McSpadden, John Thomas III

Longtime Endodontist Was Renowned Author In His Field

  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020
John McSpadden
John McSpadden

Dr. John Thomas McSpadden III, 80, of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, died peacefully in his sleep at his home on Friday, December 4, 2020.


Born in Madisonville, Tn. on Dec. 9, 1939, he was the son of the late John Thomas McSpadden Jr. and Elizabeth Houston Hines McSpadden. He attended Madisonville High School, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and University of Tennessee Dental School.


A gentleman whose soft spoken humility and elegance belied his true genius, John’s legacy is truly profound.  He was an unparalleled innovator in his field; he revolutionized endodontic dentistry and was internationally acclaimed. The words that follow will inevitably fall short in relaying the true impact of this great healer, innovator and educator.


Known worldwide as “the father of rotary endodontics,” Dr. McSpadden was also a renowned author whose book, Mastering Endodontic Instrumentation, was called “the most comprehensive and definitive evidence-based rotary instrumentation text available” by the Dental Tribune. John received numerous international awards and accolades including the President’s Award and the International Louis I. Grossman Award from the American Association of Endodontists and recognition as an Honorary Member of The French Endodontic Society as well as the Spanish Endodontic Society. He was a visiting professor at many U.S. and international dental schools.


John’s innovative mind was perfectly matched to his tireless drive and ambition; he was compelled by an earnest desire to constantly improve the world around him. He founded six companies and holds over 25 patents. Even in his final days his pursuit of new innovations continued.


He is survived by his wife, Jane Weiss McSpadden of Lookout Mtn., TN, his two daughters Melinda McSpadden of New Orleans, LA; Kathleen Brock of Lookout Mtn., TN.  His two sons, Dr. Matthew Brock (Nicki) of Lookout Mtn. TN. and John Thomas McSpadden, IV (April) of Johnson City, TN: his four grandchildren, Quintin McSpadden, Charlotte Brock, George Brock and Elizabeth Brock; and his sister, Joann Williams of Brooksville, FL as well as many loving friends and extended family.


John was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. His family was his greatest love and inspiration.


A private family burial is planned.  Due to COVID a memorial service will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Dr. John T. McSpadden can be made to the Graduate Endodontics Alumni Gift Fund and mailed to UTHSC Office of Alumni Affairs & Development, 62 S. Dunlap (Ste. 500), Memphis, TN 38163.


Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home and Cremation Center.


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