"Dentistry has changed over the years. Now we can be proactive and educate patients when newer technology & materials are available. I want my patients to know there’s no place I need to be, except with them."
Dr. Ray Henley is that cool dentist your mother warned you about. Now, he’s the one she and all her friends go to for root canals, implants, and any procedure where artistry is just as important as the cutting-edge science behind it. A former 14-year-old professional drummer, Dr. Henley bucked rock star tradition and decided to become a dentist, to the great relief of his parents. He had a cool dentist growing up, and felt a personal calling to show people who are normally petrified of the dentist how it feels to take care of things as soon as possible from someone who gets it.
Dr. Henley cut his teeth, so to speak, during a fast-paced residency as an army dentist in the 1990s, performing up to 600 procedures a year in overseas and rural areas. In fact, he did more root canals in three months of being in the army than he did in all of dental school. He always had two duffel bags ready at all times—knowing he could be sent anywhere in 48 hours. Fortunately, he never needed his gas mask or his weapons training. When he returned, he opened a private practice in Yorktown, 16 miles north of the town where he grew up. But he missed having a “band” of his own—a peer group of other dentists to consult and share information with.
When he was invited to join Norge Dental Center in 2000, he accepted without hesitation. At last, a place to work with colleagues who valued quality, artistry, and cutting-edge procedures and materials just as much as he did. Never one to stay in his comfort zone, Dr. Henley views dentistry as a dynamic, ever-evolving field, and is as excited to embrace a new dental procedure or material as he is to master a new song with the local duo he is one half of. Repetition hones his craft, which he’s turned into an art form. He knows not every patient had a “cool” dentist like he did, and he encourages his patients to share their fears with him. Over the years, he’s been able to help even people “petrified” of the dentist see how taking care of things as soon as possible helps them in the long run.
United States Army Dental Corps (1989 – 1994)
US Army Advanced Education in General Dentistry (1989 – 1990)
MCV School of Dentistry (1985 – 1989)
Old Dominion University (1981 – 1985)