The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sunday Profile

February 2, 2014

Coming home to southern West Virginia

Johnathon Hale grew up in southern West Virginia, graduating from Liberty High School in 2001. He enjoyed the people and culture of this area and made it a goal to return after he received his formal education.

Upon finishing his undergraduate degree and subsequently his doctorate of dental surgery at West Virginia University in 2009, he decided to come back and practice dentistry in Sophia with Dr. Matthew McGinnis.

While working with another dentist was rewarding, Hale wanted his own practice and, after four years, he discovered the opportunity close to home in Dr. Robert Skoretz’s office in Oak Hill.

Hale bought the practice from Skoretz and moved into his new place of business in April 2013. Skoretz has since gone to Colorado to pursue a career as a teacher at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine.

The beautifully restored home is the perfect backdrop for Hale’s relaxing yet detail-oriented approach to dentistry. The welcoming 100-year-old house features prominent fireplaces and chandeliers, all of which are original to the home.

Every effort was made to keep everything as close to original as possible. In keeping with this tradition, Hale kept the staff that worked with Dr. Skoretz original, too. Hale said this was instrumental in making a smooth transition for him and his inherited patients.

Hale thinks that his easy and approachable demeanor sets him apart in his field.

“I do good, quality work. I am very approachable.”

He also believes in treating “the whole patient, not just the mouth.”

There are some who would have what Hale called “Cadillac treatment,” meaning that they might neglect concerning issues in the rest of the mouth and opt to treat only the front teeth. His dental philosophy is based on making the patient healthy while at the same time improving their smile.

While in high school Hale would help his cousin, who was a veterinarian, in the evenings and during the summer. This experience did have an impact on his career choice, but Hale knew he couldn’t take seeing all of the sick and dying animals every day. But he wanted to help people and dentistry offered him the chance to do that.

“I like the satisfaction and the immediacy of dentistry,” said Hale of his chosen profession.

He appreciates that someone can come into his office with terrible pain or a broken tooth and then be able to walk out with a smile on their face after a quick procedure to extract or mend the offending tooth.

“I like how you can transform people, I like being able to help people.”

Hale described how someone might hold their hand over their mouth when they laugh or smile and that he takes a lot of pride in being able to help them regain confidence.

Hale currently offers sedation in the form of a pill, but will soon be able to offer an intravenous solution for patients who require it. He also performs dental implant procedures in the office, which Hale says is not offered by many dentists in the area.

Moving forward, he plans to keep growing his practice and building on his already solid history of general and cosmetic dentistry.

Hale’s office is happily taking new patients and is an in-network provider for Delta Dental insurance. Look for his Facebook page where after 500 “likes,” he will give away a free Zoom whitening procedure to one lucky follower.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 304-465-5361 or visit  www.dentistwv.com.

— E-mail: cboyd@register-herald.com

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