My personal mission is to use the experience I’ve gained over 30 years of residency and private practice to provide the highest quality care that is available in modern dental science.
Oral Surgeon Dr. 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 flying, motorcycling and boating so Dr. Richards was exposed to all of these things in his youth.
After high school, Dr. Richards attended Emory University in Atlanta Georgia where he received a Bachelors 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, Florida. 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. He moved to Lakeland in 1980 and joined Dr. Lawrence Musser, they have practiced together for 32 years. He has practiced oral and maxillofacial surgery in Lakeland since 1980. 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 also a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He 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 surgery and restorative work under one roof would provide a valuable service to his patients. Over the last 15 years, he and Dr. Musser’s practice has evolved in this direction providing teeth the same day for thousands of patients. In June of 2007, Dr. David Kirkpatrick joined Dr. Richards and Dr. Musser. 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. He then brought this to his practice and taught his partners this valuable technique. Florida Dental Implants and Oral Surgery is one of the few practices that place the zygoma implant. New Teeth Now operates from a 10,000 sq. ft. (soon to be 15,000sq.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 his partners.
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 a board member 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 operates a Robinson R 44 helicopter. He has never lost his love for motorcycles and in addition to his Harley Davidson Road King he owns six vintage Honda motorcycles.
Dr. Richards is married to Martha and has three children. They reside in Lakeland, Florida.