Dr. William S. Neale, DDS. MSA Compassionate Oral Healthcare Provider - the Only and Best Periodontist for 100 miles
The Early Years
I’ve always been interested in biology. I suppose it began with my first encounter with nature in Biloxi, Mississippi in the late 1940s. A crab grabbed my little toe while I was wading in ankle-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico with Mom and Dad.
It scared me to death! With my pulse racing, I slowly raised my foot up out of the water. A “spider” was hanging from my foot! Oh, my!
The subsequent fear of water, not only ankle-deep, remained for a few years. Eventually I was able to swim across the shallow end of the YMCA swimming pool. I was able to get across the length of the pool by only touching the bottom one time with one foot as I battled my way through the water.
I beat everyone in my heat to the other side! Not only was I able to do it on one breath but I found it surprisingly easy when “walking on water” to keep ahead of those crabs grabbing my toes!
Inspired by My Pets
My love of animals began as a five-year-old with my first dog, Pepper, a small black mutt given to me by my uncle Jim. I remember he brought Pepper to my home in the trunk of his car. It was love at first sight for the both of us. I combed, bathed, fed, and talked to Pepper, my little brother.
Pepper had a sense of adventure. Prior to the days of purchasing a clothes dryer, we would hang our clothes on a line outside to dry in the breeze. Pepper loved to bite and swing from the clean clothes flapping in the wind! That is until Mom and Dad found that Pepper had shred a prized baby quilt, cross-stitched by my grandmother. I had to protect Pepper from my irate parents more than once.
In addition to Pepper, we always had at least one outside house cat. One momma kitty in particular was named JD, short for Juvenile Delinquent for having more than her share of litters, contributed to my spark of interest in becoming a veterinarian.
Physician to Dentistry
Later joining the Boy Scouts and my church youth group helped morph that goal into working with people. From Elementary school onward, my goal was to go to medical school to become a physician. However, during my Freshman year at North Texas State University in Denton, I noticed that one of my classmates could show up to class toward the end of the semester, pull several “all nighters” in a row, and “nail” one exam after another during finals week. I know I would die young at that pace.
Eventually, I set my goal to dental school although it was with great personal shame to “down-grade.” But I discovered it was a wonderful blessing. God had put me where I belonged!
Welcome to Memphis!
I was lucky enough to be accepted to the University of Tennessee Dental School in Memphis. It was very good to me for four main reasons:
- I had followed one of my high school friends and upperclassman, Kenny Aboussie, from Wichita Falls Senior High to UT Dental School, Memphis. Aboussie was admired by everyone in high school. He was a Class Officer, DeMolay Officer, Honor Society Member and played all school sports. And he was (and still is) just an all around nice guy. Aboussie had already completed his Freshman year. When I arrived, he took me under his wing, showed me the ropes around dental school, the frat house, and Memphis. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Ken Aboussie, DDS for pointing me in the right direction early on!
- Until I married during the last quarter semester, I had lived in the Frat house. It was right across the street from the Dental School. I was manager of the lab in the basement. I also delivered dry cleaning to the student dorm and frat house. I was very active in my dental fraternity. I got to help people. I got to work with my hands and found I was pretty good at it. Dentistry was something I could do and I really enjoyed it!
- What more could I say – Memphis, Tennessee. The home of Elvis Presley, Graceland, and Sun Studios, which as only two short blocks away from the Frat house. Elvis Presley was (and still is) the King. How cool was that!
- Then, most importantly, I found the girl of my dreams had been living in Memphis all along, my future wife, Gina. We discovered that both of our mothers were school librarians, our Dads were both named Bill as well as being Boy Scout Silver Beavers, AND Gina’s birth month and day matched one of my sisters, while the birth year matched my other sister. God was telling me, “She IS the One!!!”
Over the years, our family has grown from three (3) children, four (4) grandkids, and bunches of in-laws. A gift that keeps on giving with not a rotten apple in the bunch! (Well, okay, maybe a few!)
Early Dental Practice
While in the Air Force training and dabbling in most dental specialities, I gradually found what I disliked:
- Root canals (endodontics) were unpleasant to do and you can’t really see what you are doing without an x-ray.
- Fillings (fixing cavities) was super boring. “Seen one, seen ‘m all,” drill and fill.
- Children (pedodontics) was too stressful because you never know when those kids would “freak out.”
- Cosmetic Dentistry (crown and bridge) ignored the underlying gum infection, leaving only superficially beauty that was literally “only skin deep.”
- Oral survey was more toward what I enjoyed but there wasn’t any relationship for long term improvement.
In other words, most of the skills I was taught in dental school I found to be boring or unfulfilling in practice. However, I found that I absolutely loved cleaning teeth. SAY WHAT!!!
The satisfaction I derive from uncovering teeth buried in tartar and stinky bacterial goo often revealed a naturally beautiful smile. That very simple procedure often restored patient’s confidence and sense of well-bring. In showing the patient how to do “that” at home gave me a sense of accomplishment other dental specialities never did. I felt I was actually helping the patient to improve with whole life and future.
Periodontics Became My Calling
Improving the patient’s dental foundation became my passion. Over the past several decades, periodontal therapy has changed quite a bit. More recently, the amount of research and knowledge has expanded exponentially. Standard operating procedures that have been in place for many years have been replaced with innovations unheard of in the past.
Initially, periodontal survey was limited to removing infected bone and gum tissue. WIth time, Periodontists have learned to re-grow jaw bone and gum tissue that build back and restore what had been lost to disease and trauma.
A great leap forward came in the 1980s with dental implants. Then the early 2000s, research revealed certain dental survey surgical lasers that greatly enhanced periodontal regeneration, without the need for an incision and suturing. Later, therapeutic lasers expanded to non-invasive therapy beyond the mouth, including arthritic joint pain, traumatic brain injury, psoriasis, diabetic wound healing, macular degeneration, and much more.
It wasn’t long after that, I began using the phase contrast microscope to monitor the quality of oral bacteria hiding beneath the gum line and began to understand the oral-to-systemic health connection!
Who knew it would be even be possible to treating crooked teeth without orthodontic braces, using the patient’s own blood to enhance dental surgery healing, whitening teeth at home, treating snoring and asthma without a CPAP machine or inhaler, and the list goes on! Who would know that was possible?
How cool is that?!?!?
With all these new exciting developments in the field of dentistry, sometimes I wish I was born yesterday to see what the day after tomorrow might bring.
This relationization continuing expanding revelation lead to me understanding that everything literally begins with the mouth!
- the food and air passing through the mouth,
- the bacteria growing in the mouth,
- even the words coming from the mouth
All have a huge impact on our overall health and happiness. The control of our future health (and that of our loved ones) is found simply right under the nose.
Simple! but not so easy!!!
Dr. Neale has NO LIFE at all. He is either at home or at work. Go ahead, Give him a call, he would love to hear from you. If lines are busy, please call back. 940-322-0758
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Implant Dentistry & Perio Rehab
2106 Virginia Dr. Ste A, Wichita Falls TX 76309