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!

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning Invisalign®

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In our previous post we introduced Invisalign® treatment as a great alternative to traditional braces. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe that thorough research is imperative to making your best decision. If you are considering Invisalign® there are some important questions you may want to ask prior to pursuing treatment.

Q: How long can I expect Invisalign® treatment to take to achieve my desired results?

A. Treatment can take anywhere from 6-24 months depending on the amount of correction needed. Patients move through a series of custom fit trays, called aligners, that slowly move the teeth and jaw into proper position. For a patient whose teeth are extremely crowded or who have an overbite, underbite or crossbite, they will need more custom aligners to straighten and reposition everything. Typically, aligners are replaced every two weeks and patients move through between 5 and 50 aligners during the course of their Invisalign® treatment.

Q. What are the benefits of Invisalign® as opposed to metal braces?

A. There are quite a few aspects of treatment that make Invisalign® more appealing than metal braces.

  • Because aligner trays can be removed for brushing and flossing teeth, Invisalign® doesn’t lend itself to “braces breath” – the brushing and flossing process is much more thorough and certainly more efficient.
  • Aligners don’t involve wires and brackets so they are far less irritating to the tongue and the inside of the patient’s cheeks. Although you may experience a sore mouth you likely won’t have to deal with sharp, poking pain.

Q. How do I care for my aligners?

A. It’s important to keep aligners clean. This means regularly brushing aligners with your toothbrush and water. Also, storing aligners in distilled water when not in use is important, as dry aligners are prone to bacteria growth.

Q. Will I talk funny when I’m wearing my aligners?

A. You will likely notice yourself lisping at first as you adjust to your new aligners. This is perfectly normal! Fortunately, our brain trains our tongue to speak around this new “obstruction” and within 2-3 days normal speech returns.

Q. Can I eat and drink with my aligners in?

A. Although you could potentially eat with your aligners in place it would be much more difficult and can encourage cavities to form since the food gets stuck underneath the aligners and on the teeth. We recommended removing aligners before eating. They can be easily worn when drinking and should they stain from coffee, tea or other beverages, they are replaced frequently.

If you have additional questions about what you can expect from an Invisalign® treatment, contact Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff to schedule your consultation!

What is Invisalign® and Is It Right for Me?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When it comes to straightening teeth and correcting alignment issues, most people picture traditional metal braces. There are, however, other great treatment choices you may want to consider. One of these treatments is Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear, retainer-like teeth aligners are an increasingly popular choice among people looking to achieve a straighter smile. So maybe you’re wondering: What exactly is Invisalign and how do I know if it’s right for me? Let’s look into it together!

What is Invisalign®?

Introduced to the public as a braces alternative in 2000, Invisalign® is a transparent orthodontic device used to correct teeth and bite issues. Unlike some of its counterparts, Invisalign® is made from BPA-free, medical grade polyurethane thermoplastic, making it completely safe for your body. It is a low-profile device created from a digital scan of your mouth and is custom fit to wrap comfortably around your teeth. Invisalign® can successfully correct many common dental challenges including gapped and crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. However, it’s not for everyone.

How do I know if Invisalign® is right for me?
At Eggert Family Dentistry, we like to arrange a consultation with each of our patients considering Invisalign® treatment and assess the following components to help determine if it is a suitable choice for their situation:

  • Alignment severity: While Invisalign® can be an effective choice for people with mild to moderate crowding, for severe alignment issues, a more aggressive method of orthodontic intervention – such as traditional metal braces – may be necessary.
  • Age: Many teens and adults don’t want to be a walking billboard for flashy metal braces and love Invisalign® for its discreet ability to straighten teeth and correct alignment. While highly-effective for older teens and adults, Invisalign® isn’t recommended for children or young teens whose teeth are still growing.
  • Compliance: For optimal results, Invisalign® aligners must be worn 22 hours a day. This allows for removal of the aligner during meals, sports and brushing/flossing but it is imperative that it be replaced immediately. It also means that the aligners cannot get lost.

A couple other things you may not know about Invisalign®…

  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Invisalign® is completely safe for you and baby. It is recommended, however, that you wait to obtain necessary dental x-rays before your pregnancy or until your second trimester in order to avoid the slight radiation exposure.
  • Also, as with metal braces, there are a couple attachments we can integrate with your Invisalign® device to accomplish specific goals. One attachment is a button, or a small dot of dental bonding that – in combination with your device – can help rotate a crooked tooth. Elastic bands are another attachment that can be fastened to buttons in order to help correct bite issues.

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are more than willing to consult with you about Invisalign® treatment for you or your other family members. Don’t hesitate to call us to arrange that appointment at 651.482.8412.

Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s Invisalign® Success Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In August of 2016, Dr. Elizabeth and Randi decided to become Invisalign® patients to help them make desired changes to their smile! Their participation also helped our team get a much more in-depth understanding of Invisalign®. Randi had braces as a teenager, however, she lost her retainer and her front teeth started to cross-over each other. She wanted to feel more confident with her smile.

Dr. Elizabeth had braces in middle school and her teeth started shifting as well, especially noticeable at the midline and at her right side lateral incisor. She wanted to test Invisalign® and see if it could address her concerns.

We sent models, photos, and x-rays of their teeth to Invisalign® where they created a 3D simulation of how both Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s teeth could move with Invisalign® treatment. They were both pleased with the results of the 3D simulation and decided to proceed. Both treatments required about 20 aligner changes and were expected to take 9 months. Each of them committed to visits every 6 weeks to ensure the teeth were moving as expected.

Small composite buttons or attachments were strategically placed temporarily on the front surfaces of some of the teeth to help with movements. These buttons were removed once their Invisalign® treatments were complete and as you can see were hardly visible.

Randi responded well to her aligners and other than having to have one button replaced, she had no complications. Randi says, “I am so happy!” She gets positive compliments from friends and family since going through Invisalign® and loves to show off her smile. She also learned great hygiene habits while wearing the aligners and would tell anyone to go through with Invisalign®. “My confidence has grown so much and I am excited to smile!”

Dr. Elizabeth said there was an adjustment period when she first began because she felt her mouth was drier after talking with patients all day, but otherwise she felt as though Invisalign® fit seamlessly into her life. She thinks it would be a great option for most people. Dr. Elizabeth says, “I am very happy with the movement. Wearing the aligners was easy and the time went fast.” She is very happy with the alignment of her front teeth and feels confident in recommending Invisalign® to her patients! She was especially happy that the treatment actually only took 7 months overall since the movements occurred so quickly!

Wondering if Invisalign® could help improve your smile? Contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Jill’s Invisalign® Success Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

A few months ago, Jill noticed her top teeth were shifting and her front teeth were starting to cross over each other. She also noticed more crowding on her bottom teeth, and she was starting to trap food because of it. We compared photos of Jill’s teeth from several years ago with her current smile and confirmed noticeable differences.

Jill’s teeth before (left) and after (right).

What did Jill want from her experience with Invisalign®?
Jill had been considering Invisalign® for some time. Her daughter had used Invisalign® teeth aligners and was very pleased with her results. Jill wanted to unravel the crowding on her own top and bottom front teeth. She imagined a future when she could clean her teeth better, eat without catching food between her teeth, and be proud to flash her beautiful smile.

How did Jill get started with Invisalign®?
First, we took impressions, photos, and x-rays of Jill’s teeth right at our office. Then, we sent them all to Invisalign®. In a short time, we could evaluate the 3D simulation of how Jill’s teeth could move with Invisalign® treatment. Jill was happy with the results of the 3D simulation and decided to proceed with treatment. Over a number of months, a sequence of 22 aligners would gradually move Jill’s teeth into place. Jill came into the office every 6 weeks to ensure her teeth were moving as expected. Small composite attachments were strategically and temporarily placed on the front surfaces of some of Jill’s teeth to help with tooth movements. These attachments easily blended in with her teeth, but were removed once her Invisalign® treatment was complete.

What does Jill think of her Invisalign® results?

Let’s hear it straight from Jill:

“My daughter went through Invisalign® and gave me the encouragement to do it. I understood the procedure and knew what to expect. I’m very happy with the results! I would encourage anyone considering Invisalign® to do it!”

Thanks for sharing your story, Jill! We’re so glad you’re happy with your Invisalign® results!

To schedule your Invisalign® consultation, contact Eggert Family Dentistry today.

Invisalign® Results: Five Months Later

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Where does the time go? It’s already been five months since Dr. Elizabeth and Randi started their journeys with Invisalign® clear aligners. Here’s a look at their results so far.

A Look Back to August

Dr. Elizabeth and Randi got fitted for Invisalign® in August 2016. Dr. Elizabeth had noticed that her lower teeth were starting to crowd each other while others were showing some wear from misalignment. She chose Invisalign® because she wanted to better understand the process and how it might work for her patients.

Randi had braces as a teenager and used to wear her retainers diligently. But then she lost her upper retainer, and her teeth stated to move and crowd each other. Last year, Randi noticed her two front teeth were starting to overlap. It was time to try Invisalign® to get them back in line. She liked the idea of realigning her teeth without the look of metal braces.

Dr. Elizabeth Five Months Later

Dr. Elizabeth is very happy with her results so far. She is especially excited about the change in the angle of her midline between her front teeth. She has found the aligners comfortable to wear and is happy to report she only has 9 aligners left!

Dr E Before During Smile
Dr. Elizabeth’s teeth in August (left), January (with attachments), and her smile now

Randi Five Months Later

Randi is very excited with the changes she’s seeing so far. She feels more confident in her smile, and her family and friends comment on how much things have improved. Her teeth were very crowded to start and she has found it much easier to floss in between all of her teeth, which were very difficult to floss before. She has only 9 aligners left and can’t wait to see the final result!

Randi Before During Smile
Randi’s teeth in August (left), January (with attachments), and her smile now

Find Out if Invisalign® Is Right for You

Invisalign® is a tooth-straightening system that uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to gently and gradually move your teeth back into place. Patients typically change aligners every two weeks until their teeth are realigned. The aligners are removable, making eating and cleaning your teeth very easy compared to traditional metal braces.

The dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry love helping their patients align their teeth gradually, effortlessly, and invisibly. Dr. Elizabeth and Randi would love to have you along on their journeys!

To help make it happen, we’re offering a special on Invisalign® treatment.  Between now and March 15, the first 15 patients who respond to this link will be eligible for free Invisalign® records.

Wondering if Invisalign® could help improve your smile? Email Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Randi Tries Out Invisalign® Part 1: The First Two Weeks

Eggert Family Dentistry’s Dr. Elizabeth is five weeks into her Invisalign® journey. You can read all about it here. But Randi is on an Invisalign® journey all her own! Here’s her story in her own words.

Why I Started Invisalign®

I had braces as a teen, and upon completing my treatment, I was supposed to wear a retainer every night. I did so for the first several years every few days or so, but eventually lost my upper retainer and my teeth quickly became crowded. It’s a story we see all the time at Eggert Family Dentistry.

I have never been confident with my smile. My front tooth crosses over the other significantly, and I always try to smile without showing my teeth. Working in the dental field, our team is constantly attending continuing education courses to learn about new ways to better serve our patients. I have attended a few different seminars learning about Invisalign®, and I was thrilled to be able to go through Invisalign® treatment in our office. I knew this was an easy way to get my smile back as long as I was willing to commit to wearing my retainers as directed and following a dedicated hygiene ritual to keep my teeth and retainers clean.

The First Two Appointments

After learning so much about Invisalign®, I was ready! I couldn’t be more excited to start. I had records taken and reviewed the results of the personalized treatment plan with Dr. Elizabeth.

Randi before up closeThe second appointment showing the personalized treatment plan is so informative! It is an interactive, 3D simulation of where your teeth are positioned before beginning Invisalign® and where the teeth are positioned at the end of treatment. The simulation is very eye opening. All I saw in my smile was that my one front tooth was crossed over the other. The presentation showed a lot of crowding on my lower teeth and cross bite in the back, all of which can contribute to premature wear over time. My goal is to keep my teeth for the rest of my life. I will do what I need to do that, so I was very impressed with how many improvements the Invisalign® presentation revealed.

Getting Fitted for Invisalign® & My First Two Weeks

At my next appointment, Dr. Elizabeth and Nicole attached small buttons to many of my teeth to help with the movement. This was the longest process so far, but it was painless. Dr. Elizabeth then sent me home with the retainers and instructions on caring for them.

I have been wearing my retainers for two weeks. I was so excited to tell my family that I started the treatment and was a little bummed no one noticed. Then I thought, “Great! Why would I want anyone to notice?” People I talk to say they can’t tell at all when I’m wearing them. You can only see the aligners if you look really closely.

A Surprising Benefit

One other benefit so far has been that I am not able to snack throughout the day. I never realized before how often I was snacking. Optimal wear time for the aligners is 22 hours each day, which allows for time to eat, but you do have to be diligent about flossing and brushing after eating or drinking anything aside from water while wearing the aligners. This prevents tooth decay.

Today is the start of my third week wearing the aligners. Aligners are changed every two weeks, so tonight is the night I switch to my second set. I’m excited to see what changes occur over the next couple of weeks!

Randi with Invisalign aligners

Find Out if Invisalign® Is Right for You

The dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry love helping their patients align their teeth gradually, effortlessly, and invisibly. I’d love to have you along on my journey! To help make it happen, we’re offering specials on Invisalign® express treatments between now and December 31 for patients who have completed an Invisalign® records appointment:

  • $130 off Express 10 Dual-Arch Treatment
  • $180 off Express 5 Dual-Arch Treatment

Wondering if Invisalign® could help improve your smile? Email Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Elizabeth Tries Out Invisalign® Part 1: The First Five Weeks

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Eggert Family Dentistry has been thinking of offering Invisalign® to our patients for years. But with all the other continuing education courses Dr. Elizabeth has been taking to enhance our patient’s smiles and their bites, it has been difficult to coordinate the training. Dr. Furey has been a certified Invisalign® provider for more than eight years, so as we transition his practice to Eggert Family Dentistry, the timing was perfect for Dr. Elizabeth to become Invisalign certified too.

Dr. Elizabeth wanted to experience Invisalign® for herself to help her better understand how it will work for our patients. So recently, Dr. Elizabeth began treatment.  This is the first blog in a series about our practice owner and her experience with Invisalign®. We also have two other staff members undergoing treatment – Randi and Kara. We’ll publish Randi’s story tomorrow.

Why Dr. Elizabeth Started Invisalign®

Dr. Elizabeth Before InvisalignWhen Dr. Elizabeth noticed crowding on her lower anterior teeth and wear on some of her teeth due to malalignment, she knew Invisalign® would be a good option for her. The system of clear, comfortable, plastic aligners would gradually bring her teeth into alignment without visible braces. And since the aligners are removable, there wouldn’t be any food restrictions or big changes to her daily oral hygiene routine. All she would need to do is clean the aligners regularly and change them every two weeks as her teeth adjusted.

Dr. Elizabeth’s Experience Five Weeks into Treatment

Today, Dr. Elizabeth is five weeks into her treatment. Though she knows she’s still at the start of her experience, she’s already noticing Invisalign® working. Her teeth have moved to the point that food no longer gets stuck in her mouth’s trouble spots. She’s looking forward to seeing the results of her full treatment!

Find Out if Invisalign® Is Right for You

The dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry love helping our patients align their teeth gradually, effortlessly, and invisibly. Dr. Elizabeth would love to have you along on her journey! To help make it happen, we’re offering specials on Invisalign® express treatments between now and December 31 for patients who have completed an Invisalign® records appointment:

  • $130 off Express 10 Dual-Arch Treatment
  • $180 off Express 5 Dual-Arch Treatment

Schedule your records appointment today to learn if Invisalign® is right for you. Clincheck approval must occur before December 31, 2016, for offer to apply. Email Eggert Family Dentistry or call (651) 482-8412.

Straight Teeth Effortlessly & Invisibly? It’s Possible with Invisalign

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we see many teenage and adult patients who wish their teeth were straighter or their bites were more comfortable, but who don’t want the hassle, cost, and look of braces. We’re proud to be able to offer these patients Invisalign®, a solution that straightens teeth and corrects malocclusion without metal brackets and the nuisance that accompanies them.

What Is Invisalign®?

girl-alignerInvisalign® is a teeth straightening system that’s been around for nearly 20 years. It’s a series of computer-customized, clear aligner trays you wear in succession over a period of time to move your teeth. They are an alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign® aligner trays are made of clear, thin, BPA-free plastic. Unlike metal braces, it’s nearly impossible for people to spot Invisalign® trays while you’re wearing them. Every tray gently moves your teeth into proper alignment. We then fit your Invisalign® aligner trays and monitor your progress.

Can Invisalign® Fix My Dental Issue?

Good candidates for Invisalign® include people who suffer from crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth or those who suffer from poor bite, including:
-open bite

If you suffer from one or more of these issues, Invisalign® may be a great solution for you.

I’m Interested! How Do I Get Started?

The first step is to speak to us at Eggert Family Dentistry. Dr. Furey has been treating patients with Invisalign® for many years, and Dr. Elizabeth will be undergoing the course work in the near future. We will help you determine if Invisalign® is a good choice for your particular dental needs. If so, we will take pictures, x-rays, and impressions of your teeth to create 3D images that will be used to make your aligner trays.

Once your first trays are fitted, you’ll want to try to wear them 20 to 22 hours a day, taking out the trays only to eat and brush and floss your teeth. You’ll switch the trays out every two weeks as your teeth gradually move into their new and improved position. Adults usually wear Invisalign® for a year, while the time range for teens is comparable to that for braces.

If you’ve always wished your teeth were straighter, your bite was better, or if your teeth have migrated since you had braces as a kid, ask your Eggert Family dentist about Invisalign®. We can help you investigate your options and discover if you’re a good candidate. Contact Eggert Family Dentistry today.

How Invisalign Can Improve Your Smile

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Straighter teeth is something many people desire, but when it comes to wearing braces for two, three or even four years, many patients shy away and live with their misaligned teeth. Luckily though, there is another option that is completely invisible and removable!  Invisalign was introduced in 1999 by Align Technologies. The removable orthodontic appliance incorporates a series of invisible (clear) plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth and are designed to move them gradually into the desired orthodontic position.

Invisalign is currently approved for adults and teenagers with completely erupted permanent teeth who are able to faithfully follow the directions for treatment. Invisalign can be used to correct the following types of mild dental problems:

  • Overly crowded teeth.
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Overbite/overjet
  • Crossbite
  • Malocclusions (bite irregularities)

How it Works

The Invisalign method requires only one set of impressions and photographs of the teeth, taken during your initial consultation, to craft the aligners. These impressions are used to create a 3D computer projection of how your teeth will be incrementally moved until they are perfectly aligned. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the aligners are created using a computer-aided design/manufacturing processes.

Once the aligners are completed, your dentist will dispense them in groups of one or two at a time during regular check-up appointments. These appointments typically occur every 4-6 weeks. Each aligner must be worn in its specific order for about two weeks, during which time it moves the teeth in small increments of about .25 millimeters to .33 millimeters. Although the aligners are removable for eating, drinking and check-ups, they should be worn at least 20 hours a day in order to reposition the teeth successfully.

A typical Invisalign treatment requires 20 to 30 aligners for both upper and lower teeth. Most adults complete their treatment in less than a year, but that time depends on the specific alignment problem.

Benefits of Invisalign

The benefits of Invisalign are numerous. First, they are nearly invisible so most people will not be able to tell that you are undergoing treatment. They are also way more comfortable than braces as you don’t have wires and brackets digging into your gums, lips and cheeks. Patients who use Invisalign often avoid damage to the gums and supporting tissues. Patients will also avoid bacteria build up that would result through traditional braces.

Finally, Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can eat whatever you want and brush and floss your teeth normally. Patients are also able to get regular dental checkups while using Invisalign. Traditional braces also prevent X-rays and regular cleanings while Invisalign can be removed, allowing for dentist access.