Personal tragedy inspires Dr. Katie McCann Lee to restore smiles. #IE40under40

At a very young age, Dr. Katie McCann Lee learned the importance of a smile to one’s well being. At only the age of 14 she was involved in a horrific ATV accident.

This accident left her with a severely fractured face and missing teeth. Four years and nine reconstructive surgeries later, doctors were able to restore her smile.

“I had to go through four years of high school without front teeth, and that negatively affected my confidence and social development. I learned at a young age how important a smile is to one’s well being. I wanted to enhance other people’s well-being by being a dentist.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Many of Dr. McCann Lee’s patients don’t know about the life-changing experience that led her to dentistry

Dr. McCann Lee, one of the Incisal Edge 2019 40 Under 40 honorees, recalls those difficult days.

As a result of the accident, her right Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) was severely damaged and to repair the function of this joint, doctors used her rib bone.

The biggest challenge to overcome in her life this far, Dr. McCann Lee says, was not only the horrific accident, but the fact that it occured at a difficult time in her life.

“I also had to face tough bullying at school for the way that I looked from my accident and subsequent surgeries. At a young age, I was tested, and learned discipline and persistence. Luckily, that has carried throughout my adult life, so nothing seems out of reach anymore.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Those challenges culminated in Dr. McCann Lee’s passion for dentistry and ultimately, her decision to create Aurora Modern Dentistry in Colorado.

Dr. Katie McCann Lee surrounded by the supportive dental team at Aurora Modern Dentistry.

“I believe that dentistry should be affordable, be efficiently delivered, and tailored to the patient’s lifestyle.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

Education is just the first step to the dental profession, and in order to be successful, that training needs to extend outside of the classroom to the patients.

At Dr. McCann Lee’s practice she initiated a ‘co-treatment plan’ which allows the patients to select the treatment plan of their choice. Within this process, she and her team inform the patients of the diagnosis and present all possible solutions. The patients are invited to select the one that will work best for their lifestyle.

The primary goal for Dr. McCann Lee and her team is to find and treat the source of the problem, not just the symptoms. They focus on issues such as chronic inflammation, sleep disturbances, occlusal discrepancies, and infection.

Dr. McCann Lee often sees patients on weekends, to accommodate their busy lives.

A passion for innovation.

Currently, Dr. McCann Lee is particularly passionate about the topic of salivary diagnostics, in which saliva is tested for inflammatory genes and oral bacteria. This allows a doctor to better diagnose and manage periodontics and chronic inflammation.

Her expertise in sleep and airway management allows her to provide treatment to improve the quality of a patient’s life, and systemic conditions such as sleep apnea.

This summer, Aurora Modern Dentistry will expand their office with a build out of a specialty center, to incorporate endodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, and sleep medicine.

Dr. McCann Lee has been an inspiration to many. Who inspires her?

Dr. Minh Pham is an experienced clinician with tremendous success in building practices and training dentists. Dr. McCann Lee credits him as her mentor.

“He has taught me how to stay humble and hungry, to always work hard, and to always put my team first.”

Dr. Katie McCann Lee

The most important lesson Dr. McCann Lee says she learned from Dr. Pham: No matter what, you should always focus on your team first. A dental practice is never one-person; the team helps the doctor create solutions and ideas.

Dr. Katie McCann Lee spends her free time traveling with the with friends and family. She is always up for a good adventure, or a scuba diving session!

To learn more about Dr. Katie McCann Lee, or her practice click here

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