Invisalign – Beth’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Where did Beth start?

Beth went through traditional orthodontics as a teenager, but didn’t wear her retainers afterward and as a result her teeth eventually became crowded again. Beth wanted her teeth to be straight, but she didn’t like the look of traditional braces, especially as an adult in the professional world. Dr. Elizabeth talked with Beth about Invisalign orthodontics and how it could help fix her crowding and improve her bite.

What was involved?

We sent impressions, photos, and x-rays of Beth’s teeth to Invisalign where they created a 3D simulation of how her teeth could move with Invisalign treatment. Beth was very happy with the simulation, which showed a significant improvement to her crowding, and decided to move forward with Invisalign. As part of Beth’s Invisalign treatment, Dr. Elizabeth slenderized some of Beth’s teeth to create more space for her teeth to better alleviate her crowding.

Beth’s case was expected to consist of 15 aligners that she would wear for two weeks at a time. Beth was very compliant and consistent in wearing her aligners as instructed and was able to complete her case after 15 aligners as expected. After her Invisalign treatment was complete, Dr. Elizabeth made minor alterations to the biting surface of some of Beth’s teeth to remove interferences and even out her bite. This process is called equilibration and will help to prevent Beth’s new smile from further wear.

What does Beth think?

While Beth admits going through Invisalign was a big commitment, she says her final results were well worth it. One of the biggest reasons Beth pursued orthodontic treatment was that she wanted to feel more confident in her smile. After finishing her Invisalign, she says she no longer feels any hesitation to show her teeth. When we asked Beth what she would tell someone considering Invisalign, her response was “Go for it!”

We are so happy that we could help restore Beth’s confidence in her smile. Congratulations, Beth, on your wonderful results!

Are you interested in Invisalign? Give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for you with Dr. Elizabeth to decide whether Invisalign is the right option for you!

The Power of the Records Process – John’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

John had existing restorations on some of his upper front teeth which were done several years prior and were beginning to break down and decay. John wanted to preserve the function of his teeth and was also interested in improving their appearance. Dr. Elizabeth recommended he go through the Records Process to determine the best way to restore his teeth.

What is the Records Process?

The Records Process consists of two appointments. At John’s first appointment, Dr. Elizabeth took x-rays and photos of his teeth and did a comprehensive muscle and joint evaluation. She also took impressions of his teeth that she used to make models of his mouth. Over the next couple of weeks, Dr. Elizabeth used these models in conjunction with the information collected at his Records Appointment to analyze the current condition of John’s teeth and develop a treatment plan for him. She then put all of this information into a PowerPoint presentation that she reviewed with John when he returned for the second appointment, his case presentation.

What was revealed during the Records Process?

The details of the Records Process revealed that the current position of John’s teeth was putting them at high risk for continued wear. Dr. Elizabeth told John that if she replaced his veneer on his upper front tooth without addressing his bite and the position of his teeth, it was likely to eventually break or begin to decay again, and his other teeth would be more susceptible to wear. John also indicated that he frequently had muscle pain in his neck and after listening to all the connections Dr. Elizabeth made at his case presentation, he wondered if it might be related to clenching his teeth.

What did Dr. Elizabeth recommend?

Dr. Elizabeth recommended starting with splint therapy so that John’s jaw muscles would be more relaxed and stable for eventual tooth movement. Dr. Elizabeth suggested he use an anterior deprogrammer, a small appliance worn on the upper front teeth to prevent the back teeth from touching and clenching together. After using the anterior deprogrammer for six months and undergoing some physical therapy for whole body alignment, John stopped clenching almost completely and noticed a significant improvement in his muscle pain. Dr. Elizabeth determined that he was ready to move forward with orthodontics.
Dr. Elizabeth recommended orthodontics for John to move his teeth into the ideal position before restoring them and set them up for less wear over time. Dr. Elizabeth thought John would be a good candidate for Invisalign, and John elected to do that instead of traditional braces. He completed his Invisalign treatment, after wearing a total of 42 aligners, in about one year.

Next, Dr. Elizabeth recommended the Zoom! whitening in-office bleaching procedure to get John the whiter smile he wanted. After his two-hour session, John was happy to see that his teeth had lightened by three full shades.

With his teeth being his desired shade, John was ready for his final restorations. John wanted his upper front teeth to be uniform in shape and size. For this reason, he decided to do veneers on all of his upper front teeth. Dr. Elizabeth worked with a local lab to create a wax model of the veneers so John could make sure he was happy with their size and shape before having the final restorations fabricated. John went through the veneer procedures and in a short time, had his final smile.

What does John think of his new smile?

From the beginning, John was very excited about his treatment and the prospect of improving not only the function and appearance of his teeth, but also his overall health. John had been experiencing neck and hip pain for about a year before undergoing the records process and is thrilled that the combination of splint therapy and physical therapy has resolved his issues. He loves the appearance of his smile with his new veneers and he’s happy knowing that they will function properly and because he opted for the most comprehensive treatment, he will have the most long-term predictability.

When asked what he would say to someone considering similar treatment, John said “Do it! Your teeth are important and the associated effects are important too”.

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.