Some practice their profession. Some teach it. And some do both. One dentist, Dr. Jedediah Huss, DDS, DICOI, practices dental surgery and teaches implant surgery to other professionals looking to learn new skills or enhance current knowledge. And along the way, he learns too.
Dr. Huss practices at Moorpark Dental Group and Orthodontics in Moorpark, California. He is also the Founder & Clinical Director of Restored Smiles, a continuing dental education company. He splits his time between caring for and learning from his patients and traveling around the country conducting his training courses. He is the author of several articles related to dental implants and has lectured on implant dentistry.
“A lot of the focus within my practice has been heavy on the surgical side—implants, extractions and grafting. Then four years ago, I started teaching, and I loved it. It was super rewarding to help improve doctors and their careers and get them passionate about something I was so passionate about,” Dr. Huss shared.
The Path to Dentistry
“As a kid, I wanted to be a doctor like my dad, who was an OBGYN. But I didn’t like the idea of constantly being on call, working at 3:00 a.m., and the whole hospital scene,” Dr. Huss explained.
He considered business and finance but eventually changed his mind.
“I don’t know what the defining moment was, but I really wanted to be a doctor and see patients. I also liked the business aspect that came with it,” he explained.
Dentistry emerged as the best career fit, as Dr. Huss enjoys working with his hands and the artistry in dental work.
“I can be a doctor, have patients and practice the art. I fell in love with surgery and was amazed at how passionate I became about it. And I can deal with the business side,” he shared.
In 2018, Dr. Huss founded Restored Smiles, a continuing dental education company that enhances dentists’ skills and knowledge regarding dental implant surgery. The program combines online, lecture and hands on, as well as LIVE surgical experience where professionals can expand their expertise and practices.
One course, for example, is called Concentrated Growth Factors, where students learn to draw and mix blood in a centrifuge to get concentrated healing cells. Then, they use these growth factors to incorporate into their bone grafting procedures.
“We teach doctors that have never placed implants how to do it or doctors that have placed 20, 50, or hundreds of implants and want to improve. We have online courses and in person lectures with a lot of hands-on exercises. There’s also a LIVE surgical course where my company partners with a company in Guadalajara, Mexico, and we do LIVE surgeries there,” Dr. Huss explained.
Dental reviewer Course Karma and peers declared Restore Smiles the highest-rated implant course on their site.
“I received Top Instructor for the last two years and Top Provider for implants last year,” he shared.
In addition to being an instructor, Dr. Huss also considers himself a motivational speaker.
“Being an outstanding mentor has a lot to do with teaching the right way. The biggest thing I have to do is to make sure that the doctors I teach feel confident. If they don’t, whatever I teach will not stick. So being a good motivator while teaching will help build their confidence,” he explained.
Stories from the Dental Chair
Throughout his career, Dr. Huss has experienced several outstanding cases that have touched his heart and taught him valuable lessons no one taught him in school.
One patient had been wrongfully accused of rape and went to prison for almost 15 years. He was later acquitted by DNA evidence.
“We helped get him healthier. We took care of his gums, did some extractions and gave him some partial dentures at no cost. And he was ecstatic. He had an awesome smile and received so many compliments on it,” he said.
The Consequences of Disease and Neglect
Dr. Huss had to extract all 32 teeth from a patient who was only 37 years old.
“He had severe periodontal disease. It wasn’t drugs, just really bad genes and a lot of neglect. He had a huge open bite, and the teeth were just floating in the wind. So, it took me less than two minutes to extract all of the upper teeth. That’s how ready those teeth were to be removed,” he shared.
To rebuild, they placed several bone grafts and implants to support a snap-in denture. The patient couldn’t be happier and more grateful. He hadn’t realized how a smile could change his life so dramatically.
One patient had had horrible experiences with doctors in the past. He had been paralyzed and told he’d never walk again. Fortunately, he proved them wrong, but he was left with a bad case of anxiety when faced with the medical profession. Dr. Huss helped him work past that as they repaired his teeth.
“He wrote an unbelievable letter. It said, ‘Doc, you changed my life. My smiles are attracting women left and right now, and I’m having to keep them away with a stick. The other way you changed my life is you restored my confidence in doctors. The last time I gave someone control over me, I ended up paralyzed and mentally broken. You changed that, and I’m forever grateful,'” Dr. Huss shared.
Dr. Huss’ most important patient was his own mother.
“My mom was on a walk with my sister, and she fell. The real impact was on her three front teeth,” he said.
They had to extract all three teeth and she did not have a lot of bone to work with. So, they had to do a ridge augmentation and build a lot of bone.
“We had to rebuild everything and cross our fingers that she’d heal well. And she did! Six months later, we took a 3D X-ray that showed great bone growth. We placed three implants and a few crowns restoring her entire smile,” he shared.
Dr. Huss was grateful to be in a position to be able to help his mother when she needed it.
A Parting Reminder
Throughout his career, Dr. Huss has learned a great deal from not only his formal training but also from his patients. And he has influenced and helped improve the careers of other dentists by imparting knowledge of advanced surgical techniques.
Learning doesn’t end with earning a degree. It continues for a lifetime.