Same-Day Satisfaction

Dental implant protocol restores retired bus driver’s lost smile.

Thirty-three years ago, New York native Robert Ballas left the big city and headed to Florida. One of the first things Robert did upon arrival in the Sunshine State was look for employment. He didn’t have to look for very long.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

With his Same Day Teeth, Robert can eat pain-free again.

“I put in applications at multiple companies, and one of the first to reply was the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority,” so I went with them,” Robert, 67, elaborates. “I wound up working for them for 22 years, but I didn’t drive one specific route.

“I was like a fill-in operator for drivers who didn’t report to work, so I basically knew where all the routes went. They handed me an assignment on a day-by-day basis, and I drove whichever route they gave me. That kept things interesting.”

Robert liked that his job didn’t tie him down to an office or desk all day, but being on the road offered him little opportunity to attend to personal business. One of the things Robert failed to take care of was a dental problem that started some 20 years ago.

“I bit into a peach, and it loosened one of my bottom front teeth,” Robert remembers. “It was very painful, but I was a macho guy, so I ignored it, hoping the pain would just go away. But as time went on, it only got worse.

“I eventually had problems with my molars and larger teeth, too. I brushed my teeth in the morning and evening, but I didn’t visit the dentist. Eventually, those teeth started falling apart, and I had problems chewing and eating.”

It wasn’t long before Robert’s front teeth began failing as well, and he started hiding his smile when greeting bus passengers.

“I got self-conscious, and I covered my smile with my hand,” he relates. “If someone told a joke and laughed out loud, I wanted to laugh, too, but I covered my mouth with my hand instead. Then about a year ago, that loose front tooth finally fell out, and I looked hideous.

“I couldn’t tolerate seeing myself that way, so I went to a dentist near my home. He told me that my teeth needed to be removed and that I should get dental implants. He recommended visiting Coastal Jaw Surgery for that work.”

“The new teeth are great. I like them better than the teeth I was born with.” – Robert

At Coastal Jaw Surgery, Robert met Lindsey Pikos Rosati, DDS, MS, a periodontist and implant specialist at the practice’s Palm Harbor and New Port Richey locations. Dr. Rosati evaluated Robert’s teeth and recommended upper and lower dental implants using Coastal Jaw Surgery’s Same Day Teeth® protocol.

“Robert came to us as a periodontal consult,” Dr. Rosati remembers. “He did not like the appearance of his teeth and was embarrassed by his smile. I reviewed his x-ray and told him he deserves to regain his quality of life and his ability to chew foods he enjoys, such as corn on the cob and steak.

“His teeth at that point were not savable, but that did not mean everything was hopeless. He had the option of doing Same Day Teeth®, during which we remove the failing teeth, get the mouth healthy, place dental implants and anchor a new, permanent smile.”

Surgery Roadmap

To begin the Same Day Teeth protocol with Robert, Dr. Rosati ordered a three-dimensional CT scan of his jaw. The CT scan provided information on Robert’s bone volume and the location of vital structures. It served as a roadmap for Robert’s implant surgery.
“Using this scan, we determined the size of the implants we would use and where to place them,” Dr. Rosati acknowledges. “We reviewed this information with Robert, and he was able to visualize the process on the screen.”

Robert then met with Coastal Jaw Surgery’s prosthodontist Philip J. Hedger, DMD, MS, who specializes in the aesthetic component of the Same Day Teeth protocol, designing Robert’s smile and bite.


Before and after images courtesy of Coastal Jaw Surgery.

“Dr. Hedger reviewed the various options for Robert’s teeth so he could gain an understanding of what his final outcome would look like,” Dr. Rosati says.

On the day of Robert’s implant surgery, Dr. Rosati removed his unhealthy teeth, smoothed out his bone and placed dental implants in his upper and lower jaw, all in the same day. Dr. Hedger then anchored Robert’s new smile to the implants.

“Patients wear the permanent teeth for about four months,” Dr Rosati observes. “This is a trial period to decide if they like the appearance of the teeth and allows the patient’s bone to bond to the implants while still enjoying their new smile with permanent teeth. It also gives them an opportunity to get used to talking and functioning with the new teeth prior to receiving their final set.

“While other practices will place implants and put patients in dentures for the healing process, the biggest advantage of the Same Day Teeth protocol is that if patients have strong bone the day of surgery, then immediate permanent teeth are anchored onto the implants, avoiding loose, removable dentures that do not fit well and move around in their mouth.”

Life-Changing Process

Dr. Rosati performed Robert’s implant surgery a few days after Christmas 2019. Robert then received his new smile. Coastal Jaw Surgery’s Same Day Teeth protocol uses state-of-the-art digital technology that allows patients to have immediate load permanent teeth following surgery.

“The new teeth feel great,” Robert says. “I like them better than the teeth I was born with. They look very natural, which enables me to enjoy smiling again. I can also eat again, too, pain free. The process has been life-changing. I should have had it done years ago.

“In the beginning, they don’t want you eating hard food like corn on the cob that could upset the implant posts while healing. But once they’re fully healed, you can chew anything you want, and I’ve reached that point. I can basically eat anything I want with no problems whatsoever.

“I absolutely recommend Coastal Jaw Surgery to others, without a doubt!”


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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, DDSc, MS

      Lindsey Pikos Rosati, DDSc, 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 r... 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 dental doctorate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Dr. Hedger then completed an advanced pros... Read More