Dr. Purnell is listed as a “2023 Best Dentist in America” by U.S. News & World Report
- Bachelors of Health Science, Suma Cum Laude, Clemson University
- DMD, The Medical University of South Carolina
- Masters of Science in Dentistry and Certificate in Orthodontics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Thesis: Investigation of Lateral Incisor Crown Root Angulation and Impacted Maxillary Canines
Dr. Sam Purnell grew up outside of Columbia in Ballentine, South Carolina. He attended Chapin Elementary, Chapin Middle and Chapin High School before finishing his high school career at Ben Lippen School. In addition to being a dedicated runner, leading Ben Lippen to two state cross-country championships, Dr. Purnell was very involved in and enormously shaped by the Faith Presbyterian Church community.
Following high school, Dr. Purnell attended Clemson University graduating with highest academic honors, Suma Cum Laude. While at Clemson Dr. Purnell was involved in Reformed University Fellowship and volunteered for three years as a Young Life leader for middle schoolers. Dr. Purnell started out majoring in Landscape Architecture to compliment his love of the outdoors, art, and design. God had other plans and Sam was soon drawn towards dentistry and the service it could provide locally and in foreign missions.
Dr. Purnell was accepted into the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Dental Medicine. It was during dental school Dr. Purnell realized his passion for Orthodontics. He excelled in dental school graduating at the top of his Class. Dr. Purnell was accepted into the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s highly competitive three year Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics residency where he received his Masters in Dentistry and Certificate in Orthodontics.
Dr. Purnell is married to the beautiful Katie Tyler Purnell, an internationally published photographer. They have a daughter, Pepper, and two sons, Shepard and Yates. Dr. Purnell loves cooking, art, gardening, and running. Most of all, the Purnell’s enjoy spending time in their community. Whether paddling down the Saluda River, going to Soda City farmer’s market, or biking the trails at Harbison, Dr. Purnell is wild about Lexington and Greater Columbia. The Purnell family are members of a small church plant, Columbia Presbyterian Church. He can’t wait to meet you and hear your story.