Dental Blog | Oasis Prosthodontics in Colorado Springs

Metal Mouth. Railroad Tracks. Cheese Grater. Tin Grin. Tinsel Teeth.

Any of those nicknames sound familiar? Does your mind go to pictures of teenagers with big, metallic smiles, or even to complicated headgear?

Well, traditional braces are still around, even for adults. But if you’re an adult interested in straightening your teeth, then Invisalign is usually the most effective choice. In fact there are many adults who choose to straighten their teeth in their thirties, fourties, and even fifties and beyond, and that's just fine!

Options for Adults

For most adults, Invisalign is the treatment that makes the most sense. This system uses customized clear polyurethane plastic aligners that fit over your teeth, gradually shifting your teeth over the course of a year or two.

Treatment begins with a non-invasive 3D digital scan of your teeth, so no uncomfortable teeth molds. Then, based on these images, your orthodontist will work with Invisalign to create a plan of how your teeth will be adjusted over time. You’ll also be able to see how your teeth will look once the your treatment is done, just like taking a time machine into the future to see your new smile.

From there, your aligners will be custom-fit for your mouth. They will fit your gums perfectly. Then when they are ready, you’ll come into the office and pick up your aligners. You may need some attachments, which are ridges colored like your enamel and placed on your teeth. These attachments help Invisalign with moving your teeth in a more effective manner.

Your doctor will let you know what to expect from your treatment. Usually, you’ll get a new set of aligners once every one to two weeks, and you will wear your aligners from 20 to 22 hours a day, removing them only to eat, drink, and brush your teeth. You’ll want to schedule check-up appointments every six to eight weeks.

What Invisalign Is Not

You may also have heard of other kinds of aligners that you can use at home with a remote orthodontist. And it’s true that those are cheaper alternatives to Invisalign. But you’ll be missing out on the in-office care and guidance of your orthodontist.

Aligners, just like braces, gradually move your teeth into a straighter smile, so it’s important to make sure that your smile is on track. In-office visits with your orthodontist will make sure that your smile is on point and fabulous. And, if you’re having any sort of issues with pain or discomfort, you can be treated by a doctor instead of "seen" by a remote physician.

How to Get the Best Results with Invisalign

One major benefit of Invisalign is the convenience. You won’t have painful popped wires or irritation from the metallic materials of traditional braces. Here are some tips to make the best out of your Invisalign treatment.

  1. Brush your regularly. This will help prevent your aligners from staining. It’ll also help to keep food particles from becoming stuck in your teeth and gums, which can cause tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental issues.
  2. Keep your aligners clean. This will again help your oral health. You can wash them in several kinds of solutions including just water, Invisalign's own cleansing tablets, or even a mild denture cleaner. If you have more questions about keeping your aligners clean, talk to your orthodontist.
  3. Be disciplined with your aligners. Because they are removable, you may be tempted with keeping your aligners out of your mouth for longer than the recommended two hours. But remember that your teeth have a mapped-out plan for alignment through Invisalign. To keep your teeth alignment on schedule, you must use them at least 20 hours a day.

It's never too late to get the smile you've always wanted.Contact us today at 719-574-2417 to schedule an appoint with our board-certified prosthodontist, Dr. Marina Funtik, DMD, MS, FACP.

botox and dermal fillers in colorado springsAs we age, our skin begins to wrinkle and could eventually sag in certain places. This is particularly true with facial skin, which can begin to appear less resilient and healthy than it did in the past. Fortunately, advances in medicine provide a solution for the deterioration of skin. Botox and dermal fillers continue to be the top choices among anti-aging treatments to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

What is Botox?

Botulinum Toxin type A, or Botox, is created by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. In essence, Botox is a muscle relaxer that works temporarily to treat several conditions. Medically, Botox is used to treat migraines and other neurologic conditions. As a cosmetic treatment, Botox is used as a treatment for dynamic wrinkles.

How Does Botox Treatment Work?

Many of us have naturally-occurring wrinkles around the eyes and mouth that become more pronounced with age. Botox relaxes the muscles surrounding those wrinkles, which restricts the movement of the muscles and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

When you have a Botox procedure, the material is injected with a fine needle, and you will feel little to no pain. It generally takes up to seven days to receive the full effect of the treatment, and it's best if you avoid alcohol and anti-inflammatory drugs in the week leading up to the procedure.

The Benefits of Botox

Botox is an excellent treatment for certain types of wrinkles and those who choose it find that it offers several benefits. Among them are:

  • Youthful appearance. Botox can take years off of your life and provide you with a more youthful appearance.
  • Preventative treatment. Botox not only treats wrinkles but can prevent further development.
  • Treats more than wrinkles. Botox can be beneficial for other health concerns such as migraines, muscle spasms, and heavy sweating.
  • Retrain muscles. If you get repeated Botox treatment, there can be a gradual relaxing of the muscles, which could lead to your treatments lasting longer.

What are Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are another type of injectable substance used to treat facial wrinkles and fine lines. The fillers are composed of natural and synthetic materials, the most common of which is hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a tissue-friendly gel that is also a naturally-occurring substance in the body. HA breaks down in the body over time, which causes a loss of moisturizing and results in wrinkles or lines.

How Dermal Fillers Work

Dermal fillers don't relax the muscles around wrinkles or restrict muscle movement like Botox. Instead, they pump up the areas that have wrinkles or depressions by "filling" them in.

Dermal fillers involve an injection into the skin, similar to Botox. The treatment takes just 30-45 minutes to perform, and there is minimal, if any, discomfort associated with the procedure. The aesthetic results of dermal fillers are experienced immediately, and you will not have any scars from the treatment.

The Benefits of Dermal Fillers

There are many benefits associated with opting for dermal fillers for the treatment of different areas of the face. Among them are:

  • Choices in products. There are several different types of fillers that can be used to treat different areas, such as fine lines, deep skin depressions, and adding volume to lips.
  • Long-lasting. Dermal fillers can last as long as 24 months, although most treatment effects are noticeable for as long as 18 months.
  • Immediate benefits. You don't have to wait to see the results of the treatment. As soon as you have the fillers, you can view the transformative results.
  • Skin rejuvenation. In addition to subtly changing your appearance, dermal fillers are also good for your skin because they add hydration.

Choosing Between Botox and Dermal Fillers

While Botox remains the most popular treatment for facial wrinkles, dermal fillers are a close second. If you're trying to decide between the two, speak with your skin care professional about making the best choice for your needs. In general, Botox treatments are used to treat lines in the upper part of the face and as a means of stopping further wrinkle growth. Fillers have the advantage of treating firmly established wrinkles, so may be a better option for someone over the age of 40.

In some cases, a combination of Botox and dermal fillers can provide the optimum treatment for your needs. You can speak with the cosmetic specialist at OASIS Prosthodontics about choosing the right treatment to meet your goals.

Dr. Marina Funtik is a certified medical professional who happily serves clients throughout the Colorado Springs area. Contact our office now to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

Have you always wanted to have the perfect smile but cringe at the preceived pain and cost that you assume it comes with? You may be surprised that, even as an adult, perfecting your smile doesn’t have to involve braces or retainers, and it doesn't have to hurt, or cost a fortune.

Invisalign are clear aligners made of polyurethane plastic that you can use—and remove. Millions of people have benefited from the use of this technology, and they have received improved smiles, and it was all relatively quick, easy, and painless. Below are ten of the most common benefits that people find when choosing to use this method.

  1. Invisalign treatment takes less time. With weekly adjustments to your aligners, you can have a better smile in less time—up to 50 percent less. That means you can get back to life and to being your normal self quicker.
  2. It works for many different types of patients. You may think your teeth can’t be helped by Invisalign, but with Invisalign trays created from innovative material like SmartTrack, even complex cases can be helped, including crossbites. So don’t assume anything, no matter what your situation is you should schedule a consultation to see if this technology can give you a better smile.
  3. Clear aligners are much more comfortable. One major pain of using other methods of teeth straightening is the irritation they cause to the mouth and gums. The thing about Invisalign is that there are no broken wires or brackets that can cause discomfort to your mouth. The aligner trays are smoother and more flexible, leaving your mouth in much better shape.
  4. Invisalign is convenient. Unlike braces which are cemented onto your teeth, Invisalign aligners can be removed, which makes brushing and flossing your teeth a lot easier. In fact people who get traditional braces take a lot longer to brush, taking up to half an hour. With Invisalign, you’ll be able to clean your teeth much more easily. You’ll also be better able to keep the aligners clean since you can simply take them out of your mouth and wash them.
  5. You can eat what you want. Getting food stuck in your teeth and braces can be quite a hassle, but you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign, since the aligners are removable. Simply take out the aligners, eat, and if you need to floss, then you can do so before placing the aligners back in.
  6. They look better. We all know how important it is to look good, even as adults. Because of their almost invisible appearance, Invisalign is a much better look than metal braces or retainers. If you have teens they will appreciate this benefit, but really, don’t we all? When speaking to people you’ll feel a lot more confident and a lot less self-conscious.
  7. Teeth grinders will have better protection. Teeth grinding is often caused by stress, or by a sleep disorder, because it usually occurs during sleep. Grinding on a regular basis can cause damage to your teeth, and make your jaw sore when you wake up. In this instance, Invisalign can act as nightguards, helping to protect your teeth.
  8. You’ll spend less time in the dentist office. Going to the dentist office for braces adjustments can be a difficult, both to your mouth and to your schedule. With Invisalign, you’ll only need to come in to see the dentist once every four to six weeks. That allows you to spend less time driving to and from the dentist office, as well as sitting in the dentist’s chair.
  9. You can speak more easily with Invisalign. With traditional braces, it can take a little bit of time to get used to speaking properly again. The adjustment period for Invisalign is much shorter—many times, it takes less than a week. If you’re still adjusting to the aligners and have a special occasion, you can remove them you’re done with your event.
  10. Invisalign works! Because of SmartTrack material, which provides gentle yet constant control of tooth movement, and SmartForce features, Invisalign has provided millions of people with a beautiful smile. That kind of data is not available with any other clear dental aligner.

Invisalign is usually covered by orthodontic insurance plans, so not only do you get all the above benefits but it’s more than likely that your insurance plan will cover them. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider first. If you’re interested in learning more if Invisalign contact Oasis Prosthodontics in Colorado Springs for an appointment at (719) 574-2417. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

If it seems like no part of your body remains unaffected by pregnancy, you’re right. From the earliest days of conception, your body’s hormones undergo significant changes. You’re probably familiar with several of these changes already, such as a heightened sense of smell, nausea, and fatigue. What many women don’t realize is that pregnancy hormones affect their oral health as well. The most significant change to oral health for pregnant women is the condition of their gums.

Pregnancy and the Increased Risk of Gum Disease

According to the American Dental Association, approximately half of all pregnant women develop gingivitis before they give birth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It normally goes away after delivery, but not always. Some women who develop gingivitis during pregnancy go on to develop more advanced gum disease. This can happen when they don’t make a special effort to brush and floss their teeth twice a day and continue receiving regular professional check-ups.

The production of estrogen and progesterone, two essential hormones in the female body, significantly increases during pregnancy. This causes more blood flow to the gums, which in turn causes greater sensitivity and an overreaction to bacteria and plaque already present in the mouth. The higher than usual amount of estrogen and progesterone cause inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums. Eventually, this can lead to the loss of bone and teeth. It’s no reason to become alarmed, but we encourage you to pay close attention to your oral health during pregnancy and to report any concerns as soon as possible.

How Morning Sickness Can Affect the Health of Your Teeth

Nausea and vomiting are a fact of life for many pregnant women and either symptom can strike you at any time of day. The stomach acid present in vomit can damage your teeth, particularly if you’re unfortunate enough to struggle with persistent vomiting during pregnancy. You can help to prevent acid erosion of your teeth by rinsing your mouth out with water, a diluted mouthwash, or a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda and one cup of water. For the most effective results, swish and spit first and then brush your teeth approximately half an hour later.

What to Do When Brushing Your Teeth Makes Your Gag

It may feel disheartening to read that pregnancy can increase oral health issues when the very thought of brushing your teeth makes you feel nauseated. You will need to try different approaches to see what works best for you. Perhaps using a different flavor of toothpaste will decrease gagging sensations. You could also try brushing at times of day when you tend to feel less nauseated or using a toothbrush with a smaller sized head. Stay persistent until you find something that works for you to decrease the likelihood of developing gum disease or tooth decay during your pregnancy.

The Importance of a Healthy Diet

You already know that a healthy diet that includes ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, and protein and few sweets is essential for the proper development of your growing baby. However, it’s just as important for your own oral health. Although it can be challenging to resist sweets when your body is sending you strange food cravings, do your best not to give in to them. If you find that you must have something sweet, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards to prevent the sugar from turning into bacteria in your mouth.

Dental Check-Ups and Treatment Are Safe During Pregnancy

If you normally visit the dentist every six months, you would be due for at least one check-up before you give birth. It’s important to keep this appointment so your teeth and gums can remain as healthy as possible for the duration of your pregnancy. The American Dental Association also states that pregnant women don’t need to delay necessary dental procedures such as crowns and fillings because these restorations can help to prevent gum disease and infections that can cause additional problems later. However, it’s probably best to wait to schedule any cosmetic procedures until after you have the baby.

Request Your Free Consultation Today

Dr. Marina Funtik of Oasis Prosthodontics is happy to provide guidance and treatment to maximize your oral health during pregnancy. You may complete a contact form or call her office at 719-574-2417 to request an appointment. Our entire staff looks forward to meeting you and providing you with exceptional care during your pregnancy and beyond.

Dealing with lost or damaged teeth can be stressful. You not only need to consider the discomfort of your situation but also the replacement cost, convenience, and the long-term effects of your choice on your health and self-confidence.

When you have a lost a tooth or, worse, have more than one lost or damaged, it's essential that you replace them as soon as possible. In most cases, your restoration options will include either dentures or implants. Here is some information to help you make this important choice.

 

What are Dentures?

Dentures are removable appliances that will replace your missing teeth as well as some of the gum tissue. Full or complete dentures replace all of your teeth in the upper and lower jaw while partial dentures will fill in gaps where some natural teeth remain.

Complete dentures rest on your gums, and a partial denture is supported around existing teeth by clasps or with attachments that are fitted into crowns. Dentures have an acrylic base that is colored to match your gums, and some will also have additional framework for support.

Pros and Cons of Dentures

For many years, dentures were the only option to deal with tooth loss. The most significant benefit of dentures is that they are the lowest cost solution to dealing with this widespread issue. Unfortunately, there are simply too many disadvantages to choosing dentures to ignore. These include:

  • Dentures feel unnatural and bulky in your mouth.
  • Dentures might feel unstable and require gooey adhesive to hold them in place.
  • Dentures must be removed for cleaning and to sleep.
  • Dentures only provide up to 40% of normal chewing function.
  • Dentures can become dislodged while eating or while speaking.
  • Dentures can impact the way that food tastes.
  • Dentures may need to be relined or replaced in the future.
  • Dentures can lead to changes in facial structure due to bone loss.

What are Dental Implants?

Most people don't like the idea of having to wear dentures for the rest of their life. Fortunately, there are other options. More people today are choosing dental implants over dentures because of their advantages. These include better dental health, improved comfort, and more natural function.

So, what are dental implants? Dental implants are titanium posts that are implanted into the jaw bone, which replicates the root of a natural tooth. The post bonds to the jawbone and acts as an anchor for the replacement tooth.

Implants are permanent, so they don't move around in your mouth and won't have to come out for cleaning. Implants function and feel like natural teeth, giving you as much as 100% of your normal chewing function.

Comparing Costs

While dentures are more affordable than implants considering upfront costs, it helps to look at the big picture. Once you add in buying the lifetime supply cleaning solutions, fixatives, and denture replacements, those costs go up significantly. When you choose dental implants, you don't have to purchase the fixatives or cleaning solutions that you would need with dentures. Also, removable dentures need replacing on average every 15 years, and dental implants can last a lifetime.

Preventing Bone Loss in the Jaw

Before making a choice between dentures and implants, it's critical that patients understand the biggest implication of choosing one over the other. Dentures have a tendency to shrink the jawbone over time, which can impact the integrity of the facial structure. This means that your face will begin to look sunken in, which can make you look older than your true age. Also, these changes to the jawbone will necessitate replacement dentures at some point.

Superior Function, Fit, and Freedom

Your smile and the other functions of your mouth are essential to living a full life. Not only can removable dentures shift and impact your speech, but their look and discomfort can also cause issues with self-esteem. If your dentures don't fit properly, you may get irritated gums or develop other health issues. Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance schedules for dentures can also be both expensive and time-consuming.

On the other hand, dental implants feel and function just like your natural teeth. You can speak naturally, eat the foods you enjoy, and feel confident in your smile. You will care for and clean your implants just as you would real teeth, which gives you more time and freedom to appreciate all that life has to offer.

Visit Dr. Funtik in Colorado Springs to schedule an appointment today!





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