Gary M. McCown, DDS
A native of Lenoir City, Tennessee, Dr. McCown spent a great deal of his youth on his grandparent’s farm there, as well as the farm of his maternal grandparents in New Albany, Mississippi.
During time spent picking cotton, working tobacco, butchering hogs, making molasses, and helping his grandfather trap and sell minnows, Dr. McCown developed a deep appreciation for nature and a common-sense approach to life – an appreciation that continues today.
A graduate of Roane County High School, as he neared graduation from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in 1973, Dr. McCown told the Dean, Dr. Jack Wells, that he would like to become a dental teacher. Dr. Wells said to, “Go into practice for ten years. Then you might know something worth teaching.”
After two years of practice in Kingston, Tennessee, a marriage, two children, and opening his own practice in 1975, Dr. McCown settled into learning how to be a “good country dentist.”
When Dr. Wells called him back in 1978 with an opportunity to teach, Dr. McCown joined the faculty at the General Dentistry Graduate School at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He taught through 1989 when he left full time teaching to reopen his private practice. Today he remains an adjunct professor at the university.
In 1986 Dr. McCown developed a series of medical symptoms: a severe heart arrhythmia, migraine headaches, recurrent sinus infections and memory loss. An acquaintance, Dr. Hal Huggins, now considered the father of modern holistic dentistry, suspected the cause of Dr. McCown’s symptoms were his silver/mercury fillings.
Over the next two years Dr. McCown had his mercury fillings replaced, and had a root canal extracted and the cavitation surgically corrected. Within a year all of his medical issues were resolved, never to return. It was an experience that shaped his philosophy, his practice, his teaching, and most importantly, his patients.
Today, with a generation of data-based results as the proof, the procedures in use at SpringWater Dental are changing the way dentistry is practiced. Not only patients, but dentists from across the country come to SpringWater for care and to learn from Dr. McCown.
Dr. Kie Gardner, DDS
Dr. Gardner was born in Knoxville, TN on March 23, 1975. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, and in 1989 when they retired, moved to their small family farm in Rockwood, TN. Dr. Gardner has always loved nature and the outdoors. His grandfather worked as a civil engineer and architect. He always encouraged Dr. Gardner to learn how things work, as well as, cultivating a “Do it yourself” mentality. As early as seven or eight years old, Dr. Gardner helped frame homes, pour concrete, and fix motors (both large and small). He has always loved working with his hands.
As he neared the end of high school, Dr. Gardner made up his mind to pursue a degree in fine arts. He has drawn, painted, and sculpted his whole life. “My hands are good but I felt that being an artist might not challenge me mentally enough.” So in 1993 Dr. Gardner headed to college as a pre-med student. The more time passed, he began to doubt if he would truly be able to use his hands and be creative as a physician. The path to surgical residency seemed to take too long. He never liked hospitals much. “Did I really want to spend the rest of my life in one? I still remember to this day the exact moment I woke up out of a dead sleep and said “ I want to do dentistry,” Dr. Gardner recalls. He loved his childhood dentist with his small office in Rockwood. Dr. Gardner thought dentistry looked fun and interesting and would still let him be an artist, be creative, use his hands every day. He spoke to his college advisor about switching, took the dental admissions test and started dental school in 1997.
Shortly after graduating, while attending a friend’s wedding, a classmate asked Dr. Gardner where he was looking to practice. When he replied Knoxville, the friend mentioned Dr. Gary McCown. Dr. Gardner called and visited Dr. McCown’s office the next Friday following the wedding. During the visit, Dr. McCown asked Dr. Gardner to observe a procedure and the first words the patient said were, “You found the best place you could be”. After spending the day at the office, Dr. Gardner picked up two lab coats at the uniform shop next door and never looked back. Since that day nearly 14 years ago, he has had the honor to meet and treat patients from all over the world.
In 2009 Dr. Gardner married his beautiful wife Andrea and in 2014, they moved back to Rockwood to help with his grandparents. They have a large four-legged family with three dogs, seven cats and recently twelve chickens. They both love the outdoors and spend more time outside than in. Over the last few years, gardening and homesteading have taken a lot of Dr. Gardner’s “spare” time, but he still enjoys art, playing guitar and working on old cars. “I truly feel that it is a blessing to be able to do what I do. It was a gift to me from my creator, from my parents and grandparents. I look forward to paying that gift back.”