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!

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!

Dental Health for Teens: Answers to Some Common Questions

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Raising a teenager is exciting. It’s fun to watch your teen grow in their confidence and independence and step out and try new things. However, as they navigate new territory, oftentimes so do you! In fact, many days you may feel like you have more questions than answers! Sound familiar? Thankfully, when it comes to dentistry, Eggert Family Dentistry has the information you need to prepare for whatever dental situations arise during your child’s teen years. Let’s take a look at some questions we frequently field from parents of teens and share some information we think you will find helpful!

What kind of cosmetic dentistry is appropriate for my teen?

Most teens struggle with self-confidence and work hard to maintain their image. Chipped, discolored or gaping teeth can play a big role in tanking a teen’s confidence level. Luckily, we offer some effective cosmetic dentistry procedures at Eggert Family Dentistry to benefit your teen. Bonding is an affordable and effective way to repair chipped teeth and can help fill in gaps. Composite or porcelain veneers can help reshape misshapen or unevenly-sized teeth. Also, bleaching options like the  Philips Zoom procedure are perfect for creating a whiter smile.

How do I know if my teen is a candidate for braces?

Few dental situations make a teen feel more self-conscious than crooked teeth. Not only do braces straighten teeth and correct your teen’s bite but because crooked teeth can lead to other oral health problems, braces also reduce the instance of cavities and gum disease. It’s never too early to begin the braces conversation with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff! While we are not an orthodontic office and only provide some Invisalign services, we are happy to refer you to some excellent orthodontists in the area when recommended.

What do I need to know about wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth typically start erupting between the ages of 17-21. However, many people don’t have room in their mouth for this third set of molars and they should be removed. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff will monitor your teen’s unerupted wisdom teeth with x-rays and oral examinations. If we perceive that your teen’s mouth does not have adequate space for wisdom teeth or if we can see from x-rays that they are coming in crooked, we will refer you to an oral surgeon who can remove them, oftentimes before they even start erupting and causing problems.

My teen plays contact sports. What do I do if they knock out a permanent tooth?

First of all, the best defense against a knocked out tooth is a mouthguard. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff can craft your teen a custom mouthguard that will fit snugly against their teeth and protect them while they’re playing sports. However, we know that in some instances a permanent tooth can get knocked out. Should this happen, it’s best to rinse the tooth in cool water and try and replace the tooth in the socket by having your teen bite down on gauze or a wet washcloth. If the tooth won’t relodge, place it in a small container of milk. In both instances, give us a call right away. We will fit your teen in for an emergency appointment.

How does smoking or vaping affect my teen’s oral health?

We know that smoking is bad for our lungs and parents and educators alike take every opportunity to talk to teens about the dangers of smoking and the risk of lung cancer. But what effect does smoking or vaping have on oral health? It’s important that your teenager knows that smoking causes bad breath, can stain their teeth and tongue, dulls their sense of taste and smell, slows down healing in the mouth and can even lead to tooth loss or mouth cancer. Unfortunately, vaping has become a teenage “acceptable” alternative to smoking. But, it is important to remember that vaping introduces unnatural chemicals into the mouth and the body as well and the long-term effects are expected to be just as harmful as we know smoking to be.

My teen wants to get her tongue pierced. What do I need to know?

Many teens think a tongue piercing is just as harmless as getting their ears pierced but this is simply not true. There are a whole host of complications that can arise from what might seem like a fun teenage fad. Prolonged pain and swelling of the tongue to the point of cutting off the airway are two possible complications. Others include damage to teeth from accidentally biting down on the piercing or clicking it up against teeth and oral infections that can lead to hepatitis or endocarditis. The same issues can occur with lip piercings as well.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we love our teenage patients! If you or your teen have any additional questions or want to further discuss important ways teens can protect and invest in their smile, give us a call at 651.482.8412 or contact us online.