Before the Pi Dental Center became known as a mecca for superior dental implant care in suburban Philadelphia, it enjoyed a robust reputation for very esthetic, comfortable and long lasting restorative dentistry, accomplished with notable time efficiency. Dr. Tom Balshi, the founder, always an architect and sculptor at heart, designed and built crowns and bridges that could never be recognized as anything but natural teeth. More importantly, these restorations, whether a single tooth or the restoration of an entire arch, always went off the charts with longevity, often lasting the patients years beyond predictability while conserving both their funds and their time spent in a dental chair.
One of the pleasures of restoring smiles lies in the mail that the Pi Dental Center steadily receives from patients who are genuinely grateful for our care. Last week we received a handwritten letter from a former patient, now eighty-seven years of age, and living across in the state in Western Pennsylvania. Dr. Balshi restored her entire mouth with crowns exactly thirty years ago. Visiting a new dentist for a teeth cleaning and check-up, she wrote to tell us of his amazement that her thirty year old dental work was still in pristine condition with perfect margins and no underlying decay. She was writing to express the pride she felt in Pi’s behalf and the gratitude she felt for her comprehensive care that has richly endured.
The pathway to smile longevity is the mantra of the prosthodontist. The additional training in “precision” that a prosthodontist receives translates directly into the quality of restorative dentistry. When crowns and bridges fit like a glove and the “bite” that is established is as perfect as possible, the teeth stand up to the most rigorous attacks of bacteria and trauma. A well designed and engineered smile tends to be a healthy smile, and a healthy smile impacts whole body wellness. The prosthodontist is committed to that pathway and will try to steer all patients in the direction of long term function alongside natural esthetics, whether with crowns, bridges or today’s state of the art dental implants.
By Joanne Balshi Director of Public Relations and Marketing At Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA firstname.lastname@example.org
The year 2015 gives Pi Dental Center another opportunity to welcome new patients and help them attain healthy mouths. We love to see our patients’ glow when they see their damaged mouths transformed into confidence-building, healthy dazzling megawatt smiles.
This year, patients will benefit from new dental technologies, techniques, materials and advanced laboratory procedures that have only become available recently.
Patients now have the option to be treated by our newest member, Dr. Stephen Alfano, a board certified maxillofacial prosthodontist, who joined our team last October. Patients and staff are impressed with Dr. Alfano’s skills, enthusiasm, charm and warm responsive personality.
Dental treatment can put a strain on the budget. We strive to find financial solutions to treat all of our dental patients’ problems. We offer financing options and various levels of treatment to help patients balance dental care needs and finances.
Digital radiography has improved considerably during the past few years, allowing for more thorough diagnostic evaluation and reduced exposure to radiation. This technology enables us to design prostheses with greater accuracy, better engineering and improved esthetics.
Patients love their new AvaDent® digital dentures! These digital dentures are the world’s first computer designed and computer manufactured dentures. Because AvaDent® Digital Dentures are computer designed and precision milled, they feel lighter and more natural in the mouth, fit precisely, resist bacteria and can be replaced quickly if lost or damaged. In 2015, Pi Dental Center will also use AvaDent® Digital Dentures for fixed restorations in conjunction with dental implants.
Pi Dental Center leads the dental community in ongoing research in the quest to improve patient dental health, through pain-free dental care. Our ongoing studies include investigation of smoking in the dental implant patient, self-esteem for dental implant patients, the biomechanics of All-On-4 dental implant protocol, and review of dental impression techniques.
The Pi team is Philadelphia's premiere dental implant center! With so many competitors popping up in the area claiming they're the best, our 30+ years of implant treatment, research and teaching speak for themselves. Our team has placed over 40,000 dental implants.
We seek to show our world class professionalism, hospitality and surgical and prosthodontic talent to all of those who walk through the Pi doors offering courses for dental specialists and students in subjects like, “Immediate Loading of Dental Implants Using The Teeth In a Day® Protocol,” “All-on-4® Treatment Concept: Complete Arch Oral Rehabilitation and Immediate Function Using Tilted Implants and AvaDent® Fully Milled Monolithic Screw-Retained Prosthesis,” and “Advanced Guided Surgery with Zygoma Implants.”
The Pi Foundation will present, “Smiles Uncorked,” on Thursday evening, April 23, 2015. The fund-raising event will take place at the beautiful Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and include several wine tasting stations featuring world class vineyards. Tastings will even take place on the Arboretum's famous Out-on-a-Limb Forest Canopy walk. If wine isn't your thing, there will also be a vodka bar featuring the Pi Foundation's signature cocktail. Throughout the event there will be gourmet small plates, live music and an auction featuring trips, one of a kind collectibles and other wine related items. Proceeds from the event will support treatment for deserving Pi Foundation patients.
Pi Dental Center is active in supporting worthy community endeavors. This April, Pi Dental Center will sponsor the Ambler Environmental Advisory Council’s Earth Fest promoting a clean, safe and healthy environment and increasing environmental awareness.
Each year, the Pi Team gets recertified by the American Heart Association in Basic Life Support for CPR/AED (cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator). The yearly classes have become a Pi Dental Center tradition with everyone from the doctors and clinical staff to the front desk and technical departments in attendance. Rigorous standards are outlined ensuring a comprehensive response will be followed in the event of an emergency. We maintain an emergency action plan, a fire prevention strategy, and a state of the art infection control procedure using the latest techniques and guidelines. We conduct continuous evaluations so that all departments function at their optimum level and all practices are current.
This year Pi Dental Center remains focused on delivering radiant smiles using the highest quality dental restorations in a competent yet friendly environment.
We encourage our patients to schedule routine maintenance in advance so that small problems are discovered and handled quickly and efficiently. We are proud to have four outstanding dental hygienists to provide effective and thorough prophylactic care. With new technologies, team members and energy, we are taking Pi Dental Center to new heights in 2015!
January is a great time to look back at the previous year to see what has been accomplished and to spell out goals for the new year. Two-thousand-fourteen was a year of “news” for Pi Dental Center: new faces, new research, new innovations, new technology, new presentations and just plain news.
Dr. Stephen Alfano , board certified maxillofacial prosthodontist, joined Pi Dental Center in October. Dr. Alfano is a Board certified prosthodontist who has who served as Chairman of Oral Surgery and Hospital Dentistry at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California. READ BIO In October, he appeared on CBS Philly with Pat Ciarrocchi to discuss Avadent Digital Dentures. READ MORE
The doctors at Pi Dental Center continued their long-standing mission to conduct relevant research and publish scientific articles in the field of dental implants.
In June, Dr. Glenn Wolfinger of PI Dental talks with Pat Ciarrocchi to talk about how the Teeth In A Day® process can transform a person’s mouth and life. VIEW VIDEO
Diverse areas were analyzed, such as implant placement protocols, dental implant success rates, patients with special needs, patient treatment methods and laboratory techniques.
Articles were published in Implant News, the International Journal of Maxillofacial Implants, Implant Dentistry, the Journal of Oral Implantology, Inclusive Magazine, The Journal of Prosthodontics, and Periodontology 2000. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL PUBLICATIONS
Pi Dental Center is part of The Institute For Facial Esthetics, an established training center, educating dental specialists and students in dental implant technology and offering numerous courses throughout the year. VIEW COURSE SCHEDULE
Pi and IFFE welcomed dental students from university dental schools and dental programs, including Temple University: Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, and University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Four Chinese doctors from Chongqing Medical University came in April to observe surgery in the Viewpoint surgical center and work one-on-one with our talented team learning hands-on techniques. VIEW PHOTOS OF COURSE PARTICIPANTS
Dr. Thomas Balshi became a career coach in the Temple University Alumni Network advising students about the finer points of a career in prosthodontics. LINK TO INTERVIEW
After careful evaluation of research and hands-on assessment, Pi Dental Center embraced the AvaDent Digital Denture as a superb treatment option for any patients where cost is an issue. READ MORE
Dr. Thomas Balshi and Stephen Balshi MBE presented a program called, “What Do a Gun, Malignant Tissue, and a Hyena Have in Common?” at ACP 2014 - 44th Annual Session in New Orleans in November. They discussed engineering principles for dental implant prosthodontics when restoring dental and facial deficiencies.
Fox 29 News aired a documentary in February about Monique, a young woman diagnosed with Ectodermal Dysplasia and cleft lip and cleft palate at birth. Ectodermal Dysplasia causes missing teeth and reduced jaw bone. Pi Dental Center gave Monique a new smile with a non-removable set of beautiful teeth supported by Brånemark dental implants using the No-Bone Solution Protocol. READ MORE
The Ambler Gazette published a story about Dr. Balshi and Pi Dental Center. READ ARTICLE
In reviewing last year’s exciting accomplishments, Pi doctors and staff made an undeniable difference for patients by delivering numerous dramatic new smiles and transforming countless lives. They made rewarding scientific discoveries and increased awareness about dental implants among professionals, students, patients and the general public.
To view more Pi Dental Center events and news, visit us on our Facebook corner or page.
Maxillofacial Prosthetics is a subspecialty of Prosthodontics that involves rehabilitation of patients with defects or disabilities that were present at birth, sustained following trauma, or acquired following cancer or other disease treatment. Many patients require replacement of more than just teeth. A Maxillofacial Prosthodontist is trained to replace bone and tissue with many different types of Prostheses.
Training to become a Maxillofacial Prosthodontist involves completion of a one-year fellowship following a traditional three-year Prosthodontic Residency. This additional year is usually in a hospital based environment treating patients undergoing surgical treatment, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to cure their disease. The program provides experience not only treating the defects caused by cancer or trauma, but also provides the tools to help the Prosthodontist better manage the difficult side effects patients must contend with during radiation and chemotherapy.
A Maxillofacial Prosthdontist can routinely replace an eye, ear, nose, or portion of a face, many times in conjunction with an intra-oral defect. New techniques and prostheses are constantly being devised or improved by Maxillofacial Prosthodontists. A silicone ear that use to be retained by an adhesive is now retained by implants similar to those used to replace teeth. The same security patients have with a dental implant reconstruction is also available to Maxillofacial patients.
The American College of Prosthodontists supports the valuable role that prosthodontists play on the dental team.
Prosthodontists, like orthodontists, periodontists, endodontists and pedodontists, are specialists in one specific field of dentistry. Their training to provide expertise in restorative treatment has been rigorous, and their day-to-day experience in practice touches every conceivable challenge in delivering smiles with high-level function, maximum comfort and pristine esthetics. A prosthodontist's intensive training beyond the standard norms of the dental degree interfaces them with researchers and clinical experts from numerous other medical disciplines, tending to give them a wide range of diagnostic insight and diversified approaches to oral health solutions.
Imperfect teeth, whether by birth abnormality, traumatic accident or natural decay, can be replaced with attractive, functional teeth in the office of a prosthodontist.
“Pi” prosthodontists are board certified. This means that in addition to completing the program requirements to be held out as specialists in their field, they have also passed a written and clinical examination assessing their requisite knowledge and skill to provide high quality patient care.
Drs. Tom Balshi and Glenn Wolfinger are active members of the American College of Prosthodontists, and are both past presidents of The Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association. Additionally, they regularly participate in research studies, publish scientific journals, and lecture internationally.
National Prosthodontics Awareness Week focuses on raising public awareness about the critical importance of a healthy mouth.
April 6 – 12, 2014
Join The Team At Pi Dental Center For Our Open House
Featuring Tours, One-On-One Discussions With Our Doctors, Giveaways & More!
Open House: April 9, 2014 from 5 – 7 pm RSVP To Linda M: 215-646-6334
For those of us who are movie enthusiasts, Sunday night’s 85th annual presentation of Oscars was filled with accolades for grand achievement. For the first time ever, nine movies were in contention for the best, and every one of them had an inspiring story. There were heartwarming moments when “Hollywood” spoke some words of profound wisdom. There seemed to be a graciousness in the Academy ceremony that has been missing for a substantial number of years.
The highest volume of Oscars went to a movie called the Life of Pi. Capturing four of the prized statues, this is a movie that touches the heart deeply, whisks in the amazing strength of human resilience and unabashedly blends magic that seems quite believable as it is actually happening.
The Pi Dental Center can take no credit for the Oscar winning movie that chose the name, The Life of Pi. Nevertheless, for members of the Pi team, there are some stirring parallels to the life we dream to create each day for patients in harm’s way. Our own “tigers” are passionate about dental rescue. Sometimes it almost takes magic to cast the life line, but the power of the smile has nearly indefinable dimensions and when we finish our job, that awe has the same flavor as the movie.
Now and then, the Pi team does win a tangible accolade. When an article is published in a journal, when a certificate is awarded for a lecture to a dental academy, when a research project captures a prize at a national meeting, it gives us reason to celebrate the Life of Pi.
But much more importantly, our stage is the daily business of living our mission and our “Oscars” are our patients’ expressions of jubilation when we have made our rescue and their healthy,secure smile is beaming back at them in the mirror.
So today in the afterglow of the Academy Awards, we thank you, our patients, for your confidence in our team, for your expressions of gratitude, for putting us to the challenge and for bringing out the best in each one of us. We are committed to prosthodontic magic and we are always in pursuit of your prize, the winning smile.
Technological advancements have led to superior outcomes for patients, but they have also ensured that experiences in the prosthodontist’s chair are faster and smoother than ever before.
The smile is a vital asset to human well-being. The prosthodontist’s professional pride is in building smiles that are worthy of celebration. Dental implant technology has enabled us to deliver healthy smiles with superior esthetics for virtually every patient. Innovations have reduced the time and trauma from the procedure, permitting remarkable results with minimal treatment time and a smooth recovery.
The cutting edge of prosthodontic expertise addresses “Mission Impossible” clinical conditions and makes them do-able. This is most particularly evident in patients with severe bone loss. In past times, they often began their journey in a hospital, giving up bone from another site to be later used in the jaw. Today, we may sidestep bone grafting using extraordinary data available from cone beam CT scans to plan in 3D intricate surgeries on a computer and, with computer generated templates, surgically place zygomatic and pterygomaxillary implants. This “No Bone Solutions” protocol completely eliminates donor site morbidity with grafting and provides the patient with immediate gratification by placement of an implant-retained prosthesis immediately following surgery. Recovery time is drastically reduced and most patients are fully functional the next day.
The combination of surgical technology with zygomatic implants and refined laboratory technology has proven to be a patient-friendly experience that delivers predictably high quality results. The cone beam CT scan and the 3-D planning gives us the opportunity to create the best possible technique for the actual surgery, and allows us to determine both the bone anchorage points for the implants and the prosthetic emergence points for screw retention.
The long-term success of such sophisticated dental implant treatment is critically dependent on the quality of the final prosthesis. Technology now allows robots to mill exact frameworks to support highly esthetic individual ceramic enamel-like crowns and especially life-like gingival prostheses. Our use of individual crowns on computer generated frameworks has eliminated screw holes in the crowns, which adds to the natural esthetics of the prosthesis and allows the crowns to maintain maximum integrity. In our practice, this process builds upon the immediate prosthesis “prototype” and permits refinement of the initial plan by skilled dental technicians. The many advantages of digital design culminate in a prosthesis that fits, functions and appears excellent.
Instead of the eighteen-month plus treatment plan using bone grafting, new technologies allow us to reach the same destination in essentially three visits. Our imaging technology permits 1) placement of implants and provisional prosthesis during one visit, 2) a final impression following implant integration and 3) delivery of the final prosthesis. Many patients who previously thought the pathway to teeth was impossible today find this technology to be a stepping stone to a dream come true. We are honored and privileged to incorporate it into our everyday care and to build celebrated smiles. We are prosthodontists!
About the author
Thomas J. Balshi, D.D.S., PhD., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Thomas J. Balshi is a Diplomate of The American Board of Prosthodontics and founder of Prosthodontics Intermedica, the Pi Dental Center, in Fort Washington, PA. He is also a director at the Institute For Facial Esthetics. Both his graduate and post-graduate degrees were earned from Temple University School of Dentistry, and he received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Cabrini College. Dr. Balshi received his surgical and prosthetic implant training directly from Professor Per Ingvar Bränemark, Institute For Applied Biotechnology. He is a Charter Member and Fellow of the Academy of Osseointegration, a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontists and the ICP. He was a Founder and President of the Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association. His academic focus is teaching the principles of immediate loading implants combined with digital technology. Dr. Balshi has developed treatment protocols exclusive to Pi, including Teeth in a Day® for accelerated rehabilitation and No BoneZ Solution™, to eliminate the need for extensive bone grafting. He is an adjunct professor of both Temple University and Nova Southeastern University. His team has provided special training programs at The Institute For Facial Esthetics for Prosthodontic and Surgical Residents from Harvard, Maryland, UMDNJ, UCONN, Columbia, Loma Linda, Temple and Nova Southeastern. His most recent textbook contribution is in Zygomatic Implants – The Anatomy-Guided Approach (Quintessence).
Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center, was interviewed for the November issue of PhiladlephiaLife magazine.
The single greatest health care advancement that influences the way you practice:
The discovery of dental implant treatment has been the greatest advancement to improve the lives of patients. The ability to predictably replace missing teeth and restore function has been life changing for patients.
One thing you know now that you wish you had known is dental school:
We know now that no patient needs to suffer with removable dentures. Dentistry is capable of providing permanent solutions for almost every patient.
If you had to choose a new career now, other than health care:
Prosthodontics is a blend of dentistry and engineering, computer science and art. No other career is even imaginable.
Dr. Glenn Wolfinger is a Board Certified Prosthodontist practicing at Prosthodontics Intermedica in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wolfinger is a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists and the Academy of Osseointegration. He graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, completed a general practice residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and then completed a residency in combined Prosthodontics through the VA-Harvard Program in Boston. He is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Nova Southeastern University and Co-Director of the Institute For Facial Esthetics. He is a Past-President of the Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association, and a member of numerous other dental organizations. He has participated in critical research projects, has lectured internationally, and has had many articles published in refereed journals.
The Pi Dental Center in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania has made giant steps in helping eating disorder patients find their way to the path of recovery. Philosophically uncharacteristic of the dental profession at large, the Pi doctors and staff have immersed themselves in understanding the multi-dimensional aspects of these health issues, and have taken the solid position that quality dentistry and precision esthetics jumpstart the recovery process.
For years, the dental profession has held a very reserved perspective in applying restorative care to patients with worn away and infected dentitions, requiring patients to show evidence of remission before embarking on major dental reconstruction. At the Pi Center, board certified prosthodontists believe that the core issues of eating disorders, lack of confidence and lack of empowerment, are significantly eradicated by the introduction of a healthy mouth and a winning smile. The dramatic change brought by this sudden life enhancement produces such abundant self-confidence and positive energy that it often unlocks the door to recovery. The Pi approach is not to withhold or delay any measure that contributes to the rebuilding of a broken spirit.
At the Pi Center, ongoing studies of our many treated eating disorder patients clearly indicate that our philosophy generates consistent positive outcomes. Some patients come to us on the threshold of physical and emotional disaster, holding out the singular hope that a new image in the mirror can actually save their lives. Others come unaware of the value embedded in a new smile, but find themselves newly equipped with functioning tools to begin the recovery process.
At the present time, virtually every eating disorder patient in the Pi Dental Center practice has achieved success, not only dentally from a functional and cosmetic standpoint, but also in revamping eating habits to either reduce or eliminate dysfunction. We welcome new patients who suffer from the difficult dental symptoms of eating disorders. We are committed to patient privacy as well as to offering experienced compassion for victims of this difficult disease.
At Pi Dental Center, discover a comforting, nonthreatening environment—and much more—for all restorative dental care
by J.M. Kovacs
“Pi” officially stands for Prosthodontics Intermedica, a multidisciplinary medical approach to engineering smiles that are comprehensively healthy for a lifetime and sparklingly attractive, distinctively suited to each individual patient.
The professional website www.pidentalcenter.com highlights numerous other designations for the signature letters, but probably none is more apparent than “Passionate Ingenuity.” Here is where a truly inspired and experienced team will go far beyond the norm to ensure scientific perfection and total patient satisfaction. The Pi team thinks as if with one mind, embraces as if with one heart. Warmth is evident in every genuinely welcoming handshake and professional passion is defined by immeasurable energy to succeed.
Meet a patient named Frank, age 28, alone in the world with both parents deceased and no known siblings. Once homeless and damaged by unknown history, he now resides in a group residential home as a ward of the state, befriended by members of a local church. Frank is eager to hold a job but because of missing, misshapen and numerous abscessed teeth, his best efforts to smile often frightened others, causing him to be rejected. His dream of a life well lived had nearly disappeared until his very loving church friends sought to find him a bridge to a better world.
Enter the Pi Foundation, the charitable arm of the Fort Washington Dental Center, one of a few of its kind in the country, with a mission to rescue human beings in precisely Frank’s predicament.
Frank’s case was doubly challenging because his fear of dental treatment was nearly paralyzing. On the day he received his smile, the first hour was devoted simply to helping him grow beyond his fear and making him emotionally comfortable to accept the gift he so desperately wanted.
With that accomplished, three doctors, one anesthesiologist, one registered nurse and six surgical assistants worked in tandem, strategically ensuring that Pi’s trademarked Teeth In a Day™ would imminently happen and magically transform Frank’s life, like it had transformed many others before him.
Dr. Bowers gently massaged Frank’s neck as he fell into sleep; Dr. Balshi deftly performed the surgery; and Dr. Wolfinger flew back and forth into the laboratory to fine tune and custom shape the wonderful surprise teeth that Frank would wake to find in his mouth. Not a dry eye was in the “village” as the procedure came to its close.
This is passionate ingenuity. It happens at the Pi Dental Center almost every day.
Although the Pi Dental Center is a nonthreatening and comfortable environment for all restorative dental care, it is also a haven for “Premium Instruction.” Doctors who share the passion for cutting-edge care come from around the world to learn the miraculous strides achievable through implant dentistry, and some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country send their prosthodontic residents to the Pi Dental Center to be trained.
Other “Pi” designations not found on the website but often appearing on the dental center’s vibrant Facebook page are Prosthodontic Innovations, Pertinent Information and Personal Invitations to explore for oneself and discover a dental world different from any other. The blend of skill and compassion at Pi is a rare formula, but it is evenly applied for the smallest tweak or the most dramatic dental achievement. (Published in SuburbanLife Magazine, June 2012) ARTICLE IN PDF FORMAT