Dr. William Langstaff is intense and passionate about his varied interests, one of which is his dental practice. On May 20, he will celebrate 40 years of providing dental services at his first and only location. His long-time staff members, and wife (passion number one) Toby, invite his “family of patients” -- over 2,000, many of them now friends – to share in the celebration. For Langstaff, one of the party’s highlights will be the music, as his friend and music teacher, Disneyland’s own Brian Williams, will bring his band.
Music has also been a life-long passion. During high school in Sarasota, he played clarinet in the symphony, and was lead alto sax in the school’s championship band, resulting in a full-ride music scholarship to the University of South Florida. Now, after 50 years, he has begun playing sax again, taking lessons with Williams, joining the community jazz band, and devoting an hour each day to practice.
His musical family (Uncle Charlie was Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s band leader; Dad played trombone) notwithstanding, it was a dentist cousin who led him into dentistry. The cousin set up an interview for him with Case Western Reserve University, and Langstaff was accepted on the spot, joining the first class of dental students in the new facility. Following graduation, he joined the Navy. He had hoped for Treasure Island, but spent two years at Terminal Island in Long Beach.
Villa Park beckoned
He loved California, met and married his wife Toby in 1976. The couple settled in Laguna, when he learned of a dental practice in little Villa Park for sale. At the age of 28, Bill took out a seemingly huge loan of $30,000 to buy the practice. He paid off the loan in just two years. Then, three years later, he and Toby bought a home in Cowan Heights, where they raised their three children and continue to live today.
Langstaff is not one to become complacent, but views life as a life-long learning process. In the 1990s, he learned of dental implants, and their significance to his patients. He became an expert in the field, teaching, lecturing and serving as president of the Southern California Academy of General Dentistry. Still later, with a view to taking care of his patients as they aged, he delved into Obstructive Sleep Apnea, becoming an expert in custom mouthpieces that position the lower jaw to open the airway and allow undisturbed sleep.
And those other passions? Surprisingly, cycling. He competes in a number of 20k or 40k time trials, as well as up to 10 triathlons each year, often winning in his age bracket. An up-and-coming passion: Rotary Club of Villa Park. Langstaff is slated to be president-elect in 2015-16, president the following year, and looks forward to helping increase membership, create club leadership succession, and serve the community that has been a part of his life for the last 40 years.
Neighborhood dentist celebrates 40 years in Villa Park
Dr. William Langstaff, right, takes care of long-time patient Denny Mack.