Extraordinary Smiles

Extraordinary Smiles

By Nancy Moffett

“A smile is the universal welcome.” ~ Max Eastman

Doctor Chuck Harding, owner of Extraordinary Smiles, agrees. “Your smile is how you communicate. It’s part of your self-esteem. That’s why caring for your smile is one of the most important factors in promoting good health.”

After four years in general dentistry, Harding felt the need to develop a more comprehensive type of practice that focused on patients’ optimal oral health, including restorative and aesthetic dentistry. In April, 1989, he opened a new office in Schnecksville and renamed the practice Extraordinary Smiles. There, he and his three full-time and two part-time staff members make building relationships with their patients a top priority. “This is not dentistry as usual,” Harding explains. From the moment a patient walks through the door, the focus is on their comfort and their needs.

Harding begins by meeting with each patient in a personalized setting to develop a lifelong, comprehensive plan for his or her dental health. “We make sure they understand the choices that are available. We understand that making the decision to enhance the function and appearance of your smile is a big one,” he says. To that end, the team focuses on making patients comfortable and “giving them the care and attention they deserve.”

Practicing is still joyful for me after all these years.

A look at Extraordinary Smiles’ website under Patient Choice spells out five levels of care a new patient can choose from: urgent care, remedial care, self care, complete dentistry and wellness resource. “It is not uncommon for people to begin at a lower level and progress over time,” Harding says.

Restorative procedures include crowns and bridges, implants, porcelain fillings, inlays/onlays, periodontal treatment and bonded restorations. On the aesthetic side, the goal is to improve the appearance of broken, uneven, crooked or discolored teeth. Methods include bonding, a tooth-colored resin that’s applied to change the size or shape of teeth. It creates a more symmetrical, space-free smile with one visit and may eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment in some cases. Tooth stains and discolorations that resist professional tooth whitening may also be masked by bonding.

Implant-supported partials are more comfortable and better-fitting than unsecured multiple tooth restorations. They provide a comfortable solution that is simple to maintain and lasts for years.

Smile design uses porcelain veneers to correct discolored, worn, chipped or misaligned teeth. The veneers are thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that cover the front of the teeth. According to Harding, “One of the greatest advantages to veneers is that only a small amount of tooth structure is removed during the procedure resulting in a healthy ‘natural’ look with little or
no discomfort.”

Extraordinary Smiles also uses advanced technology in the practice. This includes computer assisted design and 3D treatment planning that allow better, more precise fit for restorations; digital X-rays and Dexis digital diagnostic imaging; computerized anesthesia that delivers an injection that is undetectable to most patients; and the Oral ID oral cancer screening system that detects abnormalities quickly and effectively.

Chuck Harding knew he wanted to be a dentist when he enrolled at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa., where he graduated magna cum laude. He received his D.M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed a postdoctoral residency at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown. He is a member of the American Dental Association and is Past President of the A.V. Purinton Academy of Dental Practice Administration.

“Practicing is still joyful to me after all these years,” he says. He credits his surgical residency at Sacred Heart with giving him extra skills, which he enhances with study at the Dawson Academy, whose mission is to allow dentists to “continually update their knowledge of the latest materials and methods so they are able to provide the finest in smile design.” He is an ambassador for the Academy and helped establish a Study Club in Camp Hill for Pennsylvania and New Jersey dentists.

In the community, Harding serves on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, has participated in fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and offers services to cancer survivors.

The practice has many long-term patients, Harding says. “One of my joys is seeing new kids whose parents I treated when they were kids. I even have some three-generation families as patients.” Apparently those patients appreciate the efforts of Harding and his staff, as Extraordinary Smiles has been voted Best General Dentist and Best Cosmetic Dentist of the Lehigh Valley by a local poll in 2012 and 2014.

Mikie H., one of Harding’s patients, writes: “Dr. Harding and his staff provide a warm, friendly environment for everyone. They truly go above and beyond in their work to ensure not only your oral health, but also your enjoyment of your visit to their office.”

It’s the personal touch that evokes such loyalty. Harding routinely sends notes to new patients, and the staff gets excited about feedback from their patients, such as they received from a recent focus group (interviews conducted by a trained moderator with a group of patients). “We just happen to do great dentistry,” Harding says. And he plans to keep on practicing for many more years. “I love what I do,” he adds.

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