Take Years off Your Smile with These Successful Treatments

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

From consuming sugary foods and beverages to chewing on crunchy or tough foods, from lifestyle choices such as smoking to poor oral hygiene, year after year our teeth endure a tremendous amount of abuse. It’s not surprising then that they manifest signs of wear and tear. Here are some common issues aging teeth often encounter…and some effective solutions that Eggert Family Dentistry offers to help you regain that youthful smile.

Discoloration

People often feel self-conscious about their not-so-pearly whites and resort to closed-mouth smiles. Over time and on account of richly hued and acidic foods and beverages or smoking, white teeth often lose their luster. In most cases, teeth whitening is an effective solution, and while the results aren’t permanent, they’re easy to maintain. If your teeth are severely discolored, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff may determine that porcelain veneers are the best option for you. In this case, a thin layer of porcelain is bonded to the front of the tooth for a bright, natural transformation.

Tooth wear

General tooth wear occurs over time. This can make teeth appear shorter and uneven. Two effective methods of reshaping and reforming teeth are porcelain veneers and crowns. In some situations, enamel shaping with a dental handpiece can help smooth out jagged edges.

Tooth decay

A lifetime of consuming sugary foods, frequent snacking and inconsistent brushing and flossing all lend themselves to tooth decay, a precursor to cavities. Good brushing and flossing habits as well as prescription strength fluoride products can ward off this decay. If cavities form, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will recommend fillings or crowns to prevent this decay from reaching the nerve and to restore the integrity of the tooth.

Missing teeth

Over time, bad habits such as smoking and excessive consumption of acidic or sugary foods can lead to rotten – and eventually missing – teeth. If you have missing teeth, there are a few common dental procedures that can be used to address the issue:

Bridges

Affixed to the adjacent teeth, bridges ‘bridge’ the gap created by the missing tooth with artificial, yet natural-looking, teeth.

Implants

Most similar in appearance to natural teeth, dental implants are anchored to the jawbone and provide a solid base for supporting artificial teeth, or crowns.

Dentures

In situations where you’ve lost most or all of your teeth, dentures may be your best treatment option.

Eggert Family Dentistry is experienced in caring for aging teeth. Trust us with yours! If you would like to arrange a consult, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

The Serious Nature of Gum Disease in Women

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Gum disease is serious and can have a ripple effect on a person’s health. Complications from gum disease can look different for men and women. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recognize the destructive nature of gum disease on both men’s and women’s health. With this article, we will spend time educating our female patients as to some of the best methods of preventing serious health problems.

How does gum disease affect a woman’s body?

When daily brushing and flossing are not prioritized, a bacterial infection can set in. This infection, which we know as gum disease, can easily enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc on numerous body systems and functions:

The heart: Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease which is already the number one killer of U.S. women. The likelihood of a fatal heart attack doubles when gum disease is present.

The lungs: Bacteria can travel into the lungs increasing the risk of pneumonia.

The brain: Oral infections increase the risk of stroke.

Blood sugar: Gum disease increases the risk of diabetes in healthy adults and people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease.

Gum disease in women can also increase pregnancy complications resulting in premature birth and low birth weight.

The intersection of female hormones and gum disease

Hormones fluctuate during different phases of a woman’s life. These fluctuating hormones can affect the gums and the way a woman’s body responds to plaque.   

  • In the days leading up to a woman’s monthly cycle, many women report tender, swollen gums. Irritated gums can attract and harbor plaque.
  • Women who take oral contraceptives often report inflamed gums which make them more prone to plaque build-up and gum disease.
  • During pregnancy, many women experience pregnancy gingivitis which manifests itself with red, inflamed, bleeding gums. This is due to the presence of plaque and harmful oral bacteria.
  • Menopause can induce red, inflamed gums and oral discomfort, creating an inviting environment for plaque and harmful bacteria.

Eggert Family Dentistry wants to partner with you to achieve and maintain healthy gum tissue during every phase of your life. Daily brushing and flossing as well as regular recare appointments are not only an investment in your oral health but in your overall health as well. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with us, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff can be reached at 651.482.8412.

The Connection Between Female Hormones and Dental Health

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

As we touched on in our last post, the fluctuation of a woman’s hormones throughout the many seasons of her life greatly impacts the likelihood of developing gum disease and other serious health conditions. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we want to educate you on the subject so you have the tools you need to achieve optimal dental and overall wellness. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the role hormones play in a woman’s dental health throughout her life.

During puberty

During puberty, a teenage girl may complain of red, swollen and bleeding gums and even an increase in canker sores. This is perfectly normal and is caused by an increase in estrogen and progesterone which cause an increase in blood flow to the gums. On account of increased blood flow, the gums can become more sensitive and irritated and more prone to plaque and bacteria. In addition to regular dental recare appointments, flossing once a day and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is highly beneficial. It will help thoroughly clean the teeth and gums and keep plaque and bacteria from building up and causing problems.

During menstruation

Leading up to their monthly cycle, many women experience oral irritation. These symptoms should subside after menstruation stops and include swollen, tender, bleeding gums and cankers sores – very similar to what the teenagers experience. Again, consistent brushing, flossing and fluoride use will help ward off gum disease and consequent health problems.

During pregnancy

Pregnancy is another season of a woman’s life when hormone levels surge, oftentimes causing pregnancy gingivitis – a mild form of gum disease. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, dental visits during pregnancy are not only safe but they are incredibly beneficial. Women are particularly sensitive to pregnancy gingivitis between months 2-8 of pregnancy. This is a great window of time to come in to Eggert Family Dentistry for a recare appointment.

During menopause

Menopause is yet another season of vast hormonal changes in a woman’s body. However, instead of an increase in hormone levels, menopause marks a sharp decrease in the production of estrogen. Two of the most common hormonally induced changes during this time are dry mouth and bone loss.

Dry mouth: Saliva cleanses the mouth of cavity and gum disease-causing bacteria. During menopause, when a woman experiences dry mouth, bacteria can more easily build up and can increase her risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Sucking on sugar-free candy, drinking plenty of water and using over-the-counter mouth spray can help combat dry mouth and promote dental health.

Bone loss: The decrease in estrogen levels during menopause can result in bone loss, even bone loss in the jaw. One telltale sign of bone loss affecting the jaw is receding gums. When gums recede, more of the tooth is exposed and the risk of cavities and tooth decay increases. Proper intake of calcium and Vitamin D can help curb bone loss and reduce the risk of decay.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe that good dental health starts with the basics. Thorough daily brushing and flossing as well as routine dental exams help lay a solid dental foundation for a lifetime. It’s also important for women to remain mindful of their dental health during the various hormonal seasons of their lives. If you want to learn more about how female hormonal changes affect dental health or to schedule a routine dental exam, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff can be reached at 651.482.8412.

Crowns vs. Veneers: Which Smile Solution Is Right for You?

Tooth trauma—it happens. Whether you’ve cracked a tooth playing lacrosse or need to fill a cavity from chowing down on too many treats at the Minnesota State Fair, you’re not alone in the need to address weak, broken, or painful teeth. Eggert Family Dentistry often recommends crowns or veneers to patients suffering from tooth traumas. But what’s the difference between these two procedures? How do you know which one is right for you?

What Is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns have been a dentistry staple for decades. A crown helps you recover your smile after a tooth decays, cracks, weakens, or becomes discolored. Sometimes, filling or bonding a tooth is not enough for you to chew comfortably and confidently. In this case, we may recommend a crown.

A crown is a porcelain cup that fits snugly over your tooth. Installing one takes one or two visits. On your first visit, we’ll reshape your tooth and take dental molds. Sometimes, we can use our CEREC equipment to scan your tooth and make your crown in-house. If this is the case for you, we can install your crown the same day. Otherwise, we’ll send the mold of your tooth to a dental lab. We’ll ask you to come back in a couple of weeks to install the crown once it’s ready. We’ll use cement to secure the crown to your tooth, and you’ll be good to go!

What Is a Dental Veneer?
Dental veneers are a great way to recover your smile when several teeth are cracked, weak, misaligned, or chipped. A veneer is a very thin, ceramic shell. It covers your entire existing tooth structure, not just a single tooth. Once installed, veneers look and feel just like your natural teeth.

Veneers take two to three visits to design and install. In your first visit, we’ll discuss the smile shape and look you hope to accomplish with your veneers. Then, we’ll prepare your teeth for placement of the veneers and take molds. We’ll send the mold to our dental lab for fabrication, which takes two to three weeks. In the meantime, we’ll offer you a temporary solution you can wear while your veneers are custom made. At your last appointment, we’ll bond them into place. You can start flashing your new smile immediately.

Should I Get Crowns or Veneers?
If you’re a candidate for crowns and veneers, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff will explain the difference between these two smile solutions and give you their professional recommendations. Typically, we’ll recommend crowns for patients who have one or two troublesome teeth. Veneers are a better solution for patients struggling with multiple issues on multiple teeth.

Wondering if a crown or a set of veneers is something you need? Schedule your appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry today. We can help you decide healthiest, safest, and most comfortable way forward.

Meet Eggert Family Dentistry’s Dr. Michael Furey!

Dr. Michael Furey of Eggert Family Dentistry!By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Eggert Family Dentistry’s Dr. Michael Furey is passionate about dentistry, a calling that is both profession and craft. Here’s your chance to get to know Dr. Furey in his own words, including something most of his patients don’t know about him.

Why did you choose to go into dentistry?

I went into dentistry for two main reasons. First, for the opportunity to help and to heal. Secondly, for the chance to apply my penchant for workmanship and creativity. For me, dentistry affords the best aspects of both a profession and a craft.

What sets you apart from other dentists?

There’s no single thing that sets me apart. Instead, I have a unique combination of experience, expertise, and talent, which I combine with sincere passion and a strong set of values. I bring all of this to my practice of dentistry. This allows me to relate to my patients with a high level of professionalism but on a very personal level.

Tell us about your family.

I’ve been married to my wife Kathi for 29 years. Kathi has taught at Crocus Hill Preschool for more than 20 years. Our daughter Erin recently moved back to the Twin Cities to work for Target. She had been living in New York City and working for Martha Stewart.

What are some of your hobbies outside of dentistry?

These days, we spend as much time as we can at our cabin in Ely enjoying the outdoors and keeping up with projects. I also enjoy golf and sailing.

What is something most of your patients don’t know about you?

As a kid, I was terrified of going to the dentist. My early dental experiences were traumatic and my fear of going to the dentist lasted well into my teens. These early negative experiences have made me a very compassionate dentist and very understanding of my patients’ dental anxieties.

Dr. Furey’s Hours at Eggert Family Dentistry

Tuesday:  7:30 am to 2:30 pm

Wednesday:  7:30 am to 4:30 pm

Thursday:  7:30 am to 2:30 pm

Schedule your appointment today!

Disclaimer: Dr. Furey is only a participating provider for some HealthPartners dental plans and Medical Assistance. Patients within other dental insurance networks are able to see him under a non-participating provider status.

Meet Eggert Family Dentistry’s Dr. Elizabeth!


Meet Dr. Elizabeth Eggert of Eggert Family Dentistry!Eggert Family Dentistry owner, Dr. Elizabeth, has been practicing dentistry for more than 13 years. She was recognized in 2014 by Minnesota Monthly Magazine as a Top Dentist. Here’s your chance to get to know Dr. Elizabeth in her own words, including something most of her patients don’t know about her.

Why did you choose to go into dentistry?

I’ve always enjoyed science and was earning a chemistry degree in college. But after two years of summer research at the University of St. Thomas, I knew I needed more contact with people day in and day out.

At that time, I happened to have a job working with a woman whose husband was in dental school. It sounded perfect for me: some science, a lot of contact with people, working with my hands, and the ability to run my own business.

From that point on, I learned everything I could about dentistry and was accepted to start at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry right after graduation

What sets you apart from other dentists?

I am a woman dental business owner and have been since the age of 29. I love getting to know my patients and their families—it is a great feeling to come to work and see the friends I have built relationships with over the years. I seek out the highest caliber of continuing education courses and love sharing my knowledge and skills with my patients.

Tell us about your family.

I’m the oldest child of three. My two younger brothers are now both married. My parents live nearby in Blaine, Minnesota. Dr. Jeff and I have been married nearly 17 years. We live in Roseville with our five amazing boys: Peter (13), Luke (12), Charlie (9), Grant (6), and Zachary (3). Our kids attend school at Highview Middle School, Valentine Hills Elementary School, and St. Odilia preschool.

What are some of your hobbies outside of dentistry?

I’ve been playing handbells since 1999. Currently, you can find me playing at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Blaine. We are especially busy playing during Christmas and Easter. I spend a lot of time gardening and grow both flowers and vegetables, and I enjoy working on landscaping projects in my yard.

I also enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and have been known to get my kids to eat things such as gnocchi and kale. Otherwise, our boys keep us busy driving to and cheering at various sporting events.

What is something most of your patients don’t know about you?

With the addition of Dr. Jeff last year, I was fortunate enough to take a two-week vacation—my first one ever! I took my oldest kids, Peter and Luke, and joined my parents on a whirlwind European tour. My parents were celebrating their retirement. I had never been to Europe before and got to hit the highlights: London, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, and Rome. I loved Paris—that came as a surprise to me—it was a beautiful city!

Dr. Elizabeth’s Hours at Eggert Family Dentistry

Monday:  7:30 am to 2:30 pm

Tuesday:  7:30 am to 4:30 pm

Wednesday:  7:30 am to 4:30 pm

Thursday:  7:30 am to 2:30 pm

Schedule your appointment today!