Dental Blog | Oasis Prosthodontics in Colorado Springs

 

When you have sleep apnea, it means that you temporarily stop breathing while you sleep. While it is a serious medical condition that can occur as often as 30 times in a single hour, people are often unaware that they have it.

Sleep apnea can cause you to wake from a sound sleep in a panic because it feels like you are choking or gasping for air. Since this may only last a few seconds, you may forget all about it in the morning. However, the interruption in breathing can last up to two to three minutes in some people. When this happens often enough, sleep apnea changes from a mild annoyance to an emergency that could threaten your life. The reason for this is that sleep apnea disrupts the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen present in your bloodstream.

Categories and Symptoms of Different Types of Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, approximately 20 percent of people with this medical condition have a type known as central sleep apnea. This type usually occurs due to faulty brain signaling. Basically, your brain forgets to send the message to breathe as you sleep. The result is an interruption in breathing that can happens several times per night but typically only lasts for a few seconds each time.

People with central sleep apnea often have an underlying health condition that causes it. The most common ones include:

  • Arthritis of the cervical spine
  • Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern, which means you already have weak breathing
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Encephalitis, which means brain inflammation
  • Heart attack
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Surgery or radiation on the spine

Obstructive sleep apnea is the far more common of the two subtypes. This condition occurs because of a partial or complete block in your upper airways. The blockage means that your chest muscles and diaphragm must work extra hard to take air into your lungs. When your breathing resumes, you typically make a grunting, snorting, or gasping sound in your sleep although you probably won’t be aware of this. Unfortunately, untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to an irregular heartbeat because it reduces the flow of oxygen to your heart.

Even though shortness of breath while you sleep might not wake you up, pay attention to how you feel during the day for clues that could indicate obstructive sleep apnea. Feeling restless during your sleep for several nights in a row could be a symptom as well. Some other common symptoms associated with it include:

  • Concentration difficulty, depression, forgetfulness, or irritability
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Night sweats
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Snoring
  • Sore throat upon waking

If you sleep with someone else, it’s likely that he or she will notice symptoms of either type of sleep apnea before you do.

How We Treat Sleep Apnea at Oasis Prosthodontics

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marina Funtik as soon as possible if you recognize any of the symptoms of sleep apnea listed above. It’s possible that changing some lifestyle habits could help reduce your symptoms. Quitting smoking, losing weight if you’re overweight, and reducing the amount of tranquilizers or alcohol you consume are all things you can do to increase the likelihood of successful treatment.

In addition to her many dental credentials, Dr. Funtik is a certified Airway Prosthodontist. She has received extensive training from leading sleep apnea experts across the country. This makes her uniquely qualified to recognize even subtle signs of abnormal breathing. She will complete a comprehensive evaluation of your condition and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.

Wearing a sleep mask or a special dental appliance during sleep is the first step in treating sleep apnea for many patients. The sleep mask forces your airways to remain open while you’re sleeping so you don’t stop breathing. If you find it uncomfortable to wear a sleep mask, a dental device that applies gentle pressure to push your jaw forward might be a more appropriate form of treatment. The appliance also works to keep your tongue from blocking any of your airway passages.

People who fail to find relief from either of these treatments may wish to consider corrective surgery that forces the tongue to remain in place. Of course, every patient is unique and these are just some of the possible treatment methods used by Dr. Funtik. Please contact Oasis Prosthodontics today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.

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.





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