A New and Improved Smile with Veneers – Katie’s Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Katie came to our clinic looking for options to help improve her smile. As a child, Katie had crowding in her mouth and her recommended “orthodontic plan” at that time was to have 4 teeth pulled. Growing up in the United Kingdom, braces were not common, and as a result, she was feeling the effects as an adult – her bite didn’t match up well, she was getting gum recession, and her teeth were wearing at an accelerated pace. When Katie was 16, she was involved in a trampoline accident that led to an injury to her tongue and chipping of her lower front teeth. Katie was ready to take the steps to a healthier, more beautiful smile. She noted “I don’t look at my front teeth much, in fact I can’t see them that well when I talk. I think they should be longer. I guess I could do veneers, but I am most interested in what is the best thing I can do health-wise and what will be the most stable for the long-term?”

What was involved?

Katie and Dr. Elizabeth talked about how she could improve her smile and her function. Katie was willing to undergo orthodontic treatment, which was the best way to stabilize and improve her bite and it was also the best way to help position her teeth back to where they were before they started wearing down. Due to the wear, once Katie’s teeth were in a better position, it would be important to place restorations and build the teeth back to their original proportions. It was likely that Katie would need 2-6 veneers after orthodontics to give her a natural smile. Katie was also interested in lighter teeth so she wanted to bleach before having the veneers done. Katie patiently underwent orthodontic treatment with Dr. DeVoe for nearly 2 years before she was ready for bleaching and her veneers. After her teeth were in a better position, she underwent Zoom bleaching, and in the end, it was decided that 4 veneers could give her the look she wanted.

What does Katie think?

Katie is very happy with her new smile! In the beginning Katie said she was a little apprehensive as to what the procedures would be like. After Katie’s journey was over, we asked her what kind of advice would she give to someone considering going through this process? Katie told us “Just do it! Forget how long it takes and focus on the end results. Don’t delay and just do it!” Katie also said, “I’m so happy I got it done! I may even consider doing my canines, then I won’t have to worry about bleaching them!” Katie told us how much she appreciated the teamwork between Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. DeVoe. Katie raved about her new smile, she also said that she never realized how self-conscience she was about her smile until everything was done and she no longer had any reason to be.

 

Crowns vs. Veneers – What’s the Difference?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Cracked, discolored, misshapen and decaying teeth can dramatically impact a person’s self-confidence. If you’re considering redoing your smile, but aren’t sure which route to go, read on! We’ll discuss dental crowns and veneers and highlight some of the differences so together, we can help you determine which option is best for you.

What are crowns?

Made from porcelain, ceramic or metal, crowns are about 1.5 mm thick and cover the entire tooth. Crowns are an excellent choice for teeth that are structurally compromised and need additional support.

What can I expect from the crown process?

If your tooth is decaying, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will start by removing the decay. Then they will reshape your tooth to create space for the crown. Next, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will take a digital image or putty impression of your prepared tooth which helps to ensure that your crown is a perfect fit. Depending on whether you’ll have your crown fabricated same-day in the office with the CEREC crown procedure or if your crown will be made at the dental lab, there will be some wait time. With a CEREC crown, you’ll go home with your final crown on the same day. With a laboratory fabricated crown, a temporary crown will be placed on your tooth initially to help protect it during the 2 weeks the crown is being made. Ultimately, your final crown is cemented into place and should last many years.

Pros and cons of crowns

Because the entire tooth is covered, the tooth is less likely to fully fracture or split than with other restorations like veneers or fillings. Porcelain crowns can look and feel good and can be color-matched to blend with your natural teeth. Crowns generally feel very natural.

Crowns do require more tooth preparation than veneers and sometimes this can put the tooth at higher risk of tooth sensitivity or nerve damage.

What are veneers?

Manufactured most commonly from porcelain, veneers are less than 1mm thick and cover the front of a natural tooth. Veneers can also be made directly from composite resin, or plastic. These typically need to be repaired or replaced more frequently than porcelain veneers.

What can I expect from the veneer process?

Similar to the crown preparation process, the veneer preparation process requires Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff to reshape your tooth to create space for the veneer. Next, a putty impression of your prepared tooth is taken which helps to ensure that your veneer is a perfect fit. While you’re waiting for your permanent veneer to be manufactured, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will place a temporary veneer on your prepared tooth to protect it. Ultimately, your final veneer is bonded to your tooth and the cement is hardened with a bright blue curing light.

Pros and cons of veneers

Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for cosmetic restorations and are a conservative way to help correct misshapen teeth. Veneers can also be color-matched so they blend seamlessly with the rest of your teeth or they can be made in a lighter shade to give you the bright smile you’ve always dreamed of.

If you’re thinking about dental restorations and would like to know more about your options, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert would love to speak with you. Call our office at 651.482.8412!

 

 

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!

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.

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!