Causes and Treatment of Gum Recession

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, and starts to show the tooth root. The first sign of gum recession you might notice is tooth sensitivity. Gum recession can also make your tooth look longer than normal or you may feel a notch on the tooth near the  gum line.

Treatment for gum recession is necessary, because otherwise the trend is likely to continue, and the supporting tissue and bone structure of the teeth may suffer damage.

What Causes Gum Recession?

Many things can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is when bacteria causes an infection and the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth are damaged.

Poor dental hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing helps plaque to turn into calculus (tartar), which can promote gum recession.

Aggressive tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or the wrong way can wear away the gums and cause your gums to recede.

Tobacco: Tobacco use causes a sticky plaque to adhere to the teeth. It’s difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.

Teeth grinding and clenching: The excess force of clenching or grinding teeth can make gums recede because of the extra flexure the tooth is subjected to.

Genetics: Some people, as many as 30% of the population, have a genetic vulnerability to periodontal disease, which is a known cause for gum recession.

Hormonal changes: The normal fluctuations in hormone levels which women experience can increase gum sensitivity, making them more vulnerable to gum recession.

Misaligned bite: When teeth come together unevenly, it can place too much force on the gums and bone, promoting gum recession.

Lip or tongue piercing: Friction from jewelry in the mouth can cause gum tissue to erode.

Treatment for Gum Recession

Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will have ideas about the right procedure to treat gum recession based on your needs.

For minor gum recession, they may be able to treat it by deep cleaning the affected area. This process is also called scaling and root planning. The treatment involves removing the bacteria surrounding the tooth in the plaque and tartar, including on the root surfaces below the gum line. This procedure can also have additional success if a localized antibiotic is used to kill remaining bacteria and discourage harmful bacteria from re-populating.

When gum recession is more advanced, surgical options are available.

Preventing Gum Recession

Prevention entails the usual steps to improve dental and overall health. Brush and floss daily and come in for regular checkups. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and with proper technique. Dr. Elizabeth, Dr. Jeff, and all the hygienists at Eggert Family Dentistry can help you with this. In addition, there are many options for correcting misaligned bites, quitting tobacco use, and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Call us today at 651.482.8412 to talk about your gum recession issues.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis: What’s the Difference?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

You’ve heard it time and again: Your Eggert Family Dentistry dentists and hygienists are always urging you to brush and floss for maximum dental health.

Cavities might be the first malady that comes to mind, but preventing cavities is not the only reason to brush and floss faithfully.

Good oral hygiene habits can also prevent gum disease, or even reverse it, in its early stages.

Why is this Important?

A 2018 report by the Journal of Dental Research found that gum disease affects nearly half of all Americans age 30 and over.  That means almost 65 million Americans are battling gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Let’s clarify what we mean when we say “gum disease.”

Gum disease is the umbrella term which includes gingivitis and periodontitis and is also known as periodontal disease. It is inflammation of gum tissue, caused by bacterial growth around the tooth, often along and under the gum line.

Periodontal Disease presents in four stages:

Stage 1: Gingivitis, indicated by red or inflamed gums that may bleed during brushing.

Stage 2: Early periodontitis, in which the bone supporting the teeth shows slight loss of bone mass. Other symptoms may not be apparent.

Stage 3: Moderate periodontitis, in which bone around the teeth and gum tissue are damaged and teeth may start loosening.

Stage 4: Advanced periodontitis, in which symptoms are more severe, teeth may be very loose and biting and chewing can be painful. At this stage, it may prove to be difficult to save the teeth.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. It starts because plaque develops on the teeth at the gum line. Without proper removal, this plaque will cause gum inflammation. It’s potentially reversible with proper dental hygiene and intervention. A gingivitis diagnosis should be viewed as a warning sign because if left untreated, it will lead to periodontitis.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is when the bone that supports the tooth starts to dissolve. This chronic, long-term condition demands treatment by your dental professionals at Eggert Family Dentistry. Bleeding gums, bone loss and receding gums should be addressed and treated because periodontitis will cause tooth loss.

Here’s what happens: There is a small pocket between the gum tissue and the tooth called the sulcus. When bacteria get stuck in this pocket, the gum tissue enlarges and gets inflamed. This starts the infection process. If allowed to continue, the bone surrounding the tooth deteriorates.

Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease

Regular brushing and flossing activities are essential to preserving the health of your teeth and gums. This keeps teeth clean and removes bacteria from a shallow sulcus. There is the bonus effect of revealing whether your gums are in bad shape. If they bleed when brushed or flossed, you’ve got a problem! This is gingivitis.

This early stage of gum disease needs to be treated and closely monitored. Untreated, it will progress and become periodontitis, which is much more difficult to treat.

Impact of Gum Disease

Although it is preventable, gum disease can lead to loss of teeth if not treated. Anyone who gets a diagnosis of gingivitis should take serious action in partnership with Eggert Family Dentistry to reverse this condition.

Preventing Gum Disease

Coming to see us at Eggert Family Dentistry for your recare appointment at your recommended interval is the number one thing you can do to prevent periodontal disease. We know we missed many of you due to the 2020 COVID closure this past spring. We’re here and ready for you. Please visit our website to request an appointment online:  www.eggertfamilydentistry.com. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

Battle of the Brushes: Electric Versus Manual

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Dental professionals everywhere sing the same tune. Brush your teeth. Twice a day. Two minutes per session.

It’s a critical action for healthy teeth and overall oral wellness.

But what’s the best way? Dr. Elizabeth & Dr. Jeff, and especially our Eggert Family Dentistry hygienists, hear that question all the time. Manual or electric? Which is the best toothbrush for the job?

The ADA (American Dental Association) approves both for removing oral plaque, which causes decay and gum disease.

Let’s explore the pros and cons so you can come to your own personal conclusion on the subject.

Electric Toothbrush: The Pros

Greater cleaning power: One powerful advantage of the electric toothbrush is the ultrasonic vibration they offer. The bristles vibrate or rotate, helping dislodge plaque buildup from your gums and teeth. Those electric micro-movements help ensure good coverage when you brush. Studies show that electric toothbrushes are more effective at decreasing plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes.

Easier for those with limited mobility: Because they do most of the work for you, electric toothbrushes may be best for people with limited mobility, such as people with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or paralysis. They may also be easier to use for people with developmental disabilities.

Built-in timer: Most electric toothbrushes today have an integrated timer, ensuring that you brush for a full two minutes. Many also signal each 30 seconds, so you can make sure you give equal attention to each quadrant of your mouth.

Less waste: In terms of generating trash, electric toothbrushes are generally better than manual because the piece that’s discarded and replaced is smaller.

May be better for people with orthodontic appliances: The high-speed rotating effects or ultrasonic vibrations of an electric toothbrushes can make it easier to brush around braces and other orthodontic appliances.

Kids often love them: Children who resist brushing because they find it boring may be more engaged with an electric toothbrush.

Healthy gum stimulation: An electric toothbrush will stimulate your gum tissues better than a manual brush.

Electric Toothbrush: The Cons

Price: Electric toothbrushes always cost more.

Replacing the heads: It may not be convenient to find replacements, and they are often sold in quantities to last a year or two. While this can be very convenient, it also adds to the investment!

Electricity needed: Most need to plug in to operate or to recharge. Some cheaper versions are battery operated, but then also don’t last as long.

Ticklish to some: Not everyone likes the vibrating sensation, although most people do get used to it.

More mess: Electric toothbrushes tend to generate more saliva, causing splatter to escape the mouth and get all over the bathroom mirror!

Manual Toothbrush: The Pros

Simple & effective: The handheld toothbrush will never go out of style. No electricity, charging, or batteries. Quiet and so portable! The manual toothbrush has stood the test of time.

Ubiquitous and accessible: Pick one up at any pharmacy, gas station or grocery store.

Cheap: Just a few dollars for three months of dental hygiene.

Manual Toothbrush: The Cons

Potential for overuse: According to one study, people using a manual toothbrush may be prone to brushing too hard, which can damage your gums and teeth.

No timer: Are you brushing for at least a full two minutes? If you have doubts, try watching the clock or using a kitchen or cell phone timer.

What’s the bottom line? At Eggert Family Dentistry, we really just want you to brush. Whatever device makes it easiest for you to keep up on your brushing—manual or electric—we support it! Call Eggert Family Dentistry at 651.482.8412 today for any questions you may have.

See what our patients have to say!

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Tom Relling

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Anonymous

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“I highly recommend Eggert Family Dentistry. The most pleasant dental experience. Shelly is a wonderful hygienist. Friendly, knowledgeable and professional. Dr Elizabeth is a wonderful Dentist. She is gentle, friendly, and amazing, using the latest technology for tooth restoration and other treatments.”

Adam Pickens

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“Everything was great. The Covid-19 prodigal in place were exceptional. Felt safe. Teeth cleaning was fast and thorough.”

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Michelle Prytz

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Robert Hudson

“Great experience, and took the time to explain everything.”

Marcella Manivel

“I was worried about going to my appointment because of the global pandemic, but even before I got to the appointment, it was clear that they are taking precautions very seriously. My hygienist took my temperature before I entered the building, everyone uses hand sanitizer and wears masks where possible, and I still felt the high quality, personal care that I have always received at Eggert Family Dentistry.”

Tom Jennings

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James Miller

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Susan Schoon

“I so appreciate Eggert Dentistry. During this season of COVID they did a tremendous job being thorough with cleanliness and distancing when needed. My Dental Hygienist was kind, patient and great with knowledge, ‘touch in my mouth and with my teeth’ and extremely thorough. Dr Elizabeth always takes a generous amount of time with my exam, questions that I might I have from information given and on what to expect down the road. I am blessed with their services.”

Dennis Nelson

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I felt very safe during my visit. Weird thing for me is, I tend to relax at most of my visits. You have a warm, friendly & calming atmosphere. I am glad I made you my dentist.”

Delaney Finn

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Protect Your Teeth During Sports With a Mouthguard

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If you play sports, please consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 10-20% of all sports-related injuries are maxillofacial injuries, relating to the mouth and all the connecting regions. The ADA recognizes “the preventive value of orofacial protectors, endorsing their use by those who engage in recreational and sports activities and encouraging widespread use of orofacial protectors with proper fit, including mouthguards.”

While the risk of injury is obvious in classic contact sports like football, boxing, wrestling, lacrosse, and hockey, the ADA also advocates a mouthguard when participating in limited-contact sports like baseball, gymnastics, racquetball and surfing. 

A well-fitting mouthguard will protect your dental health in a variety of ways. While it can’t guarantee that you’ll suffer zero dental damage, a mouthguard is almost certain to reduce dental injuries.

Benefits of Mouthguards

Mouthguards prevent teeth from being knocked out: Having an intact tooth knocked out is no fun. In some cases, it can be retained, but it will require substantial dental attention.

Mouthguards can prevent teeth from fracturing: It may be possible to save a broken tooth, but it will require a substantial filling, a crown, and likely a root canal. If it can’t be saved, an extraction and implant will be needed.

Mouthguards can protect soft tissues: When you suffer an unexpected impact, it’s easy to accidentally bite your tongue, cheek or lips. A mouthguard will help prevent this.

Mouthguards can protect against tooth displacement: Sometimes, an impact can loosen a tooth so that it stays in the socket, but is moveable. When you’re wearing a mouthguard, the force of the impact is distributed over several teeth, reducing the likelihood of displacement. Teeth can be displaced laterally (forwards or backwards) or can be extruded (down).

Mouthguards can prevent jaw fractures: By serving as a shock-absorber, a guard can help prevent the jaw from fracturing—a serious injury that may require surgery.

Mouthguards may help reduce concussions: Evidence is not conclusive, but it’s possible that the padding between the upper and lower jaws can absorb some of the impact that causes a concussion.

In Case of Dental Injury

Should someone suffer a dental injury during sports or any other activity, follow these guidelines:

If a tooth is fractured, stabilize the portion of the tooth retained in the mouth and control the bleeding by gently biting on a towel. Retain all tooth fragments and keep them submerged in water or milk.

If an entire tooth —root and all—is knocked out, handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. You can rinse it gently with water, but do not wash, sterilize, or scrub it. If possible, place it back in the socket (the correct way) and then bite gently on a towel. If not, transport it to the dentist.

In both cases, time is critical and you should be in the dentist’s chair within two hours.

Wear a Mouthguard for Sports

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love seeing you, but we hope you never have to come in for treatment after a preventable dental injury! Take care of your teeth, please. Wear a mouthguard for sports.

Ortho Treatment: Benefits Beyond Cosmetic With Invisalign

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Only a lucky few are born with straight, perfectly aligned teeth. The rest of us have to see Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, for help restoring teeth to a healthy alignment.

Esthetic concerns often bring patients into Eggert Family Dentistry to talk about tooth alignment. However, even beyond esthetics, it’s important to know how critical good alignment is to overall dental health.

Dental alignment procedures like Invisalign may improve your smile from a visual perspective, but they also correct issues that may lead to serious dental health problems.

What issues can be improved by Invisalign and corrected with dental alignment?

Discourage Tooth Decay

When teeth are misaligned, they do a much better job of harboring bacteria, which leads to plaque buildup and tooth decay. This is because overcrowded or crooked teeth leave inaccessible nooks and crannies where bacteria thrive. When it’s challenging to access all the exposed tooth enamel with a toothbrush or floss, the area is much more prone to tooth decay.

Improve Periodontal Health

Periodontal health refers to the conditions of the periodontium, or gum tissues. Periodontal disease is disease of the gums. Crowded and overlapping teeth permit plaque and tartar to build up on tooth surfaces underneath your gums, since they’re difficult to clean. Teeth with wide gaps between them are also problematic, because exposed gums are more vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is easily addressed in its early stages, so regular dental exams are an important preventative measure. When it progresses, it may cause serious tooth mobility, tooth and bone loss, and infection.

Fix Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to poor alignment as the teeth of your upper and lower jaws meet. One person out of five suffers malocclusion, which encompasses three categories:

  • Class I – when teeth are overcrowded, too far apart, or twisted
  • Class II – when the lower jaw is too far back, resulting in an excessive overbite
  • Class III – when the lower jaw is too far forward, resulting in an underbite

Unaddressed malocclusion puts undesirable stress on the teeth. Difficulty chewing, worn, cracked, or broken teeth, chronic pain, TMJ issues, teeth grinding, and speech problems are among the problems that can result.

Invisalign: A Discrete Yet Effective Alternative to Braces

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we are here to help prevent these problems by treating your tooth alignment problems with Invisalign.

If you are presenting any of these issues, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will give you a thorough exam to identify where your ideal bite should be and evaluate whether Invisalign can restore your ideal bite.

Invisalign is a clear alternative to braces. It is subtle and unobtrusive, yet effective. Patients wear clear, custom-made trays, or aligners, about 22 hours a day, removing them to eat, to drink anything but water, and to brush and floss. They are easy to get used to as they gently realign teeth. Every few weeks, you advance to a new set of aligners. Over the course of treatment, usually one to two years, your teeth gradually move into their improved location.

Invisalign is suitable for both teens and adults.

If you have any dental issues that might be resolved by improved tooth alignment, talk to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff. They will be happy to consult with you on the best strategy to help you enjoy a new, beautiful smile as well as improved oral health.

Orthodontics For All Ages

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Orthodontics is defined by Merriam-Webster as a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth (such as malocclusion) and their correction (as by braces).”

When we hear “orthodontics” we often think “teenagers.” While teens are the biggest consumers of orthodontics, orthodontic treatment can correct your bite at any age.

Orthodontics For Adults

While kids’ teeth will generally respond faster to orthodontic correction, adult teeth can also be moved to improve your bite as well as to improve your esthetics. A few famous adult faces have sported braces in recent years, including Tom Cruise and Faye Dunaway.

Invisalign and other clear aligners are a welcome option for adults who want to improve their dental alignment, but are hesitant to have a tin grin 24/7. (Yes, we want to look younger. But not like that!)

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign is a system that moves teeth using clear aligners, flexible custom-molded devices, which gradually move the teeth over the course of many months. Users will get a new set of aligners every one to two weeks. During the first few days, the aligner compels the teeth to move into a new position. For the remaining time in that aligner, the bone in the jaw adjusts for the new location, building up bone to help support the tooth in its new location.

Many adult Invisalign users prefer the discreet appearance of these clear plastic aligners, compared to traditional metal braces. For some people, the fact that it can be removed for special events such as delivering presentations, getting pictures taken, or eating corn on the cob is a big part of the appeal. However, it’s vital to wear them for the recommended 22 hours per day in order to get satisfactory results.

Invisalign is gentler and less invasive than traditional braces, so there’s less discomfort involved. It’s also easier to care for teeth with Invisalign than with traditional braces: Just remove the aligners and brush and floss as you normally would.

Maybe you had braces as a kid, and your teeth have drifted back into poor alignment. Maybe you didn’t have braces as a kid because you didn’t need them then, or because of financial considerations, or the options at the time made you too self-conscious.

Whatever the reason, we encourage you to decide for yourself. If your teeth and bite aren’t exactly what you wish they were, maybe we can help. Ask Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff the next time you’re in for your recare appointment, or call our administrative team and make an appointment to really understand your options.

Invisalign® – Kyle’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Where did Kyle start?

During one of his routine recare visits, Kyle mentioned to Dr. Elizabeth that he had frequently noticed himself clenching his teeth throughout the day which was causing jaw pain and tooth sensitivity. Kyle also mentioned he was interested in doing Invisalign® to help fix some minor crowding of his front teeth. Dr. Elizabeth discussed the importance of stabilizing his bite prior to doing any orthodontic treatment to help ensure the best results through splint therapy.

What was involved?

Kyle began his treatment with splint therapy. He wore a TMJ splint approximately 20 hours a day and came in multiple times to see Dr. Elizabeth and re-evaluate his progress. After wearing his splint consistently for about three months, Kyle noticed significant improvement in his symptoms and Dr. Elizabeth determined he was ready to move forward with Invisalign®.

We sent impressions, photos, and x-rays of Kyle’s teeth to Invisalign® where they created a 3D simulation, called a Clincheck, to show how his teeth could move with Invisalign® treatment. Kyle was very happy with the simulation, which showed a significant improvement to his crowding, and decided to move forward with Invisalign®.

Kyle’s case was expected to consist of 18 aligners that he would wear for one to two weeks at a time. As part of his Invisalign® treatment, Dr. Elizabeth slenderized some of Kyle’s teeth to create more space for his teeth to better alleviate his crowding. Kyle was very consistent in wearing his aligners as instructed, but as he progressed through his treatment Dr. Elizabeth noticed that some of his upper teeth weren’t moving as quickly as his Clincheck had projected. Dr. Elizabeth discussed this with Kyle and he opted to send his case back in for a refinement, which ended up extending his treatment by an additional 22 aligners. After his Invisalign® treatment was complete, Dr. Elizabeth made minor alterations to the biting surface of some of Kyle’s teeth to remove interferences and even out his bite. This process is called equilibration and will help to prevent Kyle’s new smile from further wear.

What does Kyle think?

Kyle had very realistic expectations about his treatment beforehand and understood that correcting his bite wouldn’t be a quick process. Although his treatment ended up taking longer than initially expected, Kyle said the results were well worth it. In addition to the cosmetic improvements to his smile, Kyle noted his bite feels better as well, saying “I don’t have any pain now that my teeth are in the right spot.”

Implants Versus Dentures

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Thanks to modern dentistry, loss of a tooth – or many teeth – doesn’t have to be permanent. With a small investment of time, money and skilled expertise, it’s possible to replace teeth with implants or dentures.

When our patients are facing the loss of one or more teeth, they come to us for counseling on the best path forward. We consider it part of our customer care to walk them through the options and make sure they understand the pros and cons of each option. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love helping our patients understand the best choice for their individual circumstances. Here’s a quick summary as a starting point.

Implants: The Pros

The best part about implants: They feel and behave like your original teeth. You care for them in a similar way, so you likely don’t need to embrace any fresh routines or invite any new bottles or tubes into your bathroom cabinet. They will prevent neighboring teeth from migrating, so they preserve your bite. Because they are anchored in the bone, they help preserve bone mass in the jaw, Once they are established, they nearly take care of themselves. The feel of chewing, the nuances of speaking, the sensation when you run your tongue along the inside of your mouth – these will all feel completely familiar. Implants are built to last a lifetime, and they almost always do.

Implants: The Cons

Dental implants can take awhile from start to finish. Typically, it’s about six months between initial surgery and final placement of the abutment and crown. There is usually some healing time of the implant which will continue to leave you toothless for awhile. If, however, the missing tooth is in the front of the mouth, we can place a temporary tooth for cosmetic reasons. Depending on your situation, implants may cost more than other options.

Dentures: The Pros

Dentures can be crafted and placed in a shorter time period than implants. They don’t usually require surgery, but sometimes bone recontouring can be necessary to get the denture to fit just right. The initial cost of dentures is lower than most implant replacement options; however, they may need to be replaced as the shape of the jaw, mouth and adjacent teeth change over time, so in the long run may end up costing more.

Dentures: The Cons

Dentures will never feel like your natural teeth. They must be removed for cleaning, and because they can trap food, cleaning is extra important. Denture wearers may have to forgo some of their old eating habits such as corn on the cob. Because they don’t help preserve bone mass in the jaw, denture wearers are likely to experience ongoing jaw bone deterioration, which may prevent them from being a candidate for implants at a later time. Subsequent bone loss may contribute to a sunken appearance of the lower cheeks.

We hope this summary helps you understand your options. We look forward to evaluating your personal situation, and helping you embark on the tooth restoration program that fits your needs. Call us today at 651-482-8412 for your exam and consultation!

Teeth Replacement Options

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Choosing the right tooth replacement method should start with an exam and a dialogue with your dentists, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff. They are happy to take the time you need to understand the variables of your available options, including dental health, overall health, how long it will last, how long it will take, and financial impact. We want to help you choose the treatment that makes the most sense for your situation and bring you the greatest satisfaction.

Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of three components. A titanium post is fixed into the bone where a tooth was. The jaw bone grows back around the implant, holding it firmly. When the implant has integrated with the bone, an abutment is fitted on the implant, and then a crown is attached to the abutment.

Implants help keep adjacent teeth and your entire mouth more resilient to deterioration. When a tooth is lost, a few things begin to take place that may not be easily evident to the eye, but can have significant negative consequences for both health and appearance. Tooth roots not only help hold teeth in place, they are also essential in maintaining health in the adjacent gums and supporting bones.

Thus, tooth loss can cause bone loss in the jawbone. This is a problem because it can interfere with the integrity of the roots and stability of nearby teeth. This bone loss is also responsible for the “sunken” appearance of the lower cheeks which we see in people who have lost back teeth. Because this bone loss is gradual, it causes people who wear dentures to find that their dentures are increasingly hard to fit and keep in place, over time.

With an implant, bite function is fully restored to as good as new. Neighboring teeth are prevented from shifting. The jaw bone is much more stable and stays where it belongs. Additionally, implants look and feel like your own teeth, and you care for them just the same as your regular teeth. Plus, the longevity is unmatched, with them lasting many years.

The comfort, function and appearance of a dental implant explain why they have become so popular.

Replacing Teeth with All-on-4® Dental Implants

All-on-4® Dental Implants are a relatively new dental reconstruction. In a way, they are a hybrid of implants and a bridge. With this technique, four (or more) implants are placed in the jawbone and an entire arch of reconstructed upper or lower teeth are affixed to the four (or more) imlants. This is a more comfortable, stable and long-lasting option than traditional dentures. Plus, they look and feel just like “real” teeth.

Replacing Teeth with Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge fills in the gap caused by one or more missing teeth by using surrounding teeth as anchors. A bridge can be a fairly quick way to replace teeth, but since it relies on the neighboring teeth, the integrity of these anchor teeth is reduced. Bridges can also be more difficult to keep clean than other tooth replacement options because food will trap under the “fake” teeth.

Replacing Teeth with Removable Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are able to replace one or more teeth in an arch They consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base and often a metal framework, which is supported by the gums and teeth. They are removed for cleaning. They are more comfortable and secure than full dentures, and usually cost less than implants or bridges.

Replacing Teeth with Full Dentures

Full dentures are an entire set of artificial lower and upper teeth, held in place by suction. They are removed for cleaning. When they’re brand new, they may feel awkward and speaking and eating might require practice. Over time, they may stop fitting properly as bone mass degrades.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options, call us at Eggert Family Dentistry, 651-482-8412.