Veneers for a More Confident Smile

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

The same degree to which a less-than-perfect smile can have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem, a straight, bright white smile can have a positive one. Fortunately, if you’re in the former camp and long for a more confident smile, Eggert Family Dentistry can help. One effective solution for addressing a variety of dental imperfections are veneers. Let’s take an up-close look at veneers so you can decide if they’re right for you.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin ceramic shells that cover the front of the natural teeth in order to hide stains, cracks, chips or gaps and serve to improve the appearance of misaligned teeth. Veneers are one of the least invasive cosmetic procedures available and are considered a permanent solution that can last for decades with proper care.

The process

If Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff agree that veneers are an effective choice for helping you achieve your ideal smile, you will embark on a series of three visits. At the first visit, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will discuss your goals with you and together you will envision the shape and look you are striving for. At this time, we will also outline your individualized treatment plan. At the second visit, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will prepare your teeth to receive your customized veneers by removing a thin layer of outer enamel, taking an impression of your prepared teeth and providing you with a stunning temporary solution. At the third visit – two to three weeks later – Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will place your veneers. We work hard to ensure that your permanent veneers look and feel just like your natural teeth. After placement, we will provide you with follow-up care instructions.

Follow-up care after preparatory appointment

After Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff prepare your teeth for your veneers and provide you with a temporary solution, it’s perfectly normal for your gum tissues, teeth and jaw to be sore for a few days. Rinsing with warm salt water multiple times a day and taking over-the-counter pain meds should help alleviate any discomfort to these areas. We also encourage you to brush and floss in order to expedite tissue healing. Because the temporary splints your teeth together, you must use a floss-threader or a Waterpik. Also, avoid hard, crunchy foods as your temporary is just that – temporary! – and doesn’t maintain the integrity of actual veneers.

Follow-up care after veneer placement

Similar to your post-preparatory experience, after you receive your veneers you may incur mouth soreness. Rinse with warm salt water, take over-the-counter pain meds and brush and floss frequently.

Here are a few things to be mindful of once you receive your veneers:

  • Avoid scrubbing the gumline while brushing in order to avoid gumline recession. When gums recede, the junction of the veneer and natural tooth is exposed and can be unsightly.
  • Just like natural teeth, veneers are prone to staining. Limit or avoid coffee, tea, red wine, berries and other acidic or highly pigmented foods and brush thoroughly after consuming them. Also, it’s best to avoid smoking as nicotine can stain veneers.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that applying excessive force to your teeth via nail biting or consuming hard or crunchy foods can occasionally cause a veneer to pop off or become damaged. Veneers are adhered with a strong bond but also must be treated with care.

In the instance you experience nerve pain following either your preparatory appointment or your veneer placement, contact our office right away. On rare occasions, particularly on teeth with large fillings, deep decay or previous cracks or fractures, nerves can become irritated and additional procedures on that tooth may be required.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we succeed when you leave our office with a confident smile! If you long for a smile you want to show off, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would love to discuss some great options with you and see which one helps you best achieve your goals.

A New Smile with Veneers – Tina’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Tina is a longtime patient of Eggert Family Dentistry. She previously received composite bonding on her front teeth to address her concerns with their size and spacing but after about 10 years, Tina noticed they were beginning to chip. Dr. Elizabeth recommended she go through the records process to determine the best restorative options for her front teeth.

What did she want?

Tina wanted to improve the appearance of her front teeth. She didn’t like their shape and felt that they were too short. She was also hoping to close some of the spacing between her teeth. Dr. Elizabeth took all of Tina’s concerns into consideration during the records process and incorporated that into her recommendations.

What was involved?

During the treatment presentation, Dr. Elizabeth discussed her findings with Tina and presented her with a customized treatment plan based on the information gathered at Tina’s records appointment. Dr. Elizabeth recommended that Tina start her treatment with splint therapy to confirm a consistent jaw position before completing new restorations. In Tina’s case, she recommended porcelain veneers to restore her front teeth as they would hold up well and give Tina’s teeth the shape and size she was looking for. Using a plastic-like material, Dr. Elizabeth was able to create a mock-up for Tina so she could visualize what her smile would look like after the veneers were done.  

What does she think?

In the end, Tina decided she wanted to redo the composite bonded veneers and not move to the porcelain veneer option at this time. Tina is very happy with the results of her treatment with Dr. Elizabeth. She is pleased with the size and shape of her new teeth and really likes how natural her smile looks. Enjoy your new smile for the holidays, Tina!

Contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry to talk about how composite veneers can improve your smile!

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!

Which Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure is Right for My Teen?

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

During the adolescent years, kids typically struggle with their self-image. This can be compounded for teens who are forced to deal with chipped, misaligned, discolored or gapped teeth. Fortunately, at Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer some great cosmetic dentistry options that can help restore your teen’s teeth and go a long way towards increasing their self-confidence.

Teeth Whitening

When it comes to teeth whitening and bleaching, Eggert Family Dentistry offers some excellent options. We supply professional-grade strips and whitening trays that are more effective and gentler on your teeth and gums than their over-the-counter counterparts. We also offer the Zoom Whitening procedure. Performed in a single, two-hour appointment, we apply a professional whitening gel to your teen’s teeth and activate that gel with an LED light which allows the gel to penetrate into the teeth. We then educate both you and your child on follow-up care and sensitivity management.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain shells that cover the front of teeth. Veneers dramatically transform chipped, misaligned, discolored or worn down teeth into that award-winning smile. They can also be used to close unsightly gaps for a smile your teen will be proud to share. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff custom create dental veneers that compliment your child’s skin tone, facial features and personality and feel just like their natural teeth. This process takes two to three visits and the results are long-lasting.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding, also known as composite veneers, is also effective in restoring chipped, misaligned, discolored or worn teeth just like dental veneers. Some differences do apply for these different restorations, however. For example, dental bonding can be completed in a single appointment. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff apply a putty-like composite resin to your teen’s tooth, sculpt and shape it before curing and hardening the material with an intense blue light. Once polished, composite veneers have a smooth and shiny finish, blending in well with the natural teeth.  Dental bonding is popular since it is a more cost-effective option than dental veneers. However, the results typically only last or look their best for 5-10 years. But, that makes it a perfect option for getting your teen through their growing years when the body and jaw are still changing.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we are changing lives one smile at a time, which is why our motto is “Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles.” If you have a special teenager in your life who could benefit from one of these cosmetic dentistry procedures, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to discuss how we can partner with you to help your adolescent achieve a smile they can be proud of!

A New Smile with Veneers – Lauri’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Lauri was interested in whitening her teeth and was concerned about some progressing decay around her current veneers. To find out her options, she completed the records process with Dr. Elizabeth. This process allows our doctors to use models, x-rays, and photos of the patient’s teeth, gums, and bite to better understand the cause of any problems and determine the best course of treatment. Lauri was invested in improving both the health and beauty of her smile!

What did she want?
Lauri was very interested in our KOR bleaching option, but also wanted to ensure the decay that was found was also addressed. She was interested in using this opportunity to have new veneers made to take her smile to the next level. Dr. Elizabeth took all of her requests and desires into consideration during the records process and incorporated that into her recommendation.

What was involved?
During the treatment presentation, Dr. Elizabeth gave Lauri some recommendations to consider such as orthodontics, replacement veneers, splint therapy, and discussed whitening as well. Lauri decided to move forward with a consultation with an orthodontist to get more information. After a lot of consideration, she decided orthodontics wasn’t right for her at this time. Therefore, splint therapy was started to confirm a consistent jaw position before completing new restorations. During this time she was also fitted for KOR bleaching trays to use at home and received her KOR in-office whitening treatment. By doing the KOR bleaching, Lauri was able to minimize the number of veneers she had fabricated as her color was improved for her lower teeth with the bleaching alone.

What does she think?
Lauri had veneers done in the past so the procedure wasn’t new to her. She is excited to say that she does like her teeth much better now that she had them re-done. She really wanted her new teeth to match the shape and contours of her previous veneers and was focused on improving the color, but still wanted her teeth to look completely natural. She thinks the outcome was a “slam dunk!” We asked Lauri if she would recommend this procedure to someone who unhappy with their smile and she replied, “If they didn’t like their teeth, they should do it – unquestionably!” We just love looking at that beautiful smile!

If you think veneers might be the smile solution you’re looking for, contact Eggert Family Dentistry today!

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!

A Brighter, More Even Smile – Julie’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?
Julie came to us in February of 2016 hoping to replace the bridge that was placed when she was in the 10th grade because it no longer matched her other anterior teeth. She was interested in improving the look of her smile, but it was very important to her to make sure her teeth had a natural appearance. Julie had heard our team was experienced in cosmetic dentistry and was interested in what we could do for her!

What did Julie want?
Julie wanted to start her transformation by achieving a brighter smile with the Philips 2 week at-home system. Her goal was to get a natural-looking white and more consistent coloring in her front teeth. After the whitening, she was interested in getting more even length and spacing in her upper front teeth with veneers and a new bridge.

What was involved?
We started out by taking records to get a better picture of what treatment would be required to reach Julie’s goals. Dr. Michael Furey recommended Julie start with Invisalign to allow for the most even looking smile and then placing veneers on 3 front teeth as well as a new bridge for the other 3 front teeth. Julie received her first set of Invisalign trays in June of 2016. She was great about following the Invisalign treatment plan and schedule, and was able to complete the treatment in 7 months. Julie then met with Dr. Elizabeth to create a plan to place the veneers and bridge. It turned out Julie needed the help of Dr. Alejandro Aguirre to retreat a root canal on her traumatized tooth. After that was completed, Dr. Elizabeth completed the procedures needed for her new teeth.

What does she think?
Julie felt some anxiety and skepticism at first, but knew the work needed to be done to create the look and function she desired. She felt much more confident after meeting with the doctors and team. Julie said, “I’m so glad I did it! You all have helped me get through it! I catch myself in the mirror looking at how great they look. I’m very happy!” Julie has even motivated her sister to go through similar treatment and says she encourages anyone to go forward with it. We are so happy to have worked with Julie. She came to us as a “cosmetic” patient and she now sees us for her recare and maintenance as well. It means the world to us that Julie has placed her trust in us!

Splint and Occlusal Therapy: Ruth’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Ruth came to us as a new patient. She was experiencing frequent headaches, 3-4 times per week or more, as well as frequent neck aches, shoulder pain, back pain, and migraines. In addition, she had ear pain, jaw pain, and was having a hard time sleeping. Ruth was working with her MD to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan to help her manage the pain, which her MD thought was because of a possible pinched nerve. She struggled with the headaches and migraines for years but was now experiencing increasing jaw pain. Dr. Elizabeth noted some tooth wear throughout her mouth and intense muscle discomfort during her muscle evaluation. Dr. Elizabeth recommended Ruth go through our records process so that she could delve deeper into the underlying causes of her pain.

What did Ruth want?

Ruth struggled with upper back, shoulder, head, jaw, and neck pain for years but she didn’t realize the pain could be related to her teeth. Ruth had, however, noticed some changes with her teeth including a space opening up and a loose front lateral tooth. Ruth decided to undergo records because she wanted to be able to eat without worry, she wanted her mouth to function better, and she wanted her teeth to last her lifetime. She also noticed herself clenching often and she was hoping to have that addressed during the process.

Ruth before occlusal therapy at Eggert Family Dentistry

What was revealed during the records process?

Dr. Elizabeth used models, photos, and x-rays of Ruth’s teeth along with our thorough muscle and joint evaluation results to present Ruth with the current status of her teeth, gums, and the function of her jaw and muscles. The details of the records process revealed that the position of Ruth’s teeth, muscles, and jaw joints were causing multiple interferences. This means she was biting down unevenly causing the breakdown of her teeth as well as the jaw, neck, and shoulder pain. It was recommended that Ruth begin splint therapy.

What was involved?

The purpose of her splint therapy was to change the position of Ruth’s jaw to a relaxed muscle position. We were hoping this would improve her headaches and migraines and it did! In Ruth’s case, we also discussed how if we adjusted the teeth to fit together at the relaxed jaw position, she should be much more stable long-term.  Dr. Elizabeth fitted Ruth with a TMJ splint to wear all of the time to create the best possible function between the natural position of her jaw, muscles, and her teeth as they worked with one another.

As soon as Ruth’s muscles reached a comfortable and relaxed position, Dr. Elizabeth adjusted the alignment of the upper and lower teeth and altered the chewing surfaces of some of the her back teeth to remove the painful interferences. This process is called equilibration. Dr. Elizabeth then completed a solid new bite for Ruth with porcelain veneers and crowns on her upper and lower front teeth. The veneers were an important step in completing Ruth’s new bite because the ideal shape of the teeth helps to keep the back teeth from over engaging her muscles. This created harmony among Ruth’s jaw joints, muscles, and teeth as the joints and muscles were placed in a relaxed position and the teeth now come together at the same time. We finally designed a splint for Ruth to wear while she sleeps to keep her teeth, jaw, and muscles in this new comfortable position.Ruth after occlusal therapy at Eggert Family Dentistry

What does Ruth think?

“The presentation was really thorough and really good. I had no idea my migraines were caused by my bite. I got relief from my migraines in the early stages which was fantastic! I’m really happy. Everything was explained very well to me. I would recommend anyone experiencing my pain to come here. I would tell them to definitely pursue the treatment because you don’t have to live with the pain. It is also so nice to have everything looking great!”

Do you wonder if improving your bite may give you relief from headaches, migraines, or even back pain? Call today for an appointment at Eggert Family Dentistry 651-482-8412.