40 UNDER 40 HONOREES

GILES WILLIS JR.

  • Cary, North Carolina
  • Willis Family Dentistry

Age:

39

Name of Practice:

Willis Family Dentistry

Specialty:

General dentistry

Education:

DDS, Howard University College of Dentistry


Why He Was Nominated

Growing up in small, rural Lewisville, Arkansas, inspired Dr. Willis to pursue a career in which he could give back. He has treated Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana; families living in remote jungle areas of Honduras; and homeless people and those recently out of
drug rehab in his North Carolina town.

Inspiration

Once, when he was 8 years old, Dr. Willis had a bad toothache. “My mom and dad couldn’t afford the dentist, and there was only one in the county. I put Orajel on the tooth one night and tried to pull it myself.” He eventually had it removed, and the experience made him want to help others in communities like his.

Philosophy

“A beautiful smile is never out of style. I also pride myself on operating on time and not making patients wait in the waiting room.”

ToolS He Can’t Live Without

“My Schick intraoral camera and my Nomad.”

Something People Don’t Know

“I secretly wanted to be a B-list actor. I also have a yearning to learn guitar so I can play all my favorite riffs.”