Nine Common Dental Myths Debunked

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Oct 29, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Nine common dental myths debunkedCommon dental myths can keep people from taking care of their teeth adequately. Ultimately, dental neglect has a negative impact on their quality of life. Here are nine myths that patients have expressed to us in our prosthodontic practice.

Myth 1:

I don’t need to go to the dentist unless I have a problem with a tooth.

Just because your teeth feel and look fine does not mean that no problem exists. Tooth decay can occur in areas that are not visible. A comprehensive evaluation including x-rays and a clinical exam is the only way to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

It is easier and less expensive to correct a dental problem when it is diagnosed early. This is why it is important for you to see your dentist for regular oral hygiene cleanings and exams at least twice a year. A meticulous dental care regimen, both at home and in-office, is necessary in maintaining your healthy mouth.

Myth 2:

I don’t need to take care of my teeth because I am not young anymore.

Patients have said that they don’t know how long they are going to live, so they don’t think that investing in their dental health should be a priority. Your quality of life is important at every age and dental health is a significant factor. The ability to chew and enjoy food is fundamental and of monumental importance for your overall health as well as enjoyment of life. People of all ages can have healthy teeth with full function.

Myth 3:

I don’t need to go to the dentist or get dental check-ups because I have dentures.

People with removable dentures need to have regular dental checkups. These checkups help to ensure that gum tissues remain healthy. Oral cancer screening is part of a routine dental examination. Your dentist will check for mouth sores caused by rubbing of loose or ill-fitting dentures. These mouth sores can quite uncomfortable and, in some cases, can cause infection.

The absence of teeth can cause bone loss. This bone loss can make your dentures loose and difficult to wear. When this occurs, your dentist will determine if the denture needs to be relined or remade.

Myth 4:

If I don’t have teeth, I don’t have dental problems.

This is a fallacy. Some people believe that they can function adequately without teeth or dentures. When the jaw bones are not stimulated by natural teeth, bone loss occurs. This bone loss gives the face a sunken and aged appearance causing people to look significantly older than they are. It’s impossible to eat food properly without teeth, leading to digestive problems. It is also hard to speak clearly without teeth.

Myth 5:

When I use lots of denture adhesive, my dentures fit just fine.

A well-fitting denture will not require dental adhesive. Otherwise, it needs to be relined or remade. “Patients who have ill-fitting dentures are also great candidates for dental implants,” states Dr. Rob Slauch, prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center.

Myth 6:

Zirconia is not a metal.

Today, many patients are concerned about metal allergy and believe that zirconia is a non-metal alternative for dental implants. The fact is zirconia actually is a metal on the table of elements. Zirconium is a chemical element with atomic number 40, located in group 4 from the periodic chart of elements.

In addition, titanium has proven to be one of the most bio-compatible materials used for dental implants. True allergy to titanium is very rare. A MELISA test can determine if you have an allergy to titanium.

Dr. Kyle Stanley and Dr. Matt Nejad thoroughly explained the difference between zirconia and metal implants in an article that they wrote in April 2019. Click here to read article

Myth 7:

I had my teeth completely restored, so I don’t need to go to the dentist anymore.

Insure your investment by taking care of your new teeth. For most dental implant patients, we recommend oral hygiene cleanings every 4 months. A dental implant supported prosthesis and surrounding gum tissue needs to be professionally cleaned of debris. Failure to do so can result in bone loss which can lead to implant failure.

“As prosthodontists, this is one of the most frequent things that I hear. Routine maintenance is imperative to keep your investment of a new smile lasting a long time,” says Dr. Slauch. 

Myth 8:

I have crowns, so I cannot get cavities again.

A crown is a non-removable restoration that covers a major portion of the visible part of a natural tooth. Many people believe that once they have a crown, they can never get a cavity. This is not the case. The area around the base of the crown, called the margin, can be susceptible to decay. Crowns need to be carefully cleaned to avoid decay and assure they will last for many years.

Myth 9:

They are only teeth.

There are so many reasons why your teeth are important. Your dental health impacts your whole body. Poor dental health can contribute to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. During pregnancy, periodontal disease can contributes premature birth, low birth weight and even miscarriage. There is a link between osteoporosis and periodontitis. Periodontal disease can make lung conditions worse.

What’s the takeaway? It is clear that following a rigorous oral hygiene regimen along with regular dental office visits helps to ensure a healthy mouth and dental health positively affects your overall health. A nice smile with healthy attractive teeth increases your confidence. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

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Tags: removable dentures, dental care, permanent tooth replacement, dental treatment options

What Does the Dental Term, “Oral Cripple” Mean?

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Feb 17, 2017 4:12:44 PM

Knowing is not enough. We must apply.Have you heard of the term, “oral cripple”? Dentists use the term to describe a person who has such significant dental problems that they substantially and negatively impact the quality of life.

Do you know someone who:

  • Hides their mouth when they smile or laugh?
  • Complains about jaw pain?
  • Has broken teeth?
  • Have loose or clicking dentures?
  • Cannot pronounce certain words?
  • Refuses to eat in public or struggles when chewing certain foods?
  • Declines social invitations because of their teeth?
  • Cannot find a job because of the state of their teeth?

As a person’s dental condition deteriorates, their oral and medical dilemmas mount. If left untreated, a person can experience numerous complications that affect every aspect of life. Tooth loss, poor quality dentures, shifting teeth, periodontal disease, and broken teeth can be devastating.

As teeth are lost, the surrounding teeth begin to shift in the mouth.  Missing teeth cause the bite to collapse, which in turn damages the jaw joint. This is because the stress of clenching the teeth intensifies pressure on the joint. Over time, the damage to the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement increase. Temporomandibular joint disorder causes pain in the area of the joint, neck, shoulder, back, head, and trouble chewing.

Well-fitting removable dentures can be an adequate temporary solution.  But dentures must be regularly maintained by a dentist. Ill-fitting loose unsightly dentures cause clicking, pain, sores on gum, and limit one’s ability to speak, and eat.

The feeling of self-consciousness because of dental appearance permeates many aspects of life. People often feel too embarrassed to smile. Making friends, building relationships and finding a job can become more difficult.

Tooth loss shortens a person’s life span. An October 2016 article in Periodontology 2000 concluded that the number of teeth in aging humans affects longevity and life expectancy. An inability to eat nutritional foods that require the ability to properly masticate is one factor is reducing life span.

One patient mentioned, “Life with removable dentures really makes you appreciate the teeth you lost.” Healthy functional teeth really contribute to the quality of life.

Replacing lost, damaged and diseased teeth with complete non-removable restorations allows patients to return to a state of anatomic, functional, psychological, and social good health. It allows them to again enjoy the simplest of pleasures, like ordering a dinner in a restaurant.

Dr. Balshi said, “Advances in prosthodontics have made remarkable alternatives available for replacement of missing teeth. The osseointegrated dental implant system permits the placement of a fixed bridge in patients who would otherwise require removable dentures. This technique involves placement of implants within the jaws, which are physiologically attached to bone and to which the teeth are attached.”

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and later Bruce Lee stated, "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do," It’s important to diagnose dental problems, meticulously research all solutions, choose the best option, then begin treatment.

When people decide to move forward and actively pursue dental treatment, they often do not have a regular dentist and wonder who to place their trust in.  The board certified dentists at Pi Dental Center created the trademarked Teeth In A Day® procedure that enables patients to enjoy the benefits of fixed replacement teeth on the same day implants are placed, rather than following a three to six month process. At 467 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Washington, we have everything under one roof. Advanced evaluation is possible in-house with CT-scanning and digital intraoral scanning technology. From prosthodontics and oral surgery to endodontics and orthodontics, patients can have most treatment in our center.  Three on-site laboratories provide a wide variety of prostheses.

High quality dentistry is a combination of advanced technology, visual artistry and manual skill. As board certified prosthodontists with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Thomas Balshi and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger provide patients with teeth that are attractive, functional and customized for the individual patient.

Quality of life is enhanced by comprehensive dental restoration.  Call Pi Dental Center and schedule a complete diagnostic evaluation so that you can smile again!

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Tags: removable dentures, dental problems, dental condition, tooth loss, temporomandibular joint disorder, dental appearance, healthy functional teeth

Sink Your Teeth Into This One! Pi Dental Center is Serving “the Capital Smile”

Posted by Joanne Balshi, Director of Public Relations on May 23, 2016 2:25:01 PM

Sink your teeth into a sumptuous steak dinner (Photo from Bridget's Steakhouse)

After thirty years courting revolutionary exploration of prosthodontic possibilities, The Pi Dental Center is proud to announce another new concept in smile building. Because we can now engineer superior durability with no sacrifice to translucent, natural esthetics, we are naming the ultimate Pi dental restoration our “Capital Smile.”

The name comes from the complaint most often brought to the Pi Dental Center — “I can’t eat anything that tastes good.”  Taking that to the highest level solution, it is our goal that our patients can enjoy the most sumptuous premium steaks at establishments like The Capital Grille with no worries.  No pain. No motion.  No chewing issues.  No breakage.  Just pure dining pleasure.

Capital GrilleThe specialty of Prosthodontics has been impacted over the years with ever changing science and technology leading to a man-made third set of teeth.  The first giant steps were cosmetic. Laboratories developed artistic ways to shape and color teeth so that crowns and veneers no longer appeared horsey, and in the hands of a skillful clinician became indistinguishable from natural teeth.  Later the advent of dental implant restorations with CADCAM technology made the architecture of the smile more solid and functional, promoting longevity of the restoration prosthesis.  Seemingly the profession was on the threshold of the ideal smile, even if a bit costly for the average pocket.

Halfway through 2016, it’s an intensely blended dedication of engineering, product development, cosmetic experience, fresh ideas and collaboration with the worldwide expertise of Global Dental Science, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, creator of AvaDent digital removable dentures. Pi has always been about providing our patients the highest quality in the shortest time possible with consideration of the investment. The “Capital Smile” will upgrade technology, increase durability and longevity, and become a more cost effective way to sport a young, healthy smile.

Look for it first at Pi Dental Center, home of Teeth in a Day® dental implants. Consider dental implant treatment so that you can sink your teeth

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* Photo of steak dinner graciously submitted by Brian Forrest

Tags: tooth replacement, dental implants, removable dentures, dental health, teeth, Teeth In A Day, sink your teeth

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