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!

Don’t Be Fooled By These 5 Teeth Whitening Myths

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

There is plenty of information out there about teeth whitening and plenty of companies that offer the ‘perfect’ product to do the job. As the consumer, the challenge lies in weeding through all the information to get to facts and letting all the myths and unsupported claims fall by the wayside. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe that you deserve accurate information so you can make the best decision for your smile so we want to debunk 5 common myths regarding teeth whitening.

Myth #1: Teeth whitening will damage your enamel.
Busted! As opposed to wearing away outer enamel and revealing a fresh layer of enamel below, professional whitening opens up the pores of your teeth and diffuses oxygen into the tooth so the light scatters differently and everything appears whiter.. No damage is caused to enamel in this process.

Myth #2: Teeth whitening causes extreme sensitivity.
Busted! Although minor sensitivity isn’t uncommon, there are some proactive measures you can take to lessen the likelihood of this occurrence. For a couple weeks prior to having your teeth whitened, brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth helps guard your teeth against possible sensitivity from professional whitening. There are also daily mouthwashes that can reduce sensitivity. Extreme sensitivity should never occur from a professional whitening procedure.

Myth #3: DIY whitening products are comparable to the dentist’s whitening products.
Busted! Rubbing acidic fruits on your teeth or using baking soda on your toothbrush will lead to enamel erosion, hydrogen peroxide can be harsh on enamel and gums and there is no clear scientific evidence to support the use of activated charcoal to brighten your smile.

Myth #4: Whitening will make your teeth look unnatural.
Busted! There is a finite level of whiteness your teeth can achieve and that depends on the original shade of your teeth. Whitening your teeth is the most natural way to a brighter smile since the enamel stays intact and the light will still scatter from your teeth in a natural manner.

Myth #5: Once teeth are whitened the results are permanent.
Busted! Professional teeth whitening results can easily be maintained, but the maintenance you do will determine the longevity of your results. We recommend doing some maintenance monthly, which may simply mean one overnight treatment each month. Everyone’s whitening diffuses at different rates so your maintenance schedule may be more rigorous, but we will help you determine what will be best for you!.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer several effective and safe teeth whitening treatments right in our office. If you would like more information about teeth whitening or any of the other services we provide, we would love to connect! You can give us a call at 651.482.8412 or contact us to schedule your consultation!

The All-on-4® Technique – Revolutionizing Dental Implants at Eggert Family Dentistry

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are excited to share information with our Eggert Family Dentistry patients about a revolutionary option for full-arch dental implants. We’ve found the All-on-4® treatment is an excellent solution for patients who have a full arch of missing or soon-to-be missing teeth and require a modern way to replace their teeth.

The All-on-4® Treatment Concept Offers Many Advantages
Over traditional dentures, which is the classic way to replace a full arch of teeth, the implant supported prostheses fabricated for an All-on-4® patient allows for great stability because of the anchorage of the implants in the jaw bone. There are fewer implants required to anchor the All-On-4® than if we would replace all of your missing teeth with individual implants so the costs are significantly decreased. It is also almost always possible to place temporary provisional teeth onto the implants the same day as the surgery. These provisionals look and feel much like natural teeth, leaving you to lead a normal life after surgery.

All-on-4® Dental Implants Are Immediately Effective
For many patients, we can place implants and load the temporary prothesis in a single All-on-4® treatment. With All-on-4®, two implants are secured perpendicularly to the jawbone and two implants are secured at a 45-degree angle. The angle of the second pair of implants gives us access to more bone without having to wait for bone grafts to grow. The angulation of the implants allows for the procedure to be done without having to use bone grafts.
If you’re a candidate for the procedure, the All-on-4® treatment may enable you to leave the oral surgery office with a brand-new prothesis that provides immediate improvements to your ability to chew, speak, and flash a beautiful smile.

All-on-4® Dental Implants Are Long-Term
Like other dental implants, the All-on-4® treatment is a long-term solution. It is more cost-effective than individual implants for multiple teeth on the same jaw. And once placed, your prothesis will provide years of confidence, comfort, and self-esteem. It’s no wonder most patients would recommend going ahead with the All-on-4® treatment to others considering the procedure!

Eggert Family Dentistry is looking forward to sharing our experience with the All-on-4® treatment later this month. By coordinating with our tremendous oral surgeons, together we are able to provide this magnificent option. If a full-arch restoration is in your future, schedule a consultation with us to discuss your treatment options, including All-on-4®. We look forward to finding a solution for you!

Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

According to a study by international healthcare group Bupa, 42% of the 2000 people surveyed said that their smile is the first thing they would change about themselves and a little over a third of the surveyed group said they’re embarrassed by their smile. What’s more? Orthodontics Limited reports that teeth are second only to weight when it comes to things people feel insecure about. Fortunately, at Eggert Family Dentistry, there are a plethora of ways you can choose to improve your smile. Let’s take a closer look at 5 popular smile-enhancing options that we offer at our clinic!

Tooth Whitening: Over time, due to poor brushing habits and consumption of acidic and richly-hued foods and beverages, teeth become yellowed and dull. Tooth whitening is a safe and cost-effective procedure that brings back brilliance to your pearly whites. While historically triggering nerve sensitivity, today’s whitening agents contain fluoride and other desensitizing agents which reduce the risk of sensitivity. If properly maintained, the positive effects of tooth whitening can last for a number of years. It’s important to keep in mind that anything that can stain a white shirt can stain your smile. Ensuring thorough brushing after consumption of stain-inducing foods and beverages will extend the life of your tooth whitening procedure.

Bonding: This is an effective way to fill in gaps in your teeth – particularly the unsightly gaps in the front of your mouth – as well as whitening yellowing or darkening teeth. The results from bonding are immediate and stunning. As with teeth whitening, however, it is important to practice good oral habits in order to avoid new staining and discoloration from foods and beverages.

Porcelain Veneers: While the term may conjure up images of fragile dolls and china, porcelain veneers are actually incredibly strong and durable. These veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied directly to your natural teeth for the purpose of changing their size, shape or color or to repair fractured teeth or improve the appearance of a crooked smile. This entire procedure can be accomplished in as little as two visits with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff. Many people choose porcelain veneers simply to feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

Crowns: Crowns thoroughly cover a tooth in order to give the tooth the protection it needs to function correctly or for the purpose of changing its size, shape or color. We are fortunate to be able to complete crowns in only one visit in our office with our CEREC crown procedure.

Invisalign®: As we’ve highlighted in recent posts, Invisalign® is a fantastic alternative to braces for many teens and adults. With the use of transparent, low-profile aligner trays, teeth can be straightened and improper bites corrected. This procedure is typically more comfortable, less visible and takes less time than teeth straightening and bite correction with traditional metal braces.

If you long for a confident smile and are considering any of these great smile-enhancing options, please contact our office. We would love to consult with you and provide you with a treatment plan that is right for you!

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning Invisalign®

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In our previous post we introduced Invisalign® treatment as a great alternative to traditional braces. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe that thorough research is imperative to making your best decision. If you are considering Invisalign® there are some important questions you may want to ask prior to pursuing treatment.

Q: How long can I expect Invisalign® treatment to take to achieve my desired results?

A. Treatment can take anywhere from 6-24 months depending on the amount of correction needed. Patients move through a series of custom fit trays, called aligners, that slowly move the teeth and jaw into proper position. For a patient whose teeth are extremely crowded or who have an overbite, underbite or crossbite, they will need more custom aligners to straighten and reposition everything. Typically, aligners are replaced every two weeks and patients move through between 5 and 50 aligners during the course of their Invisalign® treatment.

Q. What are the benefits of Invisalign® as opposed to metal braces?

A. There are quite a few aspects of treatment that make Invisalign® more appealing than metal braces.

  • Because aligner trays can be removed for brushing and flossing teeth, Invisalign® doesn’t lend itself to “braces breath” – the brushing and flossing process is much more thorough and certainly more efficient.
  • Aligners don’t involve wires and brackets so they are far less irritating to the tongue and the inside of the patient’s cheeks. Although you may experience a sore mouth you likely won’t have to deal with sharp, poking pain.

Q. How do I care for my aligners?

A. It’s important to keep aligners clean. This means regularly brushing aligners with your toothbrush and water. Also, storing aligners in distilled water when not in use is important, as dry aligners are prone to bacteria growth.

Q. Will I talk funny when I’m wearing my aligners?

A. You will likely notice yourself lisping at first as you adjust to your new aligners. This is perfectly normal! Fortunately, our brain trains our tongue to speak around this new “obstruction” and within 2-3 days normal speech returns.

Q. Can I eat and drink with my aligners in?

A. Although you could potentially eat with your aligners in place it would be much more difficult and can encourage cavities to form since the food gets stuck underneath the aligners and on the teeth. We recommended removing aligners before eating. They can be easily worn when drinking and should they stain from coffee, tea or other beverages, they are replaced frequently.

If you have additional questions about what you can expect from an Invisalign® treatment, contact Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff to schedule your consultation!

What is Invisalign® and Is It Right for Me?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When it comes to straightening teeth and correcting alignment issues, most people picture traditional metal braces. There are, however, other great treatment choices you may want to consider. One of these treatments is Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear, retainer-like teeth aligners are an increasingly popular choice among people looking to achieve a straighter smile. So maybe you’re wondering: What exactly is Invisalign and how do I know if it’s right for me? Let’s look into it together!

What is Invisalign®?

Introduced to the public as a braces alternative in 2000, Invisalign® is a transparent orthodontic device used to correct teeth and bite issues. Unlike some of its counterparts, Invisalign® is made from BPA-free, medical grade polyurethane thermoplastic, making it completely safe for your body. It is a low-profile device created from a digital scan of your mouth and is custom fit to wrap comfortably around your teeth. Invisalign® can successfully correct many common dental challenges including gapped and crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. However, it’s not for everyone.

How do I know if Invisalign® is right for me?
At Eggert Family Dentistry, we like to arrange a consultation with each of our patients considering Invisalign® treatment and assess the following components to help determine if it is a suitable choice for their situation:

  • Alignment severity: While Invisalign® can be an effective choice for people with mild to moderate crowding, for severe alignment issues, a more aggressive method of orthodontic intervention – such as traditional metal braces – may be necessary.
  • Age: Many teens and adults don’t want to be a walking billboard for flashy metal braces and love Invisalign® for its discreet ability to straighten teeth and correct alignment. While highly-effective for older teens and adults, Invisalign® isn’t recommended for children or young teens whose teeth are still growing.
  • Compliance: For optimal results, Invisalign® aligners must be worn 22 hours a day. This allows for removal of the aligner during meals, sports and brushing/flossing but it is imperative that it be replaced immediately. It also means that the aligners cannot get lost.

A couple other things you may not know about Invisalign®…

  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Invisalign® is completely safe for you and baby. It is recommended, however, that you wait to obtain necessary dental x-rays before your pregnancy or until your second trimester in order to avoid the slight radiation exposure.
  • Also, as with metal braces, there are a couple attachments we can integrate with your Invisalign® device to accomplish specific goals. One attachment is a button, or a small dot of dental bonding that – in combination with your device – can help rotate a crooked tooth. Elastic bands are another attachment that can be fastened to buttons in order to help correct bite issues.

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are more than willing to consult with you about Invisalign® treatment for you or your other family members. Don’t hesitate to call us to arrange that appointment at 651.482.8412.

Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s Invisalign® Success Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In August of 2016, Dr. Elizabeth and Randi decided to become Invisalign® patients to help them make desired changes to their smile! Their participation also helped our team get a much more in-depth understanding of Invisalign®. Randi had braces as a teenager, however, she lost her retainer and her front teeth started to cross-over each other. She wanted to feel more confident with her smile.

Dr. Elizabeth had braces in middle school and her teeth started shifting as well, especially noticeable at the midline and at her right side lateral incisor. She wanted to test Invisalign® and see if it could address her concerns.

We sent models, photos, and x-rays of their teeth to Invisalign® where they created a 3D simulation of how both Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s teeth could move with Invisalign® treatment. They were both pleased with the results of the 3D simulation and decided to proceed. Both treatments required about 20 aligner changes and were expected to take 9 months. Each of them committed to visits every 6 weeks to ensure the teeth were moving as expected.

Small composite buttons or attachments were strategically placed temporarily on the front surfaces of some of the teeth to help with movements. These buttons were removed once their Invisalign® treatments were complete and as you can see were hardly visible.

Randi responded well to her aligners and other than having to have one button replaced, she had no complications. Randi says, “I am so happy!” She gets positive compliments from friends and family since going through Invisalign® and loves to show off her smile. She also learned great hygiene habits while wearing the aligners and would tell anyone to go through with Invisalign®. “My confidence has grown so much and I am excited to smile!”

Dr. Elizabeth said there was an adjustment period when she first began because she felt her mouth was drier after talking with patients all day, but otherwise she felt as though Invisalign® fit seamlessly into her life. She thinks it would be a great option for most people. Dr. Elizabeth says, “I am very happy with the movement. Wearing the aligners was easy and the time went fast.” She is very happy with the alignment of her front teeth and feels confident in recommending Invisalign® to her patients! She was especially happy that the treatment actually only took 7 months overall since the movements occurred so quickly!

Wondering if Invisalign® could help improve your smile? Contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Eggert Family Dentistry Visits Area Schools For Children’s Dental Health Month!

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Eggert Family Dentistry is celebrating Children’s Dental Health month this February! Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff visited Pike Lake Kindergarten Center and presented to 5 classrooms about teeth, cavities, keeping teeth healthy, and healthy food choices. The children were excited to go home with tooth brushes and floss as well as the favorite item – a 2 minute timer!

Our hygienist Joanna also presented to 2 classrooms at the North Oaks Pre-School where the goodie bags were also well received. Our team loves to do these community outreach events, and we always enjoy our time with the kids. We are happy to come to your school too, just call us at 651-482-8412 to arrange it!

Parents can start building healthy oral health habits in children as soon as they’re born! Wiping down a newborns gums twice a day with a soft moistened wash cloth or a bit of damp gauze is very important to the health of their gums. When your little one’s first tooth appears it’s time to get them a toothbrush! Start a soft-bristled brush with a large handle and some water. You can upgrade to fluoride free toothpaste when they turn 1 and as soon as they are able to spit into the sink it’s important to add in a fluoride-based toothpaste to protect their teeth.


Good oral care in children is important in preventing cavities, decay, and infection that could compromise their overall health. Kids should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s a great idea to use a timer in the bathroom to ensure your child is brushing thoroughly and to make it more fun! Flossing removes the plaque from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach so it’s vital that kids get into the habit of flossing once per day.

Finally, bringing your children to us at Eggert Family Dentistry for their regular recare visits is an essential step in maintaining their healthy smile for a lifetime!



10 Tips for Taking Care of Your Little One’s Teeth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Good dental health starts when your child is very young and actually even before birth. The development of cavities in primary teeth increases the risk of developing cavities in permanent teeth. Cavities can then lead to infection of the teeth and can result in tooth loss. So what are some ways you can set your child up for a bright dental future and help create healthy habits in the early years?

Let’s take a look at 10 great tips for taking care of your little one’s teeth because it’s never too early to start!

    1. Begin the habit of daily brushing even before the first tooth erupts. For a child age 3 or younger, fluoride-free toothpaste the size of a grain of rice or water is all that’s needed. Once your child is 3 you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount and switch to a children’s fluoride toothpaste.
    2. As soon as your child’s first tooth appears and before your child’s first birthday it’s time to make their first dental visit. This may seem early but a cavity can start to form as soon as a tooth erupts.
    3. Fluoride is important for protecting enamel and keeping teeth strong. In addition to introducing children’s fluoride toothpaste around age 3 be sure your child is drinking a sufficient amount of fluoridated tap water. The American Dental Association states that drinking water with fluoride can reduce the risk of cavities by 25%! Also, once your child knows how to swish and spit, help them incorporate mouthwash into their daily dental routine.
    4. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch introduce the habit of flossing. Flossing with a plastic flossing tool is likely the easiest way to assist them until they learn how to floss independently.
    5. Don’t share utensils with your child or “clean off” their pacifier by putting it in your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is passed on from parents to children through saliva. Even blowing on food to cool it down can pass this bacteria from parent to child. This bacteria increases your child’s likelihood of developing cavities in their baby and adult teeth.
    6. Baby bottle tooth decay – caused by prolonged exposure of your child’s teeth to sugary beverages –is a very real threat to their dental well being. If you must put your child to bed with a bottle opt for fluoridated tap water over a bottle filled with milk or juice.
    7. Sugar is one of enamel’s biggest enemies. Substitute water with fluoride for juice or other sugary beverage choices. Also, limit your child’s intake of fruit juice to 4oz. a day to minimize exposure to sugar.
    8. A pacifier certainly has its place but try and wean your child off of it before the age of 2. Long-term pacifier use can cause crooked teeth and a misshapen palate. We now know that a narrow or vaulted palate due to thumb sucking or pacifier use will cause airway complications throughout childhood and often into adulthood.
    9. It’s ok to incentivize good dental hygiene! Invest in a toothbrush for your child that flashes or plays music, create a star chart or give your child a sticker each time they brush. Also, many parents find that brushing with their child is motivation enough to ensure compliance.
    10. Head it off at the pass and assist or encourage your child to brush, floss and rinse early in the evening – perhaps right after dinner – to avoid bedtime resistance and meltdown.

If you would like to discuss how to implement good dental habits with your child we would love to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry!