What Are the Long-Term Effects of Drug Abuse on Dental Health?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Drug and alcohol abuse have been on the rise in the last few years, and those numbers increased even more during the pandemic. Numbers from the CDC suggest that more than 10% of Americans over the age of 12 have abused illegal drugs in the last month. In addition, 24% of American adults had at least one episode of heavy drinking in the last year.

Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse can cause numerous dental health problems, including:

Enamel Breakdown and Mouth Sores from Drug and Alcohol Abuse

One of the most common impacts of drug abuse on dental health is enamel breakdown. Because cocaine and many other drugs are highly acidic, they can break down the enamel on teeth. Cocaine is especially damaging when it is smoked or when people use powdered cocaine in their mouths to be absorbed through their gums. This can lead to mouth sores, which can get infected.

Cocaine can also cause injuries in the mouth when it is snorted. The tissues in the upper palate are weakened, which can cause a hole to form between the nose and the mouth.

Essentially all alcoholic beverages are acidic, with some having a higher pH level than others. Wine is especially acidic and seeing tooth erosion in wine drinkers is very common. So many mixed drinks also contain mixers like juices and sodas, all of which have high levels of acidity and can cause damage to tooth enamel.

Another negative dental health consequence from drug abuse is called transient chorea. This causes muscle spasms in the jaw and mouth, which can make people grind their teeth. When people grind their teeth too much, it weakens the tooth enamel and causes the teeth to crack.

Drug Abuse Can Make Teeth Rot

Tooth rot is so common from meth use that the condition is known as “meth mouth.” Black and brown holes form all over the teeth due to decay. Meth kills blood vessels, which causes problems in the gums. Meth also makes the mouth feel dry. And without saliva, the enamel on the teeth is much more subject to the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Bad Dental Hygiene from Drug and Alcohol Abuse

When people abuse drugs and alcohol, their dental health suffers. The drugs and alcohol themselves are hard on people’s teeth. However, another side effect of the abuse is neglecting basic dental hygiene.

When people use drugs and alcohol, they often forget to take care of their basic dental needs – such as brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash. Finally, some drugs, such as meth, make people crave sugary foods and drinks, which are hard on your teeth. This combination makes it hard to keep your mouth healthy.

A No-Judgment Appointment to Discuss the Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse on Your Dental Health

If you’re concerned about the impact drugs or alcohol are having on your oral health, contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff for a no-judgement appointment. Call our office at 651-482-8412 to schedule your appointment.

What to Consider Before You Get an Oral Piercing

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

What Are Oral Piercings?

Oral piercings use a needle to add a hole and jewelry to the mouth. Oral piercings can be inside the mouth, known as intraoral, or outside your mouth, known as perioral. This includes piercings in the:

  • Tongue
  • Cheek
  • Lip
  • Uvula, which is the tissue that hangs at the back of your throat
  • Frenum, which is the tissue that connects your lips to your gums and your tongue to the floor of your mouth

Risks of Oral Piercings

Oral piercings are a common way for people to express themselves. Unlike piercings in other parts of the body, however, oral piercings come with a host of complications because of the sensitive nature of the mouth.

Piercing any part of your mouth is riskier than piercing other parts of the body. Throughout the day, oral piercings touch your teeth and gum tissue, which each contain millions of bacteria. As a result, the risk of infection is higher.

Oral piercings can interfere with talking, chewing, and swallowing. Even if those interruptions don’t bother you, oral piercings can cause of range of mouth damage, including:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Trouble talking or breathing
  • Infection, pain, and swelling
  • Damage to the gums, teeth, and fillings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Challenges during dentist appointments
  • Blood-borne diseases
  • Endocarditis

Taking Care of an Oral Piercing If You Already Have One

While we understand piercings are becoming more common, at Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe it is much safer to consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem and don’t pierce on a whim – the piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep.

If you already have an oral piercing, one of the best ways to prevent an oral infection is by consistently taking care of your mouth. Keep your piercing clean by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Avoid clicking your oral jewelry against your teeth, which can chip or crack them or cause your teeth to become loose.

Finally, it’s also important to take oral piercings out when you play sports, and remember to wear a mouthguard.

When to See Help for an Oral Piercing

Because of the increased risk of infection, it’s important to visit us at Eggert Family Dentistry regularly. And if you notice any signs of infection – such redness, swelling, discharge, smell, rash, fever, or excessive bleeding – it’s important to contact us as soon as possible. Contact Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff if you’re concerned that your oral piercing may be infected. Call our office at 651-482-8412 to schedule your appointment.

Oral Care for Cancer Patients

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

May is oral cancer awareness month. And although oral cancer affects more than 50,000 people each year, regular visits with your dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry can help detect early warning signs.

Regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed with oral cancer or another cancer, you may notice changes in your mouth. Chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and other types of cancer treatments can have an impact on your mouth. Your gums, teeth, and salivary glands can be seriously affected.

However, with good oral care, you can help mitigate the side effects and lower the risk of other oral challenges.

Oral Sides Effects of Cancer Treatment

The type of cancer treatment you receive will affect the symptoms you have, as well as the oral care you need. The most common oral side effects of cancer treatment include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Changes in taste
  • Mouth sores
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease

The Best Oral Care for Cancer Patients

The most effective oral care for cancer patients may feel similar to the best dental hygiene you could have. Oral care for cancer patients includes:
Brushing your teeth, but maybe more gently: Because your mouth can be more sensitive, be sure to use your soft toothbrush and brush more gently than you normally would.

Brushing your teeth more often: In addition to brushing your teeth gently in the morning and at night, consider brushing after every meal because of the decrease in saliva.

Maintaining your flossing routine: If you already floss your teeth, continue flossing, ideally before bed. However, if you haven’t been a regular flosser, start now, but be prepared for slightly more irritation in your gums at first.

Rinsing your mouth every 4 to 6 hours: An important part of oral care for cancer patients includes rinsing your mouth multiple times each day. The best rinses will be plain water, salt water, or baking soda water.

Keeping your lips moisturized: Because your mouth will produce less saliva than normal, it’s important to keep your lips moisturized. Apply a moisturizer (such as Aquaphor or Vaseline) every 4 to 6 hours.

Be prepared for yeast infections: Especially if you wear dentures, due to more limited saliva production, you will be more prone to yeast infections. Keep your dentures impeccably clean and rinse your mouth as described above.

Managing Oral Pain During Cancer Treatment

The right oral care for cancer patients can help alleviate mouth pain during cancer treatments. In addition to the steps listed above that you should add to your routine, there are other things that you may need to remove from your routine. During cancer treatment, you should avoid:

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Mouthwash, especially any that has alcohol or sugar
  • Salty food and strong spices
  • Citrus fruit and juice
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Other acidic foods or drinks
  • Hard, dry, or coarse foods
  • Very hot or cold foods and liquids

Schedule an Appointment Before You Start Cancer Treatment

If you’re starting cancer treatment, it can be helpful to meet with the dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry first. Your body is going through a lot right now, and good oral care is essential in helping your mouth feel as good as possible. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, call our office at 651-482-8412.

Dentistry Is Not Expensive–Neglect Is!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If you want to save money on dental care, invest in floss, toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste!

The good news is that you can have a huge impact on how long you keep each tooth, and how healthy it is. When you take good care of your teeth, you defer or prevent the investment in dental procedures altogether. For some people, this is highly motivating. Whether you are motivated by money, vanity, or health concerns, we are here to help you take the best possible care of your teeth, which is the best way to avoid the cost and time involved with dental procedures.

Please follow these tips, and reach out to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff if you have any questions about how to take the best possible care of your precious teeth and smile.

Brush Properly

It’s important to use good technique to get the most out of brushing. Remember to be gentle, move your brush in circular motions, and brush all surfaces. Better brushing means less plaque, less gum disease, and longer-lasting teeth.

Never Go To Bed without Brushing Your Teeth

The best time to brush is about an hour after you eat. The ideal practice is to brush after every meal and snack. However, many people shirk their brushing practice right before bed because they’re too tired. However, this is the most important brushing session, because any germs and plaque that remain on your teeth when you go to bed have at least eight hours or so to do their damage.

Brush Your Tongue

Plaque also accumulates on your tongue, which can this lead to bad breath and other oral health problems. Always gently brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

We recommend using fluoride toothpaste for best oral protection. It helps remineralize damage to enamel caused from bacteria and acid in your mouth.

Be as Dedicated to Flossing as to Brushing

Flossing removes stuck food particles, but it also stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and help reduce gum inflammation. Please floss at least once daily. If you find it challenging to floss, look for alternate remedies such as disposable dental flossers.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash has multiple benefits, depending on the product, including reducing acid in the mouth, cleaning hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizing teeth. It’s particularly helpful for people who don’t do a great job of brushing, such as children and the elderly.

Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Our teeth evolved to benefit from a workout, so it’s good for our jaws and teeth to eat crunchy, chewy things. Instead of soft processed foods, eat crunch raw vegetables and fruits, and whole grains. Giving your jaw a workout is good for your teeth and your breathing habits, too.

Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Drinks

Acid erodes tooth enamel, which causes cavities. The bacteria in the mouth can also convert sugar to acid in the mouth. While few of us will give up all acidic foods such as coffee, tea, and fruit, be mindful of eating these things, and rinse after consuming them.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is good for your overall health as well as your oral health. It helps wash food residue and particles out of your mouth and reduce the impact of sticky and acidic foods and beverages. Drink water with your meals, and swish out your mouth a few times after your last bite.

See Us at Least Twice Yearly

Professional cleanings are a necessary component of dental care. It is not possible for you to be able to clean every area effectively on your own. We will also look for cavities and any other issues that may need treatment. Prompt treatment is the best way to minimize both discomfort and expense.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth want the best for your mouth and your health, so let us keep a professional eye on your teeth and gums so you can get appropriate and timely treatment. Give us a call today at 651.482.8412 to set up your next recare appointment.

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Why a Fitted Mouth Guard Provides the Best Protection

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

A fitted mouth guard is the best way to protect an athlete’s teeth and mouth area when playing sports throughout the year.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth always recommend to parents of our sports-playing patients that a custom-fitted mouth guard is the best way to protect their kids’ teeth, jaws and general health. This is especially important in traditional high-contact sports like hockey, wrestling, and football, but it’s also true in other sports like baseball and gymnastics in which an errant move may cause a dentofacial injury that is disastrous for the teeth or jaw.

Many athletes rely on the one-size-fits-all or boil-and-bite mouth easily found at sporting goods stores and online, and they are definitely an improvement over no protection.

However, the benefits of custom mouth guards are worth the investment. Your child has just one set of adult teeth, and keeping them intact should be your priority. The longer they can go in life without requiring dental reconstruction, the better. In addition, the cost of a custom set of mouth guards is far more economical than multiple dental visits.

Better Fit

When you get a custom mouth guard, it’s molded exactly to your child’s teeth and jaw. When you choose an off-the-shelf guard, it’s generally bulky and fits far from perfectly. It’s probably uncomfortable to wear and hard to speak around. As a result, kids tend to not wear them for the entire length of the game or competition or they play with them during competition rendering them ineffective.

In contrast, a custom-fit mouth guard is much more comfortable and easy to speak with. This seriously increases the likelihood that your kid will wear it for the duration of their athletic event.

Improved Breathing

One of the most common complaints kids have about one-size-fits-all mouth guards is that they interfere with breathing, especially during intense exertion. It’s no surprise that athletes object to this problem, because it’s hard to perform at your best when your respiration is impaired. Research indicates that custom mouth guards don’t interfere with breathing. In fact, some research suggests that custom mouth guards may actually improve athletic performance. When kids complain that they can’t breathe well while wearing a store-bought mouth guard, upgrade to a custom-made one

Better Protection

The American Dental Association strongly encourages athletes of all ages to wear mouth guards and reduce the risk of orofacial injuries. Studies support this. A 2018 meta-analysis established that mouth guard users are 82-93% less likely to suffer dentofacial injuries. A study of college athletes showed that custom mouth guards provide the best protection against injury while playing contact sports.

The ADA states that the most effective mouth guards share these qualities:

  • Cover the user’s teeth on one arch
  • Are properly fitted to the user’s mouth
  • Are accurately adapted to the user’s oral structures
  • Stay in place comfortably and securely

Stock mouth guards don’t meet these criteria, but custom mouth guards do.

Help your kids graduate into adulthood with a healthy, intact set of teeth. Please talk to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr Jeff about getting a custom mouth guard to protect your athletic offspring’s dentofacial health.

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Enjoy a Brighter Smile for the Holidays

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, full of laughter and good times. Unfortunately, some people are reluctant to smile and laugh authentically because they don’t want to show off their teeth. They are embarrassed that their teeth are dingy, discolored, or punctuated with fillings.

Well, our first advice is: Go ahead, laugh and smile and enjoy yourself. It’s unlikely anyone is as critical of your teeth as you are.

And it’s also true that you can partner with us, your dentists, to improve the cosmetic aspect of your teeth, so you can laugh and smile with confidence. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are here to help you take good care of your teeth so you’ll be happy to display your teeth and your joy.

Here are few ways to achieve and maintain fresh, attractive teeth for the holidays, and all year round.

Avoid Staining Foods

If your teeth are prone to discoloration, you can improve matters by avoiding acidic, sugary, and dark-colored foods. Major culprits include coffee, wine, berries, and chocolate. If you do choose to indulge, rinse your teeth as soon as possible afterwards and make sure to brush with regular intervals. Better still, consume these in moderation and load up on fresh fruits and veggies, and enjoy cheese and dairy for the beneficial calcium they offer as they are less likely to stain your teeth.

Stay Away From All Types of Tobacco

Tobacco stains teeth, including vaping and chewing tobacco. If taking care of your physical health doesn’t motivate you enough to quit, maybe vanity can! Tobacco is a prime cause of yellow, dingy teeth, so please quit. There are many effective cessation programs if you need help.

Preventative Care at Home

We will never stop singing this same old tune: Brush and floss, brush and floss. Your preventative care is the best way to keep your teeth healthy, and healthy teeth are attractive teeth. Brush and floss twice daily to combat gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. And please, do both! It’s impossible to brush the tight interproximal areas in between your teeth, so floss every time you brush. For anyone wondering whether your dentist can tell if you floss and brush routinely, the answer is YES. We can.

Get Regular Cleanings by a Professional

No matter how well you brush, you will get some tarter buildup, a by-product of plaque. When plaque builds up on teeth, it hardens and turns into tartar or calculus. It requires professional cleanings to scrape it off your enamel. Please get twice annual dental cleanings, and remember that plaque buildup doesn’t reflect on any brushing deficit – it happens to everyone.

Get Your Teeth Whitened

Consider professional teeth whitening to improve the shade of your teeth. We hear from our patients that store-bought whitening products don’t always live up to their promises, so schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff or Dr. Elizabeth for professional teeth whitening.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments

For a stain-resistant and beautiful smile, consider cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers. We can apply porcelain veneers that mimic the look of natural dental enamel but are a uniform shade of your choice. They look natural, but they resist stain.

Your smile is your most precious commodity, so take good care of it! Please reach out to us at Eggert Family Dentistry for professional dental care to enhance the beauty and the health of your pearly whites–call 651.482.8412 to set up your next appointment!

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How Much Do You Know About Plaque, Your Teeth’s Biggest Enemy?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

I hear the word “plaque” frequently but what exactly is it?

Plaque is a biofilm in your mouth—a sticky, invisible colony of both good and bad bacteria. Because these bacteria multiply rapidly, they’re always in your mouth, even after you brush your teeth. The problem arises, however, when you consume sugars or carbohydrates. The bacteria feed off of the sugars and produce acid in the process.

What are signs of plaque that I should watch out for?

The acid produced by the plaque begins to eat away at your tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to tooth sensitivity and eventually tooth decay. When plaque is left untreated, it can build up on your teeth and turn into tartar (also known as calculus)—a hard yellow calcified deposit. Other signs of plaque include chronic bad breath and tender, swollen gums, gingivitis and periodontitis. In even more serious cases, plaque can lead to tooth infections or abscesses and eventual tooth loss.

How can I prevent plaque from building up in my mouth?

There are a few primary ways you can keep plaque from getting the best of you (and your mouth)!

Limit sugar and carbs. Sugar is plaque’s best friend and your mouth’s worst enemy. It’s the catalyst for plaque’s production of enamel-eating acids. Because carbs break down as sugar, they are just as much to blame. When you choose to limit the intake of these foods, you don’t give plaque as much opportunity to create this acid in the first place, promoting a better bacteria balance and oral microbiome.

Brush and floss frequently. If you eat sugars and carbs, which most people do, preventative care is important. Make sure to brush your teeth and floss between them twice a day and after consuming these foods. This helps remove food particles from your mouth and discourages the destructive chain reaction of acid production, enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Swish with mouthwash. It’s easy to brush and floss but not take the process any further. When you swish with fluoridated mouthwash afterward, you dislodge any residual food particles. Plus, the fluoride repairs and strengthens your enamel which may already be eroding due to past exposure to sugar-producing acid.

If I notice plaque or tartar, what do I do?

Reducing sugars in your diet in addition to stepping up your oral hygiene game can combat plaque buildup before it becomes a bigger problem. A thorough polishing by one of our hygienists during your recare visit will also help reduce plaque on and in between your teeth.

If you notice tartar forming from plaque that has built up over time, you will not be able to remove it on your own. Again, a recare visit and routine cleaning at Eggert Family Dentistry will help! Using our special plaque and tartar removing tools, we can give your mouth a fresh start…before your teeth are compromised and your gums become infected!

Give us a call today at 651.482.8412 to set up your next appointment!

5 Helpful Tips for Preventing Tooth Enamel Erosion

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Tooth enamel plays a critical role in overall dental wellness. Its hard, translucent coating protects the crown of the tooth from bacteria that could compromise its integrity and lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. 

Fortunately, most enamel erosion can be prevented. In this post, we’re going to share five main ways you can preserve your enamel so it can help keep your smile healthy and strong for life.

Causes of enamel erosion and preventative measures

In order to know how to prevent enamel erosion, it’s important to understand what causes it.

enamel erosionCause: One of the biggest enamel-eaters starts because of sugar. When we consume sugary foods, the bacteria in our mouths break it down by producing acid. Not only does this acid break down the sugar but it also breaks down our enamel. The more frequently sugar is consumed, the more the enamel breaks down and the less protected your teeth are. Sugary foods can be anything from candy and energy drinks to even options considered healthy like sweetened yogurt and granola.

Tip #1: Prevent enamel erosion by limiting the consumption of sugary foods and beverages. If you do consume them, be sure to brush and floss an hour afterward to rinse your mouth and get any residual sugar out from inside, on or in between your teeth.

Cause: In our American diet, sugar or some form of sugar, is in nearly every mass-produced food. You can work to limit sugar by consuming more whole foods and choosing pure water to drink.

Also, keep in mind, soft drinks are a double whammy because they contain both sugar and acid.

Tip #2: Prevent enamel erosion by limiting the consumption of acidic foods. When you indulge in acidic foods or beverages, brush and floss an hour afterward to clean out your mouth so acid doesn’t linger and cause enamel damage. You don’t want to brush and floss right after consumption of food and drink with acid because the acidic pH environment will allow your toothbrush to abrade the enamel away quickly. If you wait at least an hour, your saliva has a chance to neutralize your mouth.

Cause: Some foods and beverages are highly acidic. When consumed, the acids in foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate or your morning coffee, eat away at your enamel. In addition to acidic food, gastric acid reflux or upper airway based laryngeal/pharyngeal acid reflux will increase acid in the mouth.

enamel erosionTip #3: Prevent enamel erosion by making sure you’re using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that, when added to toothpaste, mouthwash or your municipal water supply, helps remineralize lost calcium and phosphate ions and reinforce your teeth’s first line of defense, reducing chances of damage and decay.

Cause: Saliva helps neutralize acids in your mouth as well as rinse your mouth when you eat and drink. In some cases, medications can lead to a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth. It can also be a naturally occurring phenomenon where a person’s salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to rinse their mouth frequently. In these cases, bacteria feed off food particles and sugars hanging around in their mouth, causing a rise in acidity and leading to more enamel erosion.

Tip #4: Prevent enamel erosion by keeping your mouth from becoming dry.

There are some easy ways to protect enamel and increase saliva production.

  • Sip water throughout the day. Bring a water bottle along to work or school to make hydrating easy.
  • Suck on sugar-free candy. This increases your mouth’s saliva production and helps rinse bacteria.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. This increases saliva production while at the same time helping to dislodge food particles and clean the surface of your teeth. All of these factors work towards preserving enamel and keeping your teeth strong.

Cause: Oftentimes, people ignore preventative care and consume large quantities of sugary and acidic foods and use chewing tobacco. Others binge drink which can lead to vomiting and ensuing enamel erosion. Then, when they start noticing tooth sensitivity or tooth decay, they finally make a dental appointment.

It’s important to remember that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

Tip #5: Prevent tooth erosion by visiting Eggert Family Dentistry for regular cleanings! At your recare visits, we will polish your teeth to clean up your enamel, often lifting minor surface stains. We can also treat your teeth with fluoride to strengthen your enamel. We will assess the condition of your enamel and if it’s starting to wear away, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will recommend the best course of treatment: bonding, crowns or veneers.

If you’re noticing tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, cracks, chips or indentions in your enamel or if it’s time to get in for your next recare visit, give our office a call at 651.482.8412.

 

What Can I Expect at My Recare Visit During COVID-19?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Most people understand the importance of regular dental visits for maintaining good oral health. Oral health has a run-off effect on a person’s overall health as well. Gum disease can easily creep in and, when left untreated, can lead to heart disease, stroke or even death. Sadly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have been avoiding the dentist for fear of catching or transmitting the virus. Our team at Eggert Family Dentistry wants you to know the facts about our COVID-19 safety measures and what you can expect at your visit as well as answer some common questions so you can feel comfortable coming in to see us!

Safety measures at Eggert Family Dentistry

When you visit our office, you can be assured that we are:

  • Keeping up with the latest CDC and OSHA guidelines
  • Running HEPA air scrubbers to remove particulates from the air
  • Disinfecting all surfaces regularly throughout the day
  • Providing hand sanitizer
  • Mandating face coverings for all our patients
  • Mandating PPE such as face shields, long gowns and high-filtration respirator masks for our team members.

Important instructions for your visit

Throughout the last year, we have been maintaining some infection control protocols of stricter magnitude, out of an abundance of caution. We know these measures have been keeping our patients, as well as our team members, safe from COVID-19. While we are happy to see so many members of our community able to get vaccinated, we wanted to review the current protocols as change can only come slowly and only as the virus continues to decrease in our state. Therefore, when you come in to see us, you will still notice the COVID-19 protocols we have in place.

In addition to asking that you wear a mask to your appointment, we will:

  • Have you wait in your car and text us upon arrival since our reception area is still closed due to the need to socially distance. When possible, you may also be asked to come into our building and wait in the hallway near our door.
  • Ask you to complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. You will see that you can save time in our office by filling out your survey electronically prior to your appointment. See your email for details.
  • NO LONGER take your temperature prior to entering the office unless requested by you. It has been decided by the CDC that temperature screening is not an accurate tool.
  • Continue to ask that you don’t bring guests along with you to your appointment unless it’s absolutely necessary. This continues to minimize contact with other people.

FAQs about your recare visit during COVID-19

I would like to see that things have been wiped down—the community pen, the electronic pen, the handles of the chairs, etc.

“Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, our office followed strict infection control guidelines that would have prevented the transmission of the novel coronavirus (or any other virus) to our patients or staff. In an abundance of caution, we have increased the frequency and thoroughness of our sanitizing procedures and we are following safety procedures recommended by the Center for Disease Control, American Dental Association and OSHA. Our cleaning procedures include the electronic pen and the chair handles. We also either wipe any touched pens or ask you to take home any pen you use.”

I am concerned that the risk of virus transmission is too high for the benefits associated with a routine checkup.

“Our hygienists have streamlined their protocols so that patients can return to their recare intervals which are key in maintaining health and well-being. There are many articles noting that those with the highest levels of inflammatory diseases are the most at risk for contracting COVID-19. We are happy to be able to provide high-level dental care to reduce whole-body inflammation and keep you at your healthiest.”

How will I be safe if my mouth is open?

“All patients coming to the practice will be asked to wear a face covering, limiting the particles in the air. Patients will be ushered directly to a clean and sterilized treatment room. All clinical team members will be protected with eye protection, a tight-fitting respirator mask, a surgical mask to eliminate contamination and often a face shield. This will mean that, if your mouth is uncovered, it will be your particles in the air. In addition, we have HEPA air-scrubbing units in the clinic area to eliminate particles in the air.”

I am concerned that dental tools are being used on multiple patients. What are you doing for safety and sanitizing?

“We have always maintained a high level of cleanliness and sterilization in our office, our operatories, and with our dental instruments, or tools. In addition to our new high powered instrument washer to remove debris, we use an autoclave to sterilize our instruments which destroys all forms of microbial life, including viruses and bacteria. The autoclave accomplishes sterilization by using steam under pressure. All instruments that are placed into the autoclave are completely sterilized at the end of the complete sterilization cycle and we ensure that the sterilization indicators prove that before using the instruments on another patient.”

To see our full list of FAQs, visit this link on our website.

If you have any questions about our COVID-19 safety measures or to get on our schedule for your next recare visit, contact us at 651.482.8412!

In Spite of COVID-19, Dentist Appointments Are Safe: Here’s Why

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

According to the ADA, dentistry is an essential medical service. Dentists are responsible for maintaining systemic health by evaluating, diagnosing, preventing and treating oral diseases. Consequently, during the pandemic, dental professionals are working hard to ease patients’ fears about coming into the office and they’re taking steps to ensure that it continues to be a safe experience for everyone.

There’s no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in dental offices.

During a 2020 NPR interview, Dr. Michele Neuburger, Dental Officer for the CDC’s & COVID-19 Response Team, stated “There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far. And that includes follow-up by the CDC of false news reports suggesting such infections.”

Similar findings have been reported by industry experts throughout this past year. We are also EXTREMELY proud to note that there is no evidence of any COVID-19 infection stemming from our office.

Unfortunately, there’s still been an increase in the number of people who’ve delayed routine dental care or elective procedures for fear of contracting COVID-19. This has led to an increase in tooth loss and gum disease which, over time, could lead to more serious systemic health issues such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and even death. We are so happy to see most of you back, including a slew of recent “returnees” because of the rapid increase in vaccinations. We want share the latest information to encourage and guide the few of you remaining who are taking it just a little slower.

Dentists are used to working around infectious diseases.

Rest assured. COVID-19 isn’t the first infectious disease dentists have encountered. HIV, hepatitis, influenza, strep throat…these are just a handful of viruses that dentists ward against every day. Dental professionals wear scrubs, masks, and latex-free gloves to protect themselves and their patients. And our precautions have only increased since the pandemic began.

Offices are implementing increased safety measures.

The ADA released additional guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including reduced use of aerosols and dental dams and an increase in the use of high-power suction for hygiene procedures.

Eggert Family Dentistry is working hard to keep you safe!

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recognize the importance of routine dental care and following through with recommended procedures to keep your teeth, mouth, and body in optimal health. That’s why we’re going the extra mile to make sure each one of our patients feels comfortable when you come in for a visit.

Our protective measures include:

  • Paying close attention to the evolving CDC and OSHA guidelines and continuing to make our practice safe for all those we are honored to serve.
  • Running HEPA air scrubber units in the office to remove particulates from the air, including germs like viruses.
  • Personalizing arrival procedures to guide you directly from your car or the hallway of the building to your treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and promote social distancing.
  • Requiring the use of a face covering and social distancing protocols.
    Providing a hand sanitizer station.
  • Wiping surfaces regularly in the administrative areas and between each patient in the clinical areas.
  • Continuing to keep the reception area and restroom closed.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing to keep our office clean and safe or if you’d like to get on our schedule for your next appointment, give us a call at 651.482.8412.