Rebuilding Worn Teeth – Gina’s Story

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Gina came to us as an established patient at one of her routine recare appointments. Dr. Elizabeth noted decay around her front teeth and Gina mentioned how she noticed wear on her teeth and she was frustrated that her teeth were deteriorating despite her efforts in caring for them. Dr. Elizabeth recommended Gina go through our records process so she could delve deeper into underlying causes behind her decaying and worn teeth.

What did Gina want?
Gina noticed a lot more wear lately and wanted to keep as many of her natural teeth as possible. She was concerned because she recently needed a root canal for one tooth and needed another tooth extracted because of a vertical root fracture. Gina wanted to take action before other teeth declined. She also wanted her teeth whiter, more even, more uniform looking and wanted things to function better. Gina wanted a conservative, comprehensive plan for restoring her teeth.

Before

What was involved?
Dr. Elizabeth used photos and x-rays of Gina’s teeth along with the results of a thorough muscle and joint evaluation to develop Gina’s plan. The details of the records process revealed that the position of Gina’s teeth caused multiple interferences when she chewed. This is why her teeth were seriously starting to break down.

Dr. Elizabeth and Gina decided that Gina’s best option for restoring her teeth would first require moving her teeth to a better position with orthodontics. Gina worked with Dr. Brian DeVoe, a local orthodontist, until she had an even biting surface. Dr. Elizabeth then worked with a local lab and together they designed a blueprint of Gina’s new front teeth out of wax. This blueprint, called a laboratory wax-up, provided the ability for Dr. Elizabeth to create Gina’s new smile. Gina wanted to be as conservative as possible so it was decided to proceed with three porcelain crowns to remove the decay and to rebuild the worn edges of Gina’s front teeth.

After

What does Gina think?
“It sounded like a lot to do at first with the orthodontics and the crowns, but I knew I needed to do something to address the cause of the breakdown. I definitely didn’t want to lose any more teeth. I am so glad I went to the consultation with the orthodontist and went through with braces. My bite feels comfortable and everything feels so good! I would tell anyone considering getting this done to do it right away.”

Can Tooth Sensitivity Be Treated?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Can tooth sensitivity be treated?Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem. At Eggert Family Dentistry, our patients often ask how to get rid of tooth sensitivity so they can start enjoying ice cream and coffee again. We’re happy to tell them that yes, tooth sensitivity can be treated. Often, diagnosing tooth sensitivity helps us uncover underlying oral health conditions that are also treatable.

Why your teeth become sensitive

Enamel is the hard, outer layer that protects the soft interior of your teeth. If it is worn away by decay or aggressive brushing, the soft dentin and nerves inside your teeth are exposed to heat, cold, and pressure from chewing. This is what causes the jolt of pain in your teeth when you sip a hot chocolate or chow down on chewy foods.

Teeth become sensitive to hot or cold for a variety of reasons. The most common culprits are tooth decay, cracked teeth, worn enamel and fillings, and exposed tooth roots. But these conditions are actually symptoms of other oral issues, such as infrequent brushing, overly aggressive brushing, gum recession, periodontal disease and especially clenching and grinding of your teeth.

Treatments for mild tooth sensitivity

If you experience occasional sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure, we may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste for you to use at home. These toothpastes contain ingredients that prevent the hot or cold sensation from reaching the nerves of your teeth. We may also recommend regular fluoride treatments at our office during your recare appointments.

Treatments for severe tooth sensitivity

But sometimes, desensitizing toothpastes and fluoride treatments aren’t enough to alleviate your discomfort. In these cases, we may recommend a filling, crown, or bonding to fix the underlying decay or worn or cracked tooth. If you have advanced periodontal disease that has exposed the root of your tooth to the elements, we may recommend a periodontal therapy or a gum grafting procedure to repair and heal the exposed area.

Another way to make huge improvements in relieving tooth sensitivity is to look for and treat underlying issues with your bite. By undergoing our records process, we can help you to determine if making improvement to how your teeth come together and how they chew can stop your tooth sensitivity, often for good!

The best way to treat tooth sensitivity is to develop healthy oral hygiene habits to prevent decay and worn enamel in the first place. Regular recare visits to Eggert Family Dentistry are part of any great oral hygiene plan. To schedule your next appointment, contact Eggert Family Dentistry today.

Ron’s Story: The Importance of an Even Biting Plane

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Ron came to us first as a new patient after being referred by his daughter who has been a long-time, loyal patient of ours. At the time of his first exam, Ron was missing a number of teeth and many of the teeth remaining were broken down. Dr. Elizabeth noted excessive wear throughout his mouth, a very uneven biting plane, and mild muscle discomfort during the muscle evaluation. Ron constantly struggled with his partial denture dislodging and moving when he moved his nose and mouth in certain directions. Ron later broke a clasp off of his partial and even after an attempted repair and multiple adjustments, Ron was not able to find a comfortable, tight fit with his partial. Dr. Elizabeth recommended Ron go through our records process so that she could delve deeper into underlying causes behind his tooth loss and accelerated wear on his teeth.

What did Ron want?

Ron noticed that his partial denture had become loose and he wanted to be able to speak without dislodging his partial. Ron was also concerned about keeping his remaining teeth healthy. Ron wanted a more even biting surface and wanted things to function better. He wanted to understand what would be a more comprehensive plan for restoring and replacing his teeth.Ron Before

What was revealed during the records process?

Dr. Elizabeth used models, photos, and x-rays of Ron’s teeth along with our thorough muscle and joint evaluation results to present Ron with the current health of his teeth, gums, and the function of his jaw and muscles. The details of the records process revealed that the position of Ron’s teeth caused multiple interferences, so he was biting down unevenly causing the breakdown and loosening of his partial. This deterioration was negatively impacting both the aesthetics and function of his teeth. Ron needed a comprehensive plan to even out his biting plane to help distribute his biting forces more evenly.

What was involved?

Ron’s lower partial denture was loose and the remaining six natural, lower teeth had very poor prognosis. They were rather worn and tooth structure was already missing. Those teeth were also getting cavities because of how weak they were due to wear. Ron was presented with multiple restorative and replacement options. Ron decided it was best for him to have his remaining 6 lower teeth extracted and have 2 implants placed in his lower jaw to anchor a new complete denture. We were able to design a new, aesthetically pleasing, better-functioning denture for Ron that stays in place and keeps the function of his jaw and muscles working together better. Dr. Elizabeth worked with a local oral surgeon and a local dental lab to have implants strategically placed to help secure his newly designed smile.

Ron Dentures

What does Ron think?

Ron likes the look and feel of his new implant supported denture. He finds it easy to care for and is glad he went through the steps needed to get there.

Ron After

The Records Process – What is it?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Worn teeth can cause a problem with alignment. Luckily, a variety of problems can be significantly decreased or alleviated by proper positioning of the teeth and jaw.
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The Records Process – What is it?

I’m lucky to have learned so much about how good dentistry can improve whole body health. Many times each week, I find myself talking to patients about medical health problems. While working with people over the years, and becoming more inclusive in my approach to looking at things, it’s amazing how often comprehensive dental treatments can improve so many ailments.

For example, do you:

  • Suffer from frequent headaches?
  • Snore or have sleep apnea?
  • Experience unexplained shoulder, neck, or back pain?
  • Have a stiff/sore jaw after chewing, yawning, or waking?
  • Have difficulty sleeping?
  • Have broken, worn, sensitive, cracked, or chipped teeth?
  • Have crowns recommended for your front teeth?
  • Have pronounced gum recession?

By progressively working through “The Records Process,” we can determine if your health issues are due to your mouth. Often, malaligned teeth and jaw joints can cause pain and premature wear to teeth. Teeth that are subject to excessive pressure can develop chips, cracks, and notches at the gum line. Premature wear may lead to poor root support, loose teeth, and possible tooth loss.

During the records process, we evaluate your muscles, jaw, teeth, and their relationship with one another. You’ll undergo a series of mouth photographs, which aid in visualizing potential problems. Lastly, impressions of your teeth help us to see how everything fits and moves together.

All these results are analyzed and during your consultation phase, all test findings are discussed, as we take a tour of your mouth. The educational process is very eye-opening and allows for discussion of all treatment options.

Curious if your problems are tooth-related? Call us today to schedule an evaluation. 651.482.8412

The Importance of Records – Tom’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Tom came to us first as a new patient last summer with a toothache after being referred by co-workers. At the time of his first exam, Tom had many teeth throughout his mouth that had fractured or cracked and he knew things were really broken down. Dr. Elizabeth noted excessive wear throughout his mouth and mild muscle discomfort during the muscle evaluation. Even with our thorough, comprehensive new patient exam, Dr. Elizabeth recommended Tom go through our records process so that she could delve deeper into underlying causes behind his cracking, breaking, and sensitive teeth.

What did Tom want?

Tom had noticed a lot more wear in the last decade and wanted to have them healthy again. He also wanted better looking teeth. He was worried since they looked unhealthy now, what would they look like in 20 years? Specifically, Tom wanted his teeth whiter and more even and wanted things to function better. He had many broken teeth, missing teeth, and wanted a comprehensive plan for restoring his teeth. He was also experiencing some chronic ear/sinus congestion, ringing in ears, and nerve issues in his face that he was hoping to have addressed during the process.
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What was revealed during the records process?

Dr. Elizabeth used models, photos, and x-rays of Tom’s teeth along with our thorough muscle and joint evaluation results to present Tom with the current health of his teeth, gums, and the function of his jaw and muscles. The details of the records process revealed that the position of Tom’s teeth caused multiple interferences, so he was biting down unevenly causing the breakdown of his teeth. This deterioration was negatively impacting both the esthetics and function of his teeth. Tom needed a full mouth reconstruction to rebuild what had broken down.

What was involved?

Tom was interested in phasing his treatment to lessen the financial burden. We were able to work with Tom and designed the phased treatment to keep Tom’s teeth, gums, and the function of his jaw and muscles healthy and happy during the process. Dr. Elizabeth worked with a local lab and together designed a blueprint of Tom’s new teeth out of wax. This blueprint is called a laboratory wax-up and it provided the ability for Dr. Elizabeth to create Tom’s new smile.

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Tom then spent a day and a half with us while Dr. Elizabeth prepared his front teeth for new crowns and veneers and his back teeth for long-term temporary crowns to get Tom used to more esthetic front teeth and a healthy bite in the back. We finally designed a splint for Tom to wear while he sleeps to protect his new smile from clenching, grinding and his very strong muscles.

5

What does Tom think?

“Before having it done, I thought it would be a much longer process, more like a year. It went a lot easier than expected. There was not much pain involved and it was helpful to have all of the options. Everything was clear. I’m glad I had it done now and didn’t wait. I think my life will change. I am more confident with my new smile. I would strongly recommend Dr. Elizabeth to others considering getting this done. I don’t know that people make the connection between function and cosmetics, but I sure learned a lot about how things fit together and I love my new smile!”

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