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.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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.


Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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.

Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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.

View Article


  Ask A Dental Question Or Schedule An Appointment

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

Winter 2011 Insights Newsletter Highlights Dental Treatment and Planning

Posted by Thomas Balshi, DDS FACP on Mar 15, 2011 11:55:00 AM

Insights NewsletterThe Importance Of Attention To Detail

To provide consistent high quality restorations, whether for single crowns or full mouth reconstructions, attention to detail is essential from treatment planning to prosthesis delivery. We all know the critical marks of excellence. The oral examination must be thorough and include cancer screening. A written treatment plan is the ideal roadmap for sequencing the indicated treatment. The tooth is prepared allowing sufficient room for the thickness of the restoring material and with particular consideration to the health of the soft tissue response following delivery. Proper height of contour, immergence profile and correct interproximal contours are all details that impact quality care.
Before and After Photos

Once the tooth preparation is finalized, other important steps also require attention to detail. Retraction of gingival tissues is key. Consideration must be given as to whether the tissue is thick or thin and friable. When a retraction cord is used, size and the exertion of pressure placing the cord are both critical. Fibrous connections must never be compromised.

The Final Impression is a Detail of Utmost Importance.

The dental laboratory can only provide the natural looking, perfect crown we are expecting if we provide them with the most exact impression possible. Each practitioner has his or her own techniques, usually based on vast experience, for achieving the ideal impression, but what is often overlooked in this equation is the quality of the impression material being used. This is where attention to detail points to accuracy and provides for a more predictable result.
Before and After Photo

ENTER EXA’lence | this is an impression material that is clearly “new”.

Developed by GC America, EXA’lence combines vinyl and polymer to produce a totally new impression material set apart from all of the others. It is intrinsically hydrophilic without surfactants for wet-ability. It has a high tear strength that allows for easy removal from the mouth and multiple accurate pours for stone casts. In addition, its chemistry minimizes bubbles and voids, resulting in very clean and sharp impressions. The following complete implant prosthodontic rehabilitation was achieved with EXA’lence impression material.

Attention to detail is the hallmark of good dentistry and should be essential in every phase of treatment. We as dentists have autonomous control of our implant placement, our crown preparations, proper vertical dimension and articulation. What we need is to place more importance upon our choices of dental materials.

Dentists who are currently using EXA’lence report that it is both pleasant to use and consistently accurate, allowing for sulcular moisture control and very exacting subgingival and marginal detail. Lab technicians’ report that it both pours easily, allows for second pours if needed, and provides well-defined impressions. In a recent Catapult Evaluation, 81% of the evaluators said they would integrate EXA’lence into their practice. For further information on EXA’lence, please go to or call 215-646-6334.


With the National Cancer Institute estimating approximately 36 thousand new cases of oral cancer for 2010 and the likelihood that close to 8 thousand will result in death, our responsibilities as dentists significantly increase. Identifying lesions early is the key to preventing fatalities. Oral cancers that present at an advanced stage have a higher death rate than breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma or lymphoma.

It is important that the dental profession take seriously our responsibility to identify lesions in the mouth quickly and to educate the patient thoroughly in treatment protocol. We recently presented a case study in which an older Caucasian female received maxillary and mandibular implant-supported prostheses (1992) and subsequent meticulous follow-up had no indications of any soft tissue abnormality. In 2008, the patient presented with a “rough area” on the tongue. A 5x7 mm fibroma-like elevated lesion was noted and attributed to mechanical trauma. Surface adjustments were made and the patient was advised to return for a follow-up appointment in two weeks.

This patient did not return for further evaluation but moved out of state. We requested that she immediately consult a specialist in her new location. Follow-up was then lost.

In 2010, the patient returned to Pi complaining of a sore on her tongue. She had not followed our advice and had not been seen by any dental specialist since her 2008 visit. Examination of the patient revealed an ulcerated mass on the right lateral border of the tongue, which extended onto the ventral and dorsal surfaces. The lesion was hard and irregular. A regional cancer center confirmed squamous cell carcinoma. The patient declined further care and expired a few weeks later.

Cases such as this indicate the importance of regular oral screenings for cancer and meticulous follow-up when suspicious lesions are found. It is equally essential that time be taken to carefully explain to the patient that oral cancer is curable when found early and treated accordingly. Similarly, we must also indicate the seriousness of leaving such findings untreated or approaching them holistically.

Tags: dental implants, dental treatment, dentistry, dental treatment planning