3 Ways to Fix a Chipped Tooth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

A chipped tooth is no laughing matter. Depending on the severity of the break, a chipped tooth can be embarrassing and extremely painful. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we have three options for repairing a chipped tooth: bonding, veneers and crowns. Let’s take a closer look at each of these three options.

Dental Bonding

One of the biggest perks of dental bonding is the ease of the process. Dental bonding can be completed in a single appointment. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff apply a putty-like composite resin to your tooth and then sculpt and shape it before curing and hardening the material with an intense blue light. Once polished, composite bonded restorations have a smooth and shiny finish, blending in well with the natural teeth.

Dental bonding is an effective way to repair and reshape a cracked tooth and is also used to correct gaps in teeth or cover up stains. Dental bonding usually lasts for 5-10 years and is a cost-effective solution that helps restore your natural smile.

Check out Lia’s story about her experience with dental bonding here!

Veneers

Sarah's Smile After

Veneers are a stunning option for cracked teeth as well as stained, gaping, and misaligned teeth. They consist of a thin porcelain shell that covers your existing tooth. Applying veneers is a little more labor-intensive process than dental bonding and requires 2-3 visits to complete. At your first visit, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will discuss the result they hope to achieve with the veneers. Then, they prepare your teeth for the custom porcelain overlay and take an impression of your prepared teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental lab where your veneers are fabricated. In the meantime, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will fit you with an attractive temporary solution. The veneer preparation process takes 2-3 weeks. Once your custom veneers are created, you will come back into our office where we will polish your teeth and bond your veneers in place. We work hard to make sure they feel like natural teeth and that you love the results.

Take a look at Katie’s story to learn how porcelain veneers transformed her smile!

Crowns

A crown is an excellent option for repairing a severely cracked or damaged tooth. Commonly made from 100% porcelain, crowns restore the integrity of a damaged tooth more than dental bonding or porcelain veneers because they “cap” or fully encompass the entire tooth. They facilitate chewing and can be color-matched to the rest of your teeth for a flawless appearance.

Creating and placing your custom crown will take 1-2 visits with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff. A local anesthetic will ensure your comfort while your tooth is prepared for the crown. In many cases, we can take a CEREC scan of your tooth and fabricate your custom crown in our office the same day! Sometimes, however, a lab fabricated crown may still be the better choice for your situation. If that is the case, we will take an impression of your tooth and surrounding teeth and send this impression into one of our trusted labs where they will fabricate your custom crown. This process usually takes 2 weeks. In the meantime, we will fashion a temporary crown for you to wear.

When we fit your crown, we use a cement bonding agent to ensure that your crown stays securely in place. Crowns usually last 10-20 years with proper care.

Read Mary’s story to learn how crowns dramatically improved her smile!

Do you have a chipped tooth that needs to be repaired? Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to make an appointment and discuss your options!

5 Ways to Improve Your Smile This Year

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

We’re already a few months into this new year. Maybe you’ve intended to tackle cosmetic dentistry work in the past few years but haven’t made it a priority. Make 2021 the year! At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer many cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here are a few of our services that we think might pique your interest:

Teeth whitening: Over time, teeth become stained from certain foods, beverages, medications and smoking. Eggert Family Dentistry has many great options to help restore your pearly whites. We provide professional-grade strips and whitening trays that are more effective and gentler on your teeth and gums than their over-the-counter counterparts. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff also offer the Zoom and KöR Whitening procedures. Zoom is performed in a single, two-hour appointment. We apply a professional whitening gel to your teeth and activate the gel with an LED light which allows the gel to better penetrate the teeth. KöR bleaching is the most effective whitening system on the market and is backed by scientific research to bleach even the previously-thought-impossible-to-bleach tetracycline stained teeth.

Invisalign®: A low-profile alternative to metal braces, Invisalign uses retainer-like tooth aligners made from BPA-free medical-grade polyurethane thermoplastic to move teeth. While this option isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent choice for people with mild to moderate gaping or crowding and helps to discreetly straighten your smile.

Read a couple of Eggert Family Dentistry Invisalign® success stories here!

Veneers: Porcelain dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain shells that cover the front of teeth. Veneers dramatically transform chipped, misaligned, discolored or worn teeth. They can also be used to close unsightly gaps. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff custom make dental veneers that compliment your skin tone, facial features, and personality and feel just like natural teeth. This process takes two or three visits and the results last for many years.

Read Katie’s Story here to learn about the transformational power of veneers!

ICON: Sometimes teeth develop white or brown spots. This can happen for several reasons. If your teeth were exposed to too much fluoride as a child, you eat foods that stain teeth or smoke cigarettes or in some cases, if you suffer from Celiac Disease, these unsightly spots may occur. Fortunately, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff offer a minimally invasive treatment that reduces the appearance of these spots. During an ICON treatment, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff infuse teeth with a resin that lightens teeth without the need to reshape or remove enamel in any way.

Read Chauncy’s story here to learn more!

Tooth replacement: Losing permanent teeth can happen from trauma to the jaw, from gum disease or from tooth decay. Regardless, it can be an awkward situation and one that most people want to remedy as quickly as possible. If you’re dealing with missing permanent teeth, you have some excellent options. These options include dental implants, bridges, partial dentures or full dentures.

Dental implants: With dental implants, a titanium post is fixed into the bone where the tooth was and the jaw bone grows back around the implant, holding it firmly in place. Then, an abutment and crown are fitted on top of the implant.

Bridges: Just like it sounds, bridges “bridge” a gap caused by missing teeth and use the neighboring teeth as anchors. These false teeth can stand in for one or more missing teeth. However, bridges can cause stress on neighboring teeth and food can get trapped underneath them, making cleaning more difficult.

Partial dentures: Partial dentures or “partials” replace one or more teeth. These false teeth attach to a plastic base and often have a metal framework. They are fairly comfortable and easy to remove for cleaning.

Full Dentures: Full dentures are full sets of upper and/or lower artificial teeth that are suctioned into place and removable for cleaning. While they can take some getting used to, they start to feel more normal over time. Full dentures will eventually become loose as bone mass degrades.

If you want to learn more about different tooth replacement options, read our post here!

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we have an abundance of experience and are passionate about helping our patients achieve a more confident smile. If you’re interested in learning more about which cosmetic dentistry procedure can help you achieve your goals, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

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.

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.

Why It’s Important to Replace Missing Teeth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Everyone wants a full set of strong, healthy, functional teeth. They enable us to eat and enjoy a wide variety of food, chew that food to get maximum nutritional benefits from it, and speak clearly. And hey, they also just look good. When you’ve got a full smile of clean healthy teeth, it’s easy to feel confident when you’re talking, eating, and laughing.

Most of us start off with a full set of 32 teeth, and many of us have our wisdom teeth removed during elective surgery, leaving us with 28 teeth to take care of. However, due to a variety of reasons, many of us loose at least one tooth by middle age, and by age 65, one in four people in the U.S. has lost all their teeth.

Causes of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is caused by many factors.

Injuries such as falls or sports accidents can cause tooth loss. Even without immediate tooth loss, sometimes there’s sufficient trauma to the jaw bone and gums that a tooth sustains hidden damage in the nerve and root, which may take months or years to become obvious or fully abscess.

Periodontal disease may cause tooth loss. With this condition, the architecture supporting the tooth, like the bone, ligament, and gums, is damaged or destroyed. When this occurs, a tooth becomes loose and painful and often can no longer be saved.

Tooth decay results from bacteria converting the starch and sugar that accumulates in your mouth into acids, which damage the protective layer of tooth enamel and cause cavities. Some teeth are inherently prone to increased cavities due to deep grooves which trap food, tight and misaligned places which are hard to clean, or thin tooth enamel.

Excessive wear from clenching or grinding your teeth can also put a lot of stress on the teeth, causing structural damage in the form of cracks or fractures. As strong as teeth are, this structural damage compounds over time and occasionally an abscess will form from bacteria accumulating in the crack or the damage will be so severe there is no longer any way to save the tooth.

Extra acid in the oral environment will attack the hard enamel surface of a tooth. The enamel goes through a chemical process that is like dissolving. With this thin and weak enamel, the tooth is more prone to excessive wear or decay and can be lost as mentioned above. These extra acids can be from food or drink, acid reflux disease (including GERD), or systemic problems in how your body gets air and breathes.

Many Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth

When you lose a tooth, there are many reasons to replace it.

First, there’s your confidence and self-image. If you’ve got a visible gap in your smile, you are likely to smile less. You may be self conscious when you eat or laugh. In some cases, you may have trouble with a few sounds as you speak.

But beyond just your winning smile, there are other concrete and medical reasons why it’s important to replace missing teeth. Each tooth plays a crucial role in your mouth’s function. A missing tooth can shift your bite pressure onto other teeth, and over time, neighboring teeth may migrate into the space the missing tooth once occupied. Missing teeth also invite plaque to build up in hard-to-clean spots, which can encourage gum infections that might lead to further tooth loss. Also, the bone which formerly anchored the tooth will start to deteriorate and diminish, which can jeopardize neighboring teeth.

Eggert Family Dentistry and Tooth Restoration

Deciding whether and how to replace a missing tooth is a personal choice each person should discuss with our dental team. If you have experienced or are anticipating tooth loss, please come in for a consultation. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff will be more than happy to explain your options for restoring your beautiful smile, and to help you understand why your tooth was jeopardized and how to improve the conditions for your remaining teeth. Call us today for an appointment, 651-482-8412.

Smile Your Way into a More Confident 2020!

As 2019 wraps up, you probably have your sights on goals for the new year. And one thing those goals require is confidence in your ability to achieve them. Is a less-than-perfect smile impacting your self-esteem and keeping you from going after things that are important to you? At Eggert Family Dentistry, we understand how crooked, decaying, chipped, discolored or missing teeth can have this effect. Fortunately, we offer many cosmetic dentistry procedures that can restore your smile…and your confidence.

Teeth whitening: Over time, teeth become stained from certain foods, beverages, medications and smoking. Eggert Family Dentistry has many great options to help restore your pearly whites. We provide professional-grade strips and whitening trays that are more effective and gentler on your teeth and gums than their over-the-counter counterparts. We also offer the Zoom and Kor Whitening procedures. Zoom is performed in a single, two-hour appointment, we apply a professional whitening gel to your teeth and activate the gel with an LED light which allows the gel to better penetrate the teeth. Kor bleaching is the most effective whitening system known and is backed by scientific research to bleach even the previously-thought-impossible-to-bleach tetracycline stained teeth.

Veneers: Porcelain dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain shells that cover the front of teeth. Veneers dramatically transform chipped, misaligned, discolored or worn teeth. They can also be used to close unsightly gaps. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff custom make dental veneers that compliment your skin tone, facial features and personality and feel just like your natural teeth. This process takes two or three visits and the results last for many years.

Composite Bonded Veneers: Composite bonded veneers can be completed in a single appointment. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff apply composite resin to your tooth and cure it with intense blue light. Then they sculpt and polish the tooth for a transformational effect. Composite bonded veneers are popular since they are a more cost-effective option than porcelain veneers.  However, they don’t last as long, but can typically be expected to last upwards of 10 years.

Invisalign: A low-profile alternative to metal braces, Invisalign uses retainer-like tooth aligners made from BPA-free medical-grade polyurethane thermoplastic to move teeth. While this option isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent choice for people with mild to moderate gaping or crowding and helps to discreetly straighten your smile.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we don’t think anything should keep you from achieving your goals. Are you dissatisfied with your smile and want to explore which cosmetic dentistry options are right for you? Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to set up an appointment. We would love to help you regain that beautiful smile and set you off on a more confident path in 2020!

Icon Resin Infiltration Restores Uniform Color to Teeth

A fairly common cosmetic concern among our patients is spotting on their tooth enamel.

Sometimes, the enamel of a tooth gets demineralized, resulting in white or brown spots. These spots are called white-spot lesions (WSLs), hypo spots or enamel bruising, and often result from trauma or infection. Sometimes they appear when braces are removed, and sometimes they are a developmental characteristic.

The good news is that the white spots aren’t harmful. However, many people would prefer to have teeth with a more uniform color.

More good news: There’s an easy, painless and fast procedure to erase this discoloration and restore your tooth enamel to a brilliant white.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff recommend the Icon procedure for patients who want to get rid of these white spot discolorations.

Icon is the resin infiltration treatment we prefer at Eggert Family Dentistry. It’s a minimally invasive restorative treatment that penetrates existing enamel and helps restore the minerals, thereby fading the spots.

Advantages of Icon Resin Treatment

Icon resin treatment is fast, simple and non-invasive. It takes place in a single visit and requires no shots, no anesthesia, and no drilling. After a painless rubbing of the surface in question to remove the spots, we apply a drying agent and then the resin infiltrant. After about three minutes, we remove the excess resin and cure the resin with light. We complete the process a second time to ensure a protective coating on the surface, polish the tooth, and you are ready to go home with a brand new-and-improved smile – after only 45 minutes to an hour in the chair!

How Does the Icon Treatment Work?

The white spots result from demineralization and subsequent remineralization on the surface of the tooth. Icon reconstructs the collapsed architecture of the tooth caused by demineralization. When applied to the tooth, the Icon resin has similar optical properties to those of natural enamel, so it replicates the natural shade of the tooth.

Benefits of Icon

It’s far less invasive, less expensive and faster than alternatives like fillings or veneers. It can easily be completed on patients young and old. With other treatments to correct white spots, like veneers, it is important to wait until the patient’s growth is complete. Even better, teeth that have undergone Icon treatment still respond to bleaching.

If you’re curious about this very conservative, non-invasive, same-day procedure, call Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff at Eggert Family Dentistry to learn more, 651-482-8412. We’d love to talk to you about your options for improving your beautiful smile by transforming spotted teeth to a consistent, uniform color.

All About Dental Extractions

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

We’ve probably all heard and used the phrase, “It’s like pulling teeth to _____,” meaning that it’s hard to get cooperation from the “patient” when it comes to a certain task. In reality, while a dental extraction is an important procedure that requires careful prep, planning, execution and recovery, it’s not one patients need to dread. Let’s take an up-close look at dental extractions and what patients can expect from them.

Some scenarios that necessitate a tooth extraction

Trauma to a tooth, severe tooth decay and crowding are three primary reasons teeth are extracted. Also, if a person is immunocompromised and has a tooth that runs a high risk for infection, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff may choose to pull that tooth prophylactically.

Why it’s critical to disclose your medical history prior to a tooth extraction

For some patients, their health history makes them more prone to infection or complications from infection. In these cases, antibiotics are prescribed before, during and after an extraction procedure. Some of these health conditions include congenital heart defects, liver disease, artificial joints and a weak immune system.

What you can expect prior to and during a tooth extraction

  • Prior to an extraction, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff administer a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth.
  • Once the area is sufficiently numb, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff gently move the tissue away from the tooth and then hold the tooth with a tooth forceps, rocking it back and forth until it becomes dislodged.
  • Once the tooth is removed, you will bite on soft gauze to control any bleeding. This also encourages a clot to form over the extraction site.

Post-procedure protocol

Following an extraction, there is a certain protocol that must be followed to encourage proper healing of the extraction site.

  • You will bite on gauze for 30 minutes to help the clot form. You may need to use gauze again in the first 24 hours should the area start bleeding.
  • As soon as possible, apply ice to the affected area in 10-minute increments to keep swelling down.
  • Take care not to dislodge the clot by avoiding forceful rinsing or spitting and avoiding brushing and flossing the extraction area for the first 24 hours.
  • 24 hours after the extraction, rinse mouth with warm salt water 2-3 times each day for a few days. This encourages the tissue to heal faster.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking through a straw or eating solid foods for at least 24 hours after the extraction procedure.

When to call Eggert Family Dentistry

Some discomfort and bleeding following a tooth extraction is perfectly normal and can be managed with Over The Counter pain medications, gauze and ice. However, if pain or bleeding become severe or if you develop a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, excessive swelling, a cough or shortness of breath, contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff immediately.

Within 1-2 weeks, the extraction site starts to feel more normal as new bone and gum tissue grow in. Keep in mind, however, that the bone is still healing and changing for 6-8 weeks following an extraction.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of dental extractions or think you might be a candidate for an extraction, contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff at 651.482.8412.

Tooth Replacement Options

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Losing a permanent tooth can be a scary situation. Unfortunately, missing a tooth can keep people from smiling – one of our favorite things! Fortunately, there are some excellent options when it comes to replacing a lost tooth. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer three primary solutions for missing teeth: implants, bridges, and partial dentures.

Implants

As opposed to bridges that are anchored to natural teeth, implants are titanium fixtures that are anchored to the jawbone underneath the gums. Once the base of the implants is securely fastened, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will place an abutment on the fixture and affix the realistic, tooth-looking crown.

All candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and a sturdy jawbone. Implants are most similar to natural teeth and can last for decades.

Bridges

Bridges “bridge” the gap left behind by the missing tooth with a prosthetic, or fake, tooth. Bridges have been used for ages and they generally hold up well. They can be more difficult to keep clean since teeth are fused together.

There are three main types of bridges:

Traditional bridge: These bridges join the natural teeth with fake, or pontic teeth. Traditional bridges are the most common types of bridges and are anchored by crowns on the natural teeth.

Cantilever bridge: These bridges are similar to traditional bridges. However, they only anchor to one natural tooth as opposed to two. It is much more difficult to assure the bridge can withstand chewing forces, but cantilever bridges can be good for certain situations.

Maryland bridge: These bridges fuse the pontic tooth to the back of the adjacent teeth with metal bands. Again, a Maryland bridge isn’t able to function as well as natural teeth, but under some circumstances, they are nice as they are very conservative for the anchor teeth.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures, or partials, are fake teeth attached to a metal frame. The frames have a plastic, gum-colored base, camouflaging them amidst the natural teeth and gums. Partial dentures fit fairly snugly between the natural teeth and can sometimes be repaired if necessary.

Dentures have been a popular go-to because they are often less expensive than bridges or implants. However, they can take some time to adjust to since they will never function as well as natural teeth.

If you’re missing a permanent tooth, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for you with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff in order to help you determine which solution is right for you!