Dr. Ledford was born in Michigan, but grew up in St. Louis. He attended the University of Missouri, Columbia for undergraduate work, graduating in 1979. In 1983 he graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. The next six years were spent practicing in a small town in Kentucky, where in addition to his practice he was on staff at the local hospital and nursing home.
In 1989, he, his wife and two children moved to Springfield where he joined a group practice. In 1996, feeling a need to be more in control of the quality care he wished to give his patients, he opened Dental Associates of the Ozarks.
He has served on the local Board for Camp Fire Boys & Girls, as a Cub Master for Cub Scouts and as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts. He refereed swimming for years as his children grew up competing. In January 2017 he refereed his last High School meet after having retired from both Collegiate and USA Swimming a few years earlier. He also served on the Board of Directors for Missouri Valley Swimming.
With both children grown and married, he started spending more and more time on his bicycle, increasing the mileage ridden each year. Each of the past 7 years he has ridden over 5,000 miles and currently serves as a consultant to the Board of Directors for Springbike Bicycle Club as the “unofficial” ride coordinator.
His other hobbies include Scuba diving, backpacking, and skiing.
The friendly voice you are most likely to hear when you call our office is Leslee’s. She joined the Dental Associates’ team in March of 2015. Originally from Illinois, Leslee moved to Southwest Missouri to pursue her career as a mobile x-ray technologist. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Southwestern Illinois College. Leslee is the mother of two daughters and in her spare time enjoys kayaking, boating, and relaxing on the beach.
Cassandra joined the team January 2, 2018 replacing Tracy who had been out due to a yet to be diagnosed medical problem (please keep Tracy in your prayers). She moved to Missouri with her children about 10 years ago to find a new husband. She succeeded and they got married last May. She has been a full time hygienist with a practice in Lebanon, MO for the past two years but was getting tired of the commute. She passed her working interview here by working on both the doctor and Marlene — no stress there. She looks forward to meeting everyone and helping you keep a healthy smile, truly your best asset.
Marlene became a permanent face around the office in January, 2013, she has worked with the doctor off and on since 1983 after they got married in 1982. In the early years, she worked in the office in Kentucky. Once we moved to Springfield in 1989, she stayed home with the kids until they were in school, then she worked for United Ministries in Higher Education on the MSU campus which allowed flexible hours so she could still be home when they got out of school. Until then, most patients never saw her in the office. But if you ever had an after hours emergency, you likely saw her then as the assistant. With the children out of the house and now having grandchildren, it made sense to work a job with the same vacation schedule.
Some patients may recognize her as having been the receptionist years ago while attending Missouri State University and working for her dad here at the office. Now married with two children, she is still trying to help the practice by helping move it into the world of social media marketing, allowing mom and dad to concentrate on helping patients show their best asset, their smile.