Pi Dental Center

Pi Dental Center is a long established have for progressive, innovative and advanced dental solutions serving people of all ages, aesthetic requirements and treatment needs. Our board certified, well experienced doctors, researchers, registered dental hygienists and clinical assistants are globally renowned for creating phenomenal enduring smiles.
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Pi Dental Center Year-End Roundup

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 30, 2019 12:42:36 PM

Year-End Round Up Collage for Pi Dental Center.Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that 2019 is almost over and a new decade is right around the corner! We had an incredible year, thanks to our doctors, dental team, patients and friends. We celebrated 33 fantastic years creating beautiful healthy smiles! In 2019, we welcomed new faces at Pi Dental Center; we published original dental research; and our doctors received several awards.

Dr. Robert Slauch joined Pi Dental Center in July and became a Board Certified Prosthodontist in November. Dr. Slauch has proven to be an enormous asset to our clinical care team by building patient relationships, placing dental implants, conducting dental research and improving protocols.

Nancy Gausz, dental ceramist, moved her ceramic lab into Pi Dental Center’s second floor office. Her professionalism and skill are evident in all of her daily tasks. As a ceramist, Nancy builds and finishes porcelain to metal, works with full contour zirconia and eMax, and performs chairside custom shades.

Stephen Balshi, MBE and CM Prosthetics developed a closer relationship with Pi Dental Center. Moving directly into our office has streamlined and improved our patients’ prosthetics.

Photo of Dr. Thomas Balshi with Dr. Robert SlauchFour journal articles were published in 2019. The authors included Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Dr. Robert Slauch, Dr. Thomas Balshi and Stephen Balshi, MBE:

Relationship between Radiographic Misfit and Clinical Outcomes in Immediately Loaded Complete-Arch Fixed Implant-Supported Prostheses in Edentulous Patients. Slauch RW, Bidra AS, Wolfinger GJ, Kuo CL. Journal of Prosthodontics, (Online) 2019 Aug 21. doi: 10.1111/jopr.13105. (Printed) October 2019, Vol 28, Issue 8, 861-867.


Management of Biotechnical Complications Associated with a Full-Arch Implant Restoration Using Digital and Conventional Workflows: A Clinical Report. Joshi BDS, MDS, Piermatti J, DMD, FACP, Nahon M DDS, Balshi TJ, DDS, PhD, FACP. Journal of Prosthodontics. 28 (2019) 483-487.


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.


A 30-Year Follow-Up of a Patient with Mandibular Complete-Arch Fixed Implant-Supported Prosthesis on 4 Implants: A Clinical Report, Balshi TJ, Wolfinger GJ, Balshi SF, Bidra A, Journal of Prosthodontics, February 2019, Vol. 28, Issue 2, 97-102.

Both Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Slauch were chosen Top Dentist by their peers. Dr. Wolfinger was also awarded Main Line Today Magazine Top Dentist.

We welcomed a large influx of new patients, provided full mouth restorations, made AvaDent® digital crowns, created veneers, and placed dental implants using the Teeth In A Day® protocol with All-On-4® treatment. To date, Pi Dental Center has placed and tracked 23,304 dental implants! Our team helped many patients maintain their oral health through our robust oral hygiene program.

Thank you to all of our awesome patients. We value each and every one of you.

We look forward to 2020 with jubilance and excitement. We invite you to contact Pi Dental Center to begin your dental journey. 😃

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Tags: dental research, board certified prosthodontist, Top Dentist

Antibiotics in the Dental Practice

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 17, 2019 11:45:00 AM

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge.Antibiotics are medications that inhibit growth and destroy bacteria. These medications have saved countless lives, but are now under scrutiny. Prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed, leads to bacterial resistance and bacterial resistance creates a host of problems. The American Dental Association reported that dentists are the third-highest prescriber of antibiotics in an outpatient setting.

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge.

Antibiotic resistance is a global health challenge because it can lead to severe infections, medical complications, longer recovery time, increased hospitalizations, more costly treatment and even death. When a strain of bacteria is no longer affected by an antibiotic, it is considered antibiotic-resistant.

Antibiotics are associated with C. difficile (a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon).

Superbugs are bacteria that have high levels of resistance to a wide range of antibiotics. Superbugs are on the rise.

The Mayo Clinic states that approximately 2 million infections result in 23,000 deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States each year.

In a report published in April, The World Health Organization stated that drug-resistant diseases could become the leading cause of death globally by 2050.

Dental pain and swelling are a common complaint for patients who visit the dentist. Dentists have often prescribed antibiotics to relieve dental pain and swelling. The American Dental Association recently published a report providing clinical recommendations advising dentists against prescribing antibiotics for dental pain and swelling. The ADA stated that from 2017 to 2019 between 30% and 85% of dental antibiotic prescriptions may have been unwarranted. An expert panel outlined the benefits and harms associated with antibiotic use. Evidence shows that antibiotics can be harmful when used unnecessarily. The panel advised using antibiotics only when systemic involvement is present.

Some of the reasons antibiotics are overused:

  • Patients pressure their doctor to receive prescriptions for antibiotics
  • Patients self-diagnosing and purchasing antibiotics online
  • Patients taking antibiotics left over from a previous illness

Doctors, dentists and patients must all help to ensure that medications are used properly. It is our goal at Pi Dental Center to prescribe wisely. When possible, the doctors at Pi Dental Center recommend over-the-counter pain relievers. Antibiotics are used only when necessary.

Tips for controlling antibiotic use:

  • Let mild illnesses run their course.
  • Refrain from pressuring your dentist for an antibiotic prescription.
  • Take all antibiotics as prescribed.
  • Do not take antibiotics longer than prescribed.
  • Never use left-over antibiotics.
  • Do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for someone else.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to avoid serious dental problems.

Talk to your dentist about any concerns that you have about your care and what medication is needed. Give us a call if you need additional information or would like to schedule an appointment.

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Responsible Antibiotic Usage Sources:

Evidence-based clinical practice guideline on antibiotic use for the urgent management of pulpal- and periapical-related dental pain and intraoral swelling, A report from the American Dental Association, ADA News – November 2019

Antimicrobial resistance: risk associated with antibiotic overuse and initiatives to reduce the problem.  Sage Journals: Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety

Antibiotics not needed to manage most pulpal-related dental pain, ADA guideline advises. November 06, 2019 Oral Health California Dental Association.

Overuse and overprescribing of antibiotics. University of Minnesota – CIDRAP. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/asp/overuse-overprescribing-of-antibiotics

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC: 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions unnecessary. May 3, 2016.

Antibiotics: misuse puts you and others at risk. Mayo Clinic. Dec 12, 2014.

Related Subject: Premedication

Tags: Medical and Dental Health, preventative dentistry, antibiotics in dentistry, Antibiotic resistance

Tooth Loss Facts

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 10, 2019 2:23:33 PM

Tooth Loss Facts GraphicQuiz Question: Which of the following tooth loss facts is true?

  1. A. At least 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.
  2. B. The number of people who are missing at least one tooth is increasing.
  3. C. Losing teeth can feel devastating.
  4. D. All of the above 

The answer is: D (All of the above)

Many people in the United States have missing teeth and the number is growing. Losing your teeth can feel devastating! Loss of teeth affects your overall health, appearance and lifestyle. But you can avoid losing your teeth by following a rigorous oral health routine. There are many options for tooth replacement.

Why do people lose their teeth?

Tooth loss can occur because of gum disease, tooth decay, injury or cancer. Tooth loss affects older people and the economically disadvantaged more than any other group.

Dry mouth can be caused by medications or illness and contributes to tooth loss. Tooth decay and infection increase in people who have dry mouth.

How common is tooth loss?

Thirty-six million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth. Because life expectancy is increasing, the number of people with missing teeth is also increasing. At least half of elderly people are missing all of their teeth. One study found that 96% of adults over the age of 65 had tooth decay.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal “gum” disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

What happens to the person when they lose their teeth?

Losing your teeth can feel overwhelming because it affects many aspects of life such as appearance, physical health, comfort, nutrition, social relationships, confidence level and speech. Tooth loss can even lead to depression and make you feel older.

Bone loss in the jaws occurs when teeth are missing leading to changes in facial structure, and leads to a sunken appearance.

Living without teeth can be embarrassing. Many people try to hide the fact that they have missing teeth. Avoiding embarrassing incidents can be a full time job.

Tooth loss limits food choices. Chewing foods is a challenge and the risk of choking increases. Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult.

Losing your teeth is no laughing matter but it has often been the brunt of jokes in literature, comic strips, on stage, television, movies, in songs and even in animations.

Some people begin to avoid social situations. They turn down parties, stop dining out in restaurants, avoid eating in public, and cover their mouth when they talk or laugh. Food choices can become limited.

What are the health implications of tooth loss?

Studies indicate that tooth loss and periodontal disease may be related to the risk of oral, esophageal, head and neck, upper gastrointestinal, lung and pancreatic cancer. There is an association between periodontal disease, tooth loss, cancer, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth.

Can people avoid tooth loss?

Yes, you can prevent tooth loss by making healthy diet choices and taking care of your teeth.

Quit Smoking! Smoking is a major risk factor associated with gum diseases that cause inflammation around the teeth. This inflammation affects bone and supporting structures, and can lead to tooth loss.

Protect Your Teeth. While participating in sports, wear a mouth guard. A direct impact to your teeth can fracture or knock them out. If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, discuss the problem with your dentist and consider wearing a night guard.

Practice Thorough Oral Hygiene. Dental plaque causes tooth decay that destroys enamel and inflames gum tissues. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Visit your dentist every six months for routine oral hygiene care and dental exams. Contact your dentist immediately if you have a dental problem or pain in your teeth.

Make healthy dietary choices. Avoid sugary acidic beverages. Limit candy and sweet snacks.

Dr. Wolfinger says, “A healthy dentition is essential to your psychological and medical well-being.”

What should people do if they have loose or missing teeth?

If you already have missing teeth, there are several tooth replacement options to consider.

Removable dentures are worn by 90% of people who have missing teeth. These prostheses typically cost less than permanent options and can restore appearance and function. Removable dentures can be used for a full or partial arch of missing teeth. Many people are able to adapt and find them to be a comfortable option. Others find them difficult or even unbearable. Over time the shape of the jaw changes and, as a result, removable dentures can become loose and uncomfortable.

A removable denture can be a good temporary option for patients who plan to get dental implants in the future.

A bridge may be an option when some of the teeth are healthy and others are missing. A bridge can be supported by adjoining teeth or by dental implants. Dental bridges are designed to match the shade and proportion of adjacent natural teeth. They eliminate unsightly gaps in the mouth and can improve occlusion. However, over time, a tooth-supported bridge can compromise the strength of supporting teeth.

Dental implants are, by far, the best choice for the replacement of missing teeth. A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that replaces the root of a missing natural tooth. Most dental implants are titanium, which is compatible with our human body. A dental implant is an anchor for the artificial tooth. Dental implants can support a single crown, a partial bridge or an entire arch just like roots hold natural teeth in place. Research has shown that implants are a successful long-term option.

Unlike a tooth supported bridge, dental implants provide additional support where teeth are missing without putting excess force onto remaining natural teeth.

Pi Dental Center has successfully placed over 23,000 dental implants since it opened in 1986. Both Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and Dr. Robert Slauch are board certified prosthodontists. They have advanced skill and training in all types

“Invest your time and money in your mouth to avoid losing your teeth,” Julia, Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center states. Contact Pi Dental Center if you have questions about your teeth or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to talking to you.

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Tags: tooth replacement, dental implants, dental treatment, dentistry, permanent teeth, dental pain, missing teeth, tooth loss

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