Tooth Loss Facts

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 10, 2019 2:23:33 PM

Tooth Loss Facts GraphicQuiz Question: Which of the following tooth loss facts is true?

  1. A. At least 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.
  2. B. The number of people who are missing at least one tooth is increasing.
  3. C. Losing teeth can feel devastating.
  4. D. All of the above 

The answer is: D (All of the above)

Many people in the United States have missing teeth and the number is growing. Losing your teeth can feel devastating! Loss of teeth affects your overall health, appearance and lifestyle. But you can avoid losing your teeth by following a rigorous oral health routine. There are many options for tooth replacement.

Why do people lose their teeth?

Tooth loss can occur because of gum disease, tooth decay, injury or cancer. Tooth loss affects older people and the economically disadvantaged more than any other group.

Dry mouth can be caused by medications or illness and contributes to tooth loss. Tooth decay and infection increase in people who have dry mouth.

How common is tooth loss?

Thirty-six million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth. Because life expectancy is increasing, the number of people with missing teeth is also increasing. At least half of elderly people are missing all of their teeth. One study found that 96% of adults over the age of 65 had tooth decay.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal “gum” disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

What happens to the person when they lose their teeth?

Losing your teeth can feel overwhelming because it affects many aspects of life such as appearance, physical health, comfort, nutrition, social relationships, confidence level and speech. Tooth loss can even lead to depression and make you feel older.

Bone loss in the jaws occurs when teeth are missing leading to changes in facial structure, and leads to a sunken appearance.

Living without teeth can be embarrassing. Many people try to hide the fact that they have missing teeth. Avoiding embarrassing incidents can be a full time job.

Tooth loss limits food choices. Chewing foods is a challenge and the risk of choking increases. Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult.

Losing your teeth is no laughing matter but it has often been the brunt of jokes in literature, comic strips, on stage, television, movies, in songs and even in animations.

Some people begin to avoid social situations. They turn down parties, stop dining out in restaurants, avoid eating in public, and cover their mouth when they talk or laugh. Food choices can become limited.

What are the health implications of tooth loss?

Studies indicate that tooth loss and periodontal disease may be related to the risk of oral, esophageal, head and neck, upper gastrointestinal, lung and pancreatic cancer. There is an association between periodontal disease, tooth loss, cancer, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth.

Can people avoid tooth loss?

Yes, you can prevent tooth loss by making healthy diet choices and taking care of your teeth.

Quit Smoking! Smoking is a major risk factor associated with gum diseases that cause inflammation around the teeth. This inflammation affects bone and supporting structures, and can lead to tooth loss.

Protect Your Teeth. While participating in sports, wear a mouth guard. A direct impact to your teeth can fracture or knock them out. If you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, discuss the problem with your dentist and consider wearing a night guard.

Practice Thorough Oral Hygiene. Dental plaque causes tooth decay that destroys enamel and inflames gum tissues. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Visit your dentist every six months for routine oral hygiene care and dental exams. Contact your dentist immediately if you have a dental problem or pain in your teeth.

Make healthy dietary choices. Avoid sugary acidic beverages. Limit candy and sweet snacks.

Dr. Wolfinger says, “A healthy dentition is essential to your psychological and medical well-being.”

What should people do if they have loose or missing teeth?

If you already have missing teeth, there are several tooth replacement options to consider.

Removable dentures are worn by 90% of people who have missing teeth. These prostheses typically cost less than permanent options and can restore appearance and function. Removable dentures can be used for a full or partial arch of missing teeth. Many people are able to adapt and find them to be a comfortable option. Others find them difficult or even unbearable. Over time the shape of the jaw changes and, as a result, removable dentures can become loose and uncomfortable.

A removable denture can be a good temporary option for patients who plan to get dental implants in the future.

A bridge may be an option when some of the teeth are healthy and others are missing. A bridge can be supported by adjoining teeth or by dental implants. Dental bridges are designed to match the shade and proportion of adjacent natural teeth. They eliminate unsightly gaps in the mouth and can improve occlusion. However, over time, a tooth-supported bridge can compromise the strength of supporting teeth.

Dental implants are, by far, the best choice for the replacement of missing teeth. A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that replaces the root of a missing natural tooth. Most dental implants are titanium, which is compatible with our human body. A dental implant is an anchor for the artificial tooth. Dental implants can support a single crown, a partial bridge or an entire arch just like roots hold natural teeth in place. Research has shown that implants are a successful long-term option.

Unlike a tooth supported bridge, dental implants provide additional support where teeth are missing without putting excess force onto remaining natural teeth.

Pi Dental Center has successfully placed over 23,000 dental implants since it opened in 1986. Both Dr. Glenn Wolfinger and Dr. Robert Slauch are board certified prosthodontists. They have advanced skill and training in all types

“Invest your time and money in your mouth to avoid losing your teeth,” Julia, Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center states. Contact Pi Dental Center if you have questions about your teeth or would like to schedule an appointment. We look forward to talking to you.

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Tags: tooth replacement, dental implants, dental treatment, dentistry, permanent teeth, dental pain, missing teeth, tooth loss

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

Is NICE a valid criterion for choosing a dentist?

Posted by Chris Raines on Sep 14, 2016 5:34:28 PM

Dr. Balshi, dentist and prosthodontist, shows care and concern, explains thouroughly, and listens to the patient.Would you say that your dentist is nice? And if so, what qualities would contribute to that opinion? And is “nice” valid criterion in choosing a dentist? The answer is, “That depends.”

Reasons “nice” might not be valid criterion:

  1. The dentist says what the patient wants to hear, whether it is the best advice or not.
  2. The dentist says the condition of the patient’s mouth is good, when it’s not.
  3. The dentist offers an easy and mediocre solution that will not stand up to time or the strong biting forces of the mouth.
  4. The dentist does not encourage the patient to follow a strict hygiene regimen.

Criteria that is both “nice” as well as valid:

  1. The dentist shows care and concern for the patient.
  2. The dentist and staff are polite.
  3. The dentist listens closely and takes time to hear all of the patient’s concerns.
  4. The dentist thoroughly explains treatment options.
  5. The dentist describes treatment procedures clearly and thoroughly.
  6. The dentist offers the best treatment options that are long lasting, attractive, functional and healthy.
  7. The dentist and staff instruct the patient in the most effective home care techniques.
  8. The dentist checks to make sure that the patient is doing well following surgical treatment.
  9. The dentist and staff instill confidence and help the patient to feel safe.
  10. The dentist and the patient are a team working toward a goal of optimal dental health. Collaboration will assure positive results.

Dr. Wolfinger mentioned, “Listening carefully to a patient’s concerns and creating predictable treatment options based on those concerns is important in developing a good doctor patient relationship.

Consumer reports states, “Growing research suggests that people who have a strong relationship with a physician not only report greater satisfaction with their care but also may enjoy better health.” The same can be said for a dentist.

At Pi Dental Center, a good doctor/patient relationship is essential to successful treatment. This rapport is established during the first visit and maintained through each and every appointment.

During the initial visit, the dentist listens closely to the patient’s concerns and asks pertinent questions.  This in depth conversation is an integral part of the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation.

Review:  “Friendly, informative, clinically careful, and most of all, honest about what is involved. They eagerly answered any and every question!”

The relationship contributes to the patient’s successful treatment outcome. The choice of a dentist can be a challenge.  You can trust and rely on the dentists at Pi Dental Center.

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Tags: dental treatment, doctor patient relationship, choosing a dentist, good doctor/patient relationship

Dental Implant Treatment Using The "No Bone" Solution

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Aug 10, 2012 3:23:00 PM

No Bone Solution Dental Implant Treatment

Rehabilitation of the severely atrophic maxilla presents significant challenges for the restoring dental team.   Inadequate bone volume often results in bone grafting procedures that delay treatment and delivery of the final prosthetic solution.  This article discusses the use of implant anchorage in maxillary sites for the support of an immediately loaded screw-retained prosthesis.

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Tags: dental implants, No Bone Solution, bone loss, dental treatment

In Your Face!

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Nov 2, 2011 3:20:00 PM

Delivering Smiles

Thanks to the Montgomery County issue of Suburban Life Magazine, six members of our Pi Dental Center team bring their own smiles to the latest front cover. Gathered in our most state-of-the-art "Viewpoint" treatment room around a longtime favorite patient, the scene is very typical of the pampering that takes place at Pi.  A healthy, sparkling smile maintained to perfection is celebrated by all of us.  We are in business to create the most scientifically sound, artistically amazing, cost effective smiles, and when we achieve that goal, it's another team victory.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to locally showcase our cozy and welcoming dental center and to detail our wide and experienced range of services.  Because our trademarked Teeth in a Day dental implant protocol is marketed globally, our daily roster of patients is often long distance and culturally diverse.  We are excited to finally bring our faces alive in the neighborhood with an honest profile that underlines our decades of experience and commitment to excellence.

We want to put a lifelong Pi smile ON YOUR FACE.

Tags: dental implants, dental treatment, smile makeover