Pi DENTAL CENTER BLOG

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

Digital Dentistry Helpful for Patients with Strong Gag Reflex

Posted by Chris Raines on Nov 28, 2017 2:25:16 PM

Relief for patients with a strong gag reflex

“I need to find a dentist who can handle my gagging problem.”

Gagging during dental treatment is a serious and very real problem. The ADA reports that 7.5% of patients almost-always gag when they visit a dentist. Some people avoid dental treatment because of gagging fears.

The gag reflex is based on an innate biological mechanism. The Life Science website defines the gag reflex, which is also known as the pharyngeal reflex or laryngeal spasm, as a contraction of the back of the throat. It is triggered by an object touching the roof of the mouth, the back of the tongue, the area around your tonsils, or the back of your throat. Ten to fifteen percent of people have a hypersensitive gag reflex.

Dr. Joseph Massad discussed the gag reflex in Dental Economics. The gag reflex is generally thought to be controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain.

Pi Dental Center provides digital dentistry with our TRIOS® digital scanner. The TRIOS® scanner is used for crowns, bridges and single tooth implant restorations. One of the most important benefits of the TRIOS® intraoral scanner is improving the patient’s dental experience. A traditional dental impression can sometimes be unpleasant for patients who gag. Digital impressions are often more comfortable for the patient. Digital impressions are faster and the scans are more accurate, efficient, faster and more precise. “Patients continuously rave about the ease and comfort of our new digital impressions, says Dr. Glenn Wolfinger”. 

Both the doctor and patient can see the results on a large screen immediately.

Pat Martin, EFDA and Director of Patient Relations states, “This technology allows the doctor to capture a digital image eliminating the need to take multiple impressions to have lab work fabricated. Patients like this convenient method of impression-taking because it is cleaner and less likely to produce a gag reflex.  It elevates the doctor’s level of expertise in the eyes of their patient because the tooth image can be viewed on the screen immediately.”

Don’t allow a gag reflex to control your dental health! Please let us know if you have an active gag reflex and any fears that you have. Ask us about options to find relief for strong gag reflex. This will help us to improve your experience.

Consider having your next crown at Pi Dental Center with TRIOS®. Call us to discuss your treatment needs and let us know about your past office experiences and any concerns you have. Providing optimal dental care in a relaxed environment is the goal of everyone at Pi Dental Center. Our supportive team is skilled at providing a pleasant office visit and able to tailor treatment for each patient.

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Tags: digital dentistry, TRIOS digital impression, gag reflex

Blending digital dentistry and implant prosthodontics

Posted by Dr. Thomas Balshi and Joanne Balshi on Jan 30, 2017 4:41:16 PM

ACP Messenger (Winter 2017)

 

3-soccer.jpgBlending digital dentistry and implant prosthodontics

Thomas J. Balshi, DDS, PhD, FACP
Joanne Balshi

Blending digital dentistry and implant prosthodontics

I first met Michael Frank on a job site where he was artistically and meticulously setting tile for a designer kitchen. Mike exuded energy and had an admirable work ethic. He had a good technician’s eye and measurable pride in accomplishment, but the first time I saw him smile, I knew I could contribute something very valuable to the rest of his life. 

At the age of thirty-three, Mike had a lot going for him. Besides his talent; he was a vivacious athlete with a great sense of humor and an uncommon warmth. Married with two young daughters, he worked a sixty-hour week and played soccer in his spare time. A smile was the only part of his signature that simply did not fit. 

It was not difficult to convince Mike to allow me to evaluate him clinically and present him with a treatment plan. His evaluation revealed advanced periodontitis with extensive bone loss around his remaining teeth in the maxilla and mandible, most likely the result of his heavy smoking and excessive consumption of soda for quite a few years.

Mike's clinical presentation demonstrated extensive flaring of the mobile anterior teeth. Diagnostic casts were made and articulated at the appropriate vertical dimension. These models were scanned digitally and the data files transmitted to a milling center for the construction of the fully milled monolithic PMMA resin provisional dentures. The anterior teeth were repositioned vertically in the 3-D planning software prior to production.

Fig 1: Before -- Fig 7: AfterOn the day of surgery twenty cc's of blood were drawn and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) was produced for use during surgery. Local anesthesia was administered to both maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw), and all remaining teeth were extracted. Alveoloplasty was performed in preparation for future implant placement.

In the mandibular arch, full tissue flaps were reflected to identify the mental foramina. The anterior loop of the mental nerve was measured and noted. Beginning with the posterior implant placements in the mandibular right and left sides, a precision drill introduced the initiation of osteotomies (bone drilling). These were placed at a forty-five degree angle posterior tilt.

 Four implants were coated with PRP and installed according to the All-On-4®treatrnent concept protocol. Autogenous (host) bone was gathered during all of the osteotomy preparation procedures and reintroduced into the extraction sites. Angulated multi-unit abutments were installed on the posterior tilted implants and 1mm straight abutments were placed on the anterior axially placed implants.

Following the Teeth in a Day® procedure, special multifunctional copings were installed with guide pins on all four abutments. The rubber dam was then installed to the base of the copings. Using autopolymerizing acrylic resin, the monolithic conversion prosthesis was connected to the multifunctional copings. It was then removed and refined chairside.

2xrays.jpg

 

 

 

Figures 4, 5, and 6

Fig 4: All-On-4® implants to support non-removable teeth in the lower jaw.

Fig 5: Three months after implant surgery, the final digital upper denture and the All-On-4® monolithic fixed (non-removable) prosthesis for the lower jaw ready for delivery to the patient.

Fig 6: Completion of treatment changes Mike's life.


Flap closure took place with multiple interrupted sutures. The Teeth in a Day conversion prosthesis was then installed using prosthetic screws. The upper monolithic fully milled removable denture was relined, adjusted, and delivered at the same time.

Mike was given post-operative instructions and medications. One week following surgery, he returned for suture removal and minor adjustments to the maxillary immediate complete denture. At ten weeks post-surgery the patient presented for final impressions, initiating the construction of his mandibular fully milled implant-supported prosthesis reinforced with a milled titanium frame. New occlusal records were made and a reline impression made in the maxillary removable immediate digital complete denture.

Both arches were scanned and the data transmitted for the construction of a new fully milled monolithic maxillary removable digital denture and an All-On-4® final prosthesis with milled titanium framework for the mandibular arch. 

Three weeks following the impressions, the final prostheses were delivered to an ecstatic patient whose sparkling personality and boundless energy went up still another notch, proof that at any age, a healthy, esthetic smile is a priceless asset.


Thomas J. Balshi, DDS, FACP / Joanne BalshiThis article was published in the ACP (American College of Prosthodontists) Messenger (Winter 2017) and written by Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Joanne Balshi.

Dr. Thomas J, Balshi maintains a private practice in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, where he blends clinical care with scientific research, education, and philanthropy. 

Joanne Balshi has served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Pi Dental Center over the last thirty years. She is a freelance writer and authored Smile Your Heart Out, a coffee table book about the value of a healthy smile and dental makeover.

 

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Terminology: 1acpmessenger.jpg

  • All-On-4 Dental Implant Treatment - uses a prosthesis strategically supported by four dental implants that are biomechanically positioned for maximum stability. 
  • Anterior teeth - front teeth
  • Conversion prosthesis - An interim fixed-prosthesis that the patient wears from the time of uncovering of implants until the final prosthesis is completed. This prosthesis is made from the removable denture or temporary prosthesis that the patient has been wearing since first stage surgery. This removable prosthesis is modified into a fixed prosthesis. It allows the patient to experience the benefits of dental implants immediately after the implants are uncovered.
  • Digital dentistry - dental treatment that includes utilization of CAD/CAM software enabling the dental specialist to visualize the patient's dental structures in 3D format
  • Mandibular - referring to the lower jaw
  • Maxillary - referring to the upper jaw
  • Monolithic - formed of a single large block of material.
  • Occlusal record - a record of the way teeth come together - a registration of the opposing occluding surfaces of the teeth
  • PMMA - Poly(methyl methacrylate) - a clear plastic
  • Provisional denture - a temporary removable denture
  • Posterior Teeth - back teeth
  • Teeth In A Day® - Click here

 

Tags: bone loss, Teeth In A Day, All-On-4 dental implant treatment, digital dentistry

3D Scanning for Superior Crowns at Pi Dental Center

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Dec 29, 2016 6:50:00 AM

graphic for trio blog.jpgPi Dental Center strives to offer patients the best dental care using 3D technology.  Dr. Glenn Wolfinger continuously evaluates new dental equipment and technology to provide patients the highest quality, most attractive, best-fitting dental prostheses in the shortest time possible. 

Pi Dental Center’s crowns have just gotten better through digital dentistry! TRIOS is an intraoral scanner that enables us to make the highest quality crowns with better patient comfort.

A good crown begins with a good impression. The TRIOS digital scanner is:

  • Accurate
  • Ensures correct occlusion
  • Totally safe

Patient satisfaction and ease is a key advantage of TRIOS.  Patients find intraoral scanning is a more comfortable procedure than traditional methods that use trays and impression materials.  It is a great option for patients with strong gag reflexes.

TRIOS scanner takes thousands of pictures per second providing a 3D high resolution image that can be viewed from all angles.

Tooth shade is no longer subjective. Manual shade measurement can be inaccurate. The TRIOS scanner automatically records a shade measurement that is more precise and consistent. TRIOS shade detection tool eliminates shade errors caused by eye fatigue, color of clothing, makeup and levels of daylight.

Pi Dental Center’s scanning technology can be used to create:

  • Dental Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers, inlays and onlays
  • Abutments, implant bridges and bars
  • Temporary crowns and virtual diagnostic wax-ups
  • Post and core
  • Removable partial dentures

Learn more about Pi Dental Center's superior crowns. Call Pi Dental Center to schedule dental crown treatment using our 3D scanning technology.

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Tags: digital dentistry, dental crowns, 3D Scanning Technology, superior crowns