Dr. Slauch’s First 100 Days At Pi In Implant Prosthodontics

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Nov 16, 2019, 12:00:00 PM

Dr. Robert Slauch, Board Certified Prosthodontist, at Pi Dental CenterIt has been 100 days since Dr. Robert Slauch joined Pi Dental Center as a prosthodontist. In this blog, Dr. Slauch talks about his dental school experience, working as a prosthodontist during the past three months and about his board certification.

What made you choose Pi Dental Center?

Pi Dental Center and I have a close history dating back to 2012. When I was deciding if a career in dentistry is what I wanted to pursue, Drs. Tom Balshi and Glenn Wolfinger allowed me to intern at the practice and learn about prosthodontics. Their guidance helped me fall in love with the dental profession and pursue a career in it. As I was completing my prosthodontics residency at University of Connecticut, Pi approached me and asked if I wanted to join the practice. I was delighted at the opportunity to return to the Philadelphia area as well as begin my professional career in the practice that made me fall in love with the profession.

How did you prepare to work at Pi Dental Center?

The process of becoming a prosthodontist is a rigorous one: 4 years of undergrad education, 4 years of dental school and finally 3 years of prosthodontics specialty training. It is in residency where you are trained in all the complex aspects of prosthodontics including diagnosis, treatment planning, and the surgical and restorative aspects of care.

What have you learned at Pi Dental Center?

I am learning a lot about the surgical protocols that Pi Dental Center has created and implemented over the past 32 years. Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Balshi have introduced me to aspects of prosthodontics that will make a great contribution to patient care.

What are some highlights of your first 100 days?

Private practice is a lot different than residency! It’s great to have the clinical and administrative support around you to be able to focus on patient care. I have learned a lot from having great mentors like Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Balshi, who have been in practice for over 60 years combined!

Is anything different than you expected?

Given the fact that I have had a close relationship with Pi Dental since 2012, I had a strong idea what working here would be like. I believe the transition for myself and everyone at the practice was a seamless one. Everything has been what I have expected.

What are your goals for your patients, the center and yourself?

My goal is to help patients achieve their esthetic and functional desires for their teeth and smile. Some of these cases require a lot of planning and communication and I love working with patients, as a team to achieve the results they expect. I look forward to helping Pi Dental Center maintain a strong hold in the area as a respected dental practice. As I begin my career in private practice, I look forward to making my patients happy with the prosthodontic services I provide as well as be a leader and advocate for the specialty of prosthodontics.

Please discuss your contributions and accomplishments.

I have been fortunate enough to have obtained board certification by the American Board of Prosthodontics. In addition, my research in implant prosthodontics has received national recognition by the American College of Prosthodontists and the Greater New York Academy of Prosthodontics.

What has been your most meaningful experience?

So far, the most meaningful experience has been learning from great mentors in residency and private practice. Also having an in-house laboratory technician and ceramist has provided me the ability to learn their workflows and make the patient experience that much better.

What has been the most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing is being able to come to work and love what you do. Also, to work with the great clinical assistants and administrative staff here at Pi Dental.

What relationships have you built?

Building relationships with the patients is the best. I want them to have a sense of trust in me when they come to the practice. We help patients navigate through life-changing dental experiences that have a long-lasting impact.

In terms of patients’ oral health, what is some key dental health information that you would like them to understand?

Dental patients need to understand that lifelong maintenance is the key to protecting the investment in their smiles.

Seeing your dentist every four to six months is crucial. Don’t think that since you’ve gotten expensive restorative work done on your teeth, that you are immune to future potential complications. PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY is still the key to maintaining your dental health!

If you are looking for a new dentist or need dental care such as dental implants or well-crafted replacement teeth, Dr. Slauch and the Pi Dental Center team can help.

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Tags: board certified prosthodontist, American Board of Prosthodontics, implant prosthodontics, preventative dentistry

Nine Common Dental Myths Debunked

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Oct 29, 2019, 12:00:00 PM

Nine common dental myths debunkedCommon dental myths can keep people from taking care of their teeth adequately. Ultimately, dental neglect has a negative impact on their quality of life. Here are nine myths that patients have expressed to us in our prosthodontic practice.

Myth 1:

I don’t need to go to the dentist unless I have a problem with a tooth.

Just because your teeth feel and look fine does not mean that no problem exists. Tooth decay can occur in areas that are not visible. A comprehensive evaluation including x-rays and a clinical exam is the only way to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

It is easier and less expensive to correct a dental problem when it is diagnosed early. This is why it is important for you to see your dentist for regular oral hygiene cleanings and exams at least twice a year. A meticulous dental care regimen, both at home and in-office, is necessary in maintaining your healthy mouth.

Myth 2:

I don’t need to take care of my teeth because I am not young anymore.

Patients have said that they don’t know how long they are going to live, so they don’t think that investing in their dental health should be a priority. Your quality of life is important at every age and dental health is a significant factor. The ability to chew and enjoy food is fundamental and of monumental importance for your overall health as well as enjoyment of life. People of all ages can have healthy teeth with full function.

Myth 3:

I don’t need to go to the dentist or get dental check-ups because I have dentures.

People with removable dentures need to have regular dental checkups. These checkups help to ensure that gum tissues remain healthy. Oral cancer screening is part of a routine dental examination. Your dentist will check for mouth sores caused by rubbing of loose or ill-fitting dentures. These mouth sores can quite uncomfortable and, in some cases, can cause infection.

The absence of teeth can cause bone loss. This bone loss can make your dentures loose and difficult to wear. When this occurs, your dentist will determine if the denture needs to be relined or remade.

Myth 4:

If I don’t have teeth, I don’t have dental problems.

This is a fallacy. Some people believe that they can function adequately without teeth or dentures. When the jaw bones are not stimulated by natural teeth, bone loss occurs. This bone loss gives the face a sunken and aged appearance causing people to look significantly older than they are. It’s impossible to eat food properly without teeth, leading to digestive problems. It is also hard to speak clearly without teeth.

Myth 5:

When I use lots of denture adhesive, my dentures fit just fine.

A well-fitting denture will not require dental adhesive. Otherwise, it needs to be relined or remade. “Patients who have ill-fitting dentures are also great candidates for dental implants,” states Dr. Rob Slauch, prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center.

Myth 6:

Zirconia is not a metal.

Today, many patients are concerned about metal allergy and believe that zirconia is a non-metal alternative for dental implants. The fact is zirconia actually is a metal on the table of elements. Zirconium is a chemical element with atomic number 40, located in group 4 from the periodic chart of elements.

In addition, titanium has proven to be one of the most bio-compatible materials used for dental implants. True allergy to titanium is very rare. A MELISA test can determine if you have an allergy to titanium.

Dr. Kyle Stanley and Dr. Matt Nejad thoroughly explained the difference between zirconia and metal implants in an article that they wrote in April 2019. Click here to read article

Myth 7:

I had my teeth completely restored, so I don’t need to go to the dentist anymore.

Insure your investment by taking care of your new teeth. For most dental implant patients, we recommend oral hygiene cleanings every 4 months. A dental implant supported prosthesis and surrounding gum tissue needs to be professionally cleaned of debris. Failure to do so can result in bone loss which can lead to implant failure.

“As prosthodontists, this is one of the most frequent things that I hear. Routine maintenance is imperative to keep your investment of a new smile lasting a long time,” says Dr. Slauch. 

Myth 8:

I have crowns, so I cannot get cavities again.

A crown is a non-removable restoration that covers a major portion of the visible part of a natural tooth. Many people believe that once they have a crown, they can never get a cavity. This is not the case. The area around the base of the crown, called the margin, can be susceptible to decay. Crowns need to be carefully cleaned to avoid decay and assure they will last for many years.

Myth 9:

They are only teeth.

There are so many reasons why your teeth are important. Your dental health impacts your whole body. Poor dental health can contribute to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. During pregnancy, periodontal disease can contributes premature birth, low birth weight and even miscarriage. There is a link between osteoporosis and periodontitis. Periodontal disease can make lung conditions worse.

What’s the takeaway? It is clear that following a rigorous oral hygiene regimen along with regular dental office visits helps to ensure a healthy mouth and dental health positively affects your overall health. A nice smile with healthy attractive teeth increases your confidence. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

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Tags: removable dentures, dental care, permanent tooth replacement, dental treatment options

What’s a Conversion Prosthesis and Why Should You Care?

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Oct 15, 2019, 9:30:00 AM

Conversion Prosthesis used in Teeth In A Day<sup>®</sup> dental implant treatmentThe doctors at Pi Dental Center are constantly improving dental implant treatment techniques. Over 26 years ago, they created the Teeth In A Day® process that allowed patients to leave the office with fixed teeth the day of implant placement. The conversion prosthesis is a crucial aspect in the Teeth In A Day® dental implant procedure.

The concept of osseointegration

Osseointegration is an important concept when discussing dental implants. This phenomenon is what makes dental implant treatment possible. Osseointegration is the biological process by which living bone fuses with the titanium dental implant to form a man-made tooth root.

What is a conversion prosthesis?

A conversion prosthesis is a transitional fixed implant-supported prosthesis. It’s a temporary device that “converts” an area where teeth were missing to non-removable teeth.

During dental implant placement, a complete removable denture is converted into a temporary fixed prosthesis. This prosthesis is worn by the patient from the day of surgery until the delivery of the final permanent prosthesis.

The conversion prosthesis technique was designed by Dr. Thomas Balshi in 1985. He and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger further developed the technique at Prosthodontics Intermedica (Pi Dental Center) and it was described in depth in dental journals in 1996.

“The development of the conversion prosthesis in 1985 enabled the development of the Teeth In A Day® procedure in 1993,” stated Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, board certified prosthodontist and owner of Pi Dental Center.

 

How does it benefit implant treatment?

A conversion prosthesis technique provides non-removable teeth immediately following surgery. This technique allows the patient to have attractive, stable fixed teeth while dental implants osseointegrate.

A conversion prosthesis provides function immediately after dental implant surgery. With a conversion prosthesis, the patient is able to smile confidently, chew comfortably, and speak clearly.

The conversion prosthesis provides stability in the jaw and protects the gum tissue. It acts as a splint during the healing period.

The conversion is used to make the final prosthesis. It serves as a prototype for the final prosthesis. With the help of the conversion prosthesis, the dentist and patient work together to create a perfectly suited final prosthesis.

The conversion prosthesis technique reduces the total number of treatment visits. Assisting long-term patient maintenance is another advantage.

The conversion prosthesis has proven to be a valuable component in Teeth In A Day® dental implant treatment. If you are considering replacement of missing teeth, give Pi Dental Center a call to schedule your evaluation. We will be happy to thoroughly explain Teeth In A Day® and discuss all of your treatment options.

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Footnotes:

Balshi TJ. Wolfinger GJ. Conversion prosthesis: a transitional fixed implant-supported prosthesis for an edentulous arch—a technical note. IJOMI. 1996. 11(1):106-11.

Evolution of Full-Arch Implant Prosthodontics: From Analog Protocols to Digital Workflows. Rawal S, Balshi TJ, Jivraj S, Birdi B. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2019 Oct; 40(9):578-585; quiz 586.

More info:

What is Teeth In A Day®

Dental Implants and Social Life

Tags: dental implants, dental implant treatment, missing teeth, Teeth In A Day

Top Ten Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Sep 13, 2019, 12:33:52 PM

Chewing improves with dental implants making eating more enjoyable.In 1952 a Swedish physician named Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark accidentally discovered a phenomenon called osseointegration that allowed metal to bond with bone. Dr. Brånemark, who is considered the "father of modern dental implantology," conducted clinical research that led treatment of the first dental implant patient in 1965. Since that time, dental implant treatment has become the standard of care for dental patients.

Osseointegration is the biological process by which living bone fuses with the titanium dental implant to form a man-made tooth root.

Dental implants are synthetic roots that replace natural teeth. Titanium implants actually bond to natural bone and become the sub-structure for non-removable teeth.

Dental implants are the best choice for replacement of missing teeth. Here are ten reasons to consider dental implant for replacement of missing teeth.

#1 Success: The success rate for dental implants is very high. Studies indicate a success rate ranging from 98 to 99% over a period of 10 to 15 years of follow-up.

#2 A Healthy Mouth: Dental implants allow you to replace a tooth without affecting the surrounding teeth. The surrounding teeth are not compromised when an implant is placed. You don’t need to get a bridge anymore to replace a single tooth. You can treat the specific area where the tooth is missing.

#3 Bone Health: When a dental implant is in place, the bone reacts by fusing around the surface of the implant. The concept is called the internal bone remodeling stimulus. The implant actually stimulates the bone. Dental implants tend to maintain bone levels.

Dental implants support facial structure.

#4 Convenience: Dental implants are a permanent non-removable solution. A dental implant supported prosthesis does not need to be stored in a jar at night.

#5 Peace of Mind: Removable dentures can loosen and fall out when least expected. Dental implant supported prostheses won’t fall out or loosen.

#6 Comfort: Removable partial appliances tend to move and rub on the surrounding teeth, which wears out the enamel and ultimately loosens the teeth in the socket. These removable appliances can weaken surrounding bone and ligaments, ultimately causing tooth mobility and even tooth loss. Dental implants do not damage surrounding teeth.

#7 Scientifically Proven: Dental implant technology is a proven protocol and because of digital technology, the overall prosthesis and the individual teeth are stronger, plus it takes less time to fabricate.

#8 Improved Facial Features: Removable dentures can lead to bone loss over time which can cause a sunken appearance of face. Dental implant treatment supports the facial structure. It’s almost like having an internal face lift.

#9 Self-Esteem: When people lose their teeth, they may become depressed and feel less confident. This can eventually lead to withdrawal and social isolation due to anxiety and embarrassment. They may feel self-conscious and avoid smiling. This can affect their social lives. Many people avoid social situations. Dental implant supported teeth dramatically improve appearance and self-confidence. Dental implant patients report a dramatic improvement in self-esteem.Dental implant patients report improvement in self-esteem.

#10 Improved Health: Dental implants make eating more enjoyable. Better chewing ability means better nutrition.

"Dental implants have improved the quality of life for numerous patients over the past 50+ years. Pi Dental Center's trademarked Teeth In A Day® protocol has provided a quick and efficient process for tooth replacement," states Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, board certified prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center.

If you have missing teeth or require tooth extraction, call us to discuss dental implants.

 

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Tags: dental implants, osseointegration, Pi Brånemark, dental implant supported prosthesis

An Interview with Prosthodontist Dr. Rob Slauch

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jul 22, 2019, 4:12:43 PM

Robert Slauch DDS MDScRob Slauch joined Pi Dental Center as a prosthodontist on July 22, 2019. Read this interview with Prosthodontist, Dr. Slauch to learn about him and to better understand his goals and philosophy.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Collegeville Pennsylvania, not far from Pi Dental Center. I went to College at Penn State University, and then to the University of Maryland - School of Dentistry in Baltimore. I then finished my residency training at University of Connecticut Health Center. I am working full time here at Pi Dental Center and am looking forward to meeting the patients.

What made you decide to study dentistry?

I chose dentistry because I was interested in helping people. Dentistry is the perfect blend of art and science. It gives me the opportunity to use different biomaterials, concepts and protocols that produce a product that patients will be very happy with.

Why did I choose to specialize in Prosthodontics?

I wanted to be challenged every day. Prosthodontists are charged with treating the most complex dental cases. So I knew that prosthodontics would challenge me and give me a new concept to think about. Sometimes they require you to think outside of the box. Being challenged every day was something that I wanted to pursue.

Tell us about your involvement with Pi Dental Center.

I actually started working as an intern at Pi Dental Center in 2012 helping in the research department. When I went to Dental School, I stayed in touch with Dr. Balshi and Dr. Wolfinger. So Pi Dental Center and I have a long history and I’m looking forward to now helping in the clinical side of the practice.

Tell us what you value about Pi Dental Center.

There is a lot of history in Pi Dental Center. This is one of the first centers to place dental implants in the country. It has a lot of history and literature that was published. I am very grateful to be part of the trademark that this facility has created. I am looking forward to bringing my own contemporary ideas to the established protocols that this center has created.

Everyone here is like family. All of the employees treat each other with the utmost respect and also work hard. But we make sure that we are respectful to each other and to patients as well.

What are Pi Dental Center’s strong points?

Pi Dental Center strives to be at the forefront of the specialty of prosthodontics. It was founded over 30 years ago and is strong in terms of blending research and clinical practice. I don’t know of any other center in the area that publishes so many papers and stays so current in trends with prosthodontics and with dentistry in general. Being involved with both the research and the clinical side is going to be very rewarding. I am looking forward to being part of that continued trend of bringing out research and clinical protocols that can make a difference in our specialty and for patients ultimately.

What are your goals for Pi Dental Center?

My goals for Pi Dental Center are to bring contemporary ideas I learned in my residency training and implement them with the established treatment protocols Pi Dental Center is known for. I am hoping that we can mesh the two and produce a product that can help patients to become happy with their smiles.

Tell us about your philosophy toward patient treatment.

I want to create an environment where the patient feels comfortable, relaxed, and can talk to me about why they are here. The treatment involves a decision between the doctor and patient. We are a team together. I want to produce an environment where we can trust each other. I’m looking forward to getting to know the patient population here at Pi Dental Center and to bring in new patients.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Slauch or  Dr. Wolfinger at Pi Dental Center, call 215-646-6334 or click the link below:

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Tags: prosthodontist and dental treatment

Prosthodontist Dr. Rob Slauch Joins Pi Dental

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jul 13, 2019, 12:45:00 PM

Rob Slauch, DDS, MDSc Prosthodontist at Pi Dental CenterPi Dental Center is pleased to announce that Robert Slauch, DDS, MDSc will join our long established prosthodontic practice on July 22, 2019. As a prosthodontist, Dr. Slauch will provide quality restorative patient treatment including placement of dental implants, esthetic crowns, bridges, veneers and state-of-the-art digital dentures.

Dr. Slauch is not a newcomer to the Pi Dental Center. Since 2012, he has been engaged in scientific research with the Pi Team and published in several dental journals. In addition, he has achieved recognition from the American College of Prosthodontists and the Greater New York Academy of Prosthodontics for his research.

The Pi Team has been eagerly awaiting Dr. Slauch’s full-time presence. Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Director of the Pi Dental Center, expresses his excitement to fill the vacancy of recently retired Dr. Thomas Balshi, the Founder of Pi. “I have personally witnessed Dr. Slauch’s professional development and believe he will be a future leader in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Our patients will quickly benefit from his gentle and compassionate nature along with his prosthodontic skill.”

Dr. Slauch grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and attended Perkiomen Valley High School.

Dr. Slauch received a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University, where he also played baseball. He earned his DDS from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and completed both his residency in Prosthodontics and his Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut Health Center in July 2019. He is a candidate for board certification by the American Board of Prosthodontics and has already successfully completed the first part of the board examination.

He is also a 2019 finalist in the American College of Prosthodontists John J. Sharry Research Competition.

“I am beyond excited to be joining a practice that has so much history and has made so many contributions to the specialty of Prosthodontics and to implant dentistry,” says Dr. Slauch.

“It is my goal to continue this tradition by providing excellent dental care in a warm, friendly, outgoing environment. I look forward to being involved with this great community and with helping people find real joy in their smiles.”

Pi Dental Center, located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, has been on the cutting edge of prosthodontic care, research, education and product development since 1986. It has been a benchmark from which many doctors have taken their lead.

An Open House is planned for September to introduce Dr. Slauch to the community.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Slauch and read his curriculum vitae.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Slauch, please call 215-646-6334 or click the link below:

Schedule an Appointment

What's a prosthodontist? Click here to find out.

Tags: dental implants, dental health, prosthodontist