Advantages of the All-on-4® Treatment

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When our patients have many teeth that have been extracted or are severely jeopardized, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff have an advanced, convenient and very natural solution to offer. It’s called All-on-4® treatment and it’s a simple, streamlined way to restore a full arch of teeth.

What do we mean by a full arch of teeth? This refers to a full set of teeth on the upper and/or lower jaw. Full dentures have traditionally been the solution for replacing all teeth of an arch, but advances in implants have enabled improved technology such as the All-on-4® technique.

All-on-4® treatment is kind of like a hybrid between implants and dentures. Instead of replacing each tooth individually by sinking an implant, we place four (possibly more) implants. These implants serve as the anchor for a single restoration unit which is basically a series of replacement teeth all attached in a row, like dentures.

This way, you get the best of both worlds. The simplicity of installing a series of consecutive teeth at once, like a denture, is combined with the convenient permanence of implants, not to mention rock-solid anchorage like you have from your natural teeth.

This means that you don’t have to worry about your restoration falling out or slipping, as can happen with dentures. Your restored mouth will function just like it was born to do. You can eat anything you like, and you simply brush, floss and clean your teeth as you would your natural teeth (although adding a Waterpik can be helpful).

Temporary Provisional Teeth

With this type of implant technique, we can usually install a temporary set of provisional teeth on the implants on the same day they are installed. This means you will leave our oral surgeon’s office with a smile you can be proud of right away. After the jaw bone integrates to the implants securely, we’ll swap out the temporary set for an even stronger and more life-like final set and you can expect decades of low-maintenance service from your restoration.

Why Choose the All-on-4® Treatment?

The All-on-4® technique has a lot of benefits. In addition to what we mentioned above, consider these factors:

  • Fewer implants are required when anchoring the All-on-4®. This means less time in the dental chair, less discomfort, and lower costs.
  • The four implants referred to in the name of the procedure refer to two implants secured perpendicularly to the jawbone and two implants secured at a 45-degree angle. Being placed at an angle gives these second two implants greater traction, so bone grafts are not typically necessary.
  • Loss of teeth and the accompanying reduction of jawbone stimulation can cause bone loss. That’s why some denture wearers have a sunken appearance to their cheeks. However, dental implants stimulate bone growth which helps preserve the integrity of your jaw bone for a more youthful appearance.

The All-on-4® dental implant technique is a long-term solution that will improve your smile and your oral function for many years to come.

If you’ve been dreading getting multiple implants, maybe an All-on-4® is the solution for you! Talk to Dr. Jeff or Dr. Elizabeth about your priorities in terms of dental reconstruction. We’ll be happy to talk through all your options to ensure that you choose the treatment that best suits your needs. Call us today at 651.482.8412 to schedule your next appointment.

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What Exactly Are Implants, and Should You Consider Them? Comparing Implants and Bridges

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Losing a tooth can happen to anyone. We see patients who have lost teeth for a variety of reasons, from sports injuries to gum disease from neglecting dental hygiene or from dental decay, the most common reason for tooth loss.

While it’s our top goal as your dental providers to help you keep your teeth and avert tooth loss, some teeth can’t be saved and extraction ends up being the only option. Once a tooth is extracted, each patient faces a choice of how to restore that tooth (or teeth).

There are two main fixed strategies to choose from: implants and bridges. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are committed to helping you understand your options thoroughly so we can help you make an informed choice. We want you to choose a restoration that meets your needs and priorities, so we’ll talk you through all your options in detail.

Here’s some useful information for anyone who is comparing the pros and cons of implants and bridges. Please reach out with any questions about how each of these restoration options will serve you.

Cost

When it comes to cost, bridges are the short-term winner. It costs slightly less to get a bridge than a comparable implant restoration. However, we also urge you to take the long view. Implants are usually “one and done” – they more often last longer. On the other hand, bridges most often have to be replaced at least once in a lifetime, maybe more often.

Speed

Bridges will be completed faster than implants. Because implants require up to six months for the bone to grow around the implant and anchor it properly, implants may require more dental visits. If minimizing your time in our chair is your top priority, you might prefer a bridge over an implant.

Initial Discomfort

An implant is a more invasive procedure, since it requires surgery to get the process started. While local anesthesia means that you won’t feel pain or discomfort during the surgery, there is a short recovery period which will include some discomfort. Usually over-the-counter pain medications are adequate during recovery, and you’ll need to eat soft foods for a day or two. Bridges only require changes to the teeth and do not require oral surgery intervention.

Function

Once your implant is complete, you’ll notice it is much like a healthy tooth of your own. You clean and care for an implant much like you would your real teeth. It can’t get cavities or tooth decay. Caring for a bridge is more complicated because the food traps underneath.

Long-Term Success

A bridge typically is supported by the two teeth adjacent of the missing tooth. This requires that those teeth be modified to accommodate the bridge, which adds extra pressure on them. This is one way that a bridge can fail, by weakening the anchor teeth. Another factor is that implants stimulate the growth of your jaw bone, maintaining a strong and solid foundation for both teeth and implants. Bridges don’t put direct pressure on your jaw bone, so they don’t stimulate that growth. This means that bone loss in the jaw may ultimately jeopardize the anchor teeth, and it may contribute to a somewhat sunken appearance of your lower cheeks.

The right choice for each patient depends on so many factors. We’re excited to have this conversation with all of our patients who have experienced tooth loss.

If you’re facing this important decision, please come and see Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff. We’ll be happy to generate a treatment plan covering both options and help you make a decision that will keep you and your mouth happy for years to come. Call us today at 651.482.8412 to get on our calendar.

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An Inside Look at the Zoom Whitening System for a Whiter Smile in 2022!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Tooth whitening is a wildly popular component of dental care. Lots of people pursue dental whitening and bleaching options in their quests for a bright, attractive smile.

While there are many natural and healthy shades of tooth enamel, teeth can get yellowed and stained over time, even with the most dedicated dental hygiene. Some particularly troublesome darkening culprits include coffee, tea, red wine and smoking.

If you long for brighter, whiter teeth, you might want to join the multitude of people who are choosing tooth whitening. In fact, in 2017 over 39 million Americans utilized some kind of teeth whitener.

There are options for use at home such as strips, trays and toothpaste, but these options tend to show subtle results, and many users experience tooth sensitivity or temporary gum irritation as a result.

Professionally Administered Tooth Whitening

If you’d like to make a brilliant, noticeable difference to your teeth, talk to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff about our fast, easy and effective Zoom Whitening. In a single two-hour appointment, we can make your teeth four to ten shades lighter.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We check your current shade as a baseline
  2. We prep your mouth for whitening
  3. We apply a layer of advanced whitening gel to your teeth
  4. We shine a blue LED lamp onto your teeth to accelerate the whitening
  5. We repeat this process three times in 15-minute intervals
  6. We verify with you that you’ve attained your desired shade
  7. We apply a post-treatment gel to help protect enamel and reduce sensitivity

In addition, we’ll send you home with customized whitening trays and a take-home whitening kit at no extra charge. With your kit, you can boost your brightness at home when needed to help maintain your new beautiful smile!

See a Brighter, Whiter Smile in the Mirror

Come to Eggert Family Dentistry if you want to see a lighter, brighter smile in the mirror. Choosing professional, proven whitening techniques is the best way to ensure a comfortable, successful experience with dazzling results.

We’re here to assist you with all aspects of your dental hygiene and dental aesthetics. Next time you’re in one of our chairs, ask us about whitening. We’ll be happy to describe the process in detail and offer you a professional opinion about the results you can expect. Call us today at 651.482.8412.

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A Brief Overview of Myobrace®: What It Is and How It Works

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

As our kids’ teeth erupt, we keep a watchful eye on alignment and spacing, wondering if they’ll need braces. If their teeth seem misaligned or crowded, we make a mental note to speak with their dentist about it at their next recare appointment and consult with an orthodontist at some point in the future. 

But how many parents know that there is a proactive approach to helping their child achieve a straighter, healthier smile…and one that they can begin much earlier? 

This treatment is called Myobrace®.

What is Myobrace®?

Unlike traditional orthodontic treatment that forces erupted permanent teeth into the proper position, Myobrace® unlocks natural growth and development by promoting correct facial and jaw growth. This preventative treatment is gentle and works by helping kids break bad oral habits and through the use of an intra-oral appliance. 

Who is Myobrace® for? 

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff recommend beginning Myobrace® treatment for children as young as five. This allows them to work with your child from an early age to break bad habits that cause improper jaw and facial development. Some of these bad habits include thumb sucking, mouth breathing, reverse swallowing and tongue thrusting. 

When your child completes their Myobrace® treatment, they will be able to breathe naturally through their nose, rest their tongue in the proper position, swallow correctly and keep their lips together comfortably.

When children begin the Myobrace® treatment, they may have only baby teeth or just a few permanent teeth. That’s ok. Believe it or not, it’s actually beneficial. Early intervention yields the best results! Ultimately, this treatment is typically administered over the course of two to three years and is recommended for kids ages 5-11. 

Steps in the Myobrace® process

Note: Your child will wear a different custom appliance during each step of the Myobrace® process. 

Step #1: Education

Your child will begin their Myobrace® journey with habit-correction therapy. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will teach them how to nose-breathe as opposed to mouth-breathe, how to properly rest their tongue and lips and how to swallow correctly. Curbing bad oral habits at a young age when their jaws are still developing is the first step towards preventing misaligned and crowded teeth. 

Step #2

Arch development: If your child’s jaws are too narrow, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff may recommend an appliance called a BioBloc or the Farrell Bent Wire Systemto widen their upper palette. This device will help make ample space for the teeth and tongue. 

Step #3

Alignment: This step helps align your child’s teeth when the last of their permanent teeth are coming in. It ensures that teeth find their proper position. 

Step #4: 

Retention: Did you know that 90% of orthodontic patients experience structural relapse once retainers are complete? The final step in the Myobrace® process, this step solidifies your child’s results so you don’t have to worry about your child losing all the progress they achieved. 

The intra-oral custom appliances are removable. For best results, children must cooperate with the process and prioritize the use of these appliances a few hours a day and overnight. In many cases, Myobrace® helps a child avoid the need for braces down the road or drastically reduces the length of time they will be in braces. 

Do you think your child may be a candidate for Myobrace®? Give us a call to set up an appointment and learn more! 651.482.8412.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder(OMD): What Is It and How Does It Present?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

You may have heard the term orofacial myofunctional disorder but how much do you know about it? If you’re like most people, probably not much. Surprisingly, it affects a large percentage of the population. It’s estimated that 38% or more than 1 out of 3 people are affected by OMD.

Defining Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder 

Orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) is a disorder of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. 

There are several causes of OMD:

  • Thumb or finger-sucking, cheek or nail-biting, bruxism, tongue, lip or cheek-sucking
  • Extended use of a pacifier or sippy cups
  • Tongue-tie 
  • Neurological deficits and developmental delays

OMD can also be hereditary.

Symptoms of OMD include:

  • Insufficient nasal breathing or oral breathing
  • A habit of resting with the lips apart
  • A forward-resting positioning of the tongue
  • Tongue thrust
  • A restricted nasal airway due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, deviated septum and/or allergies
  • TMJ 
  • Headaches 
  • Airway obstruction

OMD affects the body in many ways

OMD can cause dental problems

Because swallowing requires the cooperation of many muscles simultaneously, people who are diagnosed with OMD often have a difficult time swallowing. In some ODM cases, when swallowing, the tongue doesn’t press on the hard palate but instead is thrust up into the front teeth and out to the sides, putting undue pressure on the teeth. This can result in a misaligned bite which makes biting, chewing and swallowing difficult. 

When the tongue pushes against the back of the front teeth it can create a gap between the upper and lower sets of teeth. This gap is referred to as an open bite. 

OMD can affect facial appearance

Since OMD is characterized by improper muscle function in the jaw, the effects are often visible.

Physical observations may include: 

  • A sluggish face and weak, parted lips
  • A tight chin  
  • Facial grimace

OMD can cause sleep issues

An open airway requires proper positioning of the soft tissues of the mouth. When a person struggles with OMD, the soft tissues frequently obstruct the airway, causing mild or moderate sleep apnea.

OMD can affect speech

Once again, because of improper positioning of the tongue and lips, many people have a difficult time articulating sounds and may speak with a lisp. 

Eggert Family Dentistry can help! 

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff have experience identifying OMD and helping devise custom treatment plans for each of our clients. 

If you’re interested in talking with us more about OMD and are wondering if you could benefit from OMD interventions, give our office a call at 651.482.8412. We’re here to help you achieve a confident, healthy smile and wellness for life!

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.