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:

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Tags: dental implants, dental implant treatment, missing teeth, Teeth In A Day

Five Ways That Dental Implant Treatment Has Improved

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Apr 30, 2018 3:16:16 PM

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Dental implant treatment has revolutionized dental care and allowed people with missing teeth to have secure, attractive comfortable fixed teeth.

Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jawbone where teeth are missing. Dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth. These versatile implants can support a single tooth, a bridge of one or more teeth, or even an entire jaw.

In order for dental implants to successfully support prosthetic teeth long-term, osseointegration must occur. Osseointegration is the biological process that allows a patient to have fixed teeth supported by dental implants. It is the process by which living bone fuses with a titanium implant to form a anchorage for prosthetic teeth.

  • Reduced Treatment Time -

Teeth In A Day® is the centerpiece for cutting-edge dental care at Pi Dental Center. This trademarked protocol was developed at Pi Dental Center and allows patients to have stable non-removable teeth in a single visit. In the past, the conventional process for getting an implant took from three to six months or longer. During this drawn-out period, the patient would wear a removable denture while they waited for their bone to heal. The Teeth In A Day® procedure has reduced this lengthy procedure to just one day! The Teeth In A Day® protocol has been used successfully at Pi Dental Center for over 26 years.

"The fact that patients can come into the office and, in as little as a few hours, have a beautiful brand new smile is a life-changing experience! I am so happy to see the joy on our patients' faces  when they receive the gift of a new smile," states Dr. Robert Slauch, prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center.

  • More People Are Candidates For Dental Implants –

Bone quality is an important variable when considering dental implant treatment. People who have had dentures for a long time can have substantial bone loss. Some medical conditions can also cause dental bone loss. In the past, patients with extreme bone loss were not considered candidates for dental implants. The No Bone Solution™ allows patients with extreme bone loss to be successfully treated using dental implants. This protocol combines pre-planning of implant placement, computer guided dental implant surgery, and precision screw retained fixed prosthodontic rehabilitation.

  • Improved Long-Term Treatment Outcomes With A Consistently High Implant Success Rate –

At Pi Dental Center, we track and record every dental implant that we place. This allows us to gain important insight and continually improve. With 31 years of dental implant treatment experience and ongoing dental implant research, Pi Dental Center’s rate of success is 98%. To date, we have tracked 23,207 implants that we have placed, and even more that we have restored.

  • Affordable Options For Dental Implant Treatment –

People often ask, "How much is a whole mouth of dental implants?" or "How much for All On 4 dental implants?". The All-On-4® dental implant procedure uses four implants to support permanent teeth. It is both reliable and cost effective, providing both comfort and confidence that improve the patient’s quality of life. This economical treatment option is fully customized for exceptional esthetics.

  • Better Prostheses And More Prosthesis Options –

Today dental prosthetics are totally customized. For the patient’s convenience, a custom temporary prosthesis is made before the patient’s dental implant placement appointment.

Pi Dental Center has two on-site laboratories for provisional and final prosthetics.  Our on-site labs improve communications between the dentist, lab technician and patient. Our technicians frequently come into the operatory to take a tooth shade or discuss the prosthesis with the dentist and clinical team as well as the patient.

Today, dental materials are stronger and more versatile. Color matching can be precise. Digital technology improves accuracy of fit.

With advances in dental technology, implant treatment has become much more predictable. Dental treatment that was not possible in the past is now a reality. If you would like to learn whether dental implant treatment at Pi Dental Center is the best option for you, please contact us. Click the link below to schedule online or call us at 215-646-6334.

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Tags: dental implant treatment, Teeth In A Day, dental technology

Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Education for All

Posted by Chris Raines on Mar 27, 2018 2:30:00 PM

The American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics presented Dr Wolfinger with a Certificate of Appreciation for significant contributions to dental profession and the public and for sharing knowledge and wisdom with Academy.Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and the team at Pi Dental Center are committed to educating both dental professionals and the general public about the ADA recognized specialty of prosthodontics, digital dentistry, and the newest technologies in dental implant treatment.

This winter, Dr. Wolfinger energetically educated prosthodontists and dental surgeons in advanced dental implant treatment. In February, Wolfinger presented, “The Evolution of the Teeth In A Day® Protocol” at the American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics Annual Scientific Session in Chicago. The presentation chronicled the history and evolution Teeth In A Day® and highlighted how advancements in technology have helped to improve the accuracy and predictability of the protocol. In March, Wolfinger gave the “Evolution of Teeth In A Day” presentation to The Chesapeake Implant Study Club in Annapolis, Maryland.

Photo taken at the AAFP February 2018: Drs Sangeetha Raghavendra and Avi Bidra, Prosthodontists from Connecticut pictured with Dr. WolfingerTeeth In A Day® allows Pi Dental Center’s busy patients to have successful dental implant treatment with little interruption in their schedule.

To say that Dr. Wolfinger has extensive training and experience in dentistry is an understatement. Wolfinger is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, a Fellow and Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral lmplantologists, a Fellow in the Academy of Osseointegration, and a Fellow in the American College of Prosthodontists. He has served on several committees within the Academy of Osseointegration and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Prosthodontists. Dr. Wolfinger graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, completed a general practice residency program at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and then completed a residency in combined Prosthodontics through the VA and Harvard University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. Wolfinger is a Past-President of the Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association and has participated in numerous research projects, lectured internationally, and has had many articles published in refereed journals.

Next month, Dr. Wolfinger and the Pi Dental Center will be celebrating National Prosthodontics Awareness Week. On Thursday, April 12th, we will be holding an Open House to help raise awareness of prosthodontics and inform the public about the advanced skills and expertise that prosthodontists offer. Visitors will learn what a prosthodontist does and how prosthodontic skill exceeds that of general dentistry. New technologies will be on display with a focus on dental implant education and digital dentistry. The event will include tours, demonstrations and hands-on activities. Come to Pi Dental Center on April 12th for a complimentary exam.

Feel free to contact Pi Dental Center to sign up for the Open House or to schedule an appointment.

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Tags: dental implant treatment, National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, digital dentistry, prosthodontists

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

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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

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

Prosthodontists Are Smiling: Their Victory Is Also Yours

Posted by Joanne Balshi, Director of Public Relations on Aug 21, 2015 4:17:36 PM

Thomas Balshi, Board Certified Prosthodontist with ACP members

Dr. Tom Balshi, the founder of the Pi Dental Center, was one of the first board certified prosthodontists to place dental implants.  To him, it only seemed the natural thing to do.  No architect wants to build his building on another man’s foundation.  Something is lost in the vision of the final result.  For the prosthodontist, building a smile with perfect occlusion means building it on implants set exactly where he wants them.  This is the mantra that has shaped Pi’s treatment protocols for the past twenty-nine years. 

Such a perfect world has not existed in prosthodontic offices across the country, and for a very long time there was controversy over the appropriateness of prosthodontists engaging in surgical procedures.  The pros and cons were at odds until enough education seeped through the corridors that even students saw the patient benefit of dental implant treatment all under a single specialist’s care. Eventually the American College of Prosthodontists banded together for the sake of their patients to be sanctioned as the primary deliverers of surgical and prosthetic dental implant restorations, and a strategic plan was made to aggressively seek approval. 

Winning poster presentation by Rob Slauch and Pi Prosthodontists

Today the jubilant letter arrived in Fort Washington from Dr. Frank Tuminelli, the current president of the American College of Prosthodontists, announcing that the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has approved and will adopt the surgical placement of dental implants as an integral part of the training of all new prosthodontists. 

For the Pi team in Fort Washington, this is a tremendous victory.  It underscores a concept we have known is right and have fought to achieve for three decades.  In Dr. Tuminelli’s own words, our profession has forever changed for the better…and we can care for patients with the level of expertise they deserve. 

For those seeking dental implants now and for those who will seek them in the future, this is also a milestone.  The comfort of having expeditious treatment under one roof will be much more accessible.  Not every prosthodontist will elect to provide the treatment, but wherever the credentials of a board certified prosthodontist are displayed, there will be expert guidance for dental implant patients, and with their colleagues, the promise of predictable success.

By Joanne Balshi
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
At Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA
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Tags: dental implant treatment, board certified prosthodontist, all treatment in one center, all treatment by one dental specialist