Fifteen minutes of fame sealed the deal for career in orthodontia

Jed Hildebrand

Jed Hildebrand, DDS, MSD (DEN '06) enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame between his third and fourth year of dental school. Today, he says with a perfect smile, “No regrets! I enjoy helping people get the smile they want far more than the lights, camera, action and fame from being a television star.”

Dr. Hildebrand was one of 16 castaways on Survivor V: Thailand in June and July of 2002. He survived nine days on the hit reality television show on CBS. Quickly recovering from his adventure, he helped provide care to villages and tribes in Cambodia and India while traveling camelback with his brother, Sloan Hildebrand, DDS, a dentist practicing in their hometown of Dallas, Texas.

When comparing his “peek behind the curtain” while filming Survivor and appearing on talk shows, and his time doing mission work in dentistry with his brother and father (also a dentist), there was no comparison. He did not like what he felt when he had cameras and people in his face. What he did like was making people feel better about themselves and their smiles as a result of good dentistry and orthodontia. Helping others is where his passion lay and that is what he was determined to pursue.

Upon completion of dental school, he applied for the residency program at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine (SODM) in orthodontics and was accepted. During his journey at the SODM, he enjoyed the “camaraderie of all residents from different schools and walks of life spending time together” as they worked toward “honing their craft together” with the same goal of specializing in orthodontia and making a living in that arena. He also felt it was meaningful to make new, life-long friends in his late twenties, and enjoy the diverse entertainment and free-time offerings in the Cleveland area.

Dr. Hildebrand felt it was impactful being taught by alumni who shared their wisdom and expertise on how to run a successful practice. He enjoyed the mentor/mentee relationship he had with Mark Hans, DDS, who at the time served as a “father figure” to him, as his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s upon his acceptance into the residency program. He and the other residents remain in contact with one another to this day.

While operating two successful practices in the Dallas, Texas area, Dr. Hildebrand continues to be involved in mission work, having recently served more than 350 patients in Jamaica who reside in orphanages or are members of several church communities. He worked alongside  eight other dental practitioners who are being sponsored by MB2, one of America’s first and fastest-growing Dental Partnership Organizations. Currently, MB2 has 556 brands.

As a partner with MB2, Dr. Hildebrand has been able to acquire a second location with the turnkey financial and operational help of MB2. He also helps explain the benefits of a partnership model to fellow dentists and orthodontists, and now over 720 practice locations with 120 of them being orthodontic private practices have joined the MB2 Dental partnership. The MB2 Dental model helps dentists decrease the administrative burden and focus on patient care while increasing profitability and creating greater net worth for private dental practitioners and specialists.  At the core of the MB2 model is doctor autonomy and a true partnership with elite dentists and the best service platform to help them achieve their dream practice. For more information on MB2, feel free to reach out to Dr. Hildebrand at

When asked about post-pandemic outcomes, Dr. Hildebrand is quick to share that braces have become popular among the adult population as a result of social media. “Selfies and TikTok® have definitely made many seek out skilled orthodontists who will make their smiles improve.”

Dr. Hildebrand credits his late father, David, and his brothers, Sloan, a dentist and prosthodontist, and Brody, an orthodontist and prosthodontist, with instilling in him the desire to go into orthodontia. He also credits his wife, Kim, a semi-retired general practitioner, with supporting him in his missionary work and professional endeavors.

“While the 15 minutes of fame was fun, the joy I receive when helping children and adults improve their smiles is far more rewarding,” said Dr. Hildebrand. “I definitely have no regrets,” he added.