Dr. Nicholas F. Gardner, 39: Nicholas F. Gardner, D.D.S.

 

Instead of “goodbye” or “see ya later,” Nicholas F. Gardner ends his email messages with the phrase, “smile big.”

“That’s kind of my signature sign off,” the 39-year-old dentist explained. “I was about 12 when I decided to be a dentist. I never pictured being a dentist anywhere else but here.”

These days, Dr. Gardner has plenty to smile about.
Over the past decade, he’s built a successful dentistry practice, Nicholas F. Gardner DDS at 119 E. Main St., Gouverneur.

Since opening in September 2005, his practice has grown to more than 1,500 regular patients and he employs about 12 staff members, including six full-time hygienists.

It doesn’t take long to recognize the relaxed atmosphere Dr.
Gardner strives to create for his patients. Framed movie posters decorate the waiting room and upbeat music plays on the radio.

He is proud of the state-of-the art equipment available at
his office, but he’s more eager to talk about his commitment
to learning as much as he can about his profession.

He often travels to training conferences and is eager to share his expertise with other dental students and professionals.

“I devote my time to learning and teaching,” Dr. Gardner said. “Gathering in a learning environment with other dentists helps motivate me.”

He and his wife, Jennifer L., are also busy on the home front.
The couple is raising four young children, three sons and a daughter. They’ve both taken active roles in their community.

Dr. Gardner serves as trustee and vice chairman of the Gouverneur Hospital Board of Trustees and coaches youth sports.

Without hesitating, Dr. Gardner said the region’s people and its natural beauty inspired him to return to the north country to open his dental practice.

“The people in the north country are genuine, trusting and friendly,” Dr. Gardner said. “I understand how the people here think.”

He enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, camping, target shooting, photography and cutting firewood.

Living in other parts of the country helped him develop an appreciation for the region’s vast amount of fresh water.

“Where I live in Rossie, there are easily eight or 10 lakes within 10 miles,” he said.

After growing up in the town of Rossie, he even embraces the long, cold winters that others complain about.

Through his professional and volunteer work, Dr. Gardner demonstrates his commitment to the region and its future.
Gale Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Print, said Dr. Gardner played an integral role in the successful effort to save Gouverneur Hospital from closing. He described him as a “fine example,” of the type of person needed to lead the next generation of north country residents.

“I am very pleased that he chose to return to Gouverneur, revitalized one of our downtown buildings and has grown a vibrant dental practice with continuing investments in state of the art equipment,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Dr. Gardner credits his father, Charles A. Gardner, for being his mentor, “in all matters of the world” and he credits his friend, Dwayne McQueer, for mentoring him in “all matters of the wind.” His wife gets credit for offering him the best advice.
He also credits four dentists for mentoring him, including Sam Pominville in Lowville, Drew Cobb in Washington, D.C., Pete Jensen in Albuquerque, N.M., and Roy Holexa in Phoenix, Ariz.

Attending the Dawson Academy was instrumental at shaping his future.

“Following the advice and the skills I learned at the Dawson Academy as a dentist and a person have made my life a far better version than the one I was living,” Dr. Gardner said.

— Susan Mende

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The Dr. Nicholas F. Gardner File

Hometown: Rossie

Professional position: Owner, sole dentist, Nicholas F. Gardner D.D.S.

Family: Wife, Jennifer; children, Kennon, 11, Nolan, 10, Jensen, 4, Vivian, 2; parents, Charles A. and Linda A.

Education: Hammond Central School; Bachelor’s in biology, LeMoyne College, 1998; Doctor of Dental Surgery, University of North Carolina, 2004; general practice residency, University of Rochester, 2005. Dawson Academy for Advanced Education, April 2013; Academy of General Practice Orthodontics, 2015

Community involvement: Trustee and vice chairman, Gouverneur Hospital Board of Trustees; active member, Catholic Communities of Morristown, Hammond and Rossie; coach, youth baseball and basketball in Hammond

Last book read: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan; “Flow,” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; “How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere,” by Larry King