Ready For Your Close-up

Retired bus driver gets “Hollywood” smile with
Same Day Teeth® protocol.

In his native New York, Robert Ballas worked as a plumber. He inherited the family plumbing business from his father and devoted himself to the company for years. Then he suffered an injury.

“The business originally belonged to my grandfather, then it became my father’s,” shares Robert, 69. “When my father passed away, my brother and I took over, but I eventually had to get away from plumbing after undergoing two back surgeries.”

Seeking a new career and more sunshine, Robert and his wife followed his in-laws to Florida, where he found work as a bus driver for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. He remained in that position for 22 years.

“Driving a bus looks easy, but looks are deceiving,” Robert asserts. “It’s a little harder to do than people think. Depending on the schedule, I often started at dawn and sometimes I wouldn’t get home until after midnight, so it was pretty rough.

“I didn’t drive a specific route. I drove wherever the company needed me to drive, and PSTA’s service area goes from as far north as Tarpon Springs down to St. Pete Beach. It’s a pretty big area, so there are many details to remember.”

Following retirement in 2019, Robert began to devote more time to his personal health. One of the first things he addressed was his failing teeth, a victim of his long-standing distrust of dentists.

“I hadn’t gone to a dentist since we moved to Florida,” Robert admits. “I made up excuses not to go because going to the dentist as a child wasn’t fun for me, and that left a bad impression of dentistry that stayed with me into adulthood.

“I also thought I could do things on my own by just brushing and stuff, but that didn’t work because I also neglected my teeth. Other than brushing them, I didn’t look after my teeth the way I should have, and they got to a point where they were all decaying.

“Some had fillings that fell out, and then the rest of the tooth decayed and broke off and ruined my smile. My smile wasn’t hideous, but it wasn’t attractive, so I hesitated to smile. I finally went to a dentist who recommended I visit Coastal Jaw Surgery.”

Strategic Spots

Robert Ballas

At Coastal Jaw Surgery, Robert met with Lindsey Pikos Rosati, DDS, MS, a periodontist and dental implant specialist. Dr. Rosati evaluated Robert’s teeth and recommended the practice’s smile-restoration protocol, Same Day Teeth®, which provides patients with a hybrid prosthesis — permanent teeth screwed onto implants.

Developed by Coastal Jaw Surgery’s founder, Michael A. Pikos, DDS, a global leader in dental implants and surgical reconstruction, Same Day Teeth rebuilds smiles through the placement of dental implants and new teeth during the same appointment.

Dental implants are root-shaped, screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the implants are seated, bone grows around them and they become the foundation for an abutment and replacement teeth.

The replacement teeth can be a crown that is cemented or screwed onto the abutment, a partial bridge that can be affixed to one or more implants, or a full-arch prosthesis that can be fastened to a series of implants.

“Mr. Ballas came to us for an evaluation of his gum health and the stability of his teeth,” Dr. Rosati recalls. “He had extensive gum disease, which compromised the support for his teeth, so they did not have a favorable long-term prognosis.

“There was a level of comfort that I had never experienced with a dentist before.” – Robert

“We concluded that his teeth needed to be removed. We discussed options for replacing the teeth and providing function and quality of life, as well as better overall oral health. We recommended the Same Day Teeth protocol for his upper and lower jaw.”

As part of the protocol, Dr. Rosati works alongside Coastal Jaw Surgery’s prosthodontist, Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS, who designs the patient’s smile. During the design consultation, Dr. Hedger determines the patient’s desires regarding shape, color and position of the teeth in the prosthetic.

“Same Day Teeth involves a single-visit surgery during which we delicately remove the failing teeth, prepare the sites for implants and place the implants,” Dr. Rosati explains. “During that visit, patients are also fit with temporary teeth.

“After a few months of healing, the patient receives a final set of teeth, which allows the patient to function like they did with their original teeth. In treating Mr. Ballas, we placed five implants on the top arch and five on the bottom. The implants were placed in strategic spots for optimum biomechanics and function.”

“A Major Miracle”

It has been nearly three years since Robert underwent the Same Day Teeth protocol at Coastal Jaw Surgery. He is still amazed by the process and greatly appreciates how it restored his smile.

“The treatment is the best; it’s beyond what I thought could be done,” Robert enthuses. “My teeth are perfect, and I have a Hollywood smile now. The difference from when I started is incredible. It’s like night and day.

“People who don’t know me probably think, My gosh, this guy really takes care of his teeth. They are so clean and bright, just the opposite of what they had been. What Dr. Rosati and Dr. Hedger have done is a major miracle.”

The dental specialists eased Robert’s fear of dentists as well.

“Dr. Rosati and Dr. Hedger made me feel very comfortable,” Robert confirms. “My fear disappeared when I spoke to them. They made me feel very relaxed about going forward with the Same Day Teeth protocol.

“Going through the Same Day Teeth process with them, there was a level of comfort that I had never experienced with a dentist. Going to Coastal Jaw Surgery was a great experience.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Patient photo courtesy of Robert Ballas. Before and after images courtesy of Coastal Jaw Surgery. mkb
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    • Coastal Jaw Surgery

      With more than 30 years of extensive experience, their mission at Coastal Jaw Surgery is to provide excellent surgical care for their patients in a safe, efficient and compassionate manner. Their team of oral surgeons is unmatched in ex... Read More

    • Lindsey Pikos Rosati, DDS, MS

      Lindsey Pikos Rosati, DDS, MS, is board-certified in periodontology and a diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Florida, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and he... Read More

    • Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS

      Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS, earned his undergraduate degree in nutrition from the University of Florida. He received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the UF College of Dentistry. Dr. Hedger completed an advanced prosthodontics re... Read More

    • Michael A. Pikos, DDS

      Michael A. Pikos, DDS, is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry and International Congress of Oral Impla... Read More