Meet Dr. Harold Fleming

 

My mission is to provide the best quality care possible in a safe, comfortable, and fun atmosphere. My goals are to provide results that will improve our patients’ health, self-worth, and quality of life overall. I am blessed to be in a profession and a specialty that allows me to accomplish these goals, and am devoted to maintaining the highest possible integrity in doing so.

The quality of our treatment results—both cosmetically and functionally—is of paramount importance to me and my team. Witnessing kids learn that if they apply themselves they can exhibit control over their lives is powerful!  What a gift it is to learn early on that hard work pays off! And seeing an adult really, really smile for the first time in years without being self-conscious is truly heart-felt! This is what validates our team as compassionate human beings and devoted professionals!

Education

Although originally Canadian (Moncton, NB, Canada), I moved to the States at the age of three. First it was Ann Arbor, Michigan for two years, then Richmond, Virginia for one year, and finally to Falls Church, at the age of six. I consider myself to be a local Falls Church boy! I grew up at our home on Walters Woods Drive in Falls Church, and began attending school at Sleepy Hollow Elementary. After that it was Ellen Glasgow Intermediate, then JEB Stuart High School where I was involved in many extracurricular activities including service clubs and sports. I was also a National Honor Society member, but my favorite activity was track and field, where I was a pole-vaulter. Talk about fun!

My college education was at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, where I earned a BS degree in chemistry, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Although on the UR track team for a while, I wasn’t a strong enough pole-vaulter to excel at the college level, and this is when I joined the outing club and began climbing. Climbing suited me even better, and I have continued that activity ever since. 

Following my education at the University of Richmond, I attended the Medical College of Virginia (MCV/VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, for my Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Finally, I earned my specialty training in orthodontics at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis, Tennessee, earning an MS degree in Orthodontics. The program at UTCHS was one of the top five programs in the country at the time, and was very strong not only clinically, but in scientific research. My master’s thesis was nominated nationally for the Milo Hellman award that year, but despite being as thick as a phone book, fell a little short!

Continuing Education

When it comes to technology, we all know the ball is continuously moving. The moment we think we have it all figured out, things change again, and like it or not, if we don’t keep pace with change, we all get left behind. It is a matter of intense personal pride for me to be able to provide the very best for my patients. Materials change, techniques change, our understanding of physiology changes, diagnostic methods change, etc. When I look back to the methods and materials we used to use—even as little as a decade ago—it seems almost like an era you might read about in a history book! And the pace of change has indeed been very challenging to keep up with! But the quality of our results and the overall experience of orthodontics by our patients has improved noticeably since that time. As I see it, it will only continue to improve, and I want to be able to continue to provide that level of quality experience for our patients.

The Virginia Board of Dentistry requires all dentists to obtain a minimum of 15 hours of CE credit annually. My continuing education hours measurably exceed this requirement every year, sometimes doubling that amount. I believe it is highly important to remain near the cutting edge of advancements in the field so that we can provide the highest quality care in the most efficient and comfortable way possible. I have been attending CE courses provided by most of today’s respected researchers and clinicians—whether sponsored by our national association (the American Association of Orthodontics), regional association (the Southern Association of Orthodontics) or state association (the Virginia Association of Orthodontics)—since I completed my formal education in 1985. 

I am also a long serving member of our own local study club: the Northern Virginia Orthodontic Study Club. Our study club is large, and includes many orthodontists from all around the metropolitan area. As such, it is large enough that our study club is able to attract well-known and respected speakers from around the country and Canada. Finally, as a Premier Invisalign® Provider, I attend meetings provided by Align Technology specifically for their upper-level Invisalign providers.

Outside the Office

I’m so blessed to have, and am so proud of my family! My wonderful wife Gina is Korean (originally from Seoul). As smart as she is beautiful, Gina obtained her education in music. After completing her undergraduate degree in Seoul, Gina earned her Master’s degree in voice, and minor in piano during her two years spent training in Rome, Italy. Gina has now become our CFO, and is an absolutely essential member of our great team!

Our oldest son Jun recently graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Boston College. Jun is brilliant! He is presently working for an insurance company in Boston helping them stay on top of their software programming. We miss him, and are always looking forward to his next visit home! Jun enjoys rock climbing with Gina and I when he comes home, but is still trying to figure out how to commute to and from the nearest climbing gym in Boston.

Our youngest son Gun graduated nearly two years ago from AI – the Art Institute in Miami, Florida.  Gun’s degree is in Culinary Science, and needless to say, we LOVE IT when he cooks at home! Gun spent nearly a year in Miami working in a French restaurant, gaining experience after graduating and before returning home. Since his return, Gun has worked as a chef at the America Eats Tavern (opened by the well-known chef Andreas at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner), and is now working at Bourbon Steak at the Westin Hotel in Georgetown, Washington DC. Gun’s culinary career continues to look up! Gun enjoys boxing and weight training, and eats more delicious protein per day than you can imagine!

When not providing orthodontics, I devote most of my time to my “other passion”: climbing. My pole-vaulting career in track gave way to rock climbing initially. Out of that grew ice climbing, then alpinism. I often try to find continuing education meetings that would be helpful for my patients that are hosted in locations near good climbing. This way I can travel more, and climb in more diverse areas with different types of rock and ice and climbing conditions. I have been very fortunate to have been able to forge a professional career while also being an experienced climber! Locally however, you could say that Seneca Rocks and the nearby Tuscarora sandstone crags in West Virginia are my “local cliffs.” Old Rag right here in our Blue Ridge has excellent climbing on granite, and I visit there occasionally as well. Perhaps very fortunate too is the appearance of several climbing gyms in our metropolitan area. Though not “real climbing” they have allowed me to continue climbing at a level of expertise that still keeps me “in it”! And even more fortunate, my wife Gina is my best climbing partner!

member american association of orthodontists american dental association northern virginia dental society
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