Dental Implant Searches In Google

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jul 17, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Dental implant searches in Google graphic

Google is the largest search engine in the world with 3.5 billion searches per day. We answered some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants that "Googler's" ask.

Why Get Dental Implants

Permanent teeth add comfort, security, confidence, and vitality to your quality of life. Besides the psychological benefits of having natural looking beautiful teeth, a fixed smile eliminates lifelong visits for the relining of removable dentures as the gum and bone tissue perpetually recedes.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Over forty years of worldwide research has shown that dental implants are safe and that titanium is biologically compatible with the human body. Many of the earliest dental implant patients continue to enjoy healthy, stable smiles.

How Do Dental Implants Stay In Place?

Osseointegration is what makes dental implants stay in place. When a titanium dental implant is surgically placed, it fuses to the jaw bone over a period of 3 to 5 months. Osseointegration is the name for this biological process by which living bone fuses with the titanium dental implant to form a man-made tooth root.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Most implant procedures can be performed using local anesthesia. Local or general anesthesia helps to ensure that your procedure is pain-free. -----Pi Dental Center offers general anesthesia through the services of an experienced, board certified anesthesia team.

What Are All On 4 Dental Implants?

Dental implant procedures using the All-On-4® treatment concept is a cost-effective option that provides stability and outstanding esthetic results. A non-removable prosthesis is supported by four dental implants positioned for maximum stability. Implants can be placed using Teeth In A Day® and computer guided implant protocols. The success rate for prostheses built on four implants in each arch is the same as the success rate for cases requiring more anchorage. All-On-4® allows a patient to choose from a wide variety of approaches to the fabrication of their new smile. The final prosthesis can be made in various grades of laboratory materials from acrylic to porcelain.

What Are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini-implants have been touted as an inexpensive option for tooth replacement. Unfortunately, research has shown that mini-implants do not provide sufficient support for the strong forces of biting and chewing that a dental prosthesis must withstand. The purpose of the dental implant is to take the place of a natural tooth root, the stronger the implant, the more stable and enduring the restoration built upon it will be. Mini-implants cannot do this. Read more about mini implants.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Costs vary depending on the number of implants, the type of prosthesis, bone grafting, anesthesia and whether extractions and other procedures will be performed. The best way to determine cost is to schedule an initial evaluation in our center.

When considering dental implant treatment, it is important to consider value. While dental implants are more costly than other options like removable dentures, the long-term value makes them a great financial investment.

Prosthetic teeth do not decay. Removable dentures require frequent relines and can move.

Damaged teeth are usually painful and removable dentures can be quite uncomfortable. Perfectly fitting dental implant teeth are comfortable and functional

Dental implants contribute to your overall health. A key part of dental implant treatment is removal of diseased teeth. You can eat what you want and your nutrition improves.

At the Pi Dental Center, we rely on evidence-based science and we use only the highest quality materials with proven track records. Our fees are competitive.

Where Is The Cheapest Place To Get Dental Implants?

As with most purchases, you get what you pay for. Many implant advertisements promote a “cheap low-cost deal.” In some cases, these companies show the cost for one part of service and the total fee is much higher than advertised. In other cases, low quality components are used. Dental implant treatment is very specialized and complex. Don’t scrimp on your health!

Are Dental Implants Covered By Health Insurance?

Typically, medical carriers do not provide coverage however dental insurance might. Since no two dental plans are the same, it is best to submit a predetermination prior to scheduling a procedure. Many plans cover part of the implant treatment such as extractions and radiographs and some may reimburse part of the prosthetic fee. It is also important to know what your maximum limit is per calendar year. For most patients, the limit is $1,500.00.

Pictures of Dental Implants

There are many photos of dental implant patients on our Pi Dental Center website. Click here to view.

How long do dental implants last?

With regular maintenance and care and good general health, dental implants can last a lifetime.

The long-term success of implants depends on how well they are maintained. Shortly after implant treatment is completed, an oral hygiene cleaning and home care instruction is scheduled.

Home care instruction is a home care regimen that is specifically designed to meet your unique requirements. It includes training in correct brushing techniques. Dental implants require just as much care as natural teeth. A consistent schedule of brushing and flossing helps to ensure that your implants and gums stay healthy.

Regular dental office visits ensure that your implants and mouth remain in top condition. It is recommended that patients visit their dentist for professional cleanings every 3 to 6 months.

Like natural teeth, periodontal disease can affect the tissues around dental implants. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can cause bone loss and lead to the loss of dental implants.

If you are missing teeth, consider dental implant treatment. Dental implants improve your health, confidence and self-esteem. If you would like to schedule an evaluation or have additional questions about dental implants please contact us.

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Tags: dental implants, dental implant q and a

Your New Captivating Smile After Quarantine

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jun 23, 2020 5:08:50 PM

Drs. Robert Slauch and Glenn Wolfinger, Board Certified Prosthodontists at Pi Dental CenterPeople often try to hide their smile when they are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Right now, many people are covering their smiles with a face mask. Hopefully, we will all be able to remove our masks soon. Right now would be a good time to improve your smile!

It is now safe to move forward with dental care. Dental offices have been practicing high levels of sterilization for many years. And now, there are even more protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of both patients and staff.

Pi Dental Center provides comprehensive long-term dental solutions through a team approach. All phases of treatment are conveniently provided in our Fort Washington office. Our in-house dental labs ensure that your teeth will fit comfortably and look beautiful.

A Founding Dental Implant Center in the US

Pi Dental Center is a founding dental implant center in the United States. Dr. Thomas Balshi was one of the first dentists in the United States and Canada to learn Nobel Biocare’s (originally called Nobelpharma) dental implant protocol. He began placing dental implants in the late 1980’s. Over the years, Balshi and partner, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, improved upon implant technology, making treatment time shorter, success rates better and prosthetics more attractive and durable. Best of all, treatment is more affordable with the All-On-Four procedure.

The Teeth In A Day protocol dramatically shortens treatment time allowing a patient to leave the office with dental implants supported by non-removable teeth on the day of surgery.

Board Certified Specialists

Our board certified prosthodontists, Drs. Glenn Wolfinger and Robert Slauch, practice advanced dentistry grounded in evidence based science. All procedures and materials have been thoroughly researched and proven to be safe with long-term success.

Pi Dental Center dental implant treatments have a record of predictability. Patients can feel confident that their dental implants will remain in-tact for many years. Every single dental implant case is tracked from the day of placement and throughout each stage of treatment. Each implant becomes part of our in-house database as well as an international index. We have followed some implants for over 35 years. This tracking system contributes to our overall research and knowledge about implants and implant protocols.

Emerge from this pandemic better than before

This is a great time to begin dental treatment so that when we are all able to show our pearly whites again, yours will be sparkling and beautiful. Pi Dental Center can be your dental home where you can feel secure that you will receive excellent treatment in a warm caring environment. Let us help you achieve your oral health goals. Give us a call at 215-646-6334 or click the link below to submit a request form.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

Tags: Extreme smile makeover, create sparkling smiles, board certified prosthodontist, Teeth In A Day

Pi Dental Reopens Per PA Governor Directive

Posted by Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD, FACP on May 14, 2020 10:56:44 AM

Dr. Robert Slauch, Dental Assistant, Amy and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger Wear Face Shields, Masks and Scrubs

Dear Pi Patients,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I am happy to report that we reopened the office on Monday, May 11.  My staff and I are looking forward to seeing you in the office! 

We have diligently followed directives of the Governor which has kept us safe and healthy.  To ensure all patients and staff remain safe in our office, I have utilized this time off researching dentistry in the world of Covid 19.  I’ve attended webinars and consulted with experts in various specialties including infection control, virology and air quality. 

While we will continue to follow the same stringent disinfection and sterilization procedures that have kept us safe for decades, I have implemented additional safety precautions.  When you come to the office, in addition to the usual Personal Protective Equipment, disinfection and sterilization procedures that we have always utilized, you can also have confidence in the following newly initiated protocols:

  • Requirement of all staff, patients and visitors to utilize masks while in the office as mandated by the Governor.
  • For increased protection, we’ve added glass partitions to the reception area.
  • To improve air quality, all HVAC units have been updated and individual HEPA air purification systems will be utilized in all exam rooms and the reception area.
  • We have increased the level of protection of our surgical masks by upgrading to level 3 N95 respirator masks.
  • We have invested in new equipment including industrial strength face shields, which can be used as a supplement during certain procedures, chair side high evacuation(suction) systems to reduce aerosols when necessary and ultraviolet sterilization wands to treat surfaces after routine disinfection.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in the elevator, reception area and bathroom will be disinfected regularly. After disinfection, the UV sterilization wand will also be utilized.
  • To assess the risk level for virus transmission, all patients and staff will be screened. This screening will include various health related questions and temperature taking.
  • As much as possible in the dental setting, social distancing will be followed.
  • We will continue to have hand sanitizer available to utilize and encourage everyone to wash their hands often.

My patients and staff are of utmost importance to me.  As a result, I have taken a very detailed examination of office protocols, making improvements above and beyond those suggested by the Centers for Disease Control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the American Dental Association.  While these processes may seem excessive, I feel they are worth the time and financial investment to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.  With your cooperation in strictly following all protocols as directed in the office, I am confident that we can safely address your dental needs.


Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD FACP

Tags: dental health, Medical and Dental Health, pi dental care center

A Proactive Approach to Coronavirus in the Dental Setting

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Mar 9, 2020 10:19:30 AM

A Proactive Approach to Coronavirus in the Dental SettingThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to be a serious public health threat. The team at Pi Dental Center is taking a proactive approach regarding the Coronavirus. Please be assured that it is safe to visit the dental office.


The Coronavirus as it relates to the dental center


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals and people, causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS. The 2019 novel coronavirus is one of seven members of this family known to infect humans, and the third in the past three decades to jump from animals to humans. COVID-19 has a two- to 14-day incubation period.


Pi Dental Center maintains a rigorous sterilization routine throughout the office. Pi Dental Center’s sterilization protocol has been a main objective of paramount importance since we opened our doors over 33 years ago. Dentists adhere to strict rules on barriers and personal protection. Wearing gloves, masks, and eye protection not only protects the dentist, but the patient as well. Each treatment room is thoroughly disinfected between patients. Gloves and masks are worn during all patient treatment. The office is cleaned and sterilized frequently. As our patient, your health and safety is our highest concern. Our protocols are regularly reviewed and re-evaluated to ensure superior effectiveness. All sterilization products used in our office are professional grade OSHA compliant for medical use. All instruments are autoclaved according to professionally specified recommendations.


The CDC and other medical associations provide practical guidelines on how to avoid the virus. Please review the steps outlined below.


1 - Understanding your personal risk

Early data seems to indicate that the vast majority of coronavirus infections have mild symptoms. Patients who experience more difficult situations tend to be the same populations who are susceptible to bad reactions from the flu, i.e. older adults and people who have chronic health conditions.

2 - Hand washing

The number one task that everyone can do to diminish the spread of the virus is thorough and frequent hand-washing. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

3 – Refrain from touching your face or putting your fingers into your mouth or eyes

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Research has shown that common ways for the virus to enter the body include coughing, sneezing, and droplet inhalation and contact with oral, nasal, and eye mucous membranes.

Please wash your hands before touching your dentures or night guards.

4 – Maintain your overall health and lifestyle

Maintain both your medical and dental health. Taking care of your dental health is a critical element in maintaining good overall health, and strengthening your immune system. If your body is working overtime fighting dental infections, it will have a much harder time combatting an illness like the coronavirus.

Seek medical treatment if you get sick, particularly if you have a pre-existing health condition or a weakened immune system.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

5 – Your surroundings

Disinfect surfaces and frequently-touched furniture objects, and equipment using a household cleaning spray or wipe. Sanitize your cell phone and electronic devices.

6 – Let us know if you are feeling sick before visiting our office or if you or any family members have recently travelled to at-risk areas or foreign countries


Cold and flu season is still in full bloom, and the symptoms for these conditions can mimic those of the Coronavirus. If you have symptoms of suspected COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please reschedule your appointment.

Please let us know if you or any family member travelled to any at-risk areas or outside of the country within the last two weeks.

Please use sneeze and cough etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. Use a disposable tissue to cover your mouth or nose. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve. Wash or sanitize your hands after sneezing or coughing. Carry your own hand-sanitizer with you.

Recommendations for COVID-19 could change as more information becomes available. New information is coming out all the time. Pi Dental Center will inform patients, should policy changes occur.


Kind Regards,

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger

Dr. Robert Slauch

And the Staff at Pi Dental Center


Links – More information about COVID-19:

State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides information on the virus and safety precautions.
The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

Visit the CDC's COVID-19 Webpage

Transmission routes:

Should We Worry About the Coronavirus Emerging from China?

Academy of Osseointegration Cancels 2020 Annual Meeting -

If you have questions, please contact Pi Dental Center at 215-646-6334 or click below:

Contact Us

Tags: Medical and Dental Health

Pi Dental Center on Patty Jackson Show WDAS-FM

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Mar 8, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Pi Dental Center’s Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Robert Slauch, and Toni Robinson were interviewed by Patty Jackson on WDAS-FM (iHeart Media) 105.3 on February 21, 2020. They discussed National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, dental health issues, dental treatment for missing teeth and dental implants.

Click here to view video:


Transcript from Video

Patty Jackson: We’re gearing up for National Prosthodontics Awareness Week. Its April 19th through the 25th.

Y’all know little me, I’m the little teeth expert here and the people that not only saved my life, but changed my life. The Pi Dental Center in Fort Washington

We got Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, We’ve got Dr. Robert Slauch. They are here. We are talking dental health. Let’s talk about this week and what exactly it is that you do.

Dr. Wolfinger: Well, as a prosthodontist our specialty is restoring and replacing teeth and National Prosthodontics Awareness Week is a week where we try to get the word out to the people in the country to know what we do and what services we provide.

Patty: Let’s talk about tooth replacement, when you say tooth replacement, what kind of tooth replacement?

Dr. Slauch: So, there’s many ways you can replace teeth. And most of what we deal with is dental implants. Replacing teeth that have been lost, whether it be from cavities or gum disease. We can replace teeth with a simple titanium screw. Like replacing your jawbone and giving you the teeth you never had before.

Patty: What about veneers. Is that more for cosmetic purposes?

Dr. Wolfinger: Veneers are purely cosmetic procedures. And they can be done if you are trying to replace the shape of the tooth, change the color of the tooth. A lot of times we see people coming in and they want veneers, but when we look at the x-rays and we do an exam we find out that there is a lot more going on than just the need for a veneer. We have to really look at the big picture and the health of the teeth.

Patty: I think that that is so important. Because A lot of people are walking around and they have gum disease. Now May be they realize it, maybe they don’t realize it. The ultimate care of your tooth is most important.

Dr. Slauch: Absolutely, that is why we always advocate coming in every four to six months to get your dental professional to get your teeth checked. A lot of people we see have not been to a dentist in years. And they don’t realize they have gum disease because a lot of times gum disease doesn’t hurt patients at all. So coming to the dentist every 6 months is something that we advocate. And it is something that you need to do to realize how well your teeth are being maintained. And if you do have gum disease it could be potentially a life threatening issue.

Patty: What about these services where they can send it to you, you can fix it, and they mail it to you. These kind of like alignment.

Dr. Wolfinger: I’ve seen this on TV commercials, the club. There are at home things. We Were through this this years ago with people doing at-home whitening procedures. We have seen it. The problem is, you really have to have a diagnosis of what the problem is first. You can’t move diseased teeth. You’re only going to create a worse situation. You really need to make sure the mouth is healthy. And once that’s done, if teeth need to be moved, there are specialists that actually have extensive training moving teeth so you don’t have more problems.

Patty: The Pi Dental Center is located in Fort Washington. No, you don’t have to go out of the country. No, you don’t have to travel to New York or other places because there is a place right here in our backyard and they can help you with everything that’s dental. Everybody looks towards the beauty of it, but there’s a process and there’s a step before we even get to the beauty.

National Prosthodontics Awareness Open House April 22, 2020Patty: Tell us how we can find you. Information and that big week everybody is April 19 to 25.

Dr. Slauch: Yes so we have our website ( we are also on social media on Instagram and Facebook. Plus I have a personal Instagram @drslauch. So you can definitely find us in many ways. You can contact us on Social Media and also on the phone and in person.

Patty: The big Open House is April 22nd.

Patty: We don’t want to leave Toni, the teeth lady, out of this. Toni is here, and you create, if a person is getting the dental implants.

Toni: Well, I am the dental technician at Pi Dental Center. I’ve been there for 33 years, and it’s a challenge for me when I get these cases, but I love the results and I love seeing the change in the patient after they receive a beautiful, healthy smile. It changes personalities. It changes attitudes. It’s like getting your diamonds back for females. And females love diamonds.

You know, words can really express it. It’s a really great feeling and I am just grateful and privileged to be a part of it. And I’m really thankful.

Patty: The big Open House is Wednesday, April 22nd. You can RSVP at 215-646-6334. The Pi Dental Center. You guys not only saved my life, but you changed my life and I will be forever indebted. Thank you so much.

Dr. Slauch: Thank you.

If you would like to schedule an appointment, RSVP for Pi Dental Center's Open House on April 22nd, or simply ask a dental question, feel free to call us at (215) 646-6334 or click below:

Contact Us

Tags: National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, dental veneers, implant prosthodontics

Literature Review: Vaping and Your Health

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jan 29, 2020 3:14:47 PM

Vaping and Your HealthVaping is gaining popularity, particularly among youth. Some people believe that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking. But is it truly safe? Read on to learn what research, medical and dental literature has reported about the safety of vaping.

What is vaping?

An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device or ‘cigarette’ that delivers flavored nicotine using vapors instead of smoke. The device uses a power source (e.g. lithium ion battery) to heat a metal element. The element aerosolizes the flavored e-liquids, and the user inhales the resulting aerosol.

Most e-liquids contain four base chemicals: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. In the U.S., over 400 companies distribute thousands of e-liquids through local ‘vape shops’ and online stores.1

The exact ingredients in e-cigarettes aren’t all known, because the Food and Drug Administration does not require vape manufacturers to provide a full list.

In 2014, there were over 7,700 different e-liquid formulations available on the market and it is estimated that more than 200 new flavors are being introduced monthly.1

What is in e-cigarette aerosol?

The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain potentially harmful substances, including:

  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
  • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead1

It is difficult for consumers to know what e-cigarette products contain. For example, some e-cigarettes marketed as containing zero percent nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.2

Is vaping harmful?

“Studies suggest e-cigarette fluids contain cancer causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Others show vaping pens can release heavy metals, chemicals and glass particles found in the welding material and tubing for the device,” states Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, who is chief of facial plastic surgery at Boston Medical Center.

Medical effects of vaping

“Based on our findings, e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing and this should be considered before and after surgery,” said Spiegel. Based on experiments on rats, he said, “Smoking and vaping appear to be equally detrimental to wound healing and associated with a statistically significant increase in tissue death.”

One Boston University study says patients should be banned from vaping for two months before surgery to avoid complications. Nicotine, the addictive ingredient, is known to restrict blood flow and raise the risk of complications for cigarette smokers.

 “Vaping just once – even when it doesn’t contain nicotine or THC – can damage a person’s blood vessels,” according to a study published in the Journal of Radiology. Researchers observed reduced blood flow and oxygen in the participants’ legs after each one ‘took 16 puffs of an e-cigarette that contained tobacco flavorings and sweeteners like propylene glycol and glycerol, but no nicotine’. The participants had never used an e-cigarette before. This studied has shown an immediate effect on the body’s vascular function.

Over time, however, “This kind of damage to the body can become cumulative,” said Dr. S. Christy Sadreameli, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association. That cumulative damage is what could increase the risk of heart problems.

“It may not mean that you are going to have a heart attack soon,” Sadreameli said. “But while we all get some damage to our blood vessels with aging, this means it could start happening younger and in a more accelerated fashion.” Author Felix Wehrli, a professor of radiologic science and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania told NBC News that the effect is similar to what’s known about conventional tobacco smoking.

Vaping and Nicotine

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and, in excess amounts, can be lethal. A single Juul pod can have as much nicotine as twenty cigarettes. Nicotine can adversely affect adolescent brain development, which continues until young adults are in their mid-twenties,” reports Sucharita Kher, assistant professor at the School of Medicine and director of the Tufts Medical Center Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic.2

  • Nicotine, has known health effects.
  • Nicotine is highly addictive.
  • Nicotine is toxic to developing fetuses.
  • Nicotine can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and their developing babies. 1

Vaping and the lungs

“Vaping continues to be at the forefront of the public health dialogue—multiple people have been hospitalized as a result of severe lung damage from vaping, and e-cigarette use has also been linked to seizures among those who vape. Now, vaping is also being linked to a severe type of pneumonia,” Maggie O’Neil writes in August 2019 in Explore Health.4

Vaping is linked to lipoid pneumonia, which is caused when lipids, essentially, fatty acids, enter the lungs, causing the lungs to become inflamed.

Lipoid pneumonia seems to be one more reason that vaping isn't necessarily safer than smoking cigarettes.

Is vaping addictive?

An e-cigarette, which heats up nicotine, is addictive. “The nicotine goes into your bloodstream and releases substances in your brain that can initially give you a pleasure sensation,” Humberto Choi, MD, a pulmonary medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health.

That pleasure sensation comes from nicotine stimulating the release of dopamine, feel-good chemicals, in your brain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Those feel-good chemicals keep you coming back for more and even change your brain's sensitivity to dopamine, leading to your body needing more and more nicotine to satisfy it.

 “Vaping addiction can also lead to withdrawal once you stop. Over time, your brain starts to crave it,” says Dr. Choi, “and once you stop, your body goes through withdrawal symptoms like typical nicotine withdrawal, including weight gain, irritability, and restlessness.”

But, while experts know vaping is addictive, they’re not sure how addictive — or if it’s any more addictive than smoking regular cigarettes. According to Dr. Choi, “The scientific data isn't there yet,” but, he explains, “when you vape you could be inhaling a higher concentration of nicotine than you would from a regular cigarette, since levels of nicotine can vary between vape juices—and more nicotine could mean a quicker, stronger addiction.”

Therefore vaping can be just as addictive, if not more than, regular cigarettes. “Previous research has shown that it takes the average smoker 30 or more attempts to quit smoking,” says Brian Barnett, MD, who works at Cleveland Clinic's Center for Behavioral Health, tells Health. “We shouldn't expect vaping to be any different from that.”

Vaping and Youth

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an estimated two million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past thirty days. The percentage of high school students who reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month has increased from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2017. The U.S. Surgeon General issued a report saying that e-cigarette use among the young is a “public health concern.”

Sophisticated packaging for candy-flavored e-liquids, which targets youth, can be indistinguishable from real candies is, in part, responsible for accidental ingestion. The American Association of Poison Control Centers receives on average 10 calls a day from people regarding children who were accidently exposed to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine.5

Nicotine liquids, also referred to as e-juices, come in thousands of flavors often with playful names such as fried cream cakes, booger sugar, candy cane and sundae drizzle.

Teenagers, specifically — who are often the target demographic for e-cigarettes — are more at risk for succumbing to this nicotine addiction since their brains aren’t fully developed, says Dr. Choi. “Teenagers especially — their brains are still developing. They’re more susceptible to this kind of stimulation.”

It may also take less time to become addicted to vaping—especially in teenagers. “It may not take a lot of exposure to begin the cycle of vaping addiction,” says Dr. Choi. In fact, teenagers specifically may cycle through the addiction process at a faster rate, becoming hooked on e-cigarettes, going through withdrawal, and then turning to e-cigarettes again “within only a matter of weeks after vaping for the first time,” Dr. Barnett tells Health.

Currently we do not have long-term data to understand the physiological, psychological, and developmental effects of e-cigarette on youth. Some researchers consider e-cigarettes as ‘gateway devices,’ in that kids are introduced to tobacco products via vaping and once addicted to nicotine, ‘graduate’ to traditional products such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and hookah. 6,7

E-cigarette products are easier for children to obtain compared to regular tobacco products.8 Studies show e-cigarettes have surpassed combustible cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among middle school and high school students.9-11 Marketing, internet availability and sweet flavorings may have contributed to this shift. In a 2016 report, the U.S. Surgeon General states that e-cigarette usage among youth and young adults has become a public health concern.6.

Nicotine negatively affects adolescence brain developmental processes and may lead to psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment in later life.12-13

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and in excess amounts can be lethal. Nicotine can adversely affect adolescent brain development, which continues until young adults are in their mid-twenties,” explains Sucharita Kher, assistant professor at the School of Medicine and director of the Tufts Medical Center Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic. “Nicotine exposure in adolescents is associated with problems with mood, attention, and learning. It can make it harder to control impulses. It also has adverse effects on development of heart disease, aortic aneurysms, and is associated with peptic ulcer.”

What happens to the mouth and teeth in people who vape?

Vaping is bad for your dental health. American Dental Association spokesperson, Dr. Matthew Messina, in an article discussing how vaping may affect oral health, says that, “Heat in the mouth changes the bacterial presence in the mouth. It dries the mouth out.” Dr. Messina adds, “The rate of tooth decay can increase dramatically, if we dry the mouth out. In addition, vaping can lead to tooth discoloration because of the presence of nicotine, inflamed gum tissue, and bone loss. It’s important to stress the fact that while vaping is new and is being actively studied, we have to consider vaping and cigarette smoking relatively the same, as far as the effects on the teeth and gum tissues,” he says.

Dr. Messina explains that the warmer mouth temperature that is caused by vaping creates an environment favorable to harmful bacteria. Vaping can lead to dental decay, bone loss, and inflamed gum tissue. Deepak Saxena, PhD and associate professor at NYU College of Dentistry, adds that vaping can make your mouth more susceptible to infection.

Research findings reported in Dentistry IQ suggest that vaping negatively affects gum tissue, even more than smoking. Vaping has been shown to contribute to several pathophysiological effects including oxidative and carbonyl stress, inflammatory dysfunction, presence of apoptotic necrotic epithelial cells, and impaired fibroblastic activity. Evidence-based research has shown the use of electronic nicotine devices leads to changes in cellular activity, which manifests as a strong risk factor for periodontal disease and fibrosis of the oral submucosa.

Is vaping safer than cigarette smoking?

Tobacco use is associated with higher rates of tooth decay, receding gums, periodontal disease, mucosal lesions, bone damage, tooth loss, jaw bone loss and more.

Well, are e-cigs better for you teeth than normal cigarettes?

“While vaping is new and is being actively studied, we have to consider vaping and cigarette smoking relatively the same, as far as the effects on the teeth and gum tissues,” says Dr. Messina. That's because there's still a heat element. “The rate of tooth decay increases, sometimes dramatically, if we dry the mouth out.”

Vaping will also “cause a darkening of the teeth,” says Dr. Messina. That's because, while e-cigarettes don't contain tar, they do still contain nicotine—and nicotine adds to tooth discoloration. “Nicotine will stain teeth. It also sticks to the enamel and makes it rougher, so that plaque and other colored things will stick more readily and build up.”

“Smoking and vaping take a toll on oral health, including increasing the risk of oral cancer.” Tufts Now talked with Natalie Hagel, assistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts School of Dental Medicine who teaches dental students about interventions and tobacco-cessation techniques for their patients. She is a faculty advisor to the Tufts student chapter of the American Association for Public Health Dentistry and is active in the oral-health section of the American Public Health Association.

With any tobacco, including regular cigarettes and vapes, the chance of oral cancer increases. So do the chances of getting periodontal disease, and dry mouth. With the higher rate of vaping, we are seeing a higher rate of dental decay, because the aerosols that are bombarding the mouth are filled with sweeteners. Research shows an increase in dry mouth. And with dry mouth comes an increase in the risk for dental decay. Many medications have dry mouth as a side effect, so if you’re taking any of those, smoking can amplify that.

Vaping marijuana

Juul, a vape pen for tobacco use, also manufactures a popular marijuana pen-and-pod device called the Pax Era. Tech-savvy teens are learning how to refill their Juul pods with different blends, including marijuana oils.

Experts and educators say young people are one step ahead of the adults, experimenting with this new way to consume weed.

“It’s only a matter of time before adolescents are vaping nicotine and pot in equal measure, ” said Mila Vascones-Gatski, a substance abuse counselor at Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. “Anything in liquid form can go into a vape, and that’s scary.”

Among California high school students who have used an electronic smoking device, 27 percent said they used it with some form of cannabis, according to a report by the state Department of Public Health, based on 2016 data.

The California Department of Public Health says researchers do not fully understand how using cannabis oils and waxes with vapes affect health. What they do know is that vaporized cannabis can contain a lot more THC, the cannabis ingredient responsible for psychoactive effects such as anxiety and paranoia.

“When you make it into an oil or wax, the THC concentration can be very high,” Vascones-Gatski said. “This is when psychotic symptoms are intensified.”

Recreational marijuana use is illegal among children in all states. In California, such use was legalized for adults beginning this year. Critics argue the change could make marijuana more accessible to young people.

Some popular cannabis oil flavors include mint, jasmine, banana smoothie, pumpkin spice and gummy fish. Even if the cannabis industry says its target is not youth, there is no denying that fruity smells attract kids, said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at University of California-San Francisco.

Lambert said, “They’re learning how to refill their Juul pods, the cartridges that contain e-juice, with different blends, including marijuana oils, with the help of video tutorials on YouTube. These oils are becoming mainstream and easy to access.”

What has the ADA stated?

The ADA is especially concerned about efforts to characterize some nicotine-containing products as less harmful than cigarettes, particularly electronic nicotine delivery systems such as vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, e-cigarettes and e-pipes.

While the oral health effects of vaping are not fully studied, there is some evidence that vaping increases the likelihood that tobacco users will not be able to quit. There have also been reports of orofacial damage when these devices have suddenly overheated, sometimes to the point of exploding.

Aside from the intended use of approved nicotine cessation products, the ADA discourages the use of all nicotine products made or derived from tobacco.14

The ADA continues to educate and inform its membership and the public about the many health hazards attributed to the use of traditional and non-traditional tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, e-cigarette cartridges, dissolvable tobacco, tobacco gels, and other products made or derived from tobacco. The Association does not consider the marketing of some tobacco products as safer or less harmful to an individual’s health than others to be a viable public health strategy to reduce the death and disease associated with tobacco use.

Effective August 8, 2016, FDA regulates e-cigarettes under the “Deeming Tobacco Products Amendment” (Docket No. FDA2014-N-0189). The rule extends the FDA’s regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, and dissolvables. The FDA states the rule will help prevent young people from starting to use these products help consumers better understand the risks of using these products, prohibit false and misleading product claims, and prevent new tobacco products from being marketed unless a manufacturer demonstrates that the products meet the relevant public health standard. The new rule is well-received and welcomed by most U.S. health care professionals and organizations.15

The CDC says that e-cigarettes are dangerous for people who don’t smoke. “If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start,” the CDC warns.

The evidence is clear that vaping impairs wound healing and is bad for your dental health. Vaping contributes to caries, periodontal disease, and tooth loss. Nicotine in many vaping products has been proven to be addictive and unhealthy. Aggressive marketing has enticed many young people to experiment with vaping. The long term effects of vaping are not fully understood, so don’t make yourself a test subject for vaping products. While research continues, there is ample proof that vaping is harmful.

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  1. Zhu SH, Sun JY, Bonnevie E, et al. Four hundred and sixty brands of e-cigarettes and counting: implications for product regulation. Tob Control. 2014;23 Suppl 3:iii3-9.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults: a report of the Surgeon General pdf icon[PDF–8.47 MB]. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  3. Goniewicz ML, Gupta R, Lee YH, et al. Nicotine levels in electronic cigarette refill solutions: a comparative analysis of products from the U.S., Korea, and Poland. Int J Drug Policy. 2015;26(6):583–588.
  6. Barrington-Trimis JL, Berhane K, Unger JB, et al. The E-cigarette Social Environment, E-cigarette Use, and Susceptibility to Cigarette Smoking. J Adolesc Health. 2016;59(1):75-80.
  7. Barrington-Trimis JL, Urman R, Berhane K, et al. E-Cigarettes and Future Cigarette Use. Pediatrics. 2016;138(1).

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Tags: Medical and Dental Health, vaping and dental health