Pi Dental Technology Milestones

A milestone is a significant change or development. This blog discusses the most significant dental technology milestones that have revolutionized Pi Dental Center’s prosthodontic patient care. Our doctors and staff compiled the list outlined below. Tell us which of these milestones you believe have had the most impact on patient care.

Discovery of Osseointegration and Development of Dental implants

When Pi Dental Center opened its doors over 35 years ago, dental implant technology was in its infancy. Implant treatment was especially time-consuming and complicated. It was a multi-stage process. Implant treatment was not an exact science, and surgical placement involved a lot of guesswork. Permanent teeth unquestionably add comfort, confidence, and vitality to the patients’ quality of life. We customize each smile for exceptional esthetics.

Development of Conversion Prosthesis and Teeth in a Day®

The Conversion Prosthesis is an interim fixed prosthesis that the patient wears from the time of dental implant placement until we deliver the final prosthesis. They make it from the patient’s removable denture or a new temporary prosthesis. During the implant placement procedure, this removable prosthesis is modified into a non-removable prosthesis.Milestones in Dental Care

Teeth in a Day® was developed at Pi Dental Center in 1993 by Dr. Thomas Balshi and Dr. Glenn Wolfinger. In the past, dental implant treatment was indeed a lengthy process that took between 3 months to a year to complete. With Teeth in a Day®, the doctor installs the dental implants and delivers non-removable teeth in just one visit. The Conversion Prosthesis is a key component of this protocol.

Development of the All-On-4 Treatment Concept™

The All-On-4 Treatment Concept™ is a dental implant procedure that uses four implants to support permanent teeth. We have performed this reliable and cost-effective procedure at Pi Dental Center for over 3 decades.

Development of Cone Beam Technology

Pi Dental Center uses CT Scanning technology in dental implant planning and to diagnose problems related to the patient’s oral structures. As a result of this scanning technology, our doctors have identified many serious problems that would have otherwise gone undiagnosed. We also use it in the No Bone Solution guided surgical procedures.

Development of the No Bone Solution

Guided Implant Placement, Zygomatic Implants, and Implants in the Pterygoid Region

There was a time when people with poor bone quality or low bone levels in the jaw could not have dental implants. These patients suffered because loose dentures fit badly and painfully.

Today, most patients can successfully wear a fixed prosthesis supported by dental implants. The “No Bone Solution” uses CT scanning technology, computerized dental implant planning, and guided surgery to provide patients with fixed implants. This procedure also eliminates the need for invasive bone grafting. These technologies improve the precision of implant placement and increase the success rate for osseointegration.

The Zygomatic implant is a special type of dental implant that engages the zygomatic region, which have consistently dense bone for implant placement and with minimal surgical trauma.

The pterygomaxillary area of the jaw also provides good bone quality for dental implant placement.

Improvements in dental hygiene for dental implant patients

New methods and dental hygiene tools have made home-care easier for the patient.

Digital dentistry, digital impressions, and intraoral scanning

TRIOS® Digital scanning technology makes designing crowns, bridges, and single-tooth implant restorations simpler and more advanced. Clearly, this technology provides the patient with a more comfortable treatment experience and a more accurate impression. Traditional dental impressions can cause gagging. TRIOS® reduces gagging and treatment time.

Development of the Occlusal Lock

The Occlusal Lock, which was developed at Pi Dental Center, allows the dentist to achieve greater precision during the Teeth in a Day® process by helping to line up the teeth with great precision.

Development of the SurgiDenture®

The SurgiDenture® is a digital denture that is also a surgical guide for dental implant placement developed by the team at Pi Dental Center in collaboration with experts at Global Dental Science.

Milling of restorations

The milling of dental restorations has revolutionized dental lab technology. After the digital impressions are taken and the prostheses are designed at Pi Dental Center, single crowns, removable dentures, single tooth implants, and metal frameworks can be milled.

Here are some of the other milestones that have enhanced the field of dentistry

Research and Use of Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural element that strengthens teeth and prevents decay. Experts believe that the best way to prevent cavities is the use of fluoride from multiple sources. In addition, studies even show that sometimes, fluoride can stop existing damage to the teeth. Furthermore, in children younger than 6 years fluoride is incorporated into the enamel of permanent teeth, making the teeth more resistant. (Mater Sociomedv.27(6); 2015 DecPMC4733546)

Fluoride research began in the early 1900s. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. It should be noted that a 15-year study showed that schoolchildren had 60% less caries. Click here to read about the history of fluoride.

Today, fluoride is in many types of toothpaste, and additionally, water is fluoridated in many areas. More info about fluoride from the CDC.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings look natural and are potentially safer than amalgam fillings. The dentist blends the shades of the composite fillings to match the surrounding tooth structure.

3D Printing Technology

This printing technology is currently used for removable dentures, metal frameworks, and provisional restorations. 3D printing is the future of lab manufacturing. As 3D technology improves, it will be used in more applications.

High-speed handpiece

The first high-speed handpiece was introduced in 1957. Since that time, countless improvements have been made and today this vital device is used every day in every dental office.

Anesthetics in dentistry

Anesthetics make dental treatment bearable. Click here to review the history of anesthetics in dentistry.

Clear aligners in orthodontics

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are transparent plastic devices used to move the teeth. They are an alternative to conventional metal braces.

Tell us what other advancements have improved dentistry. What technology has improved your dental care?

Photo: Göteborg, Sweden, former headquarters of Nobelpharma (Nobel Biocare).

By Chris Raines, Pi Dental Center, Marketing and Information Systems Manager

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Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA