The path toward cosmetic dentistry was anything but conventional for Dr. Jill Morris.
She didn’t spend hours cleaning her dolls’ teeth or dreaming about becoming a dentist. As a child, the idea of being a dentist never really crossed her mind. In fact, Dr. Morris didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up.
It wasn’t until a fellow classmate threw out the notion of becoming a dentist that Dr. Morris, who was 17 at the time, first envisioned a dental career.
“I thought it sounded like a good idea,” says Dr. Morris, a cosmetic dentist who owns World Class Dentistry® in Sarasota. “I had no idea what I was getting into.”
At the time, Dr. Morris thought the dental field would offer independence and the ability to make her own decisions. It wasn’t until years later that Dr. Morris, who had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed as a young child as a result of mouth breathing, realized her past ultimately paved the way for future endeavors.
“I didn’t realize the connections in my life until a few years ago,” says Dr. Morris. “It was all meant to be. I see it now, but it took me years to see it.”
A Florida native, Dr. Morris graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 1985. A year later, in December 1986, Dr. Morris opened World Class Dentistry in Bradenton. She spent 14 years working in Bradenton before moving her practice to Sarasota in 2000.
In 1999, Dr. Morris achieved accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry — a privilege shared by only 450 dentists worldwide. A year later, Dr. Morris was inducted into the Dental Hall of Fame.
As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Morris prides herself on getting to know her patients, improving their overall health and helping them achieve the perfect smile.
“I just really enjoy helping our patients and changing their lives,” says Dr. Morris. “Cosmetic dentistry really uplifts the feelings of the patients. They can smile freely without hesitation.”
Throughout her career, Dr. Morris has trained dentists and healthcare professionals in live patient care courses in the techniques of cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, facial and dental lasers, Botox and dermal fillers.
She also is a national lecturer and past scientific editor of dental journals. Most recently, Dr. Morris co-authored the book “Stories that Heal,” where she discussed the topic of mouth breathing and the problems associated with the condition in her chapter “A Deadly Compromise.”
Dr. Morris also is a fellow of the International Academy of Dental Facial Esthetics and has taught at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a post doctorate teaching facility.
It was while she was teaching a course on full mouth reconstruction at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies that Dr. Morris met her future husband, Dr. Burr Bakke, a dental surgeon at the Dallas Center of Esthetic Dentistry.
The couple first met in 2000, and three years later, Dr. Bakke relocated to Sarasota where he joined Dr. Morris at World Class Dentistry. The two were married in 2004. Together, Dr. Morris and Dr. Bakke have five adult children.
Dr. Morris’ three children all live in the Sarasota area and are involved in the dental field. Cameron Johnson is in his second year at LECOM Dental School while Kelton Johnson and Sydney Johnson both attended New York City College of Technology. Kelton opened World Class Dentistry’s dental lab and is the office’s dental technician while Sydney is a part-time dental technician, who also is going back to school to become a dentist.
Dr. Bakke’s two children both live in Texas. Will Bakke is a filmmaker and Brittain Ewert is in real estate.
When she’s not busy working, Dr. Morris, who resides with Dr. Bakke in Sarasota, enjoys riding on the couple’s pontoon boat, hiking whenever possible and snow skiing.