December 4, 2018

069 Staying Humble and Always Learning with Dr. Michael Pikos and Dr. Rick Sullivan

Millennial Dentist Podcast

We have two amazing guests today. Dr. Michael Pikos of the Pikos Symposium took time out of his busy schedule to talk about the importance of always learning, the future of dental learning, new materials being introduced, why he believes in humility, and more. Sully’s dad Dr. Rick Sullivan is also here to talk about the importance of learning and share his perspective on the recent symposium.

Dr. Michael Pikos started out as pre med and in a roundabout way became an oral surgeon. He did his first implant in 1983 and is the founder of the Pikos Implant Institute. He has a private practice that is limited to implant surgery. He is a well published author and loves learning, teaching, and dentistry. Dr. Rick Sullivan is a fourth generation dentists and practices at Sullivan Dental Partners where he is joined by Sully. He is heavily involved in continuing education to ensure the latest and best possible patient care.

You can find our guests here:
Pikos Institute
Coastal Jaw Surgery
Pikos Symposium
Sullivan Dental Partners

Show Notes:
[02:00] This is the fourth year of the Pikos Symposium. This one was the most fun and had a great lineup of speakers.
[03:26] They received excellent feedback. Everything needed to be clinically relevant and evidence based.
[04:44] Sully’s dad Dr. Rick Sullivan is also here.
[05:24] Dr. Rick Sullivan thought the symposium was impactful and one of the best CEs that he has ever had.
[08:11] Dr. Pikos was interested in biosciences and studied premed. Then he tried door to door sales. He wanted to go back to school and dentistry was a natural choice for him.
[13:35] He then went into oral surgery and it was a perfect fit for him.
[15:57] It’s so important to look at the process as opposed to the results when choosing to become a surgeon or implant surgeon.
[17:21] Restorative dentists drive everything. It’s imperative for a surgical dentist to have a handle on the restorative aspects.
[18:34] A hybrid dentist has equal skills in bone and soft tissue. With these skills, the sky’s the limit.
[19:21] It’s important to know your limitations whether you are a generalist or a specialist.
[19:52] Learning from Dr. Pikos and seeing how he works is an amazing form of mentorship for young dentists.
[22:35] Dentists today have access to anything they want to learn. Technology has changed everything.
[23:09] If you don’t implement what you learn at the course, nothing happens.
[23:40] Do what you are comfortable doing and build on the fundamentals.
[25:01] Dr. Pikos sat in for a friend who needed someone to teach an implant class, and he got hooked on the process.
[28:03] He did his first implant in 1983, and it’s been a great ride.
[31:00] Even though there is new technology, dental schools sometimes teach the same old things. Your career really begins to unfold as you start taking more CEs.
[33:29] Dr. Rick Sullivan has used all of the advanced information that he has learned from Dr. Pikos.
[34:30] The Pikos Institute opened in 1991. Dr. Pikos has spent a lot of time trying to instill what needs to be done day to day and applied immediately.
[35:41] There is a live surgery, hands on, questions, and everything done in a sequential order. Dr. Pikos whole family gets involved.
[37:37] Dr. Pikos thinks of teaching dentistry as play. He enjoys what he is doing and respects what dentists have to learn. He packages things so that they will be understandable.
[39:50] You need to enjoy the journey because dentistry is constantly changing and evolving.
[41:04] There are a lot of International speakers.
[42:23] Clinicians overseas can’t use the same bone materials that we use in the US like cadaver bone.
[46:44] The future of dental learning is moving towards some of the smaller meetings and real teaching. They now go to more focused meetings where they can interface with the presenters. We also have 3D learning now.
[49:06] Dr. Pikos would also like to have something online to compliment his courses.
[50:18] The next symposium is in Orlando on March 1st and 2nd.
[52:11] All of the speakers are very credible and yet very humble. It’s important to always remain humble. Dr. Pikos is a product of all of the people that he has learned from.
[54:23] Dr. Rick Sullivan was blown away by the quality of the speakers at the symposium.
[56:02] Dr. Pikos is looking forward to Tetranite as a bone adhesive. It should be a game changer in a couple of years.
[01:03:39] It’s our goal to learn what we can and really showcase what the millennial generation has to offer.

As always thanks so much for listening! If you like the show we would love for you to review the show on iTunes as well as spread the word! If you have any questions or want to get in touch, shoot me an email at  

Links and Resources:
The Millennial Dentist Website
@Millennialdentist on Facebook
@MillennialDDS on Twitter

On Instagram  
Dr. Sully…@Millennialdentist on Instagram
Dr. Peyman…@drpeyray on Instagram
Dr. Sully’s website and blog
Launchpad Medical
Next-Generation Biomaterials for Bone & Periodontal Regeneration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *