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

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:

What is Teeth In A Day®

Dental Implants and Social Life

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

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

Posted by Chris Raines on Nov 3, 2017 3:56:33 PM

Pi Dental Center Open House

We’ve all heard the song, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” In the Broadway musical, songwriters, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin talk about how one’s smile and values outweigh the importance of elaborate attire or designer shoes.

The holidays are right around the corner. Festivities and gala events are on the schedule. Whether it’s for a Thanksgiving celebration, office Christmas party or New Year’s Bash, finding the perfect outfit is on many a to-do list. While accessories, like jewelry and scarves, can be an essential part of an outfit, it’s your smile that pulls everything together. A confident healthy smile is an essential part of a “wardrobe.”

Broken, stained and missing teeth not only detract from your appearance, they also reduce confidence and contribute to an array of health problems.

Jennifer Soong wrote in WEBMD, “Gum disease is linked to a host of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. By combing through 1,000-plus medical histories, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry found that people with gum disease were twice as likely as others to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke. The mouth can act as a portal of entry for an infection, says Salomon Amar, DMD, PhD, professor and director at the Center for Anti-inflammatory Therapeutics at Boston University School of Dental Medicine. Ongoing inflammation in your mouth can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which may lead to more inflammation in other parts of your body, such as the heart.”

At Pi Dental Center, our goal is to help our patients gain a gorgeous smile with healthy, gleaming white teeth that feel comfortable and function well.

Brilliant White Teeth

The Zoom Tooth Whitening system is a fast and convenient in-office service available at Pi Dental Center. Zoom is safe, effective and long lasting. Teeth can be lightened effectively as much as eight shades in just one office visit.

Digital Dentistry

AvaDent® Digital Dentures are superior to traditional solutions. AvaDent® teeth are robotically milled, for predictable precision and strength.

Digital Crown Technology

Digital crowns are faster and more accurate than traditional crowns. Impressions are more comfortable and this technology provides a better experience for our patients. Crown colors are realistic and the final product is superior.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Dental implants are the best option for replacement of missing teeth. Implants have a 96% success rate that has been proven through a vast body of research. They provide support and security without adding force to remaining teeth. Implants can replace a single missing tooth, a few teeth or all of the teeth in the entire mouth. They feel like your own teeth and look natural and attractive.

Learn What Sets Pi Dental Center Apart

This is your chance to learn about Pi Dental Center. An Open House is scheduled for Thursday, November 16th, 2017 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The event is open to the public. Join us for a tour of our elite facility, a complimentary dental exam and some refreshments. We will be handing out an array of gifts and prizes. Meet board certified prosthodontist, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, and the “Pi Team” and ask questions. The first step to a beautiful healthy smile is investigation. Pi Dental Center’s Open House is your opportunity to learn what treatment is needed and explore available dental procedures in a relaxed setting.

Take necessary steps for a dazzling smile

Call us at 215-646-6334 to reserve your spot at the Open House. If you need more information, please feel free to contact us!

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Tags: dental implants, missing teeth, replacement of missing teeth, You're never fully dressed without a smile, look younger

Are Dentures Back? Maybe..

Posted by Joanne Balshi, Director of Public Relations on Aug 13, 2015 4:41:00 PM

Young people today are choosing dentures

This week the national news media focused on a very interesting dental phenomena—the number of young people opting to have dentures. If the older population has missed the impact of what a smile means to self-confidence, the up and coming work force knows the value. Executives do not hire individuals with missing teeth, with crooked teeth, or with severely discolored teeth. We are living in a culture of newfound customer service and one in which a bright and welcoming smile is not only preferred but has actually become a basic requirement.

While the viewpoint from the prosthodontist is still that dental implant treatment is every patient’s most ideal restoration, the process requires the expertise of multiple professionals and the use of very costly materials, equipment and even sophisticated robots. Even the most basic implant restoration known as “All On Four,” can cost over forty thousand dollars for an entire upper and lower sparkling smile. This is not usually financially possible for our thirty-something rising stars.

Dentures come with some compromises, but esthetically today’s dentures can fulfill a life-changing role. Like all other technology, denture science has significantly advanced, giving prosthodontists the tools to provide dentures with a much more customized fit, unparalleled comfort, and a very natural appearance. Moreover, these new, digitally made dentures are virtually indestructible, rendering a one time investment a reasonably solid economic choice.

At the Pi Dental Center, we have actually seen a resurgence of interest in dentures. Thanks to a company called Global Dental Science and a new denture technology known as AvaDent™, our board certified prosthodontists feel confident that they can provide patients who choose dentures with a smile solution light years better than the dentures of a decade ago. Our biomedical engineer, Stephen Balshi, renders his laboratory opinion that AvaDent™ technology applies superlative precision to the denture process and Drs Balshi, Wolfinger and Alfano see clinical results that indicate a high rate of patient satisfaction.

By Joanne Balshi
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
At Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA
piteam@pidentalcenter.com

Link to USA Today Article

Tags: missing teeth, AvaDent digital dentures, removable dentures

Dr. Alfano discusses AvaDent Digital Dentures Live on CBS Talk Philly

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Oct 17, 2014 1:53:00 PM

Dr. Alfano with Pat Ciarrocchi Live on CBS Philly

Dr. Alfano appeared on CBS Talk Philly with Pat Ciarrocchi where he introduced Avadent Digital Dentures, a new technology available at PI Dental Center in Fort Washington.  Here is the conversation: 

Pat Ciarrocchi:  “Well If you have been struggling with your dentures, now `there is some new technology that can give you a custom fit that looks more like natural teeth than custom dentures. Here to talk about it is Dr. Steve Alfano of Pi Dental. You call these digital dentures.” 

Dr. Alfano begins,  “Yes, that’s right.  It has been kind of exciting. There have been so many advances in dentistry with implants and crowns. And finally, for someone that loves to make dentures, now we can take advantage of the CAD CAM technology. And this denture is made from a block of acrylic that is processed 50 times stronger. It is made out of this acrylic which is processed in an industry setting so it much stronger than a conventional denture and there is no porosity in it. So it resists bacteria and that smell that you would get.   It is really a wonderful thing.” 

Pat:  “You know there are a lot of people who like dental implants, you hear about that, but you say that this is an alternative.”

Alfano:  “Well it is an alternative.  Dental implants are great, that’s state of the art.  You can actually use this product eventually with dental implants. There is a technique to do that. But not everybody can go straight to dental implants.  This is a wonderful product. You can have it made in as little as 2 visits. And if anything happens to it, there is a digital file. They can remake it right away. You don’t have to go through the whole process of having it made again.” 

Pat:  “Terrific and look at this, (shows photo of patient).  What a wonderful difference that is.  Isn’t that wonderful?--. And we also wonder if dentures are durable. I think that’s a real concern and we have a fun picture, it’s actually a dog with dentures!  (showing dog chewing on AvaDent denture) 

Dr. Alfano: “It is the unofficial dog chew test. So this one survived!  But let’s say something happened and you lost it and you needed another; you can have a new one shipped out, because they maintain a copy. But this dog was not able to destroy the denture. That is nice”.  

Pat: “So tell us about Avadent denture.” 

Dr. Alfano: “That’s what this is. Avadent is a company that a few years began doing this process. It has come a long way. Drs. Balshi and Wolfinger at Pi Dental Center are working closely with them and really developing the product and it is a wonderful denture.” 

Pat: “We really want to make sure that people smile well and that they can eat and enjoy their food.” 

Alfano: “It’s a wonderful denture. Thank you.” 

Pat: “So if you want more information about Pi Dental Center and also Avadent digital dentures you can go to CBSPhilly.com and click on Talk Philly. When it comes to smiles, the hottest new technology is the digital denture. If you or someone you know is interested in this, or can use the expertise of PI Dental, please visit: http://dentalimplants-usa.com/ ”

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Stephen G. Alfano, DDS, MS

Dr. Stephen Alfano, a board certified prosthodontist, joins Pi Dental Center October 2014. Dr. Alfano is a faculty member at Temple University - Maurice H. Kornberg School Of Dentistry and teaches prosthodontics. Previously, Dr. Alfano served as Chairman of Oral Surgery and Hospital Dentistry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California. His Navy practice focused primarily on dental implant treatment for completely edentulous and conventional prosthodontic patients. Dr. Alfano is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. Dr. Alfano taught General Practice Residents basic restorative and implant dentistry at the Naval Medical Center. He has published articles about prosthetics, surgical techniques and dental materials in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the Journal of Facial and Somato Prosthetics and Operative Dentistry.

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Tags: dental implants, missing teeth, AvaDent digital dentures, new technology at PI Dental Center, smile makeover, board certified prosthodontist