Our Doctors

Family Dentists

Dr. Dan MelamedHendersonville

A former software employee, Dr. Melamed traded in his years of staring at a computer for a doctorate from Meharry Medical College and a future helping people get the best dental care possible. When he’s not staying up to date on the latest dental technology in order to provide cutting edge dental solutions, he spends his time watching college basketball, managing his fantasy football league, and spending time with his wife and little boys.

Dr. Ryan Minyard Murfreesboro

Originally from Fresno, CA, Dr. Minyard is a graduate of the University of the Pacific where he played college soccer and later received his Doctorate in Dentistry. After practicing dentistry on the West Coast Dr. Minyard moved to the Nashville area in 1994 where he now lives with his wife and their three kids. An avid soccer player, Dr. Minyard continues to play in local recreational leagues here in Tennessee.

Dr. Himanshu PatelDonelson

Dr. Patel, a San Jose native, received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis and his D.M.D. from Temple University. After graduation, he worked for a private practice in Philadelphia before relocating to Nashville with his wife, who works at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. In addition to spending time with friends and family, Dr. Patel stays active by hiking regularly and playing sports for fun.

Dr. Keith Van Benthuysen Brentwood

Dr. Van Benthuysen received his B.A. with honors from the Citadel and his D.M.D. from the University of Florida. He began his dental career in the U.S. Army before entering into private practice in Florida more than two decades ago. Since joining the Embassy Dental family in 2006, he now lives in Franklin, TN, with his wife Beverly and their young son.

Dr. Joel VeitscheggerCool Springs

After growing up in Bowling Green, Ky. and earning undergraduate degrees in Music and Religious Studies at Western Kentucky University, Dr. Veitschegger attended the University of Kentucky where he earned his D.M.D. He spent three years practicing dentistry while in Northern Maine with his wife and their Norwich Terrier, Onus, before moving back to the South to be near family and friends.

Dr. Jesse WelshBellevue

Dr. Welsh grew up in Middle Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and graduated in the top of his class, earning the Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence. After graduation, Dr. Welsh spent four years in the Air Force and completed advanced training in many dental procedures, including IV sedation, root canals, and implants. He continues his military service part-time in the Tennessee Air National Guard. Dr. Welsh and his wife have been married for 10 years. In their spare time, they stay busy with their three young children.

Dr. Mark “Jay” Ruark II Hillsboro Village

Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and raised in Cape Girardeau, MO, Dr. Ruark completed his undergrad at Murray State University. He received his DMD at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Dr. Ruark moved to New Orleans after graduation where he practiced in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, until 2012 when he moved to middle Tennessee. Dr. Ruark currently resides in Nashville. When not practicing dentistry, he enjoys spending time with his 4-year-old-son, Payton, and girlfriend, Candice. He also enjoys working out and describes himself as an “avid sports nut.” He loves Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Kentucky college football and basketball, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals.

Oral Surgeons

Dr. Jeffrey Carter

Dr. Jeffrey Carter is an accomplished surgeon who serves as a distinguished member of dental and medical societies such as the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the Nashville Academy of Medicine, and the American Society of TMJ. Since earning his B.S. from Tufts University, his D.M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, and his M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he has been printed in over fifty publications including chapters in books, journals, and interactive videos and computer software. Dr. Carter is also the director of fellowship and internship programs and dedicates his time to serve in visiting professorships and lectures/abstract presentations at universities around the country.


Dr. Melvin S. Polk, Jr.

Dr. Polk is a Nashville native that received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee, his D.D.S. from Meharry Medical College, Certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics from the U.S. Army Medical Department at Fort Knox, KY and a M.S. in Oral Biology from the University of Louisville. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Tennessee Dental Association, Nashville Dental Society, American Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists, and is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

His dental career began serving in the U.S. Army Dental Corps where he retired at the rank of Colonel in 2002 after 21 years of service. Dr. Polk practiced in Reston, VA for two and a half years before deciding to relocate back to Nashville in 2004 to serve as Chariman of the Department of Orthodontics at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry through 2009. He has been in private practice since 2006. Dr. Polk enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and spending time with friends and family.

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