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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Is The Internet Good For Your Medical and Dental Health?

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Sep 5, 2017 1:52:10 PM

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and dental assistant treat a patient at Pi Dental Center while intern observes

Technology has empowered people in managing their own medical and dental care. Ready access to healthcare information makes it possible for people of all ages to bolster fitness, prevent illness, identify symptoms and remedy minor issues. The Internet can locate healthcare professionals, pinpoint specialties, verify credentials and showcase expertise through sophisticated web sites. Significant positive information and valid education pour freely from computer screens “twenty-four-seven.”

The extraordinary value of online medical guidance can quickly change for the worse when self-proclaimed experts dilute evidence based science with their unscientific opinions. It is difficult for the healthcare consumer to sift through medical information and discern truth. Amateurs can easily taint actual research results and skew findings.

Sample of a Google Search Page

The banter of destructive commentary that is so prevalent on-line can be highly influential and totally without merit, and ironically, might keep a patient from choosing the doctor or dentist best suited to meet their needs.

Good physicians and dental specialists are proud to be held to a high standard. They have invested “time, talent and treasure” in learning to become fluent in the language of human healing. They have taken the Hippocratic Oath and have embraced ethics at a very high level. In spite of shadows sometimes cast on Internet, most doctors are solidly focused on making their patients healthy and happy.

The best advice is to be objective when evaluating Internet advice. Look to the source of the information and determine whether the message is scientifically based and springing from experience or merely the articulation of biased opinion. A little time and wisdom help this analysis. When weighing two opposing perspectives on the proper way to treat an issue, education and credentials are key to making the right choice. The Internet is a valuable resource for providing information but it is not the Bible of any medical/dental discipline.

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Tags: choosing a dentist, Dental Treatment and the Internet, Medical and Dental Health, dental technology, social media

What Does the Dental Term, “Oral Cripple” Mean?

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Feb 17, 2017 4:12:44 PM

Knowing is not enough. We must apply.Have you heard of the term, “oral cripple”? Dentists use the term to describe a person who has such significant dental problems that they substantially and negatively impact the quality of life.

Do you know someone who:

  • Hides their mouth when they smile or laugh?
  • Complains about jaw pain?
  • Has broken teeth?
  • Have loose or clicking dentures?
  • Cannot pronounce certain words?
  • Refuses to eat in public or struggles when chewing certain foods?
  • Declines social invitations because of their teeth?
  • Cannot find a job because of the state of their teeth?

As a person’s dental condition deteriorates, their oral and medical dilemmas mount. If left untreated, a person can experience numerous complications that affect every aspect of life. Tooth loss, poor quality dentures, shifting teeth, periodontal disease, and broken teeth can be devastating.

As teeth are lost, the surrounding teeth begin to shift in the mouth.  Missing teeth cause the bite to collapse, which in turn damages the jaw joint. This is because the stress of clenching the teeth intensifies pressure on the joint. Over time, the damage to the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement increase. Temporomandibular joint disorder causes pain in the area of the joint, neck, shoulder, back, head, and trouble chewing.

Well-fitting removable dentures can be an adequate temporary solution.  But dentures must be regularly maintained by a dentist. Ill-fitting loose unsightly dentures cause clicking, pain, sores on gum, and limit one’s ability to speak, and eat.

The feeling of self-consciousness because of dental appearance permeates many aspects of life. People often feel too embarrassed to smile. Making friends, building relationships and finding a job can become more difficult.

Tooth loss shortens a person’s life span. An October 2016 article in Periodontology 2000 concluded that the number of teeth in aging humans affects longevity and life expectancy. An inability to eat nutritional foods that require the ability to properly masticate is one factor is reducing life span.

One patient mentioned, “Life with removable dentures really makes you appreciate the teeth you lost.” Healthy functional teeth really contribute to the quality of life.

Replacing lost, damaged and diseased teeth with complete non-removable restorations allows patients to return to a state of anatomic, functional, psychological, and social good health. It allows them to again enjoy the simplest of pleasures, like ordering a dinner in a restaurant.

Dr. Balshi said, “Advances in prosthodontics have made remarkable alternatives available for replacement of missing teeth. The osseointegrated dental implant system permits the placement of a fixed bridge in patients who would otherwise require removable dentures. This technique involves placement of implants within the jaws, which are physiologically attached to bone and to which the teeth are attached.”

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and later Bruce Lee stated, "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do," It’s important to diagnose dental problems, meticulously research all solutions, choose the best option, then begin treatment.

When people decide to move forward and actively pursue dental treatment, they often do not have a regular dentist and wonder who to place their trust in.  The board certified dentists at Pi Dental Center created the trademarked Teeth In A Day® procedure that enables patients to enjoy the benefits of fixed replacement teeth on the same day implants are placed, rather than following a three to six month process. At 467 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Washington, we have everything under one roof. Advanced evaluation is possible in-house with CT-scanning and digital intraoral scanning technology. From prosthodontics and oral surgery to endodontics and orthodontics, patients can have most treatment in our center.  Three on-site laboratories provide a wide variety of prostheses.

High quality dentistry is a combination of advanced technology, visual artistry and manual skill. As board certified prosthodontists with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Thomas Balshi and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger provide patients with teeth that are attractive, functional and customized for the individual patient.

Quality of life is enhanced by comprehensive dental restoration.  Call Pi Dental Center and schedule a complete diagnostic evaluation so that you can smile again!

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Tags: removable dentures, dental problems, dental condition, tooth loss, temporomandibular joint disorder, dental appearance, healthy functional teeth

3D Scanning for Superior Crowns at Pi Dental Center

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 29, 2016 6:50:00 AM

graphic for trio blog.jpgPi Dental Center strives to offer patients the best dental care using 3D technology.  Dr. Glenn Wolfinger continuously evaluates new dental equipment and technology to provide patients the highest quality, most attractive, best-fitting dental prostheses in the shortest time possible. 

Pi Dental Center’s crowns have just gotten better through digital dentistry! TRIOS is an intraoral scanner that enables us to make the highest quality crowns with better patient comfort.

A good crown begins with a good impression. The TRIOS digital scanner is:

  • Accurate
  • Ensures correct occlusion
  • Totally safe

Patient satisfaction and ease is a key advantage of TRIOS.  Patients find intraoral scanning is a more comfortable procedure than traditional methods that use trays and impression materials.  It is a great option for patients with strong gag reflexes.

TRIOS scanner takes thousands of pictures per second providing a 3D high resolution image that can be viewed from all angles.

Tooth shade is no longer subjective. Manual shade measurement can be inaccurate. The TRIOS scanner automatically records a shade measurement that is more precise and consistent. TRIOS shade detection tool eliminates shade errors caused by eye fatigue, color of clothing, makeup and levels of daylight.

Pi Dental Center’s scanning technology can be used to create:

  • Dental Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers, inlays and onlays
  • Abutments, implant bridges and bars
  • Temporary crowns and virtual diagnostic wax-ups
  • Post and core
  • Removable partial dentures

Learn more about Pi Dental Center's superior crowns. Call Pi Dental Center to schedule dental crown treatment using our 3D scanning technology.

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Tags: digital dentistry, dental crowns, 3D Scanning Technology, superior crowns

Oral Hygiene Maintains Investment in Dental Implants

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Sep 1, 2016 5:36:17 PM

Cutting back on good oral hygiene is like growing a tiny seedling into an enormous monster.Dental implants are a significant investment and maintenance of those implants is mandatory. Cutting back on good oral hygiene is like growing a tiny seedling into an enormous monster. A small issue can result in a much larger problem.

Prevention is key. Proper daily oral hygiene, with in-office prophylaxis by a registered dental hygienist with an examination by a qualified dentist helps to ensure a healthy mouth and implants.Remember to maintain good oral hygiene.

Dr. James Rutkowski, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Oral Implantology* addressed dental implant maintenance in an editorial in this month’s issue. He said, “When everything is going well, patients can “slack off.” His editorial stressed that, “as patients get older, they sometimes develop other health issues and take more medications, which affect their oral health.” Poor hygiene maintence and missed recare appointments can turn small manageable issues into larger problems and even lead to failed implants.

During each oral hygiene visit, the patient’s medical history will be reviewed and updated.  Dental implants, teeth, and gum tissues are evaluated, noting soft tissue inflammation and bone loss.  Proper home care routine is reviewed and oral hygiene instruction is provided.

The American College of Prosthodontists recommends prophylaxis and dental examinations be performed every 6 months. The organization suggests that higher risk patients have these treatments on a 3 to 4 month schedule. This higher risk classification is based on age, systemic health, periodontal health, medications, and the patient’s ability to perform self-care.

Maintain your dental investment. Ask your dentist or hygienist if your hygiene regimen is adequate. If you are due for an oral hygiene visit, please give us a call or click here to schedule.

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* Special Thanks to: James L. Rutkowski, DMD, PhD, Editor in Chief, Editorial, Journal of Oral Implantology, DOI: 10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-Editorial. 4201.

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Tags: dental implants, oral hygiene, american college of prosthodontists, dental examination, dental investment

What Are Mini Dental Implants? Jeopardy Question, Jeopardy Answers

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Jul 11, 2016 2:15:03 PM

mini dental implants

Just exactly what are mini-implants and how are they different from the standard? 

Mini-implants have filtered into the lingo of dental solutions, but as their name indicates, they are less invasive, less costly but also less likely to support a long term smile solution.

Principles of engineering naturally dictate that anything requiring support has the best possible anchor.  Since the purpose of the dental implant is to take the place of the root of a natural tooth, the stronger the implant, the more stable and enduring the restoration built upon it will be.

Mini-implants are usually less than 2.5 mm in diameter.  Biomedical engineers suggest that a dental implant be at least 3.75mm in diameter in order to support the forces of biting and chewing.  Pi Dental Center has a long history of success using Nobel Biocare Brånemark Implants starting at 7mm in length and having diameters of 3.75 to 4.0 mm.  Our board certified prosthodontists do not recommend mini-implants for any application.

The mission of the Pi Dental Center has always been to provide the very best possible treatment plan for every patient.  We understand that maintaining a healthy and sparkling smile can sometimes be a costly investment and we feel we respect our patients’ resources best when we offer what most predictably will have significant longevity.

Many Pi dental implant patients sport a prosthetic smile that is beyond twenty years old.  With good oral hygiene at home and regular check-ups, most patients can reap the benefits of their investment for a lifetime with minimal additional financial outlay.  While mini-implants may have the appeal of a less expensive quick fix, they are unlikely to remain a satisfactory support system over the long term.

Author: Joanne Balshi

 
mini-implant-graphic-toothpick-table.jpg

The main goal of implant placement is to provide strong solid support for non-removable teeth. One of the most important factors in determining a patient's candidacy for implant placement is bone quantity. The more bone a patient has in the area of implant placement, the better the chance of success. An implant replicates the function of the root of a tooth. When a root resorbs, or shrinks, it cannot support the tooth, and the tooth becomes loose and requires extraction. To achieve the best support for an implant-supported prosthesis, the largest implant that will fit into the area is used. A carpenter would not use toothpicks to support a table. Obviously that the table would eventually collapse! Using mini implants to support a dental prosthesis is similar to using toothpicks to support a table. The normal activities of the mouth such as chewing require an enormous amount of force.

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Tags: dental implants, osseointegration, osseointegrated dental implants, mini dental implants, dental implant size

Going from 'I Need Dental Implants' to 'I Want Dental Implants'

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Apr 16, 2015 8:13:00 PM

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Dental implants have become the state of the art in keeping a smile young and healthy, but until that priceless life asset is firmly intact as a part of you, there can often be a strenuous exercise in hesitation.

First, there is the age-old myth to put to rest. “Save the tooth at any expense” has lost its luster. A dental implant has significantly more longevity than a standard crown, and if the tooth has been repeatedly re-treated and weakened, the crown may be a short term investment of sizable proportion. Smiles built upon dental implants can be very cost effective when considered over lifetime dental care.

The second hurdle is often anxiety. This can be erased if the prospective patient diligently accomplishes their homework in advance. The long range success of a dental implant reconstruction requires the vision of a prosthodontist. This is the dental specialist who spends several additional years rigorously training in the three-dimensional engineering of the perfect occlusion. In the experienced hands and discerning eyes of a board certified prosthodontist, a patient should find the confidence that whisks away anxiety. The Pi Dental Center, with thirty years of experience, proudly publishes our success rate at 98%. Only undetected systemic abnormalities and excessive smoking post-surgically are contraindications to fully restored smiles. Never be afraid to ask questions. The more a patient understands about dental implant care in advance of the treatment, the gentler and more predictable the experience will be.

The third hurdle is time. We are a busy world always over-filling our schedules and not wanting to use leisure time for comprehensive dental procedures. That is why the Pi team perfected our trademark—Teeth in a Day®. We have streamlined the dental implant procedure to make it happen from diagnosis to delivery of the final custom smile in as few as four visits, and only one of these visits will require a day or two of quiet recovery.

The final hurdle and often the most insurmountable one is the cost of dental implants, and unlike other refined areas of new technology, they are unlikely to come down in price. Behind the scenes costs for the prosthodontist are very significant. The materials are high value products, and there are many steps involving many skill sets, not only of human beings but of sophisticated robots. Building a smile that perfectly fits a face, a personality and an expectation is an achievement. At the Pi Dental Center, there is more profit in our profile of success than in dollars and cents, but that is part of our make-up as compassionate, chairside caregivers.

The real thrust for pulling the trigger lies in understanding the value of the smile to human life. Our treated patients tell us everything from it made them feel younger and more vital to it totally changed their lives. A wonderful smile is magnetic. It attracts positive attention and changes the light in which a person is viewed. There is no real measurement for smile power, only that it makes an immeasurable difference that is completely priceless.

This is National Prosthodontics Awareness Week. If you have considered upgrading your smile with dental implants, there is no better time to investigate. Our three Pi prosthodontists are wearing their talent on their sleeves and will welcome your curiosity. A casual, non-threatening visit to the Pi Dental Center might help you make one of the best decisions of your life.

By Joanne Balshi
Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA
piteam@pidentalcenter.com

 
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Tags: smile makeover, maxillofacial prosthodontics, board certified prosthodontist