional hunting trip with friends


    Office Manager

    Tabitha joined our dental family in 2003 as a business office assistant, and in 2022, she become our office manager. She graduated from Murphy High School in 1995 and graduated from Tri-County Community college in 2006 with her associate degree in health care management. Tabitha loves her coworkers and enjoys helping people achieve and maintain healthy smiles!

    Tabitha and her husband, Matt, have been happily married since 1996. They have two daughters, Hope and Gracelyn, and three dogs, Jack, Finn and Maisie. Outside the office, she enjoys being with her family and hiking.


    Treatment Coordinator

    Rebecca graduated from Murphy High School in 1984 and attended UNC-Asheville for two years of general college education. She joined our team in June 1993 and loves each one of her coworkers and our dentists. Plus, we have the best patients in the world! Rebecca works with our patients to present their treatments and work payment arrangements so they can receive the care they need.

    Rebecca has been married to the love of her life for over 37 years. She has three sons, Jonathan, Michael and Jacob. When not in the office, she loves hiking, camping and spending time on the lake with her friends. She is a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.


    Registered Dental Hygienist & Certified Dental Assistant

    Michelle has been with Valley River Dental since 2006, working to fill in and help where needed until 2022 when she joined our team on a permanent schedule. She enjoys being part of a practice where the team and patients are like family and looks forward to the days ahead working in her hometown. Michelle works hard to provide patients with quality care and oral health education, and as time allows, she enjoys jumping back into her dental assisting skills to help the assistants and other office personnel.

    Michelle was born and raised here in Murphy. She has two wonderful daughters, and she enjoys seeing them run, play and grow up in the same places she did. She also has the pleasure of adventures with a wonderful Georgia man and looks forward to seeing the next steps God leads them to walk. Outside the office, Michelle loves walking in the mountains and lakes. She has been an avid hunter alongside her father since she was 7 years old and has participated in multiple competitions for deer and turkey hunting. This joy has led to her and her children winning many turkey calling competitions and a nice selection of trophies. Michelle loves teaching her girls the ropes of outdoor sportsmanship along with her favorite sports of deer and turkey hunting, fishing, and kayaking.


    Registered Dental Hygienist

    Robin graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Tech in 1998 and joined our dental team in 2000 as a hygienist. She treats all of her patients like family and enjoys the one-on-one relationships she develops with them. She loves seeing her patients become excited about oral health and how it relates to their overall health.

    Robin has been married since 1995 to her wonderful husband. They have two children: a daughter, who is married and lives nearby, and a son, who is in college. Outside the office, Robin enjoys being outdoors and going hiking.


    Registered Dental Hygienist

    Charlene graduated from Asheville Buncombe Technical College in 1982 with her Associate of Applied Science degree in dental hygiene. She joined our office in March 1989 and enjoys working with patients and a team that is like family. Charlene is a great team player and is diligent in educating her patients to help prevent dental disease. In addition to working as a dental hygienist with us, she also teaches dental X-ray certification!

    Charlene and her husband, Nolan, have three daughters, Carmen, Bonnie and Morgan, and one grandson. Her hobbies include gardening, boating, cooking, music (piano and singing) and traveling.

    Currently retired but will fill in occasionally.


    Registered Dental Hygienist

    Deanna graduated from Florida State College in 1994 with her degree in dental hygiene, and in 2013, she graduated from Indian River State College with her degree in health care management. She joined our team here at Valley River Dental in June 2020 and enjoys being part of a relaxed practice that is truly like family. She also appreciates our focus on patient care and on making sure that our patients’ health is our first priority. After 30 years in the dental field, there is nothing Deanna has not seen or heard, and she uses her experience to go the extra mile in providing care and in helping everyone feel comfortable.

    Deanna has one grown son, who lives in Illinois and is married with three fun rescue dogs. Outside the office, Deanna’s hobbies include hiking, motorcycle riding, camping, traveling as much as possible and reading dental magazines as she travels.

    Currently retired but will fill in occasionally.

    Kristen Elkins

    Dental Assistant

    Joined our team in August 2023. Graduated with her CNA license in 2014. Completed x-ray and nitrous oxide certification 2023. Enjoys her work family and helping someone smile again. She is a great helper and loves learning as much as she can. Family includes her husband, Kade, and children, Knox and Kynslee. Enjoys going to the races to watch her dad race and watching her children participate in wrestling. Enjoys time on the lake and fishing.

    LeBrea Fisk


    Member of team from 2012-2014 and returned October 2021. Graduated with an associates of applied science 2007.

    My favorite thing about being part of the practice is my coworkers are my family and we treat patients like family too. . I work alongside all our doctors including Dr Mason that sees endodontic patients on Wednesday. I have one son, Evan, who is my world. I love to fish and travel as much as I can and scuba diving. I love my job and serving the public one smile at a time.

    Megean Guffey

    Sterilization Tech

    Joined our team Aug 2023. Obtained GED from Tri-County Community College. "This practice is like a family" Megean is great at making sure all instruments and rooms are clean and sterilized accordingly. Enjoys spending time taking walks with her husband, 2 sons, and soon to be daughter.

    Candace Dockery

    Hygiene Coordinator

    Joined our team in Dec 2023. Graduate of Murphy High School, class of 2021. Obtained certified medical assistant degree from Tri-County Community College, graduating in 2023. "I love having co-workers and being able to have a friendship with them on a daily basis and love seeing all the new faces of patients and getting to know them and their connection to our small town."

    Candace is always there to lend a helping hand and willing to do anything needed to help our team and patients. Keeps patient records up to date and organized. I'm blessed with amazing parents who raised me to be hardworking and determined. I'd like to thank them for always being the best support system ever! I love being at the lake, fishing, kayaking or being on the boat with my family. I also love hunting with my dad and brother. I enjoy working on older trucks with my boyfriend and lifting weights.

    Micayal Spradlin

    Dental Assistant

    Joined the team in 2024. "I love how nice everyone is. They treat you like family! I also love how much they are willing to teach me" Has a 4-year-old that is my pride and joy. I love spending time with him and watching him grow up. Love to read and go out on the boat with my son and family.