Health News Digest


May 2004

New Technology Enables Dental Implants To
Immediately Replace Missing Teeth and Aging Dentistry

PHILADELPHIA — (…If you’re missing a tooth or more, you may find that there are other things you miss. You may wish for your natural smile and the ability to chew food you desire. Maybe you feel self-conscious about your teeth and mouth, or discomfort as remaining teeth shift. And perhaps you’ve experienced muscle strains, an inability to speak clearly, headaches or unease in familiar situations at work, with friends or at home. The effect of tooth loss varies from person to person and depends on what exactly has been lost. If the crown has been lost then so has the visible part of the tooth. If the root is lost as well, you have lost the unseen part of the tooth. The root anchors the tooth in the jawbone, providing stable support for the crown. Without the root, the bone around the lost tooth may gradually shrink or atrophy, and the remaining teeth may shift and chewing may become more difficult with time. There are a number of ways to replace tooth crowns. But if you are forced to replace your entire tooth – crown and root – the best option is dental implants.

The older techniques associated with dental implants generally require anywhere from five months to two years to complete. Dr. Thomas Balshi is a suburban Philadelphia prosthodontist and diplomate of The American Board of Prosthodontics. Through the practice, Pi Dental Center, he has perfected the trademarked protocol that enables patients to literally have Teeth In a Day !

As Dr. Balshi explains, “with the Teeth In a Day! dental implant protocol, not only do patients get their new teeth at once, they have more natural looking teeth and gums than one could have imagined. Placing the tooth immediately has many advantages over implant procedures that only permits delayed tooth placement. For instance, delayed placement of a tooth allows the surrounding gums and bone tissues to shrink. Later, when a dentist then attempts to implant the tooth, the gums may have receded so far as to create an unnatural looking gum line or their may be inadequate bone remaining. Other advantages of this cutting edge technology include: dramatic reduction in treatment time and the number of appointments, immediate full function of the new tooth, a natural cosmetic look and very little discomfort. In fact, some people have reported almost no pain at all.”

Typically, dental implants are allowed to heal for twelve weeks to six or more months before they are used to support new teeth. The Teeth In a DayÔ! Method can often be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or a full mouth of teeth, upper or lower, with remarkable comfort, predictability and aesthetics. Other procedures like extractions can also be accomplished at the same time as well. As Dr. Balshi reports, “it is possible to walk into the treatment center missing one tooth or a whole mouthful of teeth, and leave with a completely new set of teeth that are firmly anchored-not dentures or removable temporaries.”

“While extraction, implant placement and restoration may seem like extensive treatment for a patient to go through in one day, patients respond very favorably with little discomfort, swelling or disruption in their daily schedules,” says Dr. Balshi. He has performed this procedure on patients ranging in ages from their teens to their 90s with similar success. Patients who have undergone the procedure rarely take more than over-the-counter pain medication for a few days afterward. Also, they report a dramatic improvement in aesthetics, chewing ability, security and overall dental comfort as compared to failing teeth or loose irritating dentures.

“Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants,” says Dr. Balshi. If one, a few or all teeth are missing, dental implants are the best option. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants.

About Dr. Thomas Balshi, DDS, FACP
Dr. Thomas J. Balshi is a practicing prosthodontist with Pi Dental Center in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and the Director of the Institute For Facial Esthetics. Graduate of Temple University School of Dentistry, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics. Dr. Balshi established, Pi Dental Center, one of the first dental implant treatment centers in the United States, utilizing the Brånemark System of osseointegrated implants. The center focuses on advanced clinical treatment, extensive research with osseointegrated dental implants, and private clinical training programs. Dr. Balshi is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontists, Member of the American Society of Geriatric Dentistry, Member of the International College of Prosthodontists, Fellow of the American College of Dentists, Member of the American Dental Association, member of the Pennsylvania Prosthodontic Association, and a Fellow of the American College of Prosthodontists, serving on many of the College’s committees, including the Implant Steering Committee.

Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA