Dr. Aaron W. Jenkins, 66, dentist

November 28, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Dr. Aaron W. Jenkins, a West Baltimore dentist who warned young patients of the dangers that gold-plated caps on their teeth might cause, died Sunday of complications from a stroke at the downtown Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 66.

Dr. Jenkins, who had offices on Gwynns Falls Parkway at Auchentoroly Terrace from 1970 to 1984, railed against gold caps -- often emblazoned with eye-catching designs -- that many youths wear on their teeth.

"He absolutely hated those gold teeth. Absolutely," said Charles Dandridge, a longtime friend and patient. "He thought they not only looked bad, but he knew these same kids would be coming back in a couple of years asking him to take them off."

Although Dr. Jenkins would place gold-plated caps on youngsters' teeth if they insisted, he often gave them a stern lecture about the tooth decay the caps can cause and allowed them time to back out of the procedure.

"He tried his best to talk them out of it, but more times than not they still wanted it," Mr. Dandridge said. "He just shook his head and went on and did it."

A native of West Baltimore, Dr. Jenkins graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1949 and from the former Morgan State College in 1953. He graduated from Howard University School of Dentistry in 1957.

Upon graduation, Dr. Jenkins entered the Army in 1957 and performed dental surgery on soldiers. He served in Vietnam and was discharged in 1968 as a major.

He returned to Baltimore and opened a practice on Reisterstown Road at Gwynns Falls Parkway before moving to his second location in 1970.

Many of the patients he treated had small incomes, and he knew they would not be able to pay for his services.

"But that didn't really matter to him because he cared about people and wasn't just in it for the money," said his son, Aaron Butch Jenkins of Baltimore. "He liked what he was doing and liked to help people. People always owed him money, and he never pressed them about it."

Dr. Jenkins closed his practice in 1984 and moved to Gainesville, Fla., where he worked as dentist for the state's penal system. He returned to Baltimore in 1988 and worked in real estate.

Dr. Jenkins enjoyed horses -- he had a horse farm in Westminster with 10 horses -- and cars. He owned a Rolls Royce, Cord and Lincoln, his son said.

Services are scheduled for noon tomorrow at the Nutter Funeral Home, 2501 Gwynns Falls Parkway.

Other survivors include another son, Joshua Jenkins of Baltimore; three daughters, Dr. Dolly Jenkins of Africa, Donna Jenkins of Dallas and Tiffany White of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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