Eight Ways Dentists Save Lives

Posted by Chris Raines on Apr 17, 2019 1:45:17 PM

Dentists Save Lives Graphic

Dentists are dedicated to the health of your entire mouth; but also provide a significant contribution to your medical health. Dentist’s role in overall medical health is sometimes underestimated. In reality, dentists are an important part of their patient’s health team.

  • Dentists save lives by identifying dental conditions that contribute to serious health issues. A dentist can identify medical health problems by looking into the patient’s mouth. Tell-tale signs of anorexia, bulimia and even drug use are evident from the gum tissues and teeth. The dentist can then address these dilemmas and offer suggestions to seek treatment before they become crises.
  • When dentists rebuild smiles, they improve patients’ confidence levels. Self-assurance has a huge impact on patients’ well-being.
  • Dentists identify both dental and medical health conditions using cone beam CT scanning technology. Diagnoses range from chronic sinusitis to intracranial calcifications, multiple myeloma, soft tissue masses, osteoarthritis of the TMJ, degenerative cervical spine, and narrowing of the airway. Doctors at Pi Dental Center wrote a journal article outlining pathologies discovered using Cone Beam CT technology. Read Article.
  • Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness in the United States and accounts for approximately twenty percent of deaths. Dentists play an important role by providing smoking and tobacco cessation counseling.
  • Oral cancer screenings are conducted at every oral hygiene visit. Approximately 53,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year and nearly 10,860 of those people will die. Early detection improves treatment outcomes and saves lives.
  • Patient safety is a priority. The dentists and clinical team at Pi Dental Center are equipped to aid patients during a medical emergency. The entire team at Pi Dental Center is certified in CPR.
  • Glenn Wolfinger mentions, “Routine clinical examinations are done following every hygiene appointment at Pi Dental Center. During those exams we are checking the health of the teeth, gums, bone and surrounding tissues.  Systemic disease can sometime be detected by tissue changes in the oral cavity. Oral cancer screening is an essential part of routine dental exams.”
  • The connection between oral health and medical health is well documented. There is a correlation between coronary heart disease and gum inflammation. The relationship between diabetes and dental health can be a vicious cycle. Blood sugar is harder to control for people who have gum disease because serious gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes are at risk for gum infections. Dentists help the patient maintain a healthy mouth!

If you have questions about your dental care or would like to schedule an appointment at Pi Dental Center, please give us a call at 215-646-6334. We are very happy to speak to you.

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Tags: healthy functional teeth, cosmetic dentistry, dental care

Making the World More Beautiful One Smile at a Time

Posted by By Blue Bell’s Finest Resident Writer Tamra Phillips on Aug 9, 2017 6:09:24 PM

 Photo of Dr. Glenn Wolfinger with the clinical team at Pi Dental Center

“Smile and the world smiles with you” is an old saying, but what if bad or missing teeth make you reluctant to smile?  A person self-conscious about their smile is held back from just being their confident best self —an exuberant or spontaneous smile just doesn’t happen.  If this sounds like you, or someone you know, I’ve got just the person you should talk to—and he’s a neighbor!

 Meet Dr. Glenn Wolfinger of Sawgrass Village.  He and his staff at Pi Dental Center in Fort Washington get no greater pleasure than resolving a dental challenge.  Some who walk through the Center’s doors have been told their dental problem can’t be fixed.  

“It’s incredibly satisfying when we get those real life-changing experiences,” Dr. Wolfinger said.  “We see a lot of patients who’ve been told they can’t have implants, or they’re not a good denture candidate, and we love seeing how getting their smile back can really change their lives.  That’s a great day.”

Pi Dental Center does all the normal things you're accustomed to at the dentist's office:  routine restorative and cosmetic dentistry, but is best known for its years of experience and success with dental implant treatment.  Teeth in a Day® is Pi's own trademarked protocol and represents an exclusive delivery system for a smile built upon dental implants that is achieved in a single visit. 

Photo: Meet Dr. Glenn Wolfinger

“We have patients that come in from all over the world for our specialty work,” Dr. Wolfinger said.  “A lot of offices try to duplicate, but it’s not the same.  Teeth in a Day® is a process that we developed, published on, and have extensive experience doing.  The conventional process for getting an implant is you begin with the post insertion under the gum line.  Then you would wait 3-6 months, and then start building the teeth.  So for that 3-6 month period the person would suffer with removable dentures while they’re waiting for the bone to heal.”

“While I was at Harvard doing my studies there was a group of researchers there who were working on immediately loading the implants.  They published on it while I was there, so I was very familiar with the very early research.  When I joined my practice, I told my partner this is something we should get involved with, and we did a clinical study which was one of the first clinical studies with private patients with immediate loading.  We put implants in and teeth on the same day.  We follow the patients 24 years later.  It worked out wonderfully.  We published on it, and did additional studies helping refine the process.  Now it's the routine thing that everyone does."

Dr. Wolfinger went on to explain that there are not a lot of prosthodontists in the country—only a few thousand.  "It's one of the smallest of the 9 ADA specialties, but definitely a growing specialty because of the demand.  We're involved in restoring and replacing teeth:  dentures, crowns, fillings, and implants."  Dr. Wolfinger is also board certified.  "Everyone who goes through prosthodontic training is a prosthodontist, but you can go a step further and get your board certification.  When I got mine in 1997, there were only two in the Delaware Valley.  I'm now probably the longest standing board certified prosthodontist around.”

Glenn Wolfinger was born and raised in the Bustleton section of Northeast Philadelphia.  He graduated La Salle College High School and went on to Villanova University.  He received his DMD from Tufts University in Boston and did his general practice residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and his prosthodontic residency at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Boston and was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, Department of Prosthodontics.

After leaving Harvard University School of Dental Medicine in 1993, Dr. Wolfinger joined Pi Dental Center as an associate and then quickly became a partner.  After nearly 24 years of providing dental care, Dr. Wolfinger became the sole owner of Pi Dental Center in early 2017 when his partner retired.

When asked about the name of his dental practice, Dr. Wolfinger explained when his partner was setting up the practice he wanted to incorporate the PI because Per-Ingvar (also known as P-I) Brånemark was the ‘father of modern dental implantology.”  Additionally, the name came from Prosthodontics Intermedica.  The Intermedica portion of the PI was used because the practice worked closely with other medical professions. 

Dr. Wolfinger is a full-time father of 3 children.  His eldest son Matthew is 19 and will be starting his third year at DeSales University.  Danny is 17 and entering his senior year at LaSalle College High School, his Dad’s alma mater.  Hope is 12 and going into 7th grade at Wissahickon Middle School.

His greatest passion after his family and dental practice?  GOLF!  “I love golfing at BBCC, Dr. Wolfinger said.  “I used to belong to Rivercrest in Skippack, but when we moved here two years ago, I joined and have met a lot of great people in the community and at the golf club.  I have friends I play with and get involved in the tournaments.”

In addition to Dr. Wolfinger, there are others at the Pi Dental Center affiliated one way or another with BBCC.  Julia Solomon, Bay Hill, has been a hygienist at the practice for about 20 years.  Stephen Balshi, who’s the son of Dr. Wolfinger’s former partner, Dr. Thomas Balshi, is a member of BBCC golf club. 

The Pi team is a family, and they look forward to welcoming more Blue Bell Country Club residents into the Pi family of patients.  Many neighbors are already Pi Dental Center fans.  "My experience with Pi Dental Center since 2010 has truly been a pleasure," said Birkdale resident Arpita Bhattacharjee.  "I have gone through initial assessment, actual procedure to annual maintenance, and I am very happy with the results, and look forward to my cleaning visits.  They are a professional team that functions as a family to take care of all dental needs with a personal touch.”

“Dr. Wolfinger and all the staff at Pi Dental Center are amazing,” added Alan Sausner, also of Birkdale.  “From day one I was treated like I am the most important person at the center.  As a patient, you are at ease knowing the experience and the professionalism that makes up this outstanding group!”

Pi Dental Center is located at 467 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 201, Fort Washington.  You can reach the office at 215 646 6334, or piteam@pidentalcenter.com.  The website is pidentalcenter.com.

By Blue Bell’s Finest Resident Writer Tamra Phillips
Tamra has been a Blue Bell Country Club resident for 20+ years.
She can be reached at tamraphillips21@gmail.com.

Photos by Alex Lowy Photography LLC

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

Pi Dental Center: Making One Smile at a Time

Tags: dental implant treatment, AvaDent digital dentures, Teeth In A Day, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontist, One Smile At A Time