Dr. Pye Celebrates 25 Years


Dr. Shannon Pye was born and raised in Walterboro, actually delivered by Dr. Bill Fender. His father Morris Pye worked at Farm Bureau for 40 years. They lived in Forest Hills, attended John C. Calhoun Academy and Presbyterian University. After 4 years of College, he came back home and taught sixth and seventh grade science, PE, and coached baseball and football at the Academy. Pye was accepted into Dental School at MUSC in Charleston and went off to Fort Benning. After spending a year in South Korea, he came back to Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart.

Pye explains how he selected the Army, “It was 1987 at the time, I was just a patriotic guy and the professor of military science at Presbyterian, the Lieutenant Colonel just happened to be a Presbyterian grad. He was active-duty military, and his last duty station was coming back to Presbyterian to be the head of the ROTC. I tried to play football my freshman year. The coach had a meeting with all the freshman football players. He said we need people to be soldiers every other Thursday afternoon. For three hours you get to dress up and play army. If you get two hours of class time a week, we’ll try to get you out and 30 to 40 minutes. That sounded great to all of us because it was an easy two hours. After two years of that, I thought kind of like this as a way to serve my country. My Captain said, if you’re considering signing a contract, apply for a scholarship. “I got my last two years of Presbyterian paid for that way. I probably could have got some scholarship at MUSC, but I already was committed for four years from two years at Presbyterian. I just ate a lot of ramen and clipped those Burger King and Arby’s coupons for sandwiches.”

His father suggested the medical field as a profession, “He just thought it would be best to be your own boss. He felt like doctors and lawyers, were their own boss. He kind of pushed me in the direction of dentistry. He’s like, those guys don’t have to get up at 2:30 in the morning and go deliver a baby. That’s probably a better lifestyle. After thinking about it, I thought, maybe I should go this route because I didn’t know if I wanted to go medicine or law. It had been impressed upon me from an early age that you want to be self-employed and be your own boss if you can. And those were the two areas that I was kind of thinking about as a profession.”

Dr Pye move back to Walterboro and took over the practice of Dr. John Tennant on July 5 of 1999. Dr. Tennant continued to work full time for several years, eventually just doing dentures because that’s all he wanted to do. Tennant actually drove back and forth one day a month from Manning after they moved for a while until his final retirement.

The original office was on Carn Street and the current office on Hiers Corner Rd. was built in 2003.

Pye works in General Dentistry. He explains, “General Dentistry is a little bit of everything. You know, fillings, surgery, a little bit of periodontal work, crowns, and dentures. I had the opportunity to specialize through the military, and I just thought gosh, I don’t want to do the same thing all day long. But you would think dentistry is the same thing all day long. But it’s not.”.

This will be Pye’s 25th anniversary in practice this July. We asked him how dentistry has changed over the years, He said, “One of the biggest things is digital radiography. You know, when I first bought Dr. Tenant’s practice, there were two rooms that you could take an x ray and you had you had to walk out in the hall and there was a big old central thing, and you push the button and then when you saw the arrows actually go over and come back. And then you had the little films you had to go into dark room with the red light. You take the little films out and you put it on a clip and all Miss Katherine Walker did the x-rays. Miss Walker was with the practice since 1963, she retired about 2012, 12 years ago. Now everything’s digital. You go in there you plug your X ray unit into the computer, take your X ray and in about a second and a half it pops up on your computer screen. it’s just remarkable. It’s not quite as accurate as the old films as far as actually finding little cavities, but still quite efficient.”

In his spare time Dr. Pye is very active, he says, “I do a little fishing and I’m almost the oldest guy in the Hampton church softball league. In the fall you can find me sitting in a deer stand. Just because it’s nice and peaceful.