Inside Source

Retired dental office manager trusts implant pioneer to restore smile.

Nancy Salzbach has always been fascinated with dentistry. Thirty years ago, she turned her fascination into a career as an office manager for a dental practice.

Nancy Salzbach sitting on a sofa reading a book about Tuscany

Nancy reports that her teeth “look and feel so much better now.”

“As office manager, I did everything from arranging schedules to filing insurance and writing up treatment estimates, everything that goes along with dental care,” Nancy discloses. “I loved the work. I loved seeing patients get excellent care and loved knowing the dentist I worked for is doing his very best for them.”

Unfortunately, working in a dentist’s office doesn’t guarantee a person good teeth. Nancy is proof of that. A lifelong teeth grinder, she developed serious issues with her oral health, and her dental problems multiplied over time.

“Whenever I get tense, I clench my jaw and grind,” the 78-year-old explains. “Years of doing that damaged my teeth. I actually ground them down to a point where they were very small. Then they became loose, and every time I bit something or chewed funny it hurt. Ultimately, I fractured five upper front teeth that had to be extracted.”

To replace Nancy’s lost upper teeth, her dentist created a partial appliance. At first, the partial fit comfortably.

Over time, though, that situation changed. Not only did wearing the partial become painful, it failed to provide effective chewing function, which further frustrated Nancy.

“I couldn’t enjoy a meal because the partial moved in my mouth,” Nancy explains. “I couldn’t bite into corn on the cob, barbecue ribs or anything hard. Everything had to be on a fork so I could put it in the back of my mouth to chew it.”

The clenching and grinding also caused problems with Nancy’s temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which connect the lower jaw to the skull.

“I could hear crunching in my ears, and the sound was getting louder,” Nancy describes. “There was significant pain on the right side of my jaw, like a constant aching.

Eventually, my bite collapsed, so I knew I had to do something. Having worked in the dental field, I know who the really good dentists are. That’s why I chose to see Dr. Pikos at Coastal Jaw Surgery.”

Team Approach

Michael A. Pikos, DDS, is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the founder of Coastal Jaw Surgery. He is a global leader in dental implants and surgical reconstruction known for developing the smile restoration process called Same Day Teeth®.

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

“I ate my first ear of corn in four years recently and thought, Wow, this is great!” – Nancy

After examining Nancy, Dr. Pikos recommended Same Day Teeth to restore Nancy’s damaged upper arch. Dr. Pikos and his colleagues at CoastalJaw Surgery follow a unique, multidisciplinary team approach when providing Same Day Teeth to their patients.

“There’s the surgical team, led by me, which performs the implant surgery,” Dr. Pikos elaborates. “Then there’s the prosthetic, or restorative, team, and finally we have the anesthesia team, which puts the patients to sleep for surgery so they remember nothing and have a pleasant experience.”

At the head of the restorative team is Philip J. Hedger, DMD, Coastal Jaw Surgery’s tooth-replacement specialist and “smile architect.” He creates the permanent teeth that patients receive as part of the Same Day Teeth protocol.

Dr. Pikos decides how many implants and what type of implants to use for each patient.

“The number of implants is not as important as their distribution, where we place them in the jaw,” Dr. Pikos insists. “We have different implant sizes, and we use specific sizes to customize our treatment to each patient.

“For Nancy, we used five dental implants, which allowed us to place 12 permanent teeth. These included two zygomatic implants in the back of her upper jaw, one on each side, and three traditional implants in the front.”

Zygomatic implants are longer than traditional implants and are anchored in the cheekbone. They are typically used when there’s insignificant bone mass in the back of the jaw for anchoring traditional implants.

“A Great Smile”

With her Same Day Teeth process complete, Nancy is excited by the results.Nancy Salzbach teeth - Before and After

“Dr. Pikos reconfigured my entire upper arch,” she enthuses. “He did all the work in one day, which is amazing, and my teeth look and feel so much better now. I don’t have pain anymore and I can eat anything I want. In fact, I ate my first ear of corn in four years recently and thought, Wow, this is great!

“I’m comfortable now, and I’ve got a great smile. Everybody tells me how much better I look. The treatment fixed the crunching in my ear as well. I’m so glad I visited Dr. Pikos and had his Same Day Teeth process done.”

Nancy admires Dr. Pikos and Dr. Hedger for their expertise. She also appreciates the Coastal Jaw Surgery staff for making her experience a pleasant one.

“Dr. Pikos is at the top of his field,” Nancy lauds. “He’s a pioneer in implant dentistry and has taught his technique to many dentists. Dr. Hedger gave me my new smile and it’s dynamic. There aren’t enough good things to say about them. They’re wonderful.

“Everyone at Coastal Jaw Surgery works as a team, and they treat me like family. It’s an absolutely terrific practice. Everyone is excited to work there because they see miracles happening.”

© FHCN staff article. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Coastal Jaw Surgery. js
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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