About Your Dentist

Thomas R. Watkins, DDS

Dr. Tom Watkins, or Dr. Tom as he is commonly known, is originally from the small west Texas town of Levelland. It is there that he met his wife of 28+ years. Together they have two grown children, one grandson and a granddaughter on the way.

His personal motto, "Loving to live by living to love," is evident in all aspects of his life. Every year Dr. Tom travels along with a group of other caring individuals to Guatemala to provide dental care for those in need. He plans to continue doing so for many, many years to come. Dr. Tom enjoys active pastimes like mountain biking, hiking, and fishing (especially deep sea fishing), and some not-so-active pastimes like good 'ol backyard sit-under-the-tree visiting with friends and family. He is also an active member of his church and his serving spirit permeates his work.

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • American Dental Education Association
  • American Orthodontic Society
  • American Endodontic Society
  • American Society of Dental Anesthesia
  • Texas Dental Association
  • Full Clinical Professor at UTHSCSA, Dept. of Comprehensive Dentistry, 30+ years
  • Texas Tech University, with honors
  • U.S. AirForce Health Professions Scholarship
  • University of Texas Dental School at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), with honors
  • Meritorious Service Award
  • Commander's Commendation Award
  • Southwest Academy of Restorative Dentistry
  • SA District Dental Society

Gary M. Gradke, DDS

In 2017, W Dental Group welcomes Dr. Gary M Gradke to our family of practitioners. Dr. Gradke received his Bachelor's degree at the University of Arizona. He then received his DDS degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1971. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he continued his studies at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, receiving a master's degree in biomedical sciences. While attending the UT Dental Branch in Houston, he completed a four year Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency. He opened his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1977, and continued in that practice until 2017.

As an examiner for the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) for the last 10 years, Dr. Gradke has held the distinguished title of Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons since 1979.

He has practiced all aspects of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the past. He currently has a special interest in dental implantology and dentoalveolar surgery. His greatest interest away from dentistry is fly fishing and has traveled to three continents pursuing this hobby. He previously was an active participant in the Arizona Cutting Horse Association where he was president in 1987. He was fortunate to have won two American Quarter Horse Association Championships as a rider of his cutting horse in 1985 and 1986.

He is married to his wife, Paula, for 46 years. They have three sons and ten wonderful grandchildren, and he relocated to San Antonio to be near to them.

Herbert J. Mills, DDS

"Dentistry is the profession I choose, because it allows me to help people with their health and quality of life in a very profound way. My father was a major influence on my journey to become a dentist. Early on, he learned the value of professional dental care to maintain overall health and raise our quality of life.

My father was a high school biology teacher, as well as a football, basketball, and track coach, all at various times. He was sociable, popular, and influenced many young athletes to work hard and achieve their goals and successes. Through his warm smile and positive personality, he became an inspiration to the people who knew him to stay healthy and fit at all times. He was an encourager to me, as well. I enjoyed creating and flying model airplanes out of balsa wood. He helped me realize that my manual dexterity was a gift, and I could be a blessing to others by becoming a dentist.

Dentistry has allowed me to help so many people have better lives. I feel that I am a blessed person, because I can practice my profession."

My Mission

"To improve the lives of all the patients who I treat. I have a gift for teaching, and I use that to explain to patients that Mouth Health Matters! There is a proven direct connection between mouth health and body health. Many folks are not aware of that at all.

It is a scientific fact that having a healthy mouth leads to a longer and better life! Many healthcare experts and health-focused media are sharing this important fact of life… the word is getting out. Having a great smile gives us more social confidence and social influence. When we feel better about ourselves, life is better!"

Education

Dr. Mills has an undergraduate degree in Psychology. He carries a strong interest in all of the biological and physical sciences, and he basically created a pre-dental curriculum for himself. When Dr. Mills decided to attend dental school, he knew that the Ohio State College of Dentistry would provide him with excellent training.

Continuing Education

Since he graduated from Ohio State College of Dentistry, Dr. Mills has always been involved with continuing education. His focus for CE has been on advanced restorative procedures (rehabilitation of the mouth), cosmetic dentistry, and periodontal health enhancement (periodontal treatment is for the gums and the bone holding the teeth). Dr. Mills specializes in placing both partial and full-mouth dentures.

Life & Hobbies

Dr. Mills enjoys living in the beautiful state of Texas. No more snow and ice – at least not very much! He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. Dr. Mills loves the outdoors and hiking in nearby parks. His other major fitness activity is photography; as a kid, he was often in the darkroom and loved every minute of it. It's great to have the modern digital world, allowing him to see results quicker, and in some ways, better! Dr. Mills' son and family live in Charlotte, North Carolina. He keeps up with his two grandkids (one boy, one girl) through FaceTime and email, and he tries to visit them as much as possible.