Dental Blog | Oasis Prosthodontics in Colorado Springs

Posts for category: Dental Procedures




Dental Crowns – IPS e.max vs. traditional PFMs (Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal)

There are some great dental innovations with dental crowns. Dental crowns are often the best answer for deep-stained, damaged or deformed teeth. They go over teeth to recreate new and improved smile. It all starts with a precise mold, whether traditional mold or digital one. Often, patients are fitted with a temporary crown while they wait for the permeant one to be designed in the lab by the qualified lab technician.

There are 3 types of crowns:

  • gold alloy (mixture of gold and other metals)
  • ceramic metal mix (so called PFM crowns)
  • all ceramic (IPS e.max and zirconia)

Gold crowns are the most expensive and least esthetic type of a crown. Usually they are only used in the back of the mouth, if at all today.

PFM crowns are considered the traditional crown. They are on the way out since they tend to chip off and porcelain tends to fracture off exposing the metal making them un-esthetic and weak. They are the old technology and due to poor esthetics are now sparingly used.

All-ceramic crowns are highly esthetic, and their strength far exceeds strength of veneered porcelain in the old PFM crowns. IPS e.max is lithium disilicate type of crown and have moderate strength. Zirconia crowns are not as esthetic but are very strong type of a crown, usually used in the back of the mouth due to their strength.

IPS e.max  Crowns & Zirconia Crowns

When the right kind of tooth preparation design is done by your dentist (smooth preparation design with no sharp corners or angles), these kinds of crowns can last a very long time. They are also highly esthetic. Zirconia crowns are the strongest crown we have and strides have been made to make them more esthetic.  Zirconia is now used not only for crowns on the teeth but also on implants. Zirconia is also being used for hybrid prostheses on implants and has shown superior esthetics. 

You deserve the E.max Crown Treatment

Don’t let your smile continue to make you unhappy. You can do something about it, and we can help.  A new smile can be a gateway to giving you the confidence at home, work or school.

Here at Oasis Prosthodontics, we can help make you smile again. Your smile is OUR specialty.

 Contact us today!

By Oasis Prosthodontics
March 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns  

One bite of your favorite food can be all it takes to turn a cracked tooth into a broken one. Luckily, crowns can help stabilize damaged or fragile teeth. Your Board Certified Colorado Springs Prosthodontist, Dr. Marina Funtik, explains how crowns help protect your teeth.Crowns

How do crowns work?
A crown slips over a tooth just like glove fits over your hand. Once in place, crown provides an excellent protection for the tooth. 
Crowns are made from a variety of materials that are strong enough to endure the pressure of chewing and biting without breaking. The latest materials crowns are made of today are zirconia and an Emax porcelain which provides for excellent strength and wear resistance.

What dental issues do crowns treat?
Crowns are often used to treat the following issues:

  • Fragile teeth: Crowns provide needed stability to teeth in danger of breaking. Cracks, chips, root canals and large fillings can increase the risk that your teeth will fracture eventually.
  • Broken teeth: Crowns are used to restore broken teeth and prevent additional damage that can lead to tooth loss.
  • Cosmetic problems: In addition to adding strength and stability to damaged or fragile teeth, crowns can also be used to improve cosmetic issues. Crowns are a good solution if you want to hide discolored teeth, teeth that are smaller than surrounding teeth or teeth that are oddly shaped.

What happens when I receive a crown?
Before you receive your new crown, your Colorado Springs Prosthodontist, Dr. Funtik will need to prepare the tooth to ensure a perfect fit for your crown. She'll also make an impression of your teeth for a custom-made crown. Your tooth will be protected with a temporary crown. Once the new crown is custom made, your Prosthodontist will make any necessary adjustments to the fit before permanently cementing it. Caring for your new crown is as simple as brushing and flossing every day.

Do you have a tooth that could benefit from a crown? Your Colorado Springs, CO prosthodontist, Dr. Funtik of Oasis Prosthodontics, will evaluate your teeth and let you know if crowns are the solution to your problem. Call her at (719) 574-2417 to schedule an appointment. Don't risk the health of your fragile or damaged teeth. Protect them with crowns!

By Oasis Prosthodontics
March 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: composite resins  

Restoring chipped, stained or decayed teeth with dental porcelain is a tried and true method that’s been used for decades. In recent years, though, restorations made with composite resin have become a popular alternative.

Made of a plastic-based matrix with added glass filler, composite resin can be molded and bonded to teeth to replace missing structure with color to match. While they can’t be used for every problem situation, they’re an efficient and economical way to transform your smile.

Here are 4 advantages for using composite resin to restore moderately defective teeth.

They require very little tooth preparation. Crowns, veneers and other porcelain restorations require removing some healthy tooth structure to accommodate them. With the development of stronger bonding materials, composite resins can restore even many large defects in teeth caused by decay or trauma with little structural removal and still remain durable.

Most composite resin restorations are “single-visit” procedures. Unlike porcelain restorations, applying composite resin doesn’t require a dental lab, a process that can take multiple visits. In most cases, a skilled dentist can apply them during a single visit.

They have excellent color matching capabilities. We usually think of teeth as one single shade of white — actually, a single tooth can have varying gradations of color from the root to the tip. As mentioned before, composite resins can be prepared to match those color shades precisely, so your restored teeth look natural and blend well with your other teeth.

Composite resins can be an effective temporary fix for young injured teeth. Because children’s teeth are still developing, permanent restorations for traumatized teeth aren’t usually advisable until they’ve fully matured. Composite resin can be used to restore a young tooth’s form and function until it’s ready for a permanent solution.

If you would like more information on restoring teeth with composite resin, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

By Oasis Prosthodontics
February 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.

A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.

Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.

We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.

Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Minor Tooth Movement.”

By Oasis Prosthodontics
February 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.

“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”

That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.

Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!

The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.

If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”