KAILUA-KONA — Long before he attended Harvard and became a surgeon, Dr. David Hiranaka was a kid growing up in Kent, Washington, with a paper route.
Believe it or not, it was his paper route that provided his first contact with what would end up becoming his life’s work. It came in the form of a rock, hurled at his face by some kids as he was delivering papers. It hit him in the mouth, requiring an emergency dentist visit, and surgery.
Some 46 years later, Hiranaka is celebrating a milestone, 25 years in practice as an award-winning maxillofacial surgeon specializing in oral and maxillofacial, facial plastic, and reconstructive surgery. His unique, multidisciplinary approach combining medicine, dentistry and surgery offers patients a range of services, from oral surgery to cosmetic facial plastic surgery.
Hiranaka earned his dental degree in 1988 and medical degree in 1990 from Harvard Medical School. After his five-year residency in oral, maxillofacial, and general surgery, he went on to complete a year-long clinical fellowship in facial cosmetic surgery at the Institute of Facial Surgery in Salt Lake City, Utah, from 1993-94. He moved to Kona in 1994 sight unseen, with an aim to fill a gap in care available to West Hawaii residents.
Voted Honolulu Magazine’s 2019 Best Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in Hawaii, Hiranaka is one of the few practitioners in his field to be board certified by both the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. His Kona practice is accredited by the Joint Commission: The Gold Seal of Approval in Healthcare. Hiranaka credits his longevity and success to three main factors — his team, technology, and a deep passion for his work.
A typical day at Hiranaka’s Kona practice sees about 32 patients. His practice offers a comprehensive list of oral surgery services, including dental implants, wisdom teeth, reconstructive jaw surgery, oral pathology, bone grafts, in addition to facial cosmetic surgery services, including facelifts, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, cosmetic fat grafting, laser skin resurfacing and endoscopic forehead rejuvenation. They also offer non-invasive skin treatments with two Estheticians on staff.
Cosmetic facelifts and neck lifts are among Hiranaka’s favorite procedures that he says can be a game changer for patients who feel their appearance doesn’t match their age. Some of the first and earliest signs of aging can be on the face and neck, with sagging and wrinkled skin that detracts from the natural face shape. Before and after photos of patients on his cosmetic surgery site https://www.a-new-face.com showcase his skilled work.
Hiranaka says that one of the most rewarding reconstructive procedures he enjoys is full mouth dental implant reconstruction, which he performs as a team with the patient’s dentist. With a new set of teeth that look and feel like the real thing, many patients are able to enjoy foods they couldn’t before, not to mention new-found confidence in their smile and overall self-image.
“This surgery has a huge impact on each patient’s quality of life,” Hiranaka said.
Over the years, he has continued to invest in top technology for the practice in order to offer patients what he terms a “Four Seasons” level of service. One of their newest technologies adopted in 2018 is the X-Nav, which he uses in dental implant surgery. This system combines Cone Beam CT with 3D photo scans to provide a virtually navigated dental implant surgery for the most accurate and efficient placement of implants. In layman’s terms, this is like creating a digital map of the patient’s jaws and combining it with a highly intelligent computer program that offers real-time guidance for the surgeon as they place each dental implant.
With so many years of experience, and an estimated 32,000 and counting surgeries under his belt since the start of his practice in Kona, Hiranaka likes to give back to his community through service and education. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Kona Mauka since 2001, where he met his wife Donna. He is the director of a Study Club for Kona Dentists, offering monthly continuing education. His practice also hosts medical and dental students who require practical experience.
“I truly love what I do,” Hiranaka said.
His wife Donna says, “After all these years, he’s still excited to get out of bed in the morning and come into the office.”
Info: 326 2040 or visit www.drdavidhiranaka.com and www.a-new-face.com. His Kona office is located at 76-6225 Kuakini Highway, Suite A102. He also has a location in Waimea at 64-5191 Kinohou St.
Emily Gleason, https://mthewriter.com, contributes a monthly business feature to West Hawaii Today.