Growing up in Kendallville, Indiana, Dr. Jessie Barton, owner of Harmony Dentistry, always knew she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. She just didn’t know which direction she wanted to go. In high school, she participated in a program called Health Occupations Education, where she was able to shadow different professionals in the medical field, including a chiropractor, veterinarian, physical therapist and surgeon. It wasn’t until she shadowed a dentist, however, that something clicked.
“I knew at that point that dentistry had a whole lot of what I was interested in,” says Barton, who loved the notion of building relationships with patients and their families over a span of time – maybe even a lifetime.
She liked the idea of watching kids grow up, and best of all the knowledge that she could impact people’s smiles, which, in turn, impacts their self-esteem.
Barton’s first foray into her dental career involved working as a dentist in the Air Force. The Air Force offered a scholarship program that paid for a portion of her dental school. In return, she served in active duty for three years as a dentist at bases in St. Louis, Missouri; Panama City, Florida; and Dayton, Ohio.
“It was a great experience, and I met a ton of wonderful people,” Barton says. “I wasn’t flying around airplanes, but I got to fix the teeth of the people who were, who were protecting our country.”
After the Air Force, she and her husband Matt moved to Zionsville. She worked as a dentist for a company in Indianapolis, which helped her envision the type of practice she hoped to own.
“I really enjoyed where I worked, but it got to the point where I wanted it to be more than going to work, fixing people’s teeth and going home,” Barton says.
When the opportunity came to build her own practice, she jumped at the chance. She made the decision just prior to COVID-19 rocking our world.
“There was a period when the pandemic first started, when we had no idea what dentistry was going to even look like going forward, so it’s been crazy for sure,” says Barton, who continues to make employee and patient safety her number-one priority.
As she has gone through the steps of construction, permitting, decorating and opening the business, she has faced some challenging days, but she’s grateful to the people who surround her who have continued to remain positive.
Now that everything is falling into place, she is excited for the October opening of Harmony Dentistry. She chose the name for two reasons. Firstly, the business is located at 146th Street and Ditch Road near the Harmony development. Also, she’s doing all she can to ensure that her patients enjoy a harmonious experience. For instance, she has TVs mounted on the ceiling, and offers patients the opportunity to wear noise-cancelling headphones to watch Netflix or Disney shows while getting work done. She also provides weighted blankets to ease anxiety, has closed-door treatment rooms so that conversations remain private, and provides complimentary beverages while filling out paperwork. In addition, she uses aromatherapy so the open and airy environment doesn’t smell like a typical dental office.
“We focus on giving patients the five-star hotel concierge experience,” says Barton, who strives to educate her patients about the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth, gums and teeth.
“That all impacts the other aspects of our health, including diabetes and heart disease,” Barton adds. “Plus, if your mouth and gums are unhealthy, it can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers.”
Dr. Barton offers a wide variety of services at her Harmony Dentistry, including dental implants, Invisalign, crowns and veneers, Botox, and dermal fillers. She loves her job because every day is different.
Her husband Matt, a physical therapist who focuses on craniofacial physical therapy, sometimes pairs with her to work on patients with temporomandibular joint issues. While she enjoys collaborating with her spouse, her favorite aspect of working in her field is improving a patient’s self-confidence.
“To take someone who covers their mouth every time they talk, or never smiles in photos, or has trouble getting a job because they’re worried about how their teeth look, to smiling all the time is amazing,” Barton says. “That’s the most rewarding thing, to see their demeanor change. I’ve seen people tear up in the chair because they are so happy with the results. That’s why I do what I do.”
Barton and her husband have two little boys, Archer, 4, and Everett, 2. In their free time, the family likes to hike at Eagle Creek. In addition, Matt enjoys cooking while she adores baking, so he typically makes dinner while she whips up dessert.
Barton says she’s met amazing people from Westfield, Zionsville and Carmel, and has enjoyed the camaraderie that has come from forming these relationships.
“I’ve been blessed to meet a number of other women business owners in Westfield,” Barton says. “They are a phenomenal group of people who really build one another up. We all want to see everyone succeed. I feel lucky to be in this area where everyone is so encouraging. They are excited to see my business grow and I’m excited to see theirs do the same.”
She has partnered with the Indy Book Project, a nonprofit organization that helps to get children’s books into the hands of kids in need around the Indy area. For every new patient who comes into the office, Barton donates a book to the nonprofit.
“My husband and I are huge book worms, and it’s how we raise our kids as well,” Barton says. “We want to make the practice about more than just fixing teeth. We want to help the people around us. Being more involved in the local community is so fulfilling. I know I’m in the right place.”
Harmony Dentistry is located at 1509 South Waterleaf Drive in Westfield. For more information, call 317-399-1208 or visit harmonydentistryin.com.