Harley M. Richards, DDS
Board-Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
My personal mission is to use the experience I’ve gained in over 38 years of residency and private practice to provide the highest quality care available in modern dental science.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr. Harley Richards grew up in Lakeland, Florida. His father was a general dentist and his grandfather was a general surgeon. As such, he was exposed to medicine and dentistry at an early age. His father could fix anything and enjoyed planes, motorcycling and boating so Dr. Richards was exposed to all of these activities in his youth.
After high school, Dr. Richards attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where he received a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He was accepted to Emory University School of Dentistry where he received his dental degree in 1976. While in dental school he developed a love of surgery so he pursued a residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Jacksonville, FL. He served one year as a fellow in the Department of Anesthesia at Jacksonville Health Education Programs and completed a three-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the same hospital in 1980. Later that same year, he moved to Lakeland, FL and started his practice in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and is a fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Richards is a member of the Florida Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, West Coast Dental Association, American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and Polk County Dental Association where he served as President. He has served at Lakeland Regional Medical Center as Chief of the Division of Oral Surgery and Dentistry many times.
Dr. Richards has been an innovator in implant dentistry. He recognized that a business model providing both the dental implant surgery and restorative work under one roof would provide a valuable service to his patients. Over the last 20 years, his practice has evolved in this direction providing teeth the same day for thousands of patients.
In October 2007 Dr. Richards traveled to Toronto Canada to operate with Dr. Lesley David. There he learned the technique for placement of zygoma implants for patients with dental bone loss. FDIOS is one of the few practices in the world that place zygoma implants on a regular basis. The FDIOS Lakeland facility operates from a 16,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility. In addition to providing a relaxing atmosphere for their patients, the facility provides a venue for education seminars given by Dr. Richards and Dr. Kirkpatrick.
In the Community
Dr. Richards has provided many hours of volunteer work to the community. He currently works Pro Bono at Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine on a routine basis. He has served on the Lakeland chapter of the American Cancer Society where he also served as president. He currently serves as the chairman of the board for the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo. Sun ‘n Fun is the second-largest civilian fly-in in the country. Dr. Richards has a love for aviation and is an accomplished pilot. He has a commercial pilot rating, single-engine – land and sea rating, multiengine – land, and sea rating as well as instrument and rotorcraft ratings. He currently owns and flies his 1946 Aeronca Champ classic aircraft. He has never lost his love for motorcycles and in addition to his Harley Davidson Road King, he also owns several vintage Honda motorcycles.
Dr. Richards and his wife Martha have three children. They reside in Lakeland, Florida.
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