Passing of the toothbrush
Longtime Pewaukee dentist sells practice

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

July 29, 2014

Dr. Robert Lynch, left, with Dr. Timothy Wall in Wall Family Dentistry Monday.
Lynch has been a dentist for 54 years.

Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE - During the 54 years he practiced dentistry, Dr. Robert Lynch got to know multiple generations of one family, which he didn’t take for granted - nor does Dr. Timothy Wall, who acquired Lynch’s patients.

“A lot of people don’t understand that, too - your practice is like your family,” Wall said.

Wall is no newcomer, offering his dentistry services for 27 years. It was about a month ago that Wall purchased Lynch’s practice, which had been on Oakton Avenue, and access to his 400 to 500 patients. Those clients who opt to see Wall in the future will only have to go a short distance to his office on Clark Street.

“It’s hard for him to give up that whole practice,” Wall said. “I really appreciate his trust in me to take over his family or his practice base.”

For about the past 10 to 15 years, Lynch, 78, has been working part time and Wall would see his clients if there was an emergency while Lynch vacationed in warmer weather during the winter months.

Dr. Robert Lynch, left, and Dr. Timothy Wall talk about the changes in dentistry since
Lynch began practicing 54 years ago.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

It’s Lynch’s longevity in the business and his good health that amaze Wall, who said he would love to learn Lynch’s secrets to staying well.

While Lynch said he’ll miss his patients, he is looking forward to more leisure time and spending more of it in the South.

Becoming a dentist was something Lynch wanted to do since he was in high school, but his father had hoped he would become an engineer.

“Back in those days, everybody went to the dentist because everyone had cavities,” Lynch said, adding it has gotten better with people adopting improved diets and teeth-cleaning practices.

Lynch has also seen the cost of dental procedures go up quite a bit since he started practicing in the 1960s. For example, he said gold crowns used to cost $100 each, but are now about $1,000. He also saw the advent of dental implants, “which changed the face of dentistry.”

After Lynch became a doctor of dental medicine, his first patients were stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington, where he also took care of people in the 32nd Infantry Division from Wisconsin. After two years in the service, Lynch started his own practice on the south side of Milwaukee on Grange Avenue.

In 1988, he bought an existing practice in Pewaukee and for a time had two offices. Eventually he sold the Milwaukee office and focused on the Pewaukee location.

Of the many patients he saw through the years, a story about a young girl stands out for Lynch.

He said he would do orthodontics in special situations for patients who couldn’t afford to see an orthodontist. A father of one girl remarked that after her teeth were straightened, it was the first time he saw her smile.