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.”