Dr. Juan Villarreal, Founder, Weslaco and Harlingen Family Dentistry
Dr. Juan Villarreal speaks about how he got into dentistry and how his dental practice, Harlingen Family Dentistry, has grown and succeeded.
"My name is Juan Villareal, I’m the founder of Harlingen Family Dentistry. I was born and raised here in Harlingen, Texas on the west side of Harlingen. My dental practice is only probably about a half a mile from where I was actually born.
"I like that I came from humble beginnings and grew up in a large family and I always wanted to come back to this community and be a factor in the community and do something for the community.
"Well I actually had an experience with a toothache when I was 14 years old and it took 2-3 days to find a dentist that could treat me because everybody was too busy at the time. And I didn't sleep for those couple of days so I know it was a very bad experience for me. And finally got a hold of a dentist who took care of me at the time. And I think at the time I made the decision that one day I would come back to this area and be able to treat people when they have some emergency needs as I had at the time with this terrible toothache. So I know what it feels like to have a toothache. And it’s one of the philosophies that I put in my practice to do emergency care for my patients regardless of the time of day or weekends or whatever, and take good care of them. And that’s how the practice over the years has grown.
"One of the most pleasurable moments in dentistry is being able to take care of a patient that really needs it and is in pain and they come in and you can see the change in their face from a very painful experience to being able to smile again and joke. Also another real pleasurable experience in dentistry is treating people that I see sometimes I see people that have very bad teeth and they start coming in and you start seeing the differences. And they start changing their whole demeanor in how they feel and how they communicate and even how they dress. You know people totally change. And you can see the differences in that. And they take more pride and their self-esteem comes up and it’s really a neat experience watching that in individuals as we improve their smiles and then they can really smile again.
"So I think we’re making the community a nicer, prettier place by doing that."
Sadly, Dr. Villarreal passed away unexpectedly on December 29, 2019.
He maintained an active role in the dental community, most recently serving as President of the Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society. He also served on the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners from 2001-2008 following an appointment by then-Gov. Rick Perry.
Dr. Villarreal is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and was named Dentist of the Year in 2015 for his professional achievements. His professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, Hispanic Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Texas Dental Association, Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society, and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Locally, he was an active member of the South Texas economic and civic communities, where he served as Past President of the Harlingen CISD School Board, Past President of the Harlingen Economic Development Board, a member of the Dawnbreakers Lions Club, a sponsor at the Harlingen Outreach Center, a sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America Friends of Scouting organization, benefactor of the JROTC “Set a Good Example” Scholarship Program, a sponsor of Harlingen High and Harlingen South High School Scholarships, and founder and benefactor of Narconon South Texas.
His many achievements and contributions are remembered in an article published by the Valley Morning Star.