Pi DENTAL CENTER BLOG

Acid Erosion and Your Teeth

Posted by Chris Raines on Feb 8, 2018 11:56:27 AM

Comparison of acidic foods and beverages

Acidic beverages and sugary foods can wear away tooth enamel. Unfortunately, damaged tooth enamel is permanent and increases the risk for tooth decay.

Tooth enamel is the thin outer covering of the teeth. It is the hardest substance in your body. But acidic foods and beverages can wreak havoc on tooth enamel. 

Soft drinks, fruit drinks, alcoholic beverages and sports drinks are highly acidic and frequent consumption of these acidic beverages can harm your tooth enamel. Sugary foods and some medications, such as aspirin, can also damage tooth enamel. Acid reflux is another culprit.

Recent studies show that teens are especially at risk for tooth erosion. One study confirmed that over 45% of teens aged 13 to 19 have tooth erosion. Another indicated that 56% of teenagers aged 18 to 19 had tooth erosion.

Photo illustrates how teeth can be eroded by soft drinks.Tooth enamel cannot be regrown or regenerated, so it’s important to protect the teeth. Prevent tooth erosion by limiting intake of acidic and sugary beverages and foods. Sipping water while you eat sugary treats can help to wash particles from teeth. If acid reflux is a frequent occurrence, see your doctor. Many effective treatments are available. Follow a regular oral care routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

Fluoride has been shown to be beneficial in strengthening and protecting teeth. Over 50 scientific studies have documented the benefits of fluoride in protecting tooth enamel.

Some toothpastes contain minerals that help to replenish calcium in weak spots. These toothpastes reinforce areas where erosion has occurred and can lessen further damage.

Talk to your dentist about which toothpaste is best for you.

Get regular dental checkups with and oral hygiene cleaning to identify problems early and address them promptly.

Tooth enamel erosion can be readily identified.  Symptoms of enamel loss include increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods, yellowness of the teeth, and roughness on the edges of the teeth. (Photo illustrates acid erosion of teeth caused by frequent consumption of soft drinks. View before and after photos of patient).

Acid erosion can become so extensive in some cases that root canal therapy or even tooth extraction may be indicated.

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger stated, “Lost tooth enamel can be replaced with porcelain restorations (veneers or dental crowns). Crowns tend to be the stronger and more effective way to replace missing enamel.”

Prosthodontists are the specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Dr. Wolfinger is a board certified prosthodontist in the Philadelphia area, and can provide expert diagnosis and treatment for tooth erosion.

Call us at 215-646-6334 to discuss acid erosion and your teeth and to learn about rebuilding a smile. If you’ve noticed changes in the appearance or sensitivity of your teeth like breakage, discolorations, shifting or tooth pain, feel free to give us a call to discuss treatment options. At Pi Dental Center, we create sparkling smiles.

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Tags: dental treatment, dental fillings, dental pain, create sparkling smiles, board certified prosthodontist, dental health, rebuilding a smile, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger

10 Reasons Why Rebuilding A Smile Is A Big Job

Posted by Chris Raines on Jun 8, 2017 2:57:46 PM

Rebuilding a smile is a big job - photo of prosthodontist working on a giant set of teeth on an articulator

Rebuilding a smile is no small undertaking. Once teeth are lost, replacing them with enduring, attractive, healthy, functional ones takes years of training, advanced technology, manual dexterity, and varied skills. Pi Dental Center’s Dr. Glenn Wolfinger is a Board Certified Prosthodontist who is equipped to take on this task. 

After completing the doctoral degree program in dentistry, a Prosthodontic specialist receives at least three years of additional training in an ADA-accredited graduate prosthodontic program. Prosthodontics blends science, engineering and esthetics to provide a prosthesis with optimum appearance and function. Prosthodontists treat dental and facial problems that restore missing tooth and jaw structures. They are highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, and temporomandibular disorders. 

A Board Certified Prosthodontist has successfully passed a rigorous four-part examination conducted by the American Board of Prosthodontics. 

Prosthodontists are experts in many areas: 

  1. A Communicator: Learning what the patient wants is essential to excellent patient outcomes. Effective communication skills with patients, other doctors, family members, and laboratory staff are paramount, as is putting the patient at ease.
  2. A Director: Knowing the best options that integrate the patient’s desires with the best clinical, functional and esthetic needs enables them to provide outstanding dental care.
  3. A Coordinator: Coordinating treatment with other specialists allows Prosthodontists to thoroughly address the patients’ dental needs.
  4. A Teacher: Prosthodontists explain complex concepts about the diagnosis and treatment to patients and their families.
  5. Perceptive: These dental specialists are perceptive with an accurate awareness of the patient’s desires. Prosthodontists are innovators who frequently lead the dental world in new technologies and practices that improve the field.
  6. Precise: The field of Prosthodontics requires extreme attention to detail, sharp analytical skills with exceptional problem solving ability.
  7. Dexterous: Great manual dexterity with a gentle touch is a necessity.
  8. A Scientist and Machinist: Prosthodontists have a clear understanding of anatomy and physiology. They must learn about all of the advanced dental and computer equipment used in the dental office. Understanding the science involved in delivering secure dental implants, placing compatible bone grafting, and doing dental extractions is imperative.
  9. A Creator: Artistry and creativity are major aspects in prosthetic design. The doctor must build a prosthesis that is both esthetically attractive, mechanically functional for chewing and speaking, and long lasting.
  10. Medical Knowledge: Treatment must be performed in a way that will not impair the patient’s medical conditions. Prescription medications must be appropriate for the patient’s medical and psychological condition. Prosthodontists must be up on every new discovery, disease, medication and technology to provide the best patient care.

And A Bonus Reason: In It For The Long Haul: After treatment is completed the doctor must help the patient to adequately maintain the prostheses and avoid further dental breakdown in the coming years. 



Every dental patient and case is unique. At Pi Dental Center, our dedicated team strives to provide customized care specific to individual needs.  Call us to discuss any dental treatment you may need including replacing missing teeth or to schedule your comprehensive evaluation.

 

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Tags: dental treatment, board certified prosthodontist, rebuilding a smile, 10 reasons why, replacing missing teeth

Prosthodontist Dr. Balshi Earns Dan Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by Chris Raines on Jul 29, 2016 1:12:11 PM

Dr Balshi awarded Dan Gordon Lifetime Achievement AwardDr. Thomas Balshi will receive the Dan Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) this October at the ACP Annual Session in San Diego. 

Dr. Balshi describes the Dan Gordon Award, “It is given for lifetime achievement in the specialty of Prosthodontics, reflecting on the patient care, research, teaching, and development of new concepts and for participation in the growth of the field of prosthodontics.”

The Dan Gordon Lifetime Achievement award is presented to ACP members who have significantly contributed to the welfare and advancement of the College and to the field of Prosthodontics including outstanding contributions to dentistry, exceptional service to the college, and advancements to the sciences and health professions. The award recognizes the lifetime achievement of members who have provided education to the public about new treatment modalities and provided innovative specialty education in prosthodontic resident programs.

Prosthodontics is a dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association. Prosthodontists are dentists with advanced training in esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth including two to three years of additional training in an ADA-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. They are experts in restoring missing and compromised teeth with veneers, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures and treating problems of the jaw. Their skills range from partial tooth restoration to full mouth reconstruction. These dental specialists are experts in digital dentistry and CAD/CAM dental implant treatment.

Dan Gordon Lifetime Achievement AwardDr. Thomas Balshiis a board certified prosthodontist with over forty years of experience in education, research and clinical expertise.  His worldwide roster of lectures and his abundant publication of research serve to underscore his innovative prosthodontic skill.  Dr. Balshi would define himself by his passion for dental implant achievements leading to two trademarked protocols, Teeth in a Day® and No BoneZ Solution™. His most prized professional milestones are his honorary PhD in science from Cabrini College (2010), his United States Army Medal of Commendation, and the Freedom’s Foundation George Washington Medal of Honor and in 2014, Dr. Balshi was named to Temple University’s Gallery of Success. (View CV)

The American College of Prosthodontists is the official sponsoring organization for the specialty of Prosthodontics. Founded in 1970, the ACP is dedicated to enhancing patient care, advancing the art and science of Prosthodontics, promoting the specialty of Prosthodontics to the public, dentists and healthcare professionals, ensuring the quality of Prosthodontic education and providing professional services to its membership.

A prosthodontist is an excellent choice for your dental care. If you are looking for a dentist specializing in prosthodontics to diagnose and treat you, please feel free to call 215-646-6334 or click below to schedule an appointment.
American College of Prosthodontists President, Dr. Carl Driscoll presented the Dan Gordon award for life time achievement in the specialty of prosthodontics at the 46 Annual Scientific session of the college last week in San Diego CA.

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Tags: dental implant treatment, American College of Prosthodontics, dental implant research, board certified prosthodontist

July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

Posted by Chris Raines on Jul 18, 2016 5:40:40 PM

July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness MonthJuly is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month and Pi Dental Center is educating the public about these birth defects.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy.

Cleft Lip:

The lips form between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. Body tissue and special cells from each side of the head grow toward the center of the face and join together to make the face, as the baby develops during pregnancy, forming the facial features. If the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth, a cleft lip occurs, resulting in an opening in the upper lip. This opening can be a small slit or a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip, or in rare cases, the middle of the lip. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate.

Cleft Palate:

Between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, the roof of the mouth is formed. A cleft palate occurs if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. In some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For others, only part of the palate is open.

Cleft lips and palates can cause problems with feeding and speaking clearly. Dental problems, frequent ear infections, and hearing problems are also common.

The fourth most common birth defect in the U.S., cleft lips affect one in 700 babies annually. Clefts occur more often in children of Asian, Latino, or Native American descent. Twice as many boys than girls have a cleft lip. But, twice as many girls have cleft palate without a cleft lip.

While most scientists believe clefts are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, the actual cause of orofacial clefts is unknown. The CDC recently reported findings from research studies about factors that increase the chance of having a baby with these birth defects. They include women who smoke during pregnancy, women who have been diagnosed with diabetes prior to pregnancy, and women who used certain medicines to treat epilepsy during the first three months of pregnancy, such as  topiramate or valproic acid. Other medications that can increase risk include anti-seizure/anticonvulsant drugs, acne drugs containing Accutane, and methotrexate, a drug commonly used for treating cancer, arthritis, and psoriasis.

The prosthodontists at Pi Dental Center recommend a coordinated approach to care for patients with orofacial clefts by a team that consists of experienced dental professionals, qualified physicians and health care providers from several different specialties.  


Here are some of the specialists that the team includes:

  • a plastic surgeon
  • a prosthodontist
  • an oral-maxillofacial surgeon
  • a craniofacial surgeon
  • a neurosurgeon
  • a pediatric dentist
  • an orthodontist
  • a speech-language pathologist
  • an audiologist
  • a geneticist
  • a pediatrician
  • a psychologist, social worker or other mental health specialist
  • an ophthalmologist 

Prosthodontists are part of the team that helps cleft palate patients. Prosthodontics is a dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association. A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth and has completed dental school plus three additional years of advanced training and education in an ADA-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. A prosthodontist is the best specialist to choose to make a dental prosthesis. 

Infant with cleft lip and cleft palateBoth of Pi Dental Center’s Board Certified Prosthodontists, Dr. Thomas Balshi and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger treat cleft defect patients. Dr. Balshi states, “We cater to adolescents and adults who have had the cleft surgically repaired. If they have not had it repaired, we can refer them to a number of good plastic surgeons who work with us.”

“Once the soft tissue is closed surgically and the lip heals, we can take care of the dental component using various forms of prosthodontics. Orthodontic treatment may also be needed, since most cleft palates are missing a tooth in the area of the cleft, and the palate collapses inward reducing the diameter of the arch form.”

A maxillary obturator is one type of prostheses produced at Pi Dental Center that is commonly used for patients with cleft defects. At Pi Dental Center, doctors also replace congenitally missing teeth with dental implants, design prostheses and provide ongoing complex treatment as patients grow into adulthood.

Three of the leading organizations that raise awareness for cleft lip and cleft palate conditions include The American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA), the Cleft Palate Foundation and Smile Train.

ACPA is an international non-profit medical society of health care professionals who treat patients and perform research on oral cleft and craniofacial conditions in children and adults with cleft lip, cleft palate, and craniofacial anomalies. Read More: http://www.acpa-cpf.org/

The Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) serves individuals and families affected by cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial conditions by team coordination, education, and patient support.  CPF, founded in 1973, benefits millions of children in developing countries who live with untreated clefts. Cleft repair surgery is simple and the transformation is immediate. Their sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in over 85 developing countries to provide free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own community’s public service arm of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. http://www.cleftline.org/

Smile Train is an international children’s charity that helps millions of children in developing countries who have untreated clefts by providing training, funding and resources empowering local doctors in more than eighty-five developing countries to provide free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft treatment. http://smiltrain.org

If you know someone who is struggling with the dilemma of choosing specialists to treat cleft defects, feel free to contact Pi Dental Center.

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Terminology:

Palatal Obturator – A palatal obturator is a prosthesis that can be used to close defects such as an opening in the roof of the mouth. They are similar to dental retainers. Openings in the hard and soft palate may affect speech or cause nasal regurgitation during feeding. A palatal obturator can improve speech, proper air flow, eating, reduce regurgitation. People who use palatal obturators must be monitored regularly by their prosthodontist to insure continued effectiveness and comfort of the prosthesis.

Palate - The roof of the mouth

For More Information About Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate and Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month:

CDC – Cleft Palate Information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html

Web MD –Information: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/cleft-lip-cleft-palate

Resources by Location: http://www.cleftline.org/parents-individuals/team-care/state-listings-p/

Information about Choosing a Cleft Palate or Craniofacial Team: http://www.cleftline.org/docs/PDF_Factsheets/Choosing_Team.pdf

Cleidocranial Dysplasia And Dental Health: http://dentalimplants-usa.com/cleidocranial-dysplasia-and-dental-health/

Pi Dental Center Stories:

Monique’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMg0RTmpsAA

Patient photos of Monique who was born with a cleft lip and palate:
http://dentalimplants-usa.com/patients/gallery/12a05d7basicgallery.html

Tags: board certified prosthodontist, Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month

Open House Draws Celebrity to Fort Washington

Posted by Joanne Balshi, Director of Public Relations on Apr 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

National Prosthodontics Awareness Week is celebrated by Drs. Balshi, Wolfinger, Pi Team and rich Zeoli with the WPHT Radio Staff

As part of Pi Dental Center’s week long celebration of National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, WPHT radio personality, Rich Zeoli, broadcasted three hour daily show “live” from Pi, followed by a “meet and greet” engagement with the dental center’s visitors and guests.  Zeoli, who frequently endorses Pi’s philosophy of smile care on his network, was the center point of a week long “Open House,” showcasing new prosthodontic technology and providing prospective patients the opportunity to have questions answered without a formal appointment.2015_0405OpenHouse-_9.jpg

2015_0405OpenHouse-_2.jpgTwo board certified prosthodontists, Dr. Tom Balshiand Dr. Glenn Wolfinger lead the Pi facility which is a center for comprehensive clinical care, education and research.  They are known for their trademarked Teeth in a Day® streamlined dental implant procedures as well as innovative dental solutions for patients without sufficient bone for traditional implant treatment.  They are also the East Coast “hub” for futuristic AvaDent dentures.

National Prosthodontics Awareness Week raises public awareness about the having a healthy mouth and the importance of maintaining good dental care.

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Tags: dental implants, AvaDent digital dentures, board certified prosthodontist, National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, Teeth In A Day

Dental Implants in Philadelphia Making “Wildcat” Smiles

Posted by Joanne Balshi, Director of Public Relations on Apr 5, 2016 12:59:31 PM

Dental Implants in Philadelphia Making "Wildcat" Fans SmileFor those who are avid fans of the National Champion Villanova Wildcats, and even for those who just like to view an epic basketball game now and then, the 2016 NCAA Men’s Finals concluded with a monumental “shining moment.”  Rarely is a championship decided at the sound of the final buzzer, but for the Villanova Wildcats, a season of remarkable dedication and unselfishness ended in widespread memorable reward.

Today at the Pi Dental Center in Fort Washington, it is a double celebration.  Pi will kick off National Prosthodontics Awareness Week with our first Open House, VIP tours, refreshments, giveaways, celebrities and more. But in addition to celebrating smiles we create in house, we will also be celebrating the Wildcat win…Big Time!  That is because both Pi’s founder, Dr. Tom Balshi and his partner, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, are graduates of Villanova University…one in 1968 and one 1986.  And neither of them are bandwagon fans.  They are energetic, professed supporters of all Villanova sports and proudly sport the logo attire all over the USA!

The amazing Wildcat win on April 4, 2016 made the Pi team smile exuberantly, but as our Open House will showcase throughout the rest of this week, WE are making smiles that change lives and have remarkable longevity. When our patients gaze in the mirror after a total Teeth in a Day Makeover, they feel the same “rush” that fans felt when Kris Jenkins sunk the final basket that won the game.  It’s all about spirit, skill, satisfaction, confidence, balance, hope, trust, even love. Catch the ball. Feel it in your hands.  Make the appointment and let us coach you to a winning smile.  Everyone has a little bit of “Wildcat” inside them.

Tags: board certified prosthodontist, dental implants Philadelphia, National Prosthodontics Awareness Week