After 30 years of business in Fairmont, Drs. Michael Trent and Michael Meador are closing their dental practice — but they’re leaving it “in good hands.”

Dr. Trent, a Boone County native, and Dr. Meador, who grew up in Summers County, were classmates who graduated from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry.

In 1977, Trent bought Dr. Jack Hayhurst’s dental practice in Fairmont. Meador worked in Fairchance, Pa., for a year and became Trent’s partner in 1978.

Their practice, Michael F. Trent DDS and Michael J. Meador DDS Inc., started in the professional building downtown and in 1983 moved to 403 Virginia Ave.

About eight months ago, Trent and Meador decided they were ready for change and contacted Wilson Martino Dental Associates to see if they were interested in the Fairmont area. Wilson Martino purchased the practice and will begin business at the Virginia Avenue office Tuesday. The official last day for Trent and Meador’s business was Aug. 31.

Wilson Martino has seven offices across West Virginia: Bridgeport, Buckhannon, Charleston, Elkins, Morgantown, Sabraton and Teays Valley.

Drs. Robert Martino and Kenneth Wilson are the co-owners and co-founders of the dental practice, which Martino said is the largest dental organization in the state.

Wilson Martino respects Trent and Meador and feels honored that these two individuals approached them, Martino said.

“They have a really nice practice,” Martino said. “We look at a lot of practices. We make very few take-overs or acquisitions because they have to be quality. We’re on the same page of how we treat patients and how we feel prevention is the key.”

Wilson Martino plans to continue what Trent and Meador started and keep the same staff and facility. Patients may see a few staff members added and some other updates, but for the most part the business will go on as it has for the past 30 years, Martino said.

“It’s a good opportunity for Dr. Meador and me because we wanted to do some other things, but also we’re leaving our employees with jobs and we’re leaving our patients in good hands,” Trent said.

“That’s going to be the hardest part, leaving our patients. It’s just like leaving old friends. We have patients that we’ve been with for 30 years.”

Trent has a home in Oak Island, N.C., and plans to move there at the end of the year. He will do dentistry work at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. Meador is teaching at the WVU dental school two days a week and will work for Wilson Martino in Charleston three days a week.

“We had such a big practice,” Trent said. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Martino said Fairmont was a natural move for Wilson Martino because it already has offices in Bridgeport and Morgantown and gets a lot of patients from Fairmont. Now, Wilson Martino can better provide services for its existing clients in Fairmont and can also serve Trent and Meador’s former patients.

“We feel like we’re already part of this community,” Martino said. “It’s not like an outside firm coming in. We’re here already. We’re very familiar with the area.”

Dr. Khursand, a graduate of WVU, will be the lead doctor at the Fairmont location, and other dentists will also come into the office.

“They’re going to be doing a great job here,” Trent said. “It’s going to be a good addition to the Fairmont area having this dental group here.”

E-mail Jessica Legge at jlegge@timeswv.com.

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