January 9, 2013 Edition

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Gardner sells dental
practice to Edwards

John Bland

Dr. Robert Gardner, who has practiced dentistry in Walnut Ridge for the past 33 years, has accepted a full-time position with the Veteran's Administration in North Little Rock. He has sold his patient records, equipment and furnishings to Dr. Rebecca Edwards of Main Street Family Dental.

Dr. Edwards' office is next door to Gardner's building, at 1121 West Main Street. Gardner is selling his building separately from the practice.

"It's really with mixed feelings that I'm leaving," said Gardner. "I just had an opportunity that came up, and things fell into place."

Gardner is a colonel in the Arkansas National Guard and also serves as the Guard's state dental officer, and the career move is a good fit with his military service.

During his years as a dentist, he has been deployed three times, first to Europe and then to Kuwait and Iraq. He was also expecting to be deployed to Afghanistan at this time. Although that didn't materialize, there is the possibility of other deployments in his future.

In a letter to his patients, Gardner stated:

"As of Dec. 28, 2012, I have merged my practice with Dr. Rebecca Edwards, who has a dental office next door to mine. I have entrusted her with my practice while I am making the transition from private dentistry to full-time federal service at the VA in North Little Rock. Dr. Edwards was carefully selected by me after thorough consideration.

"I want to thank you for your support, and would also appreciate it if you would continue to support Dr. Edwards as she assists me during this transition."

Gardner returned to his home county after completing dental school in December of 1979. He went in to practice with Dr. C.W. Nickels and later purchased the practice.

Gardner said he has been a part of his patients' lives, seeing some of them grow up through those years. "I will miss them," Gardner said. "I thank all of my patients for all their years of support."

Dr. Edwards gave this statement, "I am thoroughly honored to have been selected by Dr. Gardner to take care of his patients. Dr. Gardner's only regret of retiring from private practice was missing his patients who he cared about over the years. It is with much gratitude that I have been entrusted with his patients to become part of my dental family.

"Thank you to my current patients and to my new dental family from Dr. Gardner. I hope to serve your future dental needs.

"I have been so blessed for the past 16 years to serve the dental needs of this community."

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