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!

Replacing A Failing Bridge – Jackie’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Jackie had been a long time patient of Dr. Furey. The first time she saw Dr. Elizabeth, it was for a severe toothache. Unfortunately, the ache was coming from the progression of decay on her upper front teeth that were the anchors for her bridge. Saving the teeth wouldn’t be easy, but to do so, Jackie needed root canal treatment and a new bridge.

What did she want?

Jackie was concerned about needing to have her bridge replaced, but wanted to make the best choice for her oral care long-term. Jackie wanted to try to keep her natural teeth, if possible. However, a short time after referring Jackie to have a root canal done, Jackie’s original bridge ended up breaking off and her teeth were fractured at the gum line and no longer restorable. This required Dr. Elizabeth and Jackie to change the course of action and it was decided that an implant bridge would be more stable and predictable long-term than relying on natural teeth for an even longer-span natural tooth bridge.

What was involved?

Since Jackie’s original bridge had fractured at the gum line, Jackie needed an immediate solution to buy time until she could undergo her implant surgery. Dr. Elizabeth fabricated a retainer with a temporary bridge to replace her smile for the short-term. This option also gave the oral surgeon, Dr. Andreasen, access to remove the broken roots and place two implants for the anchors for her new implant bridge. Jackie was able to transition into a temporary implant bridge that hooked into her implants so she no longer needed to wear the retainer all the time. After a few months of healing, Jackie had impressions taken by Dr. Elizabeth and her new implant bridge was finalized.

What does she think?

Jackie was very excited to finish her treatment and move forward with a healthy beautiful smile. She was able to choose which shade she wanted and she wanted a nice bright color for her front teeth. Jackie is so excited that you can now see her front teeth when she smiles! Jackie made a big commitment in going through the implant process, but she knows it was worth it because now she is decay free and is able to trust her implants for eating. Congratulations Jackie!

Take Years off Your Smile with These Successful Treatments

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

From consuming sugary foods and beverages to chewing on crunchy or tough foods, from lifestyle choices such as smoking to poor oral hygiene, year after year our teeth endure a tremendous amount of abuse. It’s not surprising then that they manifest signs of wear and tear. Here are some common issues aging teeth often encounter…and some effective solutions that Eggert Family Dentistry offers to help you regain that youthful smile.

Discoloration

People often feel self-conscious about their not-so-pearly whites and resort to closed-mouth smiles. Over time and on account of richly hued and acidic foods and beverages or smoking, white teeth often lose their luster. In most cases, teeth whitening is an effective solution, and while the results aren’t permanent, they’re easy to maintain. If your teeth are severely discolored, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff may determine that porcelain veneers are the best option for you. In this case, a thin layer of porcelain is bonded to the front of the tooth for a bright, natural transformation.

Tooth wear

General tooth wear occurs over time. This can make teeth appear shorter and uneven. Two effective methods of reshaping and reforming teeth are porcelain veneers and crowns. In some situations, enamel shaping with a dental handpiece can help smooth out jagged edges.

Tooth decay

A lifetime of consuming sugary foods, frequent snacking and inconsistent brushing and flossing all lend themselves to tooth decay, a precursor to cavities. Good brushing and flossing habits as well as prescription strength fluoride products can ward off this decay. If cavities form, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will recommend fillings or crowns to prevent this decay from reaching the nerve and to restore the integrity of the tooth.

Missing teeth

Over time, bad habits such as smoking and excessive consumption of acidic or sugary foods can lead to rotten – and eventually missing – teeth. If you have missing teeth, there are a few common dental procedures that can be used to address the issue:

Bridges

Affixed to the adjacent teeth, bridges ‘bridge’ the gap created by the missing tooth with artificial, yet natural-looking, teeth.

Implants

Most similar in appearance to natural teeth, dental implants are anchored to the jawbone and provide a solid base for supporting artificial teeth, or crowns.

Dentures

In situations where you’ve lost most or all of your teeth, dentures may be your best treatment option.

Eggert Family Dentistry is experienced in caring for aging teeth. Trust us with yours! If you would like to arrange a consult, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

Options for a Traumatized Tooth – Kenton’s Story

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

When Kenton was 9 years old, he was hit in the mouth and his right front tooth fractured. At that time, Kenton needed a root canal on that tooth because the trauma exposed the nerve. A large bonded composite veneer was created on that tooth to help make it look as normal as possible. Usually a fractured and traumatized tooth will eventually need a crown to build it back together but Kenton still had a lot of growing to do. Dr. Elizabeth wanted to buy as much time as possible through his growing years. Fast forward 10 years: Kenton is now 19. The color of Kenton’s teeth changed over the years, the large veneer was no longer holding up and it was decaying around the edges. Kenton noticed how his teeth no longer matched and how dark the traumatized tooth appeared at the gum line. Dr. Elizabeth recommended full records for Kenton. Even if she is was replacing only one tooth, she wanted to help Kenton understand all the risks and benefits, especially in the case of past trauma.

What did he want?

Kenton said, “I would like to have a long-term solution to (fix) my front teeth.” He was concerned about how the differences between his two front teeth were visible and that made him self-conscious. He felt that the traumatized tooth didn’t fall in line with his other front teeth – that they didn’t look “normal.” Also, as a college student, Kenton wanted to keep the costs as low as possible for his tight budget!

What is involved?

Our team started Kenton’s case with the records process. We took models, x-rays and photos of his teeth to assess the needs and function of his entire mouth. This allowed Dr. Elizabeth to see how his teeth, muscles and jaw functioned together and helped her determine what kind of treatment would best help protect the previously traumatized tooth. At the same time, Dr. Elizabeth wanted to give Kenton the smile he desired. She presented her findings to Kenton and his father. Through the records analysis, it was apparent that the best thing Kenton could do to protect his traumatized front tooth was to correct his teeth in the back so they would bite more evenly. As a result, Kenton started with a procedure called equilibration to stabilize his bite. Kenton’s parents hoped to wait a little longer before completing a full crown for Kenton’s front tooth but his front tooth fractured again just a few months later, requiring completion of the crown.

What does he think?

Kenton is very happy with his new crown. Dr. Elizabeth sent Kenton to a dental lab – Certified Dental Ceramics – to have a custom shade selected, since it’s difficult to get a single front tooth crown to match a natural front tooth. Kenton reports that he is much more confident with his new smile now that the color of his front teeth match. He found the records process interesting and learned a lot about his options at the consult appointment. Kenton notices a major improvement in his bite and that his teeth fit together better after the equilibration. He didn’t know what to expect when the tooth broke, but in the end, Kenton thought the process was really easy and is very happy with his results!  Thanks for trusting us with your care, Kenton!

CEREC Dental Restorations

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

People put off dental work for all kinds of reasons.

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

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

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

One Visit, No Impression, No Temporary Crown

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

CEREC Procedure

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

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

ICON – Chauncey’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

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

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

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

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

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

One Method to Replace Missing Teeth: Traditional Bridgework

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

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

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

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

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

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

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