A New Smile with Porcelain Crowns – Mary’s Story

How did this start?
Mary had composite restorations on her upper front teeth that she had needed to have replaced several times since they were first done in the 1970’s. She noticed they were beginning to look discolored and wanted to have them replaced with something that would offer better long-term predictability. To find out her options, Mary went through the records process with Dr. Jeff. This process allows our doctors to determine the best course of treatment using models, x-rays, and photos of the patient’s teeth, gums, and bite.

What did she want?
While Mary was happy with the overall shade of her teeth, she had noticed some areas of discoloration that she wanted to correct. Mary was also concerned that her teeth appeared crowded and was hoping to improve their appearance.

What was involved?
Dr. Jeff recommended that Mary go through the records process so that he could asses the current health of the teeth and gums, and the function of her jaw and muscles. After the records were taken Dr. Jeff was able to formulate a treatment plan for Mary that would address her concerns with the appearance and position of her teeth, which he presented at her consult appointment. Dr. Jeff recommended Mary start with an orthodontic consult to learn about possible options for changing the position of her teeth to alleviate the crowding. Dr. Jeff explained that it would be ideal to move her teeth before doing any restorations on her upper teeth as it would allow him to be more conservative when preparing the teeth and would offer better long-term predictability. He then recommended Mary replace her existing composite restorations on her upper front teeth with porcelain crowns, as they would be stronger and more durable than composites and would give her teeth the consistent shade she desired.

After a lot of consideration, Mary decided to move forward with restoring her front teeth without doing orthodontics. Mary was not interested in taking the time it would need to move her teeth and she felt she could be happy with her results using restorations alone to improve her smile. Before starting her treatment, Dr. Jeff worked with a local lab to fabricate a wax mock-up of Mary’s new teeth to show her what they would look like. Mary was very happy with how they looked with the mock-up, and over the course of two appointments, Dr. Jeff prepared and restored her teeth with the final porcelain crowns.

What does she think?
Mary is excited to say that she likes her teeth much better now that she had them re-done. She thought the procedures were fast and professional. She would recommend the procedures to anyone as she notes “It wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be.” Mary loved working with our team and feels more confident with her brighter, straighter smile! Congratulations Mary! We love working with patients like you!

If you’ve been thinking about improving your smile, contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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”.

A New Smile with Veneers – Melanie’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Melanie is a long-time patient of the practice. In 2014, she talked with Dr. Elizabeth about improving the appearance of her smile. Two of her upper front teeth were shorter than she liked and she wanted to know her options for lengthening them. Dr. Elizabeth recommended doing either composite or porcelain veneers and discussed the two options with Melanie. At that time, Melanie decided to go with composite veneers, which are fabricated chairside and only require one appointment to complete. Before doing the composite veneers, Dr. Elizabeth created a wax mock-up of Melanie’s new teeth to show her what they would look like. After the composite veneers were done, Melanie was very happy with her smile and the look of her new teeth.

Melanie Before 2014

Fast forward 4 years…

Melanie is now engaged and wants to brighten her smile for her upcoming wedding. Unfortunately, composite veneers will stain over time and Melanie wanted to do more bleaching to brighten her whole smile. She wanted to know what her options were for professional whitening, as she knew that at-home bleaching wouldn’t work on her existing composite veneers. Dr. Elizabeth explained to Melanie that even professional treatments wouldn’t whiten her veneers, but there were other treatment options she could consider to achieve her desired results.

Melanie 2018 Before

What was involved?

Dr. Elizabeth developed a treatment plan for Melanie that consisted of three phases. The first was to get Melanie’s teeth into the proper position in preparation for the restorative work that would be done in the final phase. Melanie had started developing some spacing between her upper front teeth, so Dr. Elizabeth made her a retainer that was designed specifically to close this spacing. Melanie was very compliant in wearing her retainer as instructed and after four weeks, the space was closed and she was ready for the next phase of her treatment. To get Melanie’s natural teeth to her desired shade, Dr. Elizabeth recommended Zoom whitening, our in-office whitening treatment. This procedure is completed in a single session and provides fast, dramatic results. Melanie was very happy to see that the Zoom whitening system brightened her natural teeth by five full shades. Dr. Elizabeth then completed Melanie’s treatment by replacing her existing composite veneers with porcelain veneers that matched the shade of her newly whitened teeth.

Melanie 2018 After

What does she think?

Melanie said she was surprised by how quickly her treatment was able to be completed, as she had initially expected it would be a long process. She said she also felt well-informed and involved in her treatment plan.

“Dr. Eggert and her team were great about explaining the whole process and making sure I was involved throughout my treatment to make the outcome exactly what I wanted.” When asked what she would say to someone considering similar treatment, Melanie said, “I would definitely recommend talking to Dr. Elizabeth about your options! You smile every day and it’s such a great feeling to be proud of your smile.”

We are so happy that we could help give Melanie a smile she is proud to show off when she gets married next month! Congratulations, Melanie!

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!

Corrective Jaw Surgery – My Journey to a Better Life

By: Christine Norgaard

They said it would be transformational. I admit that I was skeptical. They said my bite didn’t align. I couldn’t see it – my teeth looked straight. They said it would improve my breathing and sleep and possibly reduce my chronic sinus and ear infection problems. That’s when I started to pay attention. “They” are a talented and compassionate trio of dental professionals: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert is my primary dentist and started me on this journey, Dr. Brian DeVoe is my orthodontist, and Dr. Karl Andreasen is the oral surgeon. Together, they developed a comprehensive treatment plan. Now that I’m three years past the surgery, I can attest that it did greatly improve my overall health. Here’s my story.

Background and treatment plan

While I thought my teeth were straight, what I didn’t realize was how misaligned the top teeth were to the bottom teeth. When my teeth were closed (the bite), the top teeth completely covered the bottom front teeth. I had had teeth breaking which resulted in quite a few crowns over the years. When I saw photos of the inside of my mouth, I couldn’t believe the excessive wear that had occurred on those crowns because of my misaligned bite. From the photos, I could also see the extent of the wear on my other teeth.

With the teeth breaking down, Dr. Elizabeth told me that more teeth would likely break and result in more crowns if I didn’t make an adjustment to my bite. Because Dr. Elizabeth is also my daughter, she’s also aware of many other health issues I’ve had all my life, most of which were getting worse over the last 15 years. I’ve had allergies all my life which triggers asthma. The asthma was getting worse though, and I had a chronic cough from all the irritation. I was taking a lot of medications for allergies and asthma, but not getting much relief. Each breath felt like sandpaper inside my head and lungs. I had three or four horrible sinus or ear infections each year. My primary care physician even said he never sees adults with the severity of infections I had. He treated the infections but they kept coming back. They were typically limited to the right side of my head. There were times the congestion was so severe in my head that a shower sounded like rain falling on a tin roof. I always had pressure on my right side. I sought help from ENT specialists who simply said “you have a Eustachian tube dysfunction.” There were no solutions. I even had to quit the church choir after singing with that group for 20 years because I just didn’t have the breath support.

Other medical conditions I had, which I now know are NOT normal, include the fact that I have never been a good sleeper – everything would wake me up. I have mild hypertension and started taking a low dose drug for that. I had worsening acid reflux and while I was on a medication for stomach acid suppression, it became less effective and I’d additionally need five or more Tums a day to feel comfortable.

One day in 2014, one of my crowns popped off. Dr. Elizabeth told me I didn’t have many other options, I had to look into how I could correct my bite if I wanted my teeth to stop breaking down. So, I started with Dr. DeVoe who, shortly after, included Dr. Andreasen in the discussion. In reviewing the models of my bite and both 2D and 3D x-rays, they showed me how things were actually constructed in my mouth and my head. The 3-D x-ray showed the compression of my airway and the right side Eustachian tube. The airway was the size of a straw and Dr. Andreasen said that it should be more like the size of a nickel. He wanted me to have a sleep study to determine whether or not I had sleep apnea. I did – it turns out that I had severe sleep apnea and was apparently waking up over 30 times each hour. The sleep study doctor I saw said he was surprised I hadn’t experienced even worse health issues. He also told me that with the surgery Dr. Andreasen would recommend, there was a great success rate in ‘fixing’ the sleep apnea problems.

The x-rays also showed that my top jaw and teeth were canted or sloped down from the right side of my face to the left. That surprised me because it wasn’t visually apparent to me. Putting it all together and with the possibility of fewer ear and sinus infections, I decided I would opt for the corrective jaw surgery. They told me that the whole process would likely take 18-24 months including the orthodontics pre and post-surgery.

Orthodontic treatment

A week before my 60th birthday, I got my braces. Dr. DeVoe and his staff couldn’t have been better or more supportive. They told me what to expect. They were patient when a bracket would fall off (usually because I’d eaten something I shouldn’t have). I felt a little awkward starting braces in my 60’s but there were some visits where I was one of the younger patients in his office. Dr. DeVoe has a great eye for details. He gave me excellent explanations of what was happening in my mouth and answered all my questions. At one point, when the surgery was about a month away, it felt like nothing was aligned in my mouth. He said that was normal and that after the surgery, it would all be better and feel more natural. He was right. I had braces for nine months before the surgery and another eight months after the surgery for final ‘tweaking’ and to allow my jaws to heal.

I did alter my diet after I got the braces (and again after the surgery). I pretty much stopped snacking. It was generally a decision about whether or not eating something was worth all the extra effort to clean around my braces. It was amazing because my stomach issues got dramatically better. I no longer needed Tums. My primary care physician cut the prescription for my acid reflux drug in half. I felt better. I lost a total of 45 pounds from the day I got braces, through the surgery, to the date I had the braces removed. An unexpected, but wonderful side benefit.

The surgery

Formally, it is called a LeFort I osteotomy and bilateral sagittal split ramus osteotomy of the mandible. It is more simply called corrective jaw surgery. There are many medical reasons to consider this surgery. For me, both the upper jaw and lower jaw were moved forward. My upper jaw was also leveled to correct the cant from left to right. I had one small stitch on each side on the outside of my face which quickly healed and left no mark. There are a series of plates and screws now in my jaw bones. All of the surgical work was done on the inside of my mouth so there are no visible signs or scars.

The surgery was done at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood under general anesthesia. I was hardly in the hospital 24 hours. I saw Dr. Andreasen several times over the first couple weeks. I felt exhausted for the first three days. There was discomfort – but I was able to tolerate it by taking four Advil every four hours. Within two weeks, I was taking only one Advil every 4-6 hours. I did some ice packs, but had very little swelling and not much bruising or discoloration. I remember how good a warm wash cloth felt on my face. On the fifth day, I inhaled through my nose, and couldn’t believe it! I had such a deep breath that I actually got dizzy. I had no idea that was what breathing could be like! It was easy – there was no feeling of sandpaper down my bronchial tubes!

The information brochure that Dr. Andreasen gave me was great and very helpful. It also laid out possible complications. It explains that the nerves are exposed during surgery and tingling or numbness may occur. As I healed, I experienced some of that, especially in the area under my nose and around my upper front teeth. It took a while for the feeling to come back. After three years, the area feels ‘different’ but not in an irritating way. For the first year after surgery, I found that I couldn’t tolerate the vibrations from my SonicCare toothbrush. It was too intense. Now though, no problem.

For the first few weeks, I ate a liquid or very soft food diet. No chewing. My jaw wasn’t wired shut though, it was stabilized by orthodontic rubber bands. Dr. Elizabeth gave me a recipe book of smoothies and smooth soups. This helped with nutrition and getting adequate protein. It was so exciting after a couple months to start adding back other soft foods like a muffin, scrambled eggs, or salmon that I could easily swallow without chewing. Four months after surgery, I could drink out of a straw again. It sounds like such a little thing, but it also meant that my muscles were coming back to normal.

I took just under two weeks off of work. Cost? I am lucky to have great dental and medical insurance. The surgery and hospitalization were covered under my medical plan. Other than standard co-pays and deductibles, I paid little out of pocket.

Three years post-surgery

 

Was it worth it? Absolutely! It’s hard to say what the biggest benefit was. The original intent was to fix my bite. That was easily met. The doctors are all pleased with the results. I have a lovely smile! You can see my bottom teeth now. Flossing is also easy with perfectly spaced teeth. I wear my retainer every night. I keep telling people that I had no idea breathing could be so easy. I have even been able to go back to my church choir. I can also tolerate the incense at church for the first time in my life. I can enjoy my fireplace and have campfires with the grandkids. My lungs no longer feel irritated. I haven’t had a sinus or ear infection in three years! While I still have some medications (my allergies didn’t go away), all of the dosages have been significantly decreased. All my allergy triggers are still there, but because my airway is larger, I have a greater tolerance before major irritation begins. My blood pressure is lower and controlled. I sleep through the night. This is something I had never known was normal, or even possible, before surgery. Everything they said has been true. I feel great. I thank Dr. Elizabeth, Dr. DeVoe, and Dr. Andreasen for their care and expertise. It has been transformational and I’m grateful for what this has done for me, my health, AND MY LIFE!

Options for a Traumatized Tooth – Kenton’s Story

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

When Kenton was 9 years old, he was hit in the mouth and his right front tooth fractured. At that time, Kenton needed a root canal on that tooth because the trauma exposed the nerve. A large bonded composite veneer was created on that tooth to help make it look as normal as possible. Usually a fractured and traumatized tooth will eventually need a crown to build it back together but Kenton still had a lot of growing to do. Dr. Elizabeth wanted to buy as much time as possible through his growing years. Fast forward 10 years: Kenton is now 19. The color of Kenton’s teeth changed over the years, the large veneer was no longer holding up and it was decaying around the edges. Kenton noticed how his teeth no longer matched and how dark the traumatized tooth appeared at the gum line. Dr. Elizabeth recommended full records for Kenton. Even if she is was replacing only one tooth, she wanted to help Kenton understand all the risks and benefits, especially in the case of past trauma.

What did he want?

Kenton said, “I would like to have a long-term solution to (fix) my front teeth.” He was concerned about how the differences between his two front teeth were visible and that made him self-conscious. He felt that the traumatized tooth didn’t fall in line with his other front teeth – that they didn’t look “normal.” Also, as a college student, Kenton wanted to keep the costs as low as possible for his tight budget!

What is involved?

Our team started Kenton’s case with the records process. We took models, x-rays and photos of his teeth to assess the needs and function of his entire mouth. This allowed Dr. Elizabeth to see how his teeth, muscles and jaw functioned together and helped her determine what kind of treatment would best help protect the previously traumatized tooth. At the same time, Dr. Elizabeth wanted to give Kenton the smile he desired. She presented her findings to Kenton and his father. Through the records analysis, it was apparent that the best thing Kenton could do to protect his traumatized front tooth was to correct his teeth in the back so they would bite more evenly. As a result, Kenton started with a procedure called equilibration to stabilize his bite. Kenton’s parents hoped to wait a little longer before completing a full crown for Kenton’s front tooth but his front tooth fractured again just a few months later, requiring completion of the crown.

What does he think?

Kenton is very happy with his new crown. Dr. Elizabeth sent Kenton to a dental lab – Certified Dental Ceramics – to have a custom shade selected, since it’s difficult to get a single front tooth crown to match a natural front tooth. Kenton reports that he is much more confident with his new smile now that the color of his front teeth match. He found the records process interesting and learned a lot about his options at the consult appointment. Kenton notices a major improvement in his bite and that his teeth fit together better after the equilibration. He didn’t know what to expect when the tooth broke, but in the end, Kenton thought the process was really easy and is very happy with his results!  Thanks for trusting us with your care, Kenton!

Just a Few Crowns Can Make a Difference! Nina’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Nina has been a patient since 2012 when she came for an emergency visit because of a tooth ache and jaw pain. She had recently moved to the area and she was in need of some extensive treatment for several teeth. During her initial comprehensive exam with Dr. Elizabeth, she and Nina talked about what was going on, what Nina’s treatment options were, and how to proceed. At that time, Nina needed a referral to the Oral Surgeon for some extractions. Unfortunately, her emergency tooth ache was because of teeth that could no longer be saved.

What did Nina want?

Nina was concerned about getting too much treatment at her age but knew that due to the problems she had been experiencing she was in need of intervention. Ultimately Nina wanted to stabilize her mouth long-term and prevent further problems. Also she knew how important her teeth are for eating, speaking, and confidence.

What was involved?

Nina and Dr. Elizabeth worked for several years to treat the decay on many of her back teeth with fillings and new crowns. Nina never did like, however, the shape and color of her front teeth, always asking what could be done for them? They were getting decay, but the big issue was that they had lost a lot of enamel from wear and chipping over the years and filling material was not able to stand up to the forces Nina put on those teeth. Recently, Nina decided she wanted to move forward with putting crowns on three of her front teeth. This not only would look better, which Nina was excited for, the porcelain crowns would be able to protect the remaining tooth structure and stop the spread of decay, which was becoming more and more of an issue. Because the teeth are very visible in her smile it was important to move forward with all 3 at the same time to ensure a good match. Dr. Elizabeth prepared the three teeth for crowns, working with Nina to choose the right color, and sent them to Twin Cities Lab for fabrication.

What does Nina think?

Nina was very happy with the natural looking results! When asked about the crowns she said “I just love them!” Nina knew it had gotten to the point where it was the best thing for the teeth and that it would help keep her healthier. She only wishes she had done it a long time ago. She would recommend it to anyone in need of new crowns and said she feels just wonderful about her smile. Notice how easy it is for her to smile bigger now!


Thanks Nina! We just love working with you!

What Happens When You Are Born Without A Tooth? – Tyler’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Meet Tyler

Tyler came to our practice with his mother as a new patient because he had been forwarded one of our blog articles highlighting a patient with a very similar story. Tyler was born without an upper left lateral incisor tooth. He had recently completed orthodontic treatment. During orthodontic treatment, a “fake” tooth was held in place by his orthodontic wires. But, he and his mother were looking for more permanent options to replace the missing tooth as the flipper/retainer he had fabricated after his orthodontics was not comfortable to wear and he was concerned about his friends noticing.

What did he want?

Tyler had just recently completed over 5 years of orthodontics and wanted to feel more confident about his smile after investing so much of his time and care with braces. He and his mom were looking for an option that would give him a natural look that can last until he is finished growing and can have an implant placed to replace the tooth. He was also interested in brightening his smile and discussed several bleaching options with Dr. Elizabeth as a part of his treatment.

What was involved?

After doing a comprehensive exam and bleaching consult, Dr. Elizabeth recommended a composite veneer for his right side lateral incisor (since it was undersized) and a composite bonded bridge to replace his left side lateral incisor. Tyler had impressions of both his upper and lower teeth taken so that Dr. Elizabeth could complete a mock-up of what the results would look like. This gave Tyler and his mom the confidence to move forward with the treatment. Tyler also decided to proceed with ZOOM whitening and bleached his teeth in one day before the restorations to make sure he had the perfect shade for his pearly whites!

Bonded restorations like Tyler’s can be placed in just one visit. The procedure took Dr. Elizabeth a little over one hour as she custom-designed his new teeth and made sure they fit into the harmony of his bite. As extra protection Tyler also decided to have essix retainers and an athletic mouth guard made to keep his smile well protected and looking its best.

What does he think?

Tyler and his mom were very happy with the results. They thought everything looked natural and were glad to find another option for him! Tyler is happy he no longer needs to wear the flipper/retainer all the time and feels much more confident in the color and his overall smile. He thinks it was a great solution for him and highly recommends it to anyone considering this treatment!