Restoring Teeth with Implants: When Infections Cause the Need for Creativity. Judy’s Story.

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Judy came to her regular 6-month recare appointment and mentioned that she thought one of her front teeth was turning darker.  Joanna, our hygienist, noticed an issue right away as it looked as if Judy may be developing an infection near that upper front tooth.  Joanna took an x-ray and Dr. Elizabeth did some tests and it was evident that Judy had lost a lot of bone near the roots of some upper front teeth. For an unknown reason (likely a trauma that occurred long ago), Judy’s teeth had started dying, creating an infection and bone loss.  Dr. Elizabeth referred Judy to the root canal specialist and Dr. Aguirre confirmed the extent of the damage with a 3-D x-ray.  Dr. Aguirre agreed that the lesion was excessively large.  He was not confident that root canals alone could clear the infection so recommended that Judy work with an oral surgeon to remove the teeth, the infection, place a bone graft, and hopefully implant(s).

Because Judy didn’t remember any past trauma to her teeth and because of the extent of the bone loss could render all traditional treatment options unpredictable, Dr. Elizabeth recommended Judy undergo the records process to determine all her options going forward.

What did Judy want?

Judy wanted to be able to have front teeth and she wanted to be able to predictably clear her infection.  She agreed to go through the records process to learn about her options and hopefully determine if her current bite could be part of the reason for the trauma that caused her infection.  It was also important to Judy to be able to eat and speak normally after her teeth were restored.  She met with Dr. Wade, an oral surgeon, who agreed that two teeth should come out.  He was fairly confident that the infection was confined to only two teeth.  He noted a large bone graft would be needed for Judy and implants would not be able to be placed until the graft was fully integrated.  He recommended Judy have a temporary denture made to replace her teeth for awhile.

What was involved?

At the records appointment, Dr. Elizabeth took photos and x-rays of Judy’s teeth and did a thorough muscle and joint evaluation.  She used the information gathered at that appointment to develop possible treatment options for Judy.  It was evident after the bite analysis of the records process that Judy has an anterior open bite, which means that her upper and lower front teeth don’t meet up with each other.  This concerned Dr. Elizabeth the most because it meant that Judy’s bite may not adjust well to change, but we knew Judy would undergo a change because of the infection.  There was also a risk that her other two front teeth (or possibly more) could eventually become infected so any plan for Judy had to allow for flexibility in the future.  Dr. Elizabeth presented Judy with multiple options, including implant-based options, a tooth-based bridge option, or a long-term removable partial denture.  In the end, Judy’s treatment choice could have been limited by what would be discovered during surgery, but Judy wanted to restore the missing teeth with one implant that would hold two teeth (better for gum esthetics) and she wanted to repair her bite to make her upper and lower front teeth touch.  This would help with long-term functionality and predictability.

Judy had 2 teeth extracted, the infection removed, and a large bone graft placed by Dr. Wade.  Dr. Elizabeth had a temporary partial denture ready to insert after surgery.  In addition, Dr. Elizabeth built up the edges of Judy’s other front teeth to mimic what her final restorations would look like.

Once the bone graft was integrated, Dr. Wade went back for another surgery to place an implant for Judy.  One implant was placed that would eventually hold and replace two teeth.  After three additional months of healing, Dr. Wade placed a customized healing abutment to help shape the tissue for the eventual tooth restorations.  Judy continued to wear her temporary partial denture during this time.  Dr. Elizabeth also wanted to influence the tissue at the site for her “other tooth” so she built up Judy’s temporary partial denture to put pressure on the tissue and shape it so it would eventually look like a tooth is emerging from the tissue.

During the healing time, Judy also decided she wanted to lighten the color of her teeth so she underwent the Zoom bleaching procedure and improved her shade to 5 times brighter!  Finally, Judy did the final planning with Dr. Elizabeth, completing a lab wax-up, like a blue print, for her future restorations.  When the surgeon gave the “all-clear,” Dr. Elizabeth prepared Judy’s remaining upper front teeth and got impressions of the implant site so 5 restorations could be fabricated for her 6 front teeth.

What does Judy think?

Judy had a long treatment process.  She notes she learned a lot as a lot went into the decision making.  Judy notes “I didn’t have a choice, it was something that had to be done.  It was interesting to learn more about my bite and what it would mean to have longer teeth in the end.”

Judy notes she thinks her teeth look “very nice” and is happy to be done with everything.  “It was a bigger procedure than I expected, but it turned out nice in the end!”

We’re so grateful to have you as a patient, Judy – thank you for putting your trust in us!  It was a pleasure to be able to use our creative thinking skills to help you through this interesting case.

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.

List Join

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.

List Join

Implants Versus Dentures

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Thanks to modern dentistry, loss of a tooth – or many teeth – doesn’t have to be permanent. With a small investment of time, money and skilled expertise, it’s possible to replace teeth with implants or dentures.

When our patients are facing the loss of one or more teeth, they come to us for counseling on the best path forward. We consider it part of our customer care to walk them through the options and make sure they understand the pros and cons of each option. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love helping our patients understand the best choice for their individual circumstances. Here’s a quick summary as a starting point.

Implants: The Pros

The best part about implants: They feel and behave like your original teeth. You care for them in a similar way, so you likely don’t need to embrace any fresh routines or invite any new bottles or tubes into your bathroom cabinet. They will prevent neighboring teeth from migrating, so they preserve your bite. Because they are anchored in the bone, they help preserve bone mass in the jaw, Once they are established, they nearly take care of themselves. The feel of chewing, the nuances of speaking, the sensation when you run your tongue along the inside of your mouth – these will all feel completely familiar. Implants are built to last a lifetime, and they almost always do.

Implants: The Cons

Dental implants can take awhile from start to finish. Typically, it’s about six months between initial surgery and final placement of the abutment and crown. There is usually some healing time of the implant which will continue to leave you toothless for awhile. If, however, the missing tooth is in the front of the mouth, we can place a temporary tooth for cosmetic reasons. Depending on your situation, implants may cost more than other options.

Dentures: The Pros

Dentures can be crafted and placed in a shorter time period than implants. They don’t usually require surgery, but sometimes bone recontouring can be necessary to get the denture to fit just right. The initial cost of dentures is lower than most implant replacement options; however, they may need to be replaced as the shape of the jaw, mouth and adjacent teeth change over time, so in the long run may end up costing more.

Dentures: The Cons

Dentures will never feel like your natural teeth. They must be removed for cleaning, and because they can trap food, cleaning is extra important. Denture wearers may have to forgo some of their old eating habits such as corn on the cob. Because they don’t help preserve bone mass in the jaw, denture wearers are likely to experience ongoing jaw bone deterioration, which may prevent them from being a candidate for implants at a later time. Subsequent bone loss may contribute to a sunken appearance of the lower cheeks.

We hope this summary helps you understand your options. We look forward to evaluating your personal situation, and helping you embark on the tooth restoration program that fits your needs. Call us today at 651-482-8412 for your exam and consultation!

Teeth Replacement Options

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Choosing the right tooth replacement method should start with an exam and a dialogue with your dentists, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff. They are happy to take the time you need to understand the variables of your available options, including dental health, overall health, how long it will last, how long it will take, and financial impact. We want to help you choose the treatment that makes the most sense for your situation and bring you the greatest satisfaction.

Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of three components. A titanium post is fixed into the bone where a tooth was. The jaw bone grows back around the implant, holding it firmly. When the implant has integrated with the bone, an abutment is fitted on the implant, and then a crown is attached to the abutment.

Implants help keep adjacent teeth and your entire mouth more resilient to deterioration. When a tooth is lost, a few things begin to take place that may not be easily evident to the eye, but can have significant negative consequences for both health and appearance. Tooth roots not only help hold teeth in place, they are also essential in maintaining health in the adjacent gums and supporting bones.

Thus, tooth loss can cause bone loss in the jawbone. This is a problem because it can interfere with the integrity of the roots and stability of nearby teeth. This bone loss is also responsible for the “sunken” appearance of the lower cheeks which we see in people who have lost back teeth. Because this bone loss is gradual, it causes people who wear dentures to find that their dentures are increasingly hard to fit and keep in place, over time.

With an implant, bite function is fully restored to as good as new. Neighboring teeth are prevented from shifting. The jaw bone is much more stable and stays where it belongs. Additionally, implants look and feel like your own teeth, and you care for them just the same as your regular teeth. Plus, the longevity is unmatched, with them lasting many years.

The comfort, function and appearance of a dental implant explain why they have become so popular.

Replacing Teeth with All-on-4® Dental Implants

All-on-4® Dental Implants are a relatively new dental reconstruction. In a way, they are a hybrid of implants and a bridge. With this technique, four (or more) implants are placed in the jawbone and an entire arch of reconstructed upper or lower teeth are affixed to the four (or more) imlants. This is a more comfortable, stable and long-lasting option than traditional dentures. Plus, they look and feel just like “real” teeth.

Replacing Teeth with Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge fills in the gap caused by one or more missing teeth by using surrounding teeth as anchors. A bridge can be a fairly quick way to replace teeth, but since it relies on the neighboring teeth, the integrity of these anchor teeth is reduced. Bridges can also be more difficult to keep clean than other tooth replacement options because food will trap under the “fake” teeth.

Replacing Teeth with Removable Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are able to replace one or more teeth in an arch They consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base and often a metal framework, which is supported by the gums and teeth. They are removed for cleaning. They are more comfortable and secure than full dentures, and usually cost less than implants or bridges.

Replacing Teeth with Full Dentures

Full dentures are an entire set of artificial lower and upper teeth, held in place by suction. They are removed for cleaning. When they’re brand new, they may feel awkward and speaking and eating might require practice. Over time, they may stop fitting properly as bone mass degrades.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options, call us at Eggert Family Dentistry, 651-482-8412.

Why It’s Important to Replace Missing Teeth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

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

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

Causes of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is caused by many factors.

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

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

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

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

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

Many Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth

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

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

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

Eggert Family Dentistry and Tooth Restoration

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

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!

Restoring Teeth with Implants: The Importance of Records in Creating a Healthy Smile

How did this start?

As a child, Frank had a bicycle accident that broke four of his upper front teeth. They were repaired with crowns at the time but Frank knew they weren’t going to last forever. In 2017, the teeth began showing signs of infection. Dr. Elizabeth referred him to the endodontist who determined that the teeth couldn’t be saved and would need to be extracted. Dr. Elizabeth suspected that in addition to the history of trauma, part of the reason for the infection was that Frank’s lower teeth were crowded and putting a lot pressure on his top teeth. Before having the teeth extracted, Dr. Elizabeth recommended Frank go through the records process to determine the best option for replacing them.

What did Frank want?

Frank’s main concern was getting his mouth back to a healthy state and preserving the function of his teeth. He had been hoping to keep his natural teeth for as long as possible, but he understood that the infection had developed to the point where extracting the teeth would be the only way to successfully treat it. It was also important to Frank that he be able to eat and speak normally after his teeth were restored.

What was involved?

At the records appointment, Dr. Elizabeth took photos and x-rays of Frank’s teeth and did a thorough muscle and joint evaluation. She used the information gathered at that appointment to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for Frank. She presented him with several options for replacing his upper front teeth and Frank decided to do an implant bridge as it would offer the most long-term predictability and look and function the most like natural teeth. The first step in Frank’s treatment plan was having the four infected upper teeth extracted and two implants placed by the oral surgeon, Dr. Karl Andreasen. Dr. Andreasen then made a temporary bridge for Frank to wear while the implants healed. While his implants were integrating, Dr. Elizabeth recommended that Frank start Invisalign to fix the crowding in his lower teeth. Straightening out Frank’s lower teeth would help get his bite to a more stable position and decrease the excessive force that he was putting on his upper front teeth. Dr. Elizabeth didn’t want Frank to put his planned all-porcelain implant supported bridge at risk like his teeth had been. Frank completed his Invisalign treatment after 14 aligners and was ready to move on to the final phase of his treatment, restoring his upper front teeth. Dr. Elizabeth took impressions and worked with a local lab to fabricate Frank’s final bridge, which he had placed recently this year.

What does Frank think?

Frank is very excited to have something that looks and functions similarly to the four natural teeth he had to lose. He is also happy to be infection-free. Frank said that he understood going into this that it was going to be a long process. “I know things don’t happen overnight, and the details of the procedures were explained very well.” When asked what he would say to someone considering going through a similar procedure, Frank said, “I would tell them to bear with it. It takes as long as it needs to take to be done the right way. You’ll be well taken care of.” As for what Frank thinks of his new smile? “I am very happy! I’m looking forward to eating a hamburger!”

We’re so grateful to have you as a patient, Frank – thank you for putting your trust in us!

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!

Eric’s Story – Using the All-on-4® Implant Technique

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Eric’s complex medical history and treatment needs led to dental issues like severe dry mouth. Because of these factors and despite good homecare, cavities and decay spread quickly for him and required extensive treatments. Over the course of 10 years he required 9 new crowns and multiple fillings in an effort to save his teeth. It was when Eric had to start having some teeth extracted in 2016 that he and Dr. Elizabeth agreed it was time to find a better-lasting, long-term solution. Based on the records Eric had taken in 2013 and his treatment since, Dr. Elizabeth proposed the All-on-4® treatment concept as the best solution to stabilize the health of Eric’s mouth.

What did he want?
Eric spends half of his time at home in Minnesota and the other half at his home in Maui. Keeping up with complex dental needs and many appointments on top of numerous health problems made coming for consistent dental visits difficult so he wanted to come up with a permanent way to improve his oral health. Eric wasn’t overly concerned with the esthetics of his mouth, but he felt that as long as he was considering doing more comprehensive work that he would like to see a whiter, more even smile.

What was involved?
The process started in August of 2016 when Eric had all of his remaining upper teeth extracted and 6 implants placed by Dr. Karl Andreasen of Momenta Oral Surgery. In March of 2017 Eric took the next step in the process and had all of his lower teeth extracted and 5 implants placed to prepare for his final full-arch prostheses. After each of these surgical appointments, an interim (temporary) prosthesis was placed in order to sustain most of his normal function as well as give him teeth to smile with. Eric’s time in his interim prostheses was extended because his health conditions kept one lower implant from fully integrating.

This implant was replaced and after a successful integration check, Eric was ready to take impressions for his final All-on-4® prostheses in March of this year. He decided he preferred the full zirconia, all porcelain material due to its strength and esthetics and he was able to select the shade for his brand new smile! Eric came in for a try-in 3 weeks later and gave the go-ahead for Dr. Elizabeth to have the lab move to final creation. On May 2nd Eric came back and had both of his new arches placed and left with a brand new set of teeth.

What did he think?
After years of treatment planning, Eric was very excited to have a new and healthy set of “teeth” to chew, smile, and talk with. After looking at the final result he was very pleased with how the entire treatment turned out and said, “I shouldn’t have waited so long!” Eric was leaving for his home in Maui just days after the procedure was done and felt relieved to know he was traveling with a stable and healthy mouth. When asked how he felt about the All-on-4® treatment process Eric said, “It was totally worth it. I have one less thing to worry about!” His especially likes the even white color of his new smile! Congratulations Eric! Thank you for putting your trust in us!