New Look, New Life

Smile, self-confidence restored with Same Day Teeth®.

For years, the smokestacks that dotted the small Pennsylvania town northeast of Pittsburgh that Gail Portervint called home poured noxious fumes into the air. Like too many of the area’s residents, Gail and her family were severely impacted by the toxic pollution.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Gail is elated with the results of the Same Day Teeth process.

“Seven of thirteen in my immediate family developed cancer,” the retired computer programmer discloses. “One family member is a leukemia survivor, and another is a melanoma survivor. Another was told he had a spot on his kidney and instructed the doctors to remove it. The kidney was full of cancer.
“When I had my blood drawn, my white blood cell count was three to four times higher than what it should have been. I, too, was considered a cancer suspect and went every six months to have my blood tested. Over the years, my counts didn’t change.”
The possibility of developing cancer is an ever-present concern for Gail, who was once anxious about periodontal, or gum, disease as well. Gail knew she could lose bone in her jaw and teeth if the condition progressed.

“I had periodontal disease most of my life. I got my teeth deep cleaned, but that doesn’t take away the disease,’’ says Gail, who was equally concerned with the appearance of her smile and badly wanted to improve it.

“I was never a lover of my smile because my two front teeth crossed and there was decay and discoloration, so I didn’t really like to smile,” she describes. “Today, younger people have perfect-looking teeth because their parents got them braces.

“My parents couldn’t afford that, so for years, I just lived with crooked teeth. But then I heard about Coastal Jaw Surgery and their smile restoration process, and I made the choice to visit them.”

At Coastal Jaw Surgery, Gail met prosthodontist Philip J. Hedger, DMD. Initially, the tooth replacement specialist and “smile architect” spoke at length with Gail to uncover her biggest concerns about her smile.

Dr. Hedger also consulted with Dr. Michael A. Pikos, oral surgeon team member. Together, they performed a thorough clinical and CBCT evaluation of Gail and created a comprehensive treatment plan for her.

“When I met Gail, she was discouraged with her dental care and the progression of her periodontitis,” Dr. Hedger notes. “It was becoming difficult for her to maintain her teeth. She would lose a tooth from the periodontitis, then require oral surgery. She was embarrassed of her smile as well due to crooked dentition.

“Gail was unhappy because her teeth were failing, and it was starting to affect her self-confidence. She did not want to keep putting money into teeth that were deteriorating. She wanted a solution for her smile that looked good, was long-lasting and eliminated future dental problems. She was a good candidate for Same Day Teeth.”

Same Day Teeth is Coastal Jaw Surgery’s unique process for smile restoration. It’s an advanced approach that includes a fully digital process for planning and performing dental implant surgery. With Same Day Teeth, patients receive implants and replacement teeth in a single day.

Three Steps to Success

After consulting with Dr. Hedger and Dr. Pikos, Gail agreed on the Same Day Teeth protocol and at this point, her surgery was planned. Dr. Hedger began by gathering additional information culled from measurements and digital photos he took of Gail’s teeth. He then made molds from which he created a customized surgical approach.

“We submitted all of the data we collected to our team lab in Nevada, after which Dr. Pikos and I collaborated on a web meeting with a digital specialist from the lab to thoroughly plan Gail’s case,” Dr. Hedger informs. “All this was done in virtual mode.”
The lab then created physical guides that precisely matched Gail’s bone structure and the computer results. The guides, which fit in Gail’s mouth during surgery, showed exactly where to place the dental implants to achieve the aesthetic results Dr. Hedger designed for her.

“From the computer, exact models of Gail’s mouth were printed, and we performed a dry run surgery on those models,” Dr. Hedger reports. Finally, Dr. Pikos performed the implant surgery on Gail. At the same appointment, Dr. Hedger placed the teeth that were made in advance of surgery in a very precise manner.

“In essence, the surgery was performed three times: Once on the computer, once on the models and finally on Gail. We do not go into surgery blindly. We do it twice before we perform it on the patient to ensure its predictability and success. Guided surgery is like a blueprint for a house. The whole design is orchestrated ahead of time and implemented once.”

Before and after images courtesy of Coastal Jaw Surgery.

As part of the Same Day Teeth process, patients leave Coastal Jaw Surgery with temporary replacement teeth on the same day their failing teeth are extracted. Recently, advances in the process have shortened the wait time for patients to receive their permanent replacement teeth.

“Technology in dentistry is always evolving, and we now have new equipment and protocols for our Same Day Teeth process,” Dr. Hedger confirms. “In the past, we waited three to four months before giving patients their permanent teeth.
“Today, our preferred route, for patients who are candidates, is to give them permanent teeth the day of surgery.”

Unexpected Benefit

On the day of her surgery, Gail arrived at Coastal Jaw Surgery at 6:30 a.m. Several hours later, after Dr. Pikos completed the surgical phase of her treatment, Dr. Hedger was able to place the permanent teeth as per her original treatment plan.

“I’m extremely happy with the Same Day Teeth process,” she raves. “I expected more difficulty, but it all went perfectly. I love my teeth now, and I feel much better as a person. I’m so glad I did this. I cannot be more pleased.

“And the teeth look like my own. I surprise everybody when I tell them these teeth are not mine. They say, They look totally natural. I never would’ve guessed they’re not yours.”

In addition to achieving an excellent outcome with her restored smile, Gail realized a result that neither she nor her doctor expected. The finding eased some of her anxiety over being a cancer suspect.

“After I had my teeth removed, there was no more periodontal disease,” Gail relates. “At the next appointment with my cancer specialist, he said, I don’t know what you did, but your blood count is normal. Same Day Teeth also cured my white blood cell condition.”

“Everybody at Coastal Jaw Surgery is like my extended family,” she adds. “They are so courteous and make me feel so welcome. I really got to know Dr. Hedger because I see him more than the other dentists. He’s marvelous and so happy all the time. I highly recommend Coastal Jaw Surgery!”

The team members at Coastal Jaw Surgery are all part of Tampa Bay’s only multidisciplinary specialty treatment group that brings oral surgery, prosthodontics and periodontics together under one roof.

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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

    • 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