Chris Raines

Pi Dental Center Blog Author: Chris Raines

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Show Teeth Some Love On Valentine’s Day

Posted by Chris Raines on Feb 14, 2019 1:37:25 PM

Show your teeth some love on Valentine's Day.

Valentine’s Day is the time to give the perfect gift to your loved one or to treat yourself. While flowers and candy have always been acceptable traditional gifts, perhaps it’s time to try something a little different. People spend billions of dollars on gifts every Valentine’s Day. The gift of a healthy smile can have a long-lasting benefit that’s worth the investment.

The average person is planning to spend more than $140 on traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, according to Prosper Insights & Analytics. People typically buy jewelry, flowers, candy, and greeting cards for spouses, significant others, children, parents, classmates, teachers and themselves.

You really can’t measure the value of a healthy mouth. Elle Macpherson revealed in a recent interview, “I’ve learned that a good smile, good teeth, good hearing, good skin and a good mood are worth a thousand injectables and Botox and facial masks.”

Tooth Whitening and Veneers are cosmetic dental procedures that can improve a smile and help to build confidence. While crowns and dental implant restorations can also revive the appearance of the teeth, they can also restore dental health. The gift of an routine oral hygiene and checkup visit can be helpful to a student on a limited budget.

This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of dental health or show your teeth some love.

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Tags: dental health

Pi Dental Center Undertakes Exercise Challenge

Posted by Chris Raines on Jan 14, 2019 4:47:17 PM

Pi Dental Center is taking the Squat Challenge. Daryl organized this project.

Exercising to feel comfortable and energize you throughout the day

Being a dental professional can have a huge impact on your body. Musculoskeletal disorders have become epidemic among dentists, assistants and hygienists. To combat these physical problems, Pi Dental Center’s staff is exercising more regularly, practicing proper ergonomic postures and taking the Squat Challenge! Daryl, an Expanded Function Dental Assistant, organized the project. Fifteen staff members are participating.

Dentistry is physically demanding. Many dentists suffer with chronic lower back, neck, hand and wrist pain. This can make working difficult and affect quality of life. There is a direct relationship between decreased fitness levels and musculoskeletal disorders. One of the main causes of these musculoskeletal problems is prolonged static dental posture; seated while leaning forward, neck turned and twisted to the side and arm stretched out. Typically, dental professionals lean forward at the waist with the head extended forward. This position increases the risk of injury when it is maintained for long periods of time and can eventually lead to the muscles “shutting off,” thereby relaxing the stabilizing muscle structures of the spine.(1) In this posture, the loads on the lumbar spine are 40% above normal forces. During forward flexion and rotation, the pressure can increase to 400 %.(2)

It is important to recognize any discomfort while working. Common signs of a problem are pain in the hips and legs and also down the arm into the hands. These symptoms are red alerts that should not be ignored.

Repetitive tasks can shorten muscles—making them tight and painful. Stretching may increase range of motion in the joints and lengthen muscle and their associated tendons.(3) Adjust your dental seat and frequently shift position. Get up and move around whenever possible.

An article in Silver Sneakers Magazine mentions that the squat is the single most important exercise we can do when exercising. This is because life demands that we do it many times daily. We stand up, sit down, and get out of a car repeatedly every day. This is why it is important to establish a good foundation for this movement pattern. Click here for beginner squat guidelines.(4)

Repetitive motions can also contribute to muscular problems. Colgate Corporation recommends 5 easy stretches to reduce shoulder pain. Click Here to learn about exercise for dental hygienists and dentists.

Stretching throughout the day is recommended. This Article Outline Several Stretches.

Many dental professionals practice Yoga to stay in shape. Click here to view a Yoga training video designed by a dental hygienist.

Daryl is an enthusiastic advocate for healthy exercise. Before introducing the Squat Challenge to the Pi staff, she designed a worksheet with tips and goals. Next she posted a sign-up sheet, discussed the Challenge with everyone, and had a physical therapist give a demonstration. Every day, Daryl sends text messages to the staff with encouraging reminders. Since not all of the staff are at the same fitness level, the challenge is adjusted and customized to each individual. We are now on day 14 with 85 squats a day. When this challenge is complete, she plans to begin a different challenge.

Andrea, an EFDA and OSHA coordinator at Pi Dental Center, stays fit by doing yoga to stretch and relieve muscle tension. She recommends practicing proper ergonomics as outlined in OSHA’s guidelines. Ergonomics, fitting a job to a person, helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work related musculoskeletal disorders.

Here are some of OSHA’s recommendations. Consult the OSHA manual for a complete explanation.

  • Dental assistants should sit higher than the doctor
  • Keep feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
  • Arms should rest on the chair arms
  • Keep your back straight with arms and legs at a 90 degree angle.
  • Align the patient in a comfortable position to avoid strain.
  • Use a mirror to reduce awkward twisting of the head when possible.

Care should be taken when lifting heavy objects:

  • Lift with your legs and not your back, keeping the object close to your body.
  • Do not twist while lifting.
  • Always bend at the knees and not the waist.

Consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. Take any exercise program at your own pace. If you feel discomfort from the exercise regimen, stop exercising and consult your doctor. When exercising, maintain proper form and perform all exercises in a slow, controlled manner.

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders And The Impacts On The Dental Professional , Mahmoud Zaerian, CSCS (Oral Health Group) https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/musculoskeletal-disorders-and-the-impacts-on-the-dental-professional/
  • Evangelos C Alexopouls, Ioanna-Chrisina Stathi, and Fotini Charizani, prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in dentists. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder,. 2004; 5:16.
  • Merz B. Workout for aching hands. Harvard Women’s Health Watch. 2010.
  • The #1 Exercise All Older Adults Should Be Doing – Silver Sneakers Magazine, https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/beginners-guide-squat/

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Tags: Dental Hygienist, fitness for dental staff

ProsthImagination – The Key to Exemplary Dental Care

Posted by Chris Raines on Dec 18, 2018 2:10:06 PM

Prostimagination

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination,” Albert Einstein

Creativity is a key component in prosthodontic dental care and imagination is required to create a flawless dental restoration. Whether it’s a crown, bridge, denture, or dental implant supported prosthesis, creativity is an integral component. It takes creativity to construct an ideal final product that fits well, feels comfortable, looks attractive and suits the patient’s face.

In many cases, a prosthodontist is the best choice for your dental care. A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed dental school plus three additional years of rigorous advanced training in an ADA accredited prosthodontic graduate program.

Dentistry is an exacting science with protocols that are driven by research. But where science stops, creativity begins.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation,” George Bernard Shaw said. Creating an exquisite restoration begins with really understanding our patient’s vision for their perfect smile. Collaboration and communication allows the prosthodontist to help the patient attain their goal.

One of the biggest challenges is creating a smile for a person who is missing all of their teeth. It’s like starting from scratch. The shape of the face, surrounding dentition, bite, jawline and midline are all considered when creating a new smile.

Comfort and function is crucial. Your teeth should feel like you were born with them.

A person’s smile is very personal and the teeth must suit their features precisely. A prosthodontist understands the complexities of facial structures. Shape, color and size are key components in the design when making a smile that looks natural and pleasing.

Who should seek treatment from a Prosthodontist?

  • Anyone who is missing a tooth
  • People who are considering dental implant treatment
  • People who need precisely fitting removable dentures
  • Patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD)
  • People who have advanced dental health issues
  • Anyone who is looking for impeccable esthetic results
  • People who want to go to a single specialist who can perform all phases of treatment
  • Those who need crowns, bridges or any type of dental prosthesis
  • Folks who are looking for a dedicated professional who is responsive to their unique dental needs.
Creativity and prosthodontics go hand in hand.

Great dentistry is the integration of science with creativity. Pi Dental Center is a prosthodontic practice located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Dr. Glenn Wolfinger is a Board Certified Prosthodontist with over 30 years of experience. At Pi Dental Center, we combine science, skill and state-of-the-art technology with creativity to provide outstanding care and prosthetics. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive evaluation.

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Tags: prosthodontist, dental implant supported prosthesis, dental care

Patient Turns 102: Advanced Dental Treatment For Elderly People

Posted by Chris Raines on Nov 6, 2018 10:33:01 AM

Pi Dental Center's 102 year old patient has been coming here for treatment for 30 years.

Howard is 102 years and he has been coming to Pi Dental Center since 1988!

Last week Howard visited our office for his scheduled oral hygiene appointment. With the exception of one dental implant, he still has all of his natural teeth. By following a rigorous oral health care regimen with routine dental office visits, Howard has maintained excellent oral health.

With diligent oral hygiene and regular office visits, people can sustain their dental health for a lifetime. A healthy mouth helps to ensure overall health and quality of life. Howard is proof of this statement.

A healthy appetizing diet is essential to physical health. People who have good chewing function are able to eat a nutrient-rich and varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. This is particularly true for the elderly. When people who are elderly are able to enjoy a meal in public, they are more sociable, satisfied, able to maintain their body weight and stamina, and are generally happier.

Many patients in their seventies, eighties and nineties believe that they are too old to have advanced dental treatment like dental implants. People reason that, because they might not live many more years, it wouldn’t be cost effective to restore their mouth. Howard had his dental implant placed 25 years ago, at the ripe age of 77, and it has served him well since then.

Age is not a contraindication for dental implants. In addition, with modern medicine, people are living longer than ever before. People who replace their dentures with implant-supported teeth improve their quality of life.

If you would like to learn about dental treatment options for yourself or a family member, give us a call. Pi Dental Center is a prosthodontic care facility that is qualified to provide advanced dental treatment for elderly people. We can be reached at 215-646-6334. Or, if you prefer to contact us via the Internet, click the box below.

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Tags: Medical and Dental Health, healthy functional teeth, oral hygiene, dental health and quality of life, dental treatment for elderly people

National Dental Hygiene Month

Posted by Chris Raines on Oct 25, 2018 5:43:43 PM

Veteran Dental Hygienist, Julia, chats with patient during oral hygiene appointment

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.

Dental hygienists provide a crucial role in oral health by helping you to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Our hygienists work with you and your dentist to maintain a healthy mouth.

Julia has been treating patients as a Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center for 22 years. When asked why she chose this career, Julia acknowledged, “Dental hygiene is rewarding. I see immediate results. Most patients come in for dental hygiene visits twice a year. We create friendships. When we treat patients, we don’t just look at the teeth. We look at the person as a whole. Other issues in a person’s personal life can spill over and impact their dental health. We look at those issues to help us determine the best way to address problems.”

The mouth is a window to the rest of the body that allows the dental team to detect early signs and symptoms of systemic disease. A dental hygienist is often the first person to notice changes in the mouth.

The connection between oral health and medical health has been well documented. Dolly, a dental hygienist at Pi Dental Center, is proud to be part of Pi Dental Center’s clinical team. Dolly maintains, “With the correlation between coronary heart disease and gum inflammation, I value my role as a hygienist more than ever.” She continues, “I feel that a dental hygienist is of vital importance to the patient’s general overall health.”

Oral hygiene education is a vital part of a hygienist’s role in treating patients. The number of people with missing teeth and periodontal disease in the United States attests to the need for oral hygiene education. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. American Academy of Periodontology reports as of 2010 approximately 64.7 million American adults, have some form of periodontal disease.

Hygienists teach patients correct brushing and flossing techniques, discuss medical/dental health issues, recommend appropriate oral hygiene products and design individualized oral hygiene regimen for each patient. They provide smoking cessation counseling which helps to prevent periodontal disease and oral cancer.

Hygienists play a crucial role in communications between the patient and dentist. They are ardent advocates for their patient’s health and well-being. Julia states, “Some patients are fearful about expressing their dental health problems to the dentist. But they will talk to their hygienist.”

At Pi Dental Center, our whole team, including our dental hygiene department, has your best interest in mind. Call us to schedule your next visit (215-646-6334) or click the link below to contact us.

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Tags: dental hygiene, Dental Hygienist, oral health, prevent tooth decay

Occlusal Lock – Let’s Get Digital!

Posted by Chris Raines on Aug 30, 2018 1:52:16 PM

A New Technology used with Teeth In A Day®

Digital dentistry has improved conventional removable denture and dental implant treatment for patients. The automated process of making AvaDent® digital dentures is faster and more precise. The addition of the Occlusal Lock improves the process even more.

Glenn Wolfinger, DMD, FACP, Pi Dental Center, Tim Thompson, President & CEO, Global Dental Science and Stephen Balshi, MBE, Biomedical Engineer and Owner of CM Prosthetics during Tim’s recent visit.

Glenn Wolfinger, DMD, FACP, Pi Dental Center, Tim Thompson, President & CEO, Global Dental Science and Stephen Balshi, MBE, Biomedical Engineer and Owner of CM Prosthetics during Tim’s recent visit.

Pi Dental Center’s digital dentures are engineered by AvaDent® (Global Dental Science), utilizing CAD/CAM technology to create a digital record of the patient’s mouth. The process ensures a precise fit and exceptional strength. The AvaDent® prosthesis can be used for removable or fixed prosthesis.

The Occlusal Lock was developed here at Pi Dental Center. When making dentures to be used in the Teeth In A Day® process, this Occlusal Lock helps us to line up the teeth with great precision.

TEETH IN A DAY®

Teeth In A Day® was also developed here at Pi Dental Center. This procedure allows patients to have stable non-removable healthy teeth in just one office visit. The conventional process for getting an implant begins with the insertion of the dental implant. With traditional treatment, after 3 months, the dentist would start building the teeth. So for a long 3 month period, the patient would suffer with removable dentures while they waited for the bone to heal. Teeth In A Day® has reduced this lengthy procedure to one day.

CONVERSION PROSTHESIS

During Teeth In A Day® treatment, a Conversion Prosthesis, which was also developed at Pi Dental Center, is delivered. The conversion prosthesis is an interim fixed-prosthesis that the patient wears from the time of placement of implants until the final prosthesis is completed. This prosthesis is made from the AvaDent® removable denture. During the implant placement procedure, this removable prosthesis is modified into a fixed prosthesis. It allows the patient to experience the benefits of dental implants immediately after the implants are uncovered.

OCCLUSAL LOCK

The Occlusal Lock is placed onto the Conversion Prosthesis. The Lock fastens the teeth into position so that the prosthodontist can connect the removable teeth to the dental implants.

The Occlusal Lock secures the denture into the opposing teeth. It is a temporary part of the denture that is in place while the doctor installs the implants. The Lock is trimmed away, once the teeth are connected rigidly to the implants. This newer protocol, which replaces an earlier system, is much easier and simpler. It shortens the process and reduces treatment time. Shorter visits and fewer appointments are a real bonus for patients. 

“Our patient was very happy with her Avadent® conversion prostheses. Occlusal Locks were really helpful in positioning the prostheses properly during the Teeth in a Day procedure,” affirms Dr. Glenn Wolfinger.

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger states, “This procedure saves a tremendous amount of time and, in most cases, eliminates the need for an additional wax try-in because teeth line up from the start.”

HOW IT WORKS:

  • The patient has preliminary procedures that include an impression being taken at Pi Dental Center.
  • The prosthodontist provides the dental lab with impressions and an occlusal registration, which visualizes the jaw relationships.
  • The lab digitally designs the denture based on the info that the prosthodontist provided. Once the denture is designed, the Occlusal Lock is added digitally.
  • The design is digitally transferred to the AvaDent® processing center at Global Dental Science in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • The prosthesis is created and returned to Pi Dental Center within 1 ½ to 2 weeks.
  • The patient returns to Pi Dental Center for dental implant placement and delivery of the conversion prosthesis.

The Occlusal Lock is now used in all Teeth In a Day® cases performed at Pi Dental Center.

Photo of Occlusal Lock – When making dentures to be used in the Teeth In A Day® Process, it helps us to line up the teeth. It locks the teeth into position so that we can connect the removable teeth to the implants.

Stephen Balshi, Biomedical Engineer and owner of CM Prosthetics, elaborated, “This process makes the prosthetic procedure more accurate and less time consuming, eliminating future revisions.”

DEVELOPMENT AND PATENT

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, and Stephen Balshi, MBE in conjunction with Sjon Grobbee (Vice President of Manufacturing and Technology at Global Dental Science) developed the Occlusal Lock. The process was outlined in a journal article in 2016 and has now been patented.

Dr Wolfinger, Balshi, SFB and Grobbee and caption: The named inventors on the Occlusal Lock patent are Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, Stephen Balshi MBE and Sjon Grobbee.The named inventors on the Occlusal Lock patent are Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Thomas Balshi, Stephen Balshi MBE and Sjon Grobbee.

The Occlusal Lock is just the newest of many Pi Dental Center accomplishments. Pi Dental Center has been at the forefront of dental implant and prosthetic technology since it was founded in 1986. Throughout the years, our board certified prosthodontists and specialized dental team have designed new devices, perfected procedures, improved protocols and developed methods to make the patient experience more comfortable and less time-consuming. Pi Dental Center has completed many research projects and published numerous articles. We continue to track every implant that we place. We have placed and tracked over 22,872 implants with a 98+ percent success rate.

For patients, this is significant. Superior skill, attention to every technical detail and a deep interest in improving the specialty of dental implant treatment, translates to more efficient patient care, better prostheses, more exact fit, improved color matching, and a higher implant success rate in a comfortable and expedient manner.

Contact Pi Dental Center to learn more about the dental implants with the Teeth In A Day® procedure.

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Chris Raines
Web Site Administrator
Information Systems Manager
Marketing and Information Technologies Departments

Tags: AvaDent with dental implants, AvaDent digital dentures, Occlusal Lock