Dr. William S. Neale, DDS. MS

A 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 out of the water. A “spider” was hanging from my foot! Oh, my!

The subsequent fear of water remained for a few years, not only ankle-deep. Eventually, I could swim across the shallow end of the YMCA swimming pool. I could get across the pool’s length 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 could I do it in 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 both of us. I combed, bathed, fed, and talked to Pepper, my little brother.

Pepper had a sense of adventure. Before 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 shredded a special 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 litter, which 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 attend medical school to become a physician. However, during my first year at North Texas State University in Denton, I noticed that one of my classmates could attend 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 tremendous blessing. God had put me where I belonged!

Welcome to Memphis!

I was lucky to be accepted to the University of Tennessee Dental School in Memphis. It was very good to me for four main reasons:

  1. I followed one of my high school friends and upperclassmen, Kenny Aboussie (November 25, 1944 – June 21, 2024), from Wichita Falls Senior High to UT Dental School, Memphis. Everyone in high school admired Aboussie. He was a Class Officer, DeMolay Officer, and Honor Society Member and played all school sports. And he was just an all-around nice guy. Aboussie had already completed his Freshman year. When I arrived, he took me under his wing and 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!
  2. I LIVED IN THE FRAT HOUSE until I married during the last quarter semester. It was right across the street from the Dental School. I was the 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 good at it. Dentistry was something I could do, and I enjoyed it!
  3. What more could I say – Memphis, Tennessee? The home of Elvis Presley, Graceland, and Sun Studios is only two short blocks from the Frat House. Elvis Presley was (and still is) the King. How cool was that!
  4. Then, most importantly, I found the girl of my dreams, who had been living in Memphis all along, my future wife, Gina. We discovered that our mothers were school librarians, our Dads were named Bill and Boy Scout Silver Beavers, and Gina’s birth month and day matched one of my sisters’, while the birth year matched my other sisters’. 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 group! (Well, okay, maybe a few!)

Early Dental Practice

While in the Air Force training and dabbling in most dental specialties, I gradually found what I disliked:

  • Root canals (endodontics) were unpleasant, and you can’t see what you are doing without an x-ray.
  • Fillings (fixing cavities) were super boring. “Seen one, seen all,” drill and fill.
  • Children (pedodontics) were 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, I found most of the skills I was taught in dental school boring or unfulfilling in practice. However, I found that I loved cleaning my teeth. SAY WHAT!!!

The satisfaction I derive from uncovering teeth buried in the tartar and stinky bacterial goo often revealed a naturally beautiful smile. That straightforward procedure continually restored the patient’s confidence and sense of well-being. Showing the patient how to do “that” at home gave me a sense of accomplishment other dental specialties never did. I was helping the patient improve their 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.

Initially, a 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 specific dental survey surgical lasers that greatly enhanced periodontal regeneration without 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.

Not long after that, I began using the phase contrast microscope to monitor the quality of oral bacteria hiding beneath the gum line and started understanding the oral-to-systemic health connection!

Who knew it would even be possible to treat crooked teeth without orthodontic braces, use the patient’s blood to enhance dental surgery healing, whiten teeth at home, treat snoring and asthma without a CPAP machine or inhaler, and so on? Who would know that was possible?

How cool is that?!?!?

With all these new exciting developments in dentistry, sometimes I wish I was born yesterday to see what the day after tomorrow might bring.

This relationization continuing expanding revelation led me to understand that everything 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 significant 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 loves his family and what he does. He has committed his life the to service of others. 

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