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.

Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quinn’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Quinn came to us as a new patient. He was in his second round of braces with his orthodontist, Dr. Liu. Dr. Elizabeth noticed the midline of his front teeth wasn’t quite centered. Quinn also had uneven spacing in his front teeth.

What did Quinn want?
Quinn noticed that some of his front teeth appeared small and left some spacing on the right side of his smile. He was already focused on straightening his teeth, but he also wanted a more even and fuller looking smile. Quinn wanted to make sure that after he completed his orthodontics his teeth would not only be straight, but symmetrical as well.

What was involved?
Dr. Elizabeth worked with Dr. Liu to make sure we were all aiming for the same goal. Dr. Liu set up a plan to move Quinn’s front teeth to center with his upper lip and leave space around his undersized laterals to make Quinn’s smile more symmetrical and broader.

Near the completion of Quinn’s orthodontic treatment, Dr. Elizabeth presented him and his mom with some options to make the undersized laterals broader and showed them a mock-up of how the teeth would look after the procedure. Quinn decided to take Dr. Elizabeth’s recommendation and do composite bonding now, knowing that porcelain veneers will be a good option when he is done growing.

Quinn felt good about the current color of his teeth. Therefore, he could move right into the bonding procedure. The mock-up was used to create the composite veneers in the office in one day. Dr. Elizabeth performed a very minimal preparation on the teeth and made sure the coloring of the composite veneers matched his natural teeth.

What does Quinn think?
Quinn feels much more comfortable with his smile. He likes the fuller look of his front teeth and thinks they look more natural. He was very happy that Dr. Elizabeth didn’t have to make much adjustment to his teeth. He loved that the procedure wasn’t painful at all. Quinn and his mom feel the investment made in Quinn’s oral health and esthetics was well worth it!

 

 

 

Rebuilding Worn Teeth – Gina’s Story

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Gina came to us as an established patient at one of her routine recare appointments. Dr. Elizabeth noted decay around her front teeth and Gina mentioned how she noticed wear on her teeth and she was frustrated that her teeth were deteriorating despite her efforts in caring for them. Dr. Elizabeth recommended Gina go through our records process so she could delve deeper into underlying causes behind her decaying and worn teeth.

What did Gina want?
Gina noticed a lot more wear lately and wanted to keep as many of her natural teeth as possible. She was concerned because she recently needed a root canal for one tooth and needed another tooth extracted because of a vertical root fracture. Gina wanted to take action before other teeth declined. She also wanted her teeth whiter, more even, more uniform looking and wanted things to function better. Gina wanted a conservative, comprehensive plan for restoring her teeth.

Before

What was involved?
Dr. Elizabeth used photos and x-rays of Gina’s teeth along with the results of a thorough muscle and joint evaluation to develop Gina’s plan. The details of the records process revealed that the position of Gina’s teeth caused multiple interferences when she chewed. This is why her teeth were seriously starting to break down.

Dr. Elizabeth and Gina decided that Gina’s best option for restoring her teeth would first require moving her teeth to a better position with orthodontics. Gina worked with Dr. Brian DeVoe, a local orthodontist, until she had an even biting surface. Dr. Elizabeth then worked with a local lab and together they designed a blueprint of Gina’s new front teeth out of wax. This blueprint, called a laboratory wax-up, provided the ability for Dr. Elizabeth to create Gina’s new smile. Gina wanted to be as conservative as possible so it was decided to proceed with three porcelain crowns to remove the decay and to rebuild the worn edges of Gina’s front teeth.

After

What does Gina think?
“It sounded like a lot to do at first with the orthodontics and the crowns, but I knew I needed to do something to address the cause of the breakdown. I definitely didn’t want to lose any more teeth. I am so glad I went to the consultation with the orthodontist and went through with braces. My bite feels comfortable and everything feels so good! I would tell anyone considering getting this done to do it right away.”

The Vital Role of Teeth and Chewing in Overall Health

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

It’s an unfortunate fact of life: sometimes we last longer than our teeth. It’s not uncommon to lose teeth to accidents, decay, disease or deterioration.

Replace Missing Teeth with Implants or Dentures

Dentures have historically been the go-to solution, but dentures definitely are not teeth and satisfaction varies. Some people find them awkward or painful, or have trouble chewing. Luckily, dental implants can provide a tremendous improvement. Implant technology is one of the great advances of the last few decades, and enable everyone to have a full set of functional “teeth” well into an advanced old age.

Why Tooth Replacement is Crucial to Health

If you’re facing missing teeth, why is it important to replace them?

While some people might be tempted to soldier on with missing teeth, this means relying on gum surfaces for chewing; restricting the diet to soft foods; or pureeing foods to make them palatable. We do not recommend these solutions–they may ultimately have negative impacts on the health of your mouth and body.

Jaw and Gum Issues Due to Missing Teeth

When teeth are missing, you have to work harder to chew. Natural teeth have a bite force of 200-250 pounds and dentures have a bite force around 50 pounds. The soft tissue of the gums can’t approach the strength of either. Over time, you’re at risk of suffering irritated, sore, or even infected gums, which will further diminish your chewing ability.

TMJ disorders may also result from the loss of teeth. The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, where your jaw connects to your skull. Disorders of this joint can lead to headaches, tooth grinding, locking of the joint, and pain in the joint. When you are missing teeth, your TMJ has to work extra hard to compensate.

The integrity of the bone in the jaw depends on the resistance it experiences during the act of chewing to maintain its strength. When the act of chewing doesn’t place pressure on the jaw, the bone of the jaw weakens over time, becoming prone to fractures and potentially jeopardizing neighboring teeth.

Gastrointestinal Problems Resulting from Inadequate Chewing

Digestion is a complex process depending on multiple organs. Each organ must do its part for successful digestion. The role of chewing is more than simply mechanical and with missing teeth, things get complicated. Long story short, on a purely mechanical level, digestion depends on small food fragments. Large fragments cannot be properly broken down, resulting in incomplete digestion. This means nutrients are not fully extracted. Undigested food can lead to indigestion, discomfort, irregularity and excess gas.

Dental Implants or Dentures Restore Chewing Function

Chewing is essential for good nutrient absorption and a healthy, responsive digestive system. If teeth problems are interfering with your ability to chew, talk to us about your options. We’ll be happy to discuss a treatment plan, and explore the pros and cons of dental implants or dentures to resolve your issues and ensure your oral and digestive health.