A New Smile with Veneers – Lauri’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Lauri was interested in whitening her teeth and was concerned about some progressing decay around her current veneers. To find out her options, she completed the records process with Dr. Elizabeth. This process allows our doctors to use models, x-rays, and photos of the patient’s teeth, gums, and bite to better understand the cause of any problems and determine the best course of treatment. Lauri was invested in improving both the health and beauty of her smile!

What did she want?
Lauri was very interested in our KOR bleaching option, but also wanted to ensure the decay that was found was also addressed. She was interested in using this opportunity to have new veneers made to take her smile to the next level. Dr. Elizabeth took all of her requests and desires into consideration during the records process and incorporated that into her recommendation.

What was involved?
During the treatment presentation, Dr. Elizabeth gave Lauri some recommendations to consider such as orthodontics, replacement veneers, splint therapy, and discussed whitening as well. Lauri decided to move forward with a consultation with an orthodontist to get more information. After a lot of consideration, she decided orthodontics wasn’t right for her at this time. Therefore, splint therapy was started to confirm a consistent jaw position before completing new restorations. During this time she was also fitted for KOR bleaching trays to use at home and received her KOR in-office whitening treatment. By doing the KOR bleaching, Lauri was able to minimize the number of veneers she had fabricated as her color was improved for her lower teeth with the bleaching alone.

What does she think?
Lauri had veneers done in the past so the procedure wasn’t new to her. She is excited to say that she does like her teeth much better now that she had them re-done. She really wanted her new teeth to match the shape and contours of her previous veneers and was focused on improving the color, but still wanted her teeth to look completely natural. She thinks the outcome was a “slam dunk!” We asked Lauri if she would recommend this procedure to someone who unhappy with their smile and she replied, “If they didn’t like their teeth, they should do it – unquestionably!” We just love looking at that beautiful smile!

If you think veneers might be the smile solution you’re looking for, contact Eggert Family Dentistry today!

Crowns vs. Veneers: Which Smile Solution Is Right for You?

Tooth trauma—it happens. Whether you’ve cracked a tooth playing lacrosse or need to fill a cavity from chowing down on too many treats at the Minnesota State Fair, you’re not alone in the need to address weak, broken, or painful teeth. Eggert Family Dentistry often recommends crowns or veneers to patients suffering from tooth traumas. But what’s the difference between these two procedures? How do you know which one is right for you?

What Is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns have been a dentistry staple for decades. A crown helps you recover your smile after a tooth decays, cracks, weakens, or becomes discolored. Sometimes, filling or bonding a tooth is not enough for you to chew comfortably and confidently. In this case, we may recommend a crown.

A crown is a porcelain cup that fits snugly over your tooth. Installing one takes one or two visits. On your first visit, we’ll reshape your tooth and take dental molds. Sometimes, we can use our CEREC equipment to scan your tooth and make your crown in-house. If this is the case for you, we can install your crown the same day. Otherwise, we’ll send the mold of your tooth to a dental lab. We’ll ask you to come back in a couple of weeks to install the crown once it’s ready. We’ll use cement to secure the crown to your tooth, and you’ll be good to go!

What Is a Dental Veneer?
Dental veneers are a great way to recover your smile when several teeth are cracked, weak, misaligned, or chipped. A veneer is a very thin, ceramic shell. It covers your entire existing tooth structure, not just a single tooth. Once installed, veneers look and feel just like your natural teeth.

Veneers take two to three visits to design and install. In your first visit, we’ll discuss the smile shape and look you hope to accomplish with your veneers. Then, we’ll prepare your teeth for placement of the veneers and take molds. We’ll send the mold to our dental lab for fabrication, which takes two to three weeks. In the meantime, we’ll offer you a temporary solution you can wear while your veneers are custom made. At your last appointment, we’ll bond them into place. You can start flashing your new smile immediately.

Sarah's Smile After

Should I Get Crowns or Veneers?
If you’re a candidate for crowns and veneers, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff will explain the difference between these two smile solutions and give you their professional recommendations. Typically, we’ll recommend crowns for patients who have one or two troublesome teeth. Veneers are a better solution for patients struggling with multiple issues on multiple teeth.

Wondering if a crown or a set of veneers is something you need? Schedule your appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry today. We can help you decide healthiest, safest, and most comfortable way forward.

CEREC Dental Restorations

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

People put off dental work for all kinds of reasons.

You might know you need a crown, but you’re too busy to come in for multiple appointments. Maybe you had a bad experience once with a temporary crown. Or maybe you really don’t like the process of getting an impression of your teeth taken.

Well, there’s good news. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we can set you up with a state-of-the-art crown, in a single appointment, with no need to take an impression using our CEREC crown milling unit. CEREC is a fantastic, high-tech system of designing and making high quality, metal-free dental restorations that can all be done in one appointment.

CEREC is a sophisticated set of tools utilizing 3D video imaging and CAD/CAM (computer aided design and manufacturing) technology. With CEREC, we can design a virtual restoration without taking impressions and manufacture the actual restoration in our in-house milling unit while you wait. A variety of materials are available, including compressed porcelain, emax porcelain, or compressed composite resin. The quality of these restorations is equivalent, or even better, than what we can have manufactured in the traditional manner by a dental laboratory.

One Visit, No Impression, No Temporary Crown

Are you interested in getting a same-day restoration? Your appointment will be about two hours long, most of which you will be able to spend time watching your favorite TV show or reading a magazine while we fabricate your crown. The resulting restoration will look great, last a long time, and is metal-free.

CEREC Procedure

  • The first step is to remove all decay from the tooth. Dr. Eggert then shapes the tooth in preparation to take a digital scan of the tooth.
  • The highly detailed digital scan is captured, and the tooth appears in 3D on the computer screen. While you watch, Dr. Eggert designs the restoration.
  • Once the design is completed, the CEREC machine begins the 10-minute milling process. If interested, you can even watch the crown’s construction!
  • Once the milling process is complete, the restoration is sized for accuracy and the color and glazing is finalized.

If you have been putting off your recommended dental treatment, don’t delay. The CEREC will have you out the door with your new crown in no time. Contact us today at 651-482-8412 or on our website. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have on this!

ICON – Chauncey’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Chauncey had white spots on several of his front teeth for as long as he can remember. Typically spots like these are caused by orthodontic work but can be a developmental characteristic too. He researched online about different procedures available to treat the spots and found our You Tube video about the Icon procedure. After doing extensive research he decided to give us a call!

What did he want?
The white spots were very visible whenever he talked or smiled. Chauncey wanted a more consistent coloring in his teeth so the white spots no longer distracted from his beautiful smile. He wanted a procedure that would give him good long-term results that didn’t require re-treating the way many bleaching treatments do. He also liked the non-invasive manner of the ICON procedure.

What is involved?
Icon is a great way to resolve white spot lesions because it requires no tooth removal or Novocain and is very conservative. First, we isolate the teeth and tissues. With a simple cleaning solution we rub on the teeth to start the spot removal process. The Icon infiltrate is then rubbed on to the surface of the teeth and cured with a light. The Icon infiltrate and curing light is then completed a second time to ensure a protective seal on the teeth. The surface is smoothed with a polishing paste and other polishing instruments if necessary. It’s really that easy!

What does he think?
Chauncey was uncertain before having the treatment completed and did a lot of research on his own about the results and process. He says he is, “Very happy, and surprised and how well it worked!” He would tell anyone considering this treatment to go for it. Chauncey was very excited about being able to get same day results and feels much more confident in his improved smile!

If you’d like to experience this treatment for yourself, contact us today!

One Method to Replace Missing Teeth: Traditional Bridgework

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How Did This Start?
Laurie had an existing bridge for her upper front teeth for 35 years and felt it looked dull and didn’t fit quite right. With her son’s wedding planned for April of 2017, she started looking into her options to improve her smile before the big day. Dr. Elizabeth spoke with Laurie about her concerns related to gum recession, bleeding, and darker margins with the existing bridge. They discussed the timeline needed in order to make improvements before the April wedding and decided that taking complete records and formulating options for treatment was the best way to start.

What Did Laurie Want?
Laurie wanted a brighter and more natural looking smile. She had considered implants in the past but had been happy with her existing bridge so the time needed to complete implants didn’t seem necessary. The existing bridge was causing gum related problems and the fit wasn’t quite right after the many years it had been in her mouth. Laurie had also been experiencing issues with migraines for years and was open to exploring options that might improve her jaw function and ultimately improve her health.

What Was Involved?
Dr. Elizabeth recommended that Laurie start with full records so that she could asses the current health of the teeth and gums, and the function of her jaw and muscles. After the records were taken Dr. Elizabeth was able to formulate the best available options to address all of Laurie’s concerns. Ultimately Laurie and Dr. Elizabeth decided the best option was to start with splint therapy, using an anterior deprogrammer. Laurie also wanted to have custom bleaching trays fabricated and then replace the existing bridge to match her brighter teeth.

Benefits of Splint Therapy with an Anterior Deprogrammer
Laurie wore her anterior deprogrammer for 8 weeks and started bleaching prior to doing impressions for the new bridge. She noticed after the first 3 weeks of splint therapy that her jaw felt looser and her teeth felt more in place. By the end of the 8 weeks, she noticed her migraines had decreased so dramatically that she hadn’t had headaches in a month and she was sleeping much better at night. Dr. Elizabeth took impressions for her new bridge and sent them to the dental lab for fabrication. Laurie then went in to Edgar Jimenez’s Dental Studio for a custom shade appointment so they could ensure she would be happy with the end result. After 4 months of planning, preparation, and treatment we were able to place the new bridge in time for her son’s wedding!

What Does She Think?
Laurie loves her new smile and said that it exceeded her expectations! She was skeptical about the splint therapy at first but now she has few if any migraines and has a hard time sleeping without her, now full, splint. The records process was an interesting experience and she enjoyed learning so much about the function of her mouth. Laurie says, “The doctors really know what they are doing. Dr. Elizabeth made it really easy.” Laurie feels much more confident about her smile and is surprised with both the improvement in her gum tissue and the natural, bright looking results we were able to achieve.

Congratulations to Laurie on her beautiful new smile! If you’re interested in tooth replacement options including bridges, please contact Eggert Family Dentistry today at 651-482-8412.

The Seattle Protocol: How Six Simple Steps Could Help You Sleep Better (and Even Save Your Life)

By: Elizabeth Eggert

The Seattle Protocol: It’s not an action flick coming soon to a theater near you. But it is something that could save you from a restless night’s sleep. At Eggert Family Dentistry, that’s something to get excited about!

The Seattle Protocol was pioneered by two intrepid dentists in the Seattle, Washington, area. The six-step process helps patients who struggle with obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disordered breathing conditions like upper airway resistance syndrome. Sleep apnea is a condition where the epiglottis—the soft area at the back of the throat—or the tongue relax during sleep, obstructing the airway. Upper airway resistance syndrome is a condition in which your body is working so hard to keep your airway open, it creates an incredible amount of stress and releases high amounts of cortisol, creating excessive amounts of inflammation.

For some, thinking of sleep apnea conjures up visions of a restless night’s sleep and CPAP machines. While these are certainly the experiences of some patients with this condition, the Seattle Protocol can help many patients with sleep disordered breathing determine if an airway compromise is contributing to their ailments.

Seattle Protocol Step 1: Nose Breathing and Mouth Taping
The first step in the Seattle Protocol is to gently train your body to breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Breathing through your mouth during sleep can lead to snoring and dry mouth. The Seattle Protocol encourages nose breathing by adding a strip of paper tape vertically across the center of your lips. The light adhesive of the tape keeps your lips together but is easy and painless to remove.

Step 2: Temporary Splint for Lower Jaw and Mouth Taping
Once you’ve adjusted to the mouth taping, the second step of the protocol adds a temporary splint for your lower jaw while you sleep. Adding this splint increases the vertical dimension of your jaw and allows more airway space.

Step 3: Temporary Splint for Lower Jaw with Lower Jaw Pulled Forward and Mouth Taping
If adding the lower splint only isn’t giving you the restful sleep you deserve, we move onto the next stage of the protocol. In this step, we add an element that pulls your lower jaw forward. This realigns your jaw and increases your airway space not only vertically, but horizontally as well. This also can give your tongue more of the space it requires.

Step 4: Temporary Splint for Lower and Upper Jaw with Mouth Taping
With all steps of the Seattle Protocol, if you aren’t getting relief from the previous step, we move on. In this step, we remove the forward jaw posturing component and add a splint for your upper jaw. You then go to sleep with splints on your upper and lower teeth and your jaw is free to move. This stage allows for additional vertical height, opening up your airway, but without restricting the jaw muscles into any one strict position.

Step 5: Temporary Splint for Lower and Upper Jaw with Lower Jaw Pulled Forward and Mouth Taping
If you need to continue in the protocol, step five again adds a horizontal component by linking the upper and lower splints together and moving the lower jaw forward. The intent, as always, is to continue to open your airway more and more.

Step 6: Temporary Splint for Lower and Upper Jaw with Lower Jaw Progressively Pulled Forward and Mouth Taping
If you still aren’t getting that good night’s sleep, we move to the final stage of the Seattle Protocol. In this stage, we keep moving your lower jaw forward, incrementally, until you feel well-rested.

While there are six steps in the Seattle Protocol, you may not necessarily go through the entire process. The purpose of the protocol is to help us understand which step provides the best relief. Typically, the further you progress in the process, the more help your airway needs. If we find that you only get positive results in steps 4, 5, or 6, then looking at oral surgery options to expand your airway might be the best long-term solution. Luckily, here in North Oaks, we are able to set you up with some of the best local orthodontists and oral surgeons to manage your situation.

The Seattle Protocol is a gradual, gentle, and reversible process that helps us identify solutions for our patients with airway issues. It not only can help you get a better night’s sleep, but it can lead to an excellent path to better overall health and wellness. If you snore, spend your nights tossing and turning, have anxiety or depression, have acid reflux, or just simply feel tired all the time, call us to schedule a consultation, 651-482-8412. We may recommend starting with the Seattle Protocol to help improve your life!

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and How a Mandibular Advancement Device Could Help

Ever wonder why you’re still drowsy after a full night’s sleep, have a headache in the morning, or wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air? Alone, each one of these symptoms could mean you are sleep deprived, imbibed a bit too much the night before, or had a nightmare. But together, they (along with several other symptoms) may be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tongue or throat muscles relax, partially or completely blocking the upper airway. This makes the chest and diaphragm muscles work harder to open the airway, which in turn taxes the heart. It also reduces the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Here’s a great overview of what obstructive sleep apnea is and why it’s a problem for your sleep quality, daytime alertness, and heart.

Unfortunately, many people with sleep apnea don’t realize they have the condition, at least not at first. Patients with sleep apnea may have fitful sleep. But the tossing and turning may not wake them up. All they know is that they have trouble waking up in the morning, have a headache, and are struggle to stay awake during the day. If that describes you, we encourage you to see your physician to get tested OR we can do many of the initial screenings right at our dental office!

An Oral Sleep Appliance Called a Mandibular Advancement Device Could Help
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend an oral sleep appliance. The official name of the appliance is a mandibular advancement device. We fit mandibular advancement devices at Eggert Family Dentistry and have been able to help many people with this life-threatening condition.

A mandibular advancement device positions the lower jaw slightly forward. Doing so also moves the tongue forward, reducing the chance of an obstructed airway. Take a look at how this type of oral appliance works:

If your doctor recommends a mandibular advancement device, give us a call to schedule your consultation. We’ll take impressions of your mouth so we can custom-design your appliance just for you. Once it’s ready, we’ll ask you to come into our office for a fitting so we can calibrate it so it’s comfortable and effective.

If you’re wondering if you may have sleep apnea, it’s time to make two calls: one to your physician and another to Eggert Family Dentistry. Contact us today to schedule your mandibular advancement device consultation.

Having Trouble Sleeping? Maybe it’s Time to See Your Dentist

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How often do you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed? If you frequently wake up unrefreshed and navigate your day in a haze, feeling like quality sleep is eluding you, you are not alone. In fact, according to a poll conducted by YouGov, only 1 in 7 Americans wake up feeling refreshed every day of the week. If you’re fed up with trying (yet failing!) to get consistent quality sleep maybe it’s time to call your dentist. That’s right – your dentist! At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recognize the frequent connection between sleeplessness and dentistry and we want to take some time to tell you about it!

When our patients complain about “bad sleep” we pay particular attention to their teeth and jaw. What state is their enamel in? If the enamel is worn down it’s either a sign that our patient is grinding their teeth in their sleep – a condition known as bruxism – or indicative of acid erosion, possibly from an airway issue. We also observe our patient’s jaw – does it seem properly aligned or is it misaligned which could lead to snoring or sleep apnea? Both of these conditions result in poor sleep both for our patient and perhaps their bedmate. If we suspect that snoring, sleep apnea, or other sleep disordered breathing is the culprit for you, we will ask you questions regarding your recent well-being: Do you ever wake up with a dry mouth? Do you suffer from insomnia? How often do you feel fatigued all day long? As well as many more that provide insight into what might be occurring for you.

An accurate diagnosis is imperative to successful treatment. Either Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will proceed with a full clinical evaluation of your mouth. We examine your teeth, jaw, tongue, tonsils and airway and order x-rays for up-to-date images of your entire mouth structure. We may also recommend you take home our home sleep screening test which collects data in much the same manner as a professional sleep lab. Depending on the results, we may recommend you take your report to your MD for further testing. Whereas previously the only solution for sleep apnea was a CPAP machine – a loud, humming machine with an attached sleep mask that supplies a steady stream of humidified air through the patient’s airway all night long – many dentist offices now offer another, less-cumbersome solution. Similar to a sports or orthodontic retainer, at Eggert Family Dentistry, we facilitate the creation of a custom-fit oral appliance that properly sets the jaw for sleep and helps maintain an open airway all night long. Not only does this prevent sleep apnea but it is also an excellent solution for chronic snoring.

The effects of getting better sleep cannot be underestimated! From increased productivity during your waking hours to garnering more enjoyment from your daily life and experiencing more fulfillment in your relationships, quality sleep is foundational. 

If you are having trouble sleeping and would like to speak with a dental professional at Eggert Family Dentistry, we would love to connect with you! Give us a call at 651.482.8412 or connect with us online.

Eric’s Story – Using the All-on-4® Implant Technique

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Eric’s complex medical history and treatment needs led to dental issues like severe dry mouth. Because of these factors and despite good homecare, cavities and decay spread quickly for him and required extensive treatments. Over the course of 10 years he required 9 new crowns and multiple fillings in an effort to save his teeth. It was when Eric had to start having some teeth extracted in 2016 that he and Dr. Elizabeth agreed it was time to find a better-lasting, long-term solution. Based on the records Eric had taken in 2013 and his treatment since, Dr. Elizabeth proposed the All-on-4® treatment concept as the best solution to stabilize the health of Eric’s mouth.

What did he want?
Eric spends half of his time at home in Minnesota and the other half at his home in Maui. Keeping up with complex dental needs and many appointments on top of numerous health problems made coming for consistent dental visits difficult so he wanted to come up with a permanent way to improve his oral health. Eric wasn’t overly concerned with the esthetics of his mouth, but he felt that as long as he was considering doing more comprehensive work that he would like to see a whiter, more even smile.

What was involved?
The process started in August of 2016 when Eric had all of his remaining upper teeth extracted and 6 implants placed by Dr. Karl Andreasen of Momenta Oral Surgery. In March of 2017 Eric took the next step in the process and had all of his lower teeth extracted and 5 implants placed to prepare for his final full-arch prostheses. After each of these surgical appointments, an interim (temporary) prosthesis was placed in order to sustain most of his normal function as well as give him teeth to smile with. Eric’s time in his interim prostheses was extended because his health conditions kept one lower implant from fully integrating.

This implant was replaced and after a successful integration check, Eric was ready to take impressions for his final All-on-4® prostheses in March of this year. He decided he preferred the full zirconia, all porcelain material due to its strength and esthetics and he was able to select the shade for his brand new smile! Eric came in for a try-in 3 weeks later and gave the go-ahead for Dr. Elizabeth to have the lab move to final creation. On May 2nd Eric came back and had both of his new arches placed and left with a brand new set of teeth.

What did he think?
After years of treatment planning, Eric was very excited to have a new and healthy set of “teeth” to chew, smile, and talk with. After looking at the final result he was very pleased with how the entire treatment turned out and said, “I shouldn’t have waited so long!” Eric was leaving for his home in Maui just days after the procedure was done and felt relieved to know he was traveling with a stable and healthy mouth. When asked how he felt about the All-on-4® treatment process Eric said, “It was totally worth it. I have one less thing to worry about!” His especially likes the even white color of his new smile! Congratulations Eric! Thank you for putting your trust in us!

The Philips Zoom Whitening System

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Thinking about whitening your teeth? You’re not alone. According to Statistica, in 2017 over 39 million Americans used some type of teeth whitener to achieve a brighter smile. But not all teeth whitening methods are created equal. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most common over-the-counter teeth whitening methods and introduce you to one of our personal favorites – the Philips Zoom Whitening System.

Tooth Whitening Toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste contains a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide than typical toothpaste. It is the cheapest method for brightening your teeth but results can take months to appear and aren’t typically dramatic since whitening toothpaste only has the ability to remove on the surface staining.

Tooth Whitening Strips: Various companies offer over-the counter-teeth whitening strips. While these strips that you place on your teeth come in various strengths for varying results, once again, these products only remove some surface stains and cost substantially more than a tube of whitening toothpaste. Some internal tooth whitening can take place with the OTC strips, but the chemistry isn’t as stable as most of the professional whitening systems and unfortunately, there is no way to know how long the products have been sitting on the shelf, which decreases their effectiveness. Additionally, over-the-counter whitening strips are notorious for causing tooth sensitivity as well as irritating gum tissue.

The Philips Zoom Whitening System!

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer a variety of teeth whitening and bleaching options including professional strips and whitening trays that are gentler on your teeth and gums and are more effective at introducing the whiting product into the internal area of the tooth.. However, one of our easiest and most effective teeth whitening products – Zoom Whitening – is fast and the results are brilliant. It is performed in a single, two hour appointment and lightens teeth anywhere from 4-10 shades! With a Zoom treatment, we apply a professional tooth whitening gel to your teeth followed by an LED light to activate the gel and help the gel penetrate into the tooth. This is performed in four 15-minute increments and includes a post-treatment consult where we discuss at home follow-up care. Follow-up care may include whitening trays and sensitivity management.

We are excited to offer to the first 20 patients to contact us through our new and improved website, the chance to experience the Zoom Whitening system for HALF OFF at only $300 (normally a $600 value). Hurry! This offer expires June 30, 2018. Just in time for grads and dads!!

If you’re interested in whitening your smile and would like to discuss Zoom Whitening or any of our other whitening solutions, you can give us a call at (651) 482-8412 or contact us online. We would love to schedule a consult and help you decide which whitening option is right for you!