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

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

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 care, dental implant supported prosthesis

What Do the Eagles Super Bowl Win and Dental Care Have In Common?

Posted by Chris Raines on Feb 9, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Milavec Super Bowl Challenge Photo

The Philadelphia Eagles defied the odds to win Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, beating the favorite and defending Super Bowl Champion, the New England Patriots, in a game that came down to the last play.

The Eagles chances of winning were slim. In Feb. 6, 2017, Las Vegas sportsbook Oddsshark pegged the Eagles' chances of winning a title this season at 42 to 1. They were 18th out of 32 NFL teams. The Eagles became underdogs last month when star quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL. The Patriots, Cowboys, Packers, and Seahawks had the best chance of winning the Super Bowl, according to Oddsshark.

"If you told me before September, 'No you're not going to have Jason Peters, you're not going to have Darren Sproles, you're not going to have Jordan Hicks, you're eventually not going to have Carson Wentz, you're going to lose your best special teams player in  S Chris] Maragos - oh, by the way, your field goal kicker, you're not going to have him either - it's a lot of body blows at that point," Jeffrey Lurie said. "If you had said that, I would have told you, 'No I don't think we'll make the playoffs.' Right? So the resiliency amongst this group is phenomenal."

The Eagles came up with critical plays when they were most needed. They took risks and played consistently. Each individual player had an integral role throughout the season.

A football player faces countless challenges. To be the best, he must continually improve skills and execute each play with perfection; he must maintain excellent physical health, keep nerves in check and be continuously alert. He must continue to learn and know his competition.

Attitude is essential. A great football player does not doubt that he can achieve his goals. He does not give up. He thinks positively and is tough. In practice and in every game, he gives 100 percent.

Maintaining top physical health includes precise diet and rigorous exercise, regular doctor’s visits, addressing health concerns immediately.

People can learn quite a bit from football players. Many of a football players challenges can be applied to people’s lives. Continuing to learn and grow, having a positive attitude, giving 100 percent and maintaining physical health will help people to reach their goals.

Prior to the final Super Bowl game on Sunday night, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger of Pi Dental Center and Dr. Joseph Milavec of Boston made a friendly wager. If the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, Dr. Milavec's office would send New England clam chowder. If the New England Patriot's won, Pi Dental Center would be sending Dr. Milavec's office Philly Soft Pretzels.

Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Milavec are good friends. And like Pi Dental Center, Dr. Milavec’s office offers high-quality dental care. Both Dr. Wolfinger and Dr. Milavec are prosthodontists, dental specialists skilled in the restoration and replacement of teeth.

Dental health is just as important as medical health and contributes to overall vitality.

Dental pain can dominate your life. When a tooth hurts or when it’s hard to chew, it is hard to concentrate on anything else. Dental emergencies disrupt your schedule and can affect everyone on “your team.”

But when your mouth feels comfortable, you are able to focus on goals. Healthy teeth and gums eliminate the possibility of being “out of action.” A healthy mouth allows you to perform at your highest possible level without distractions.

When a tooth is missing, your tongue will find that space hundreds of times each day. It’s more difficult to eat and speak. People who have missing teeth often feel self-conscious. A healthy attractive smile increases your overall confidence.

A dental implant is the best option for replacing a missing tooth. Implants are scientifically proven to be effective with over 96% success rate. Dental implants replicate biologic tooth roots. They are made of titanium, a substance that is compatible with bone. Within a few months of implant placement, titanium osseointegrates (bonds) with bone. A tooth supported by a dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth. Because an implant supported is non-removable, you can be confident with daily activities like eating, talking and smiling.

Pi Dental Center is one of the leading centers for dental implant treatment in the United States.

Our center provides customized treatment options for each patient in a comfortable and relaxed setting. For patient comfort, dental implant placement can be performed under general anesthesia. Every member of the team is sensitive to our patients’ needs and excels in making every patient feel at ease. If you would like a winning smile contact Pi Dental Center at 215-646-6334 or contact us by clicking the button below.

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Sources:

http://www.pennlive.com/philadelphiaeagles/index.ssf/2018/01/super_bowl_surprise_philadelph.html

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/Barnwellx180205/2017-nfl-playoffs-how-philadelphia-eagles-beat-new-england-patriots-super-bowl-lii

Joseph J. Milavec, DMD, 400 Commonwealth Avenue # 1, Boston, MA 02215 • (617) 266-8404

Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD, FACP, Pi Dental Center • 467 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 201 Fort Washington, PA 19034 • 215-646-6334

Tags: dental implants, dental health, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, dental care, general anesthesia

Dental Care and Living Life on Purpose

Posted by Chris Raines on Oct 3, 2017 4:08:52 PM

Picture of a clock. How much time do you invest in tasks that do not fit into any of your priorities?

Would you describe yourself as a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person, or do you live your life very deliberately? Or are you somewhere in-between? People tend to fall somewhere along a spectrum between unplanned improvisation and a goal driven existence and tend to have strong opinions about these approaches to living.

In today’s busy world, it is easy to lose track of time on diversions. In an effort to keep abreast of current events, we can spend many hours on the Internet.  Diversions can include watching television, playing video games, and shopping just to name a few.

A friend described their life as, “Stuff is just going on. It is not planned. I roll with the punches.” Another friend writes goals and objectives for life, makes plans, and follows a strict schedule. The first extreme can lead to surprises and adventure, but a chaotic existence, and the second can be organized and safe but seem boring and regimented.

Perhaps the best way to determine if your lifestyle matches your unique perspective is to clarify your values.  Clarification of values is a way to learn what is most important to you so that you can determine whether you are living life in a way that is congruent with your beliefs. The first step is to list your top priorities in their order of importance.

Find Balance

Below is a list of several priorities. Write a number next to twelve that are most important to you. If something is missing, add it to the list and assign a number to it.

List Your Top 12 Priorities

____ Adventure

____ Community

____ Faith, Religion, Church

____ Family

____ Friendship

____ Fun

____ Your health

____ Helping Others

____ Home

____ Intellect and Knowledge

____ Job and Income

____ Love

____ Nation

____ Personal care/appearance

____ Popularity

____ Power

____ Relaxation

____ Security

____ Success

____ Wealth

Think about how you spend your day. How much time do you invest in tasks that do not fit into any of your priorities? Do you have control over your time and activities? If not, how can you align your daily activities to include your priorities? If necessities are not fitting into your schedule, how can you add them? Introspection can help you to live "life on purpose."

Did you list your health as one of your top priorities?  If not, look at the priorities that you chose and consider how your health would impact your chosen priorities. For example, it would be very difficult to seek adventure if you were not healthy. Taking care of your family would be quite challenging. For every item on the list, good health is a prerogative.

List Your Personal Health Priorities from One to Four

____ Medical

____ Dental

____ Nutrition

____ Psychological

____ Exercise

Medical and dental health

Did you list one personal health priority as more important than another? Where did “Dental” fall on your list? While some of these priorities are more time consuming, all are equally important.

Take control of dental health

There seems to be a disconnect between the teeth and the rest of a person’s life. Dental health impacts overall health.  Strong healthy teeth help to safeguard overall health. Problems in the mouth can affect the rest of the body.

Mayo Clinic Reports, “Many studies have shown a connection between gum disease (periodontitis) and other serious conditions, including heart disease. Research suggests that periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and that people with chronic gum disease have increased thickness of their neck blood vessels. There is also a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from professional teeth cleanings.”

Pat Martin, Office Manager at Pi Dental Center suggests, “Establish good dental habits early in life. If not, your teeth will suffer for it. This consists of home care as well as regular dental check-ups.”

What are your dental priorities?

Prioritizing can lead to a more satisfying life and help you to achieve a delicate balance in your life. Contact Pi Dental Center if you would like to discuss your dental care, schedule a diagnostic evaluation or oral hygiene cleaning.

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Chris Raines
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Tags: Medical and Dental Health, dental care, productivity