Like many Steveston businesses, Harmony Dental Studio is housed in a building steeped in history. The Atagi building survived the Steveston fire of 1918. It operated as a general store under the ownership of Tokumatsu Atagi until the late 1930s. In the decades that followed the building was used as a theatre and as a commercial fishing shop (Redden Net Company). In 2010, after an extensive and tasteful renovation, it became the home of Harmony Dental Studio.
Dr. Maureen Piché is the friendly and caring dentist who owns and operates Harmony Dental Studio. Her first-born child was nine months old when she opened the doors. She says, “I’ve never regretted the decision, although it was certainly a challenge. Life has thrown me this and other opportunities that I am grateful for. Take a breath and jump!”
Before establishing her practice, Dr. Piché worked as an associate dentist in White Rock and Surrey, instructed at Vancouver College of Dental Hygiene and served as a locum in an Orthodontic practice. Her educational background includes an HBSc Degree in Biology from Lakehead University and a DMD from University of British Columbia.
During her late teenage years Dr. Piché’s interest in science made health care a natural choice and her gift for small detailed work played a role in choosing dentistry. She explains, “I chose this career to bring my passion for quality, comfortable dental care to my profession.”
Dr. Piché is fascinated by biology and evolution and uses her scientific knowledge to benefit her patients. As an example, she has an interest in sleep-disordered breathing (including sleep apnea) and says, “When you fix the teeth you treat the underlying issue. Dental care is not an afterthought to wellness, it is an integral piece of the puzzle.”
General dentistry services include exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridges, partial dentures, extractions, root canals and other minor surgery. In addition, a niche area of Dr. Piché’s practice is aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry. She had work done on her own teeth as a teenager and loves this end of the job, which she describes as “a huge confidence booster for my patients.”
Dr. Piché has a knack for putting people at ease. Her busy practice sees a steady flow of clients of all ages.
She encourages parents to bring their infants in by the one-year mark. Coming in at an early age is important so little ones feel comfortable visiting the dentist before a problem arises. Parents also benefit from these visits where they can ask questions and seek advice to lay the groundwork for proper dental care at home. There is also a wonderful treasure chest to choose from post-appointment!
Harmony Dental Studio does not turn on the answering machine after hours and direct you to go to the hospital in case of an emergency.
“I have been here in the middle of the night dealing with emergencies. That is my job as a health care provider.” Dr. Piché
Dr. Piché is excited by new technological advances in her field, which are coming fast and furiously. She uses state of the art dental equipment including a full colour 3D intraoral scanner, which is like a video camera, creating a digital replica of teeth and gums. It enables patients to view their mouth the same way as Dr. Piché. She uses the file to make crowns, veneers, night guards and orthodontics without having to take impressions.
Fear and anxiety keep some patients from having dental treatment. Advances in dentistry have made it easier on patients but that doesn’t erase bad past experiences. Many patients will avoid check ups all together and are embarrassed about having neglected their teeth. This is very common and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. There are options available such as oral sedation to help ease anxiety if this is a problem.
Harmony Dental Studio is a latex free environment; Dr. Piché has an allergy to latex and understands. As well, she takes into account that some patients have sensitivity to materials such as mercury and chooses to offer other alternatives. She explains, “If you have a specific concern or sensitivity our consultation process will help work out what will work out best for the long term health of your mouth and body.”
Orthodontic treatment is also available from Dr. Matthew Witt. Dr. Witt has his own practice in Ladner and works part-time out of Harmony Dental Studio. He treats both children and adults needing braces and/or other appliances to straighten teeth and jaws.
“My family and the practice have grown up together.” Dr. Piché
Dr. Piché grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and feels right at home in Steveston village. She has lived here with her husband Kirk since 2004. They have three children who are very familiar with the dental office. As babies they would sleep in a quiet office while their mother worked.
Having grown up in a small town she was drawn to situating her practice in Steveston village. Dr. Piché enjoys being part of the community. She sees clients in local shops and restaurants, and has become good friends with local merchants whose businesses she supports. She has made good friends through her practice and in the spirit of it takes a village to raise a child, has passed baby gear on to her patients and they have done the same for her.
Dr. Piché is dedicated to helping her clients achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. With a warm smile she concludes, “The biggest reward is hearing someone say they are no longer afraid to come to the dentist. I give my patients the advice that I would like to hear. To trust in your dentist is most important.”
Harmony Dental Studio
3700 Moncton Street
Richmond, BC V7E 3A4