Digital Dentistry

Same-day process gives nurse sparkling smile, increased confidence.

Patricia Killian’s own childbirth experiences inspired her career as an obstetrics nurse.

“The nurses with me were wonderful, and I thought, I want to be a baby nurse, too,” she remembers. “I always wanted to be a nurse; my mother was a nurse, and I specialized in delivering babies. I love working with the laboring moms, helping them get through the experience and then seeing a nice crying baby at the end.”

Patricia, 57, began her career in 1999 as a travel nurse, a position she held for 17 years. But in 2016, she opted to settle down in Trinity. She now works in the OB department at a hospital there.

“As a travel nurse, I worked with mothers across the United States, including those on Native American reservations and in community and private hospitals,” Patricia recounts. “Having those different experiences was the favorite part of my career.

“The Trinity hospital was my last travel assignment. I enjoyed it so much – the community and the hospital – that I decided it was a great place to stay. I was also getting older and wanted to spend more time with my parents. And being from Upstate New York with all of the snow, Florida really appealed to me.”

In general, Patricia was quite comfortable with her life in Trinity, but her teeth were causing her considerable distress. As it turns out, she has a long history of dental issues.

“After I had my two children, I suffered with terrible perinatal gingivitis,” Patricia relates. “I underwent two or three bone scrapings but still lost a lot of teeth. And I experienced jaw problems because I was missing teeth. There was always pain when I ate, and there were many foods I wasn’t able to eat.

“Eventually, it got to the point where all the teeth that I had left were bad. They had to go despite all the dental treatment and years of surgeries that I went through. I decided it was time to get all new teeth.”

A colleague at the hospital told Patricia about Coastal Jaw Surgery, where she met with board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Michael A. Pikos, DDS. Dr. Pikos is a global leader in dental implants and surgical reconstruction.

Dr. Pikos is also known for the smile restoration process called Same Day Teeth®.

“Same Day Teeth is an innovative treatment that allows for placement of dental implants and new teeth on the same day,” Dr. Pikos expounds. “It restores the aesthetic appearance of the smile and provides optimal functionality.”

Patricia also met with Coastal Jaw Surgery’s prosthodontist, Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS. Dr. Hedger is the tooth replacement specialist and “smile architect.” He designs the new teeth patients receive as part of the Same Day Teeth process. Patricia Killian’s own childbirth experiences inspired her career as an obstetrics nurse.

“The nurses with me were wonderful, and I thought, I want to be a baby nurse, too,” she remembers. “I always wanted to be a nurse; my mother was a nurse, and I specialized in delivering babies. I love working with the laboring moms, helping them get through the experience and then seeing a nice crying baby at the end.”

Patricia, 57, began her career in 1999 as a travel nurse, a position she held for 17 years. But in 2016, she opted to settle down in Trinity. She now works in the OB department at a hospital there.

“As a travel nurse, I worked with mothers across the United States, including those on Native American reservations and in community and private hospitals,” Patricia recounts. “Having those different experiences was the favorite part of my career.

“The Trinity hospital was my last travel assignment. I enjoyed it so much – the community and the hospital – that I decided it was a great place to stay. I was also getting older and wanted to spend more time with my parents. And being from Upstate New York with all of the snow, Florida really appealed to me.”

In general, Patricia was quite comfortable with her life in Trinity, but her teeth were causing her considerable distress. As it turns out, she has a long history of dental issues.

“After I had my two children, I suffered with terrible perinatal gingivitis,” Patricia relates. “I underwent two or three bone scrapings but still lost a lot of teeth. And I experienced jaw problems because I was missing teeth. There was always pain when I ate, and there were many foods I wasn’t able to eat.

“Eventually, it got to the point where all the teeth that I had left were bad. They had to go despite all the dental treatment and years of surgeries that I went through. I decided it was time to get all new teeth.”

A colleague at the hospital told Patricia about Coastal Jaw Surgery, where she met with board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Michael A. Pikos, DDS. Dr. Pikos is a global leader in dental implants and surgical reconstruction.

Dr. Pikos is also known for the smile restoration process called Same Day Teeth®.

“Same Day Teeth is an innovative treatment that allows for placement of dental implants and new teeth on the same day,” Dr. Pikos expounds. “It restores the aesthetic appearance of the smile and provides optimal functionality.”

Patricia also met with Coastal Jaw Surgery’s prosthodontist, Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS. Dr. Hedger is the tooth replacement specialist and “smile architect.” He designs the new teeth patients receive as part of the Same Day Teeth process.

“Walking into Coastal Jaw Surgery was like a big smile,” Patricia describes. “Dr. Pikos and Dr. Hedger were super nice and supportive. They didn’t make me feel bad about my dental situation. They said, We can help you.

“They gave me options, which included dentures, but I thought I was too young for a full set of dentures. I didn’t want teeth that I had to put in and take out. Instead, I wanted all my teeth pulled and a whole new set of teeth. I decided to go with Same Day Teeth.”

Virtual to Reality

Many dental practices offer dental implants, but the doctors at Coastal Jaw Surgery set themselves apart by using an advanced approach. Unlike many others, the dentists at Coastal Jaw Surgery use a fully digital process for planning and performing implant surgery.

“We use a computer software-based approach,” Dr. Pikos verifies. “Our diagnostic work is done this way, and our treatment is carried out using models and guides created by the software. We begin by taking digital impressions of the patient’s mouth and getting a cone beam CT scan. That information is introduced into the software at the lab we use in Reno, Nevada. We then have an online meeting with myself, Dr. Hedger and the lab.”

During that meeting, all of the patient’s data is combined. Using that information, the software simulates the final result and identifies the steps to achieve it.

“We begin with the end in mind and literally work backward,” Dr. Pikos reports. “And all of the steps are predetermined. Most dentists do the process differently, using an analog approach as opposed to our all-digital process.”

Model Approach

To assist Dr. Pikos further, the lab creates a detailed, 3D model of the patient’s mouth and “performs” the implant surgery on it. From this, the lab creates precise surgical guides that detail the steps of the surgery.

“The guides act like a flight simulator, allowing me to perform the surgery virtually,” Dr. Pikos explains. “It’s like doing the surgery in my mind. Then, on the day of surgery, my brain links the virtual with reality. My brain thinks I already performed the surgery, which technically I did. Because of that extra virtual step, the surgery is executed in a very precise mode.

“We knew ahead of Patricia’s procedure what we needed to do to achieve an excellent result with our Same Day Teeth process: a brilliant smile and full function.”

Patricia says she loves her new teeth.

“They look really natural,” she raves. “They’re about the same color as my teeth were before. I didn’t go with the real pearly white because that’s not me. Everything is good with my new teeth. I feel better. I smile more. I’m more confident, and I can eat anything I want. I even chew gum.

“I’m ecstatically happy. I totally recommend Dr. Pikos, Dr. Hedger and Coastal Jaw Surgery!”

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    • Coastal Jaw Surgery

      With more than 30 years of extensive experience, their mission at Coastal Jaw Surgery is to provide excellent surgical care for their patients in a safe, efficient and compassionate manner. Their team of oral surgeons is unmatched in ex... Read More

    • Michael A. Pikos, DDS

      Michael A. Pikos, DDS, is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry and the International Congress of Or... Read More

    • Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS

      Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS, earned his undergraduate degree in nutrition from the University of Florida. He received his dental doctorate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Dr. Hedger then completed an advanced pros... Read More