Smile Your Way into a More Confident 2020!

As 2019 wraps up, you probably have your sights on goals for the new year. And one thing those goals require is confidence in your ability to achieve them. Is a less-than-perfect smile impacting your self-esteem and keeping you from going after things that are important to you? At Eggert Family Dentistry, we understand how crooked, decaying, chipped, discolored or missing teeth can have this effect. Fortunately, we offer many cosmetic dentistry procedures that can restore your smile…and your confidence.

Teeth whitening: Over time, teeth become stained from certain foods, beverages, medications and smoking. Eggert Family Dentistry has many great options to help restore your pearly whites. We provide 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 and Kor Whitening procedures. Zoom is performed in a single, two-hour appointment, we apply a professional whitening gel to your teeth and activate the gel with an LED light which allows the gel to better penetrate the teeth. Kor bleaching is the most effective whitening system known and is backed by scientific research to bleach even the previously-thought-impossible-to-bleach tetracycline stained teeth.

Veneers: Porcelain dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain shells that cover the front of teeth. Veneers dramatically transform chipped, misaligned, discolored or worn teeth. They can also be used to close unsightly gaps. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff custom make dental veneers that compliment your skin tone, facial features and personality and feel just like your natural teeth. This process takes two or three visits and the results last for many years.

Composite Bonded Veneers: Composite bonded veneers can be completed in a single appointment. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff apply composite resin to your tooth and cure it with intense blue light. Then they sculpt and polish the tooth for a transformational effect. Composite bonded veneers are popular since they are a more cost-effective option than porcelain veneers.  However, they don’t last as long, but can typically be expected to last upwards of 10 years.

Invisalign: A low-profile alternative to metal braces, Invisalign uses retainer-like tooth aligners made from BPA-free medical-grade polyurethane thermoplastic to move teeth. While this option isn’t for everyone, it can be an excellent choice for people with mild to moderate gaping or crowding and helps to discreetly straighten your smile.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we don’t think anything should keep you from achieving your goals. Are you dissatisfied with your smile and want to explore which cosmetic dentistry options are right for you? Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to set up an appointment. We would love to help you regain that beautiful smile and set you off on a more confident path in 2020!

Icon Resin Infiltration Restores Uniform Color to Teeth

A fairly common cosmetic concern among our patients is spotting on their tooth enamel.

Sometimes, the enamel of a tooth gets demineralized, resulting in white or brown spots. These spots are called white-spot lesions (WSLs), hypo spots or enamel bruising, and often result from trauma or infection. Sometimes they appear when braces are removed, and sometimes they are a developmental characteristic.

The good news is that the white spots aren’t harmful. However, many people would prefer to have teeth with a more uniform color.

More good news: There’s an easy, painless and fast procedure to erase this discoloration and restore your tooth enamel to a brilliant white.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff recommend the Icon procedure for patients who want to get rid of these white spot discolorations.

Icon is the resin infiltration treatment we prefer at Eggert Family Dentistry. It’s a minimally invasive restorative treatment that penetrates existing enamel and helps restore the minerals, thereby fading the spots.

Advantages of Icon Resin Treatment

Icon resin treatment is fast, simple and non-invasive. It takes place in a single visit and requires no shots, no anesthesia, and no drilling. After a painless rubbing of the surface in question to remove the spots, we apply a drying agent and then the resin infiltrant. After about three minutes, we remove the excess resin and cure the resin with light. We complete the process a second time to ensure a protective coating on the surface, polish the tooth, and you are ready to go home with a brand new-and-improved smile – after only 45 minutes to an hour in the chair!

How Does the Icon Treatment Work?

The white spots result from demineralization and subsequent remineralization on the surface of the tooth. Icon reconstructs the collapsed architecture of the tooth caused by demineralization. When applied to the tooth, the Icon resin has similar optical properties to those of natural enamel, so it replicates the natural shade of the tooth.

Benefits of Icon

It’s far less invasive, less expensive and faster than alternatives like fillings or veneers. It can easily be completed on patients young and old. With other treatments to correct white spots, like veneers, it is important to wait until the patient’s growth is complete. Even better, teeth that have undergone Icon treatment still respond to bleaching.

If you’re curious about this very conservative, non-invasive, same-day procedure, call Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff at Eggert Family Dentistry to learn more, 651-482-8412. We’d love to talk to you about your options for improving your beautiful smile by transforming spotted teeth to a consistent, uniform color.

The Impact of a Little Time Well Spent – Mary’s Story

How did this start?
Mary had been considering Invisalign for quite some time, and when she noticed her teeth beginning to crowd more, she decided to initiate treatment with Dr. Elizabeth. To begin, Mary came in for a records appointment with Dr. Elizabeth where she took impressions, photos, and x-rays of Mary’s teeth to send to Invisalign in preparation for her case. Using these records, Invisalign then created a 3D simulation of how Mary’s teeth could move with Invisalign treatment. Mary was happy with the results of the 3D simulation and decided to proceed with treatment. Dr. Elizabeth discussed with Mary that because the shape and size of her two upper front teeth didn’t match each other, it would be best to plan for veneers on these two teeth once her Invisalign treatment was complete.

What was involved?
Mary’s Invisalign treatment consisted of 22 total aligners that she wore for 1-2 weeks at a time. As part of Mary’s Invisalign treatment, Dr. Elizabeth slenderized some of Mary’s teeth to create more space for her teeth to better alleviate her crowding. Mary was diligent in wearing her aligners and was able to complete her treatment as anticipated. After completing her Invisalign treatment, Mary indicated she was interested in whiter teeth and asked about bleaching. Mary’s bleaching therefore needed to be done prior to the veneers on her upper front teeth. Dr. Elizabeth recommended the Zoom! Whitening in-office procedure to get Mary the whiter smile she wanted. After her two-hour session, Mary was happy to see that her teeth had lightened by four full shades!

With her teeth at her desired shade, Mary was ready for her final restorations. In preparation for the final restorations, Dr. Elizabeth made minor alterations to the biting surface of some of Mary’s teeth to remove interferences and perfect her bite. This process is called equilibration and helps to prevent Mary’s new smile from further wear. Once this was done, Dr. Elizabeth created a wax model of the veneers so Mary could make sure she was happy with their size and shape before having the final ones placed. With her approval, the final porcelain veneers were fabricated, then placed by Dr. Elizabeth.

What does Mary think of her results?

From the beginning, Mary was excited about her treatment and felt like she was well-prepared for it. She appreciated the opportunity she had to discuss her treatment plan with Dr. Elizabeth ahead of time so she knew what to expect as far as timing and the procedures themselves. Now that her treatment is complete, Mary says she feels more confident and relaxed about her smile. “I feel better about the future of my teeth. I know I have a better chance of keeping them longer.” When asked what she would say to someone considering similar treatment, Mary said “It’s worth it!” Mary was able to finish her treatment just in time for her son’s wedding. Congratulations Mary, what a beautiful result!

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

Fillings: Why Replace Them?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Just like other dental work, fillings can age over time. With age, uncomfortable or unsightly problems can present themselves. Old fillings can also become chipped or fall out which leave vulnerable teeth exposed and prone to decay and cavities. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we frequently replace old fillings. Here’s an up-close look at a couple recent scenarios where we did just that:

Oftentimes, fillings start to leak and decay underneath. The best way to see this is by looking at x-rays of teeth. However, decay can occasionally be spotted from the oral exam. Here is an example of an older amalgam filling that looks okay to the naked eye but x-rays reveal otherwise.

After removing the amalgam, the darkened, decayed areas are visible.

Here’s a photo of the tooth after the decay is removed.

After the new composite tooth-colored filling is complete, this is the result.

Staining on anterior composites can happen on account of the age of the fillings, diet or decay on the teeth. Before replacing anterior fillings, make an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff to be sure the teeth are healthy. Make sure your teeth are your preferred shade/color before your new fillings are placed.

If you’re concerned that you have old fillings in need of replacement, contact Eggert Family Dentistry at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to set up an appointment with you to determine the condition of your fillings.

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.

Full Mouth Reconstruction – Am I a Candidate?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

There are times when, even with diligent touch-up work throughout the years, a person could truly benefit from full mouth reconstruction. This reconstruction process involves restoring all the teeth in both the upper and lower jaw and oftentimes correcting the bite and healing the gums. At Eggert Family Dentistry, when we undertake full mouth reconstruction, we work closely with periodontists, oral surgeons, orthodontists and endodontists as needed to achieve optimal results for our patients.

Who is a candidate?

If you’ve experienced tooth loss, decay or trauma to your teeth, have teeth that are worn down from years of acid erosion or teeth grinding, jaw, muscle or head pain that stems from improper positioning of the jaw and ultimately want to improve the aesthetic of your teeth and regain your confident smile, you may be a candidate for full mouth reconstruction.

Some of the procedures involved

Each patient is different and maintains a unique set of dental challenges. On this account, each treatment plan is unique as well. However, all of our patients maintain one common goal: to achieve a healthy, comfortable and attractive smile.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we start by thoroughly evaluating your specific dental situation. We inspect teeth, gums, muscles and the jaw. We do this through the use of impressions, photos and x-rays. Is your bite even or is it uneven and uncomfortable, causing wear and deterioration of your teeth? Which teeth are cracked, worn or in need of repair? Do you have any missing teeth? How about your gum health – is there any sign of periodontal disease?

Dr. Eggert then puts together a comprehensive “tour” of your mouth and walks you through different treatment options. If a full reconstruction is warranted, treatment may include procedures such as veneers, crowns, fillings, inlays, onlays, scaling and root planing, orthodontic attention for bite correction…the list goes on.

If you decide to proceed with a full reconstruction, Dr. Eggert will refer you to any specialists that will be involved in your case, confer with them on their findings and create a step-by-step treatment plan to correct all dental issues and accomplish your reconstruction.

The results

This process can take 12 months or more as it requires a series of appointments – often with a handful of dental professionals – but the results of full mouth reconstruction cannot be underestimated! Your investment in dental wellness will vastly improve your oral health and boost your self-confidence. You really can be comfortable in your own skin and have a smile you want to share!

Richard, one of our patients at Eggert Family Dentistry, is a testimony to the power of a reconstructed smile! Read his story here.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of full mouth reconstruction and think you may be a candidate, we would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your individual needs. We can be reached 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.

Laser Dentistry – An Innovative Solution

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Lasers are increasingly common across nearly all fields of medicine and dentistry is certainly not excluded. Delivering energy in the form of light, laser dentistry procedures are incredibly precise and minimally invasive, making them a popular choice among practitioners and patients alike. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we utilize lasers in a number of procedures to the benefit of our patients.

What can laser dentistry treat?

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff implement laser dentistry to treat issues including overgrown gum tissue, gum disease, tooth decay and root canals. We also use lasers when teeth whitening to activate the bleaching solution and speed up the whitening process. Additionally, laser dentistry aids in exposing wisdom teeth and removing benign oral tumors.

How does laser dentistry work?

There are two kinds of lasers used in dentistry:

Hard tissue lasers: These lasers cut through both water and bone and are effective for procedures such as detecting cavities and preparing teeth for fillings.

Soft tissue lasers: These lasers cut through soft tissue and are effective for procedures such as reshaping gums, lengthening crowns and performing biopsies.

What are the benefits of laser dentistry?

When you come in for a laser dentistry consult, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will share with you all the benefits of laser dentistry. These benefits include less bleeding, reduced likelihood of infection, diminished need for anesthesia and reduced healing time. Also, you won’t feel discomfort from the laser like you may from a drill. For this reason, laser dentistry can be a good choice for children who are fearful of the noise and pressure of the drill. Furthermore, our patients who undergo laser dental procedures report less discomfort during the recovery process than following scalpel procedures.

If you would like to learn more about our laser dentistry services here at Eggert Family Dentistry, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to discuss this further!

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!