Your Dental Cleaning is More Than Just a Cleaning

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When you schedule a recare visit at Eggert Family Dentistry, you may think that all we will do is remove any plaque we see and polish your teeth. While these services are important, they are just the tip of the iceberg. When you come into our office for a cleaning, we perform a full evaluation and keep an eye out for early signs of more serious problems. 

We check for signs of tooth decay 

Soft spots and pitting are signs that bacteria are breaking down enamel and causing tooth decay. This is most commonly caused by infrequent or poor brushing, frequent snacking and sugary foods and beverages. Acids also contribute significantly to tooth decay. If Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff spot signs of tooth decay, they will recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment to clean out the decay and protect the tooth with a filling or crown, depending on the situation. 

We evaluate the health of your gums

When bacteria hang out along the gum line, they can wreak havoc on gum health. When gum disease is left untreated, it can result in shifting or drifting of teeth and eventual tooth loss. It can also lead to systemic issues such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections, osteoporosis, hypertension and cancer! When you come in for a cleaning, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, as well as our amazing hygiene team, will look for signs of gum irritation including swelling, redness, pocketing or bleeding. Once plaque and tartar are removed, if they observe any of these signs of gum disease, they will recommend next steps to help your gum tissues heal. Oftentimes, in addition to spectacular home dental care habits, this will include a deep cleaning procedure in our office.  

We examine your jaw, facial muscles and lymph nodes

When you come into our office, Dr. Elizbeth or Dr. Jeff make sure your jaw is properly aligned and they look for any issues with your temporomandibular joints. They look for any swelling in the jaw and facial muscles as well, which can be an early sign of an abscessed tooth or infection. They also make sure your lymph nodes are not inflamed. If they find anything unusual, they will recommend next steps to correct the issue. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will also inspect your mouth for any signs of oral cancer and if they have any concerns, they will refer you to an oral surgeon or sometimes, a medical doctor. 

We assess the integrity of any existing fillings or other restorations

Fillings are effective at filling in holes in teeth and preventing bacteria from building up and causing cavities but they don’t last forever. Over time, fillings break down and need repair. When fillings crack or become loose, they expose divots in the teeth that can trap bacteria and, left unattended, cause cavities to redevelop. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will check the integrity of your fillings and schedule a separate visit if any of them need to be repaired or replaced. 

We take x-rays

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recommend at least once-a-year x-rays of your teeth. This allows us to look at the roots of your teeth and make sure they’re healthy and strong. We can also look between your teeth and under your gum line in order to spot early signs of infection and decay.

Just because you’re not experiencing teeth or jaw discomfort doesn’t mean problems aren’t brewing. If you haven’t been in to see us for a while, schedule a recare visit by giving us a call at 651.482.8412. We will perform a thorough cleaning and evaluation to protect and preserve your smile for a lifetime! 

Meet Your Hygiene Team

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In case you didn’t know, October is National Dental Hygiene Month! We want to observe the month by taking some time to introduce ourselves and tell you a little about the history of Eggert Family Dentistry and what we’re all about.

In 2005, Dr. Elizabeth acquired an existing dental practice in North Oaks, a northern St. Paul suburb, and we’ve been operating out of this same building for the past 15 years, just moving down the hall in 2015 to a larger location. We are a family-friendly practice, offering services for patients of all ages. Our services run the gamut from general dentistry to cosmetic work and from orthodontics to full-mouth reconstructions. Our motto is “Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles,” and we work hard to that end, partnering with each of our patients to help them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that will truly last a lifetime. 

Here we highlight our Hygiene Team and thank them for all the wonderful service they provide our patients!

Joanna

“I enjoy working at Eggert Family Dentistry because we have a fun working atmosphere. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff care for their patients and provide the best dental care for them.”

When she’s not at the office, Joanna enjoys being outside and spending time with family and friends. She resides in Blaine with her husband, Jeffrey, and their four children – Kyle, Kylie, Rylie and Bentley. 

 

Shelly

“I continue to love this profession! The quality of care I have had the privilege to provide over the years has been a direct reflection on those I have served. Meeting patients’ needs through listening, hands-on care and education has been so fulfilling. Our patients are the reason we do what we do.”

Shelly and her husband Ross, have lived in Shoreview for over 25 years. They have twin sons and a daughter, all just on the cusp of adulthood! As a family, they enjoy spending time at their Wisconsin cabin. Shelly loves to cook and enjoys fellowship with others.

Lea

“It is a pleasure to be part of the Eggert Family Dentistry team! We strive to make each visit a pleasant experience and to create a trusting relationship with each patient. I enjoy being part of a team that provides attentive care and top-notch education to help our patients maintain optimal health using the latest technology.”

Lea resides in White Bear Lake with her husband Dan and their two kids – Jonathan and Lauren. They also love their one-year-old black lab, Louie. Lea spends her free time in the garden, going to the cabin, reading and watching her kids play sports.

Cassie

“At Eggert Family Dentistry, our entire team strives to make every patient our number one priority. We provide exceptional, personalized care in a small office setting. I enjoy working with Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff and contributing to the overall patient experience.”

Cassie grew up in Ramsey and graduated from Anoka High School. She now lives in Andover with her husband Jim and their twin boys, Zack and Ryan, and their daughter, Abby. Cassie stays busy with her kids’ activities – baseball, basketball, track and competitive dance. She also enjoys tennis and fun times at the lake boating, swimming and kayaking.

If you’d like to learn more about Eggert Family Dentistry and the services we provide, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to connect with you!

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy for a Lifetime of Smiles

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Maintaining a healthy mouth for a lifetime requires a commitment to good habits every day. While it’s best to begin forming these habits in childhood, it’s never too late to experience the benefits of proper oral care. 

The ripple effect of gum disease

Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up in your mouth and causes gums to become tender and inflamed. If left unattended, gum disease can set in. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection that is a precursor to a host of increasingly serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections, osteoporosis, hypertension and cancer. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing can keep plaque from building up in the first place and can help you ward off further problems. 

Sugar and tobacco

When you consume sugar, it increases the amount of acid in your mouth. Acid breaks down sugar but it also erodes tooth enamel.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoiding or limiting the consumption of sugary foods and beverages will help protect your enamel and keep your teeth strong. Consume a diet rich in whole foods and opt for water as your go-to beverage.
  • Frequent snacking increases your risk of tooth decay. Limit snacking and brush after sugary or acidic foods. 
  • Brushing and flossing will help but not negate the negative effects of a poor diet. 

Tobacco is another enemy for a healthy mouth. In fact, smokers who smoke even less than half a pack of cigarettes a day are still almost 300% more likely to contract gum disease than non-smokers. Additionally, tobacco increases your chances of needing a root canal or losing teeth by 200%. It is also linked to a variety of mouth cancers such cancer of the gums, cheeks and lips. Avoiding tobacco products is an enormous investment in your oral and overall wellness. 

The benefits of regular brushing and flossing

Brushing and flossing might sound trivial but its impact cannot be underestimated. In combination with consuming a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco, brushing and flossing will set you up with a healthy smile for life. 

Here are some pointers:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing. 
  • Switch out your toothbrush 3-4 times each year.
  • Always brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums.

Recare visits

Scheduling a minimum of two annual recare visits per year helps to ensure that we can help you catch small issues before they become larger issues. When you come in for a routine checkup and cleaning at Eggert Family Dentistry, we clean your teeth, removing stubborn plaque, and assess your mouth for signs of many conditions including cavities, gum disease, bruxism and oral cancer. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff then make recommendations based on what they observe, partnering with you to help you achieve optimal dental health. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can take care of your teeth today and experience a lifetime of smiles, we would love to see you in our office! Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to schedule your visit.

 

Causes and Treatment of Gum Recession

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, and starts to show the tooth root. The first sign of gum recession you might notice is tooth sensitivity. Gum recession can also make your tooth look longer than normal or you may feel a notch on the tooth near the  gum line.

Treatment for gum recession is necessary, because otherwise the trend is likely to continue, and the supporting tissue and bone structure of the teeth may suffer damage.

What Causes Gum Recession?

Many things can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is when bacteria causes an infection and the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth are damaged.

Poor dental hygiene: Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing helps plaque to turn into calculus (tartar), which can promote gum recession.

Aggressive tooth brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard or the wrong way can wear away the gums and cause your gums to recede.

Tobacco: Tobacco use causes a sticky plaque to adhere to the teeth. It’s difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.

Teeth grinding and clenching: The excess force of clenching or grinding teeth can make gums recede because of the extra flexure the tooth is subjected to.

Genetics: Some people, as many as 30% of the population, have a genetic vulnerability to periodontal disease, which is a known cause for gum recession.

Hormonal changes: The normal fluctuations in hormone levels which women experience can increase gum sensitivity, making them more vulnerable to gum recession.

Misaligned bite: When teeth come together unevenly, it can place too much force on the gums and bone, promoting gum recession.

Lip or tongue piercing: Friction from jewelry in the mouth can cause gum tissue to erode.

Treatment for Gum Recession

Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will have ideas about the right procedure to treat gum recession based on your needs.

For minor gum recession, they may be able to treat it by deep cleaning the affected area. This process is also called scaling and root planning. The treatment involves removing the bacteria surrounding the tooth in the plaque and tartar, including on the root surfaces below the gum line. This procedure can also have additional success if a localized antibiotic is used to kill remaining bacteria and discourage harmful bacteria from re-populating.

When gum recession is more advanced, surgical options are available.

Preventing Gum Recession

Prevention entails the usual steps to improve dental and overall health. Brush and floss daily and come in for regular checkups. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and with proper technique. Dr. Elizabeth, Dr. Jeff, and all the hygienists at Eggert Family Dentistry can help you with this. In addition, there are many options for correcting misaligned bites, quitting tobacco use, and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Call us today at 651.482.8412 to talk about your gum recession issues.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis: What’s the Difference?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

You’ve heard it time and again: Your Eggert Family Dentistry dentists and hygienists are always urging you to brush and floss for maximum dental health.

Cavities might be the first malady that comes to mind, but preventing cavities is not the only reason to brush and floss faithfully.

Good oral hygiene habits can also prevent gum disease, or even reverse it, in its early stages.

Why is this Important?

A 2018 report by the Journal of Dental Research found that gum disease affects nearly half of all Americans age 30 and over.  That means almost 65 million Americans are battling gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Let’s clarify what we mean when we say “gum disease.”

Gum disease is the umbrella term which includes gingivitis and periodontitis and is also known as periodontal disease. It is inflammation of gum tissue, caused by bacterial growth around the tooth, often along and under the gum line.

Periodontal Disease presents in four stages:

Stage 1: Gingivitis, indicated by red or inflamed gums that may bleed during brushing.

Stage 2: Early periodontitis, in which the bone supporting the teeth shows slight loss of bone mass. Other symptoms may not be apparent.

Stage 3: Moderate periodontitis, in which bone around the teeth and gum tissue are damaged and teeth may start loosening.

Stage 4: Advanced periodontitis, in which symptoms are more severe, teeth may be very loose and biting and chewing can be painful. At this stage, it may prove to be difficult to save the teeth.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. It starts because plaque develops on the teeth at the gum line. Without proper removal, this plaque will cause gum inflammation. It’s potentially reversible with proper dental hygiene and intervention. A gingivitis diagnosis should be viewed as a warning sign because if left untreated, it will lead to periodontitis.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is when the bone that supports the tooth starts to dissolve. This chronic, long-term condition demands treatment by your dental professionals at Eggert Family Dentistry. Bleeding gums, bone loss and receding gums should be addressed and treated because periodontitis will cause tooth loss.

Here’s what happens: There is a small pocket between the gum tissue and the tooth called the sulcus. When bacteria get stuck in this pocket, the gum tissue enlarges and gets inflamed. This starts the infection process. If allowed to continue, the bone surrounding the tooth deteriorates.

Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease

Regular brushing and flossing activities are essential to preserving the health of your teeth and gums. This keeps teeth clean and removes bacteria from a shallow sulcus. There is the bonus effect of revealing whether your gums are in bad shape. If they bleed when brushed or flossed, you’ve got a problem! This is gingivitis.

This early stage of gum disease needs to be treated and closely monitored. Untreated, it will progress and become periodontitis, which is much more difficult to treat.

Impact of Gum Disease

Although it is preventable, gum disease can lead to loss of teeth if not treated. Anyone who gets a diagnosis of gingivitis should take serious action in partnership with Eggert Family Dentistry to reverse this condition.

Preventing Gum Disease

Coming to see us at Eggert Family Dentistry for your recare appointment at your recommended interval is the number one thing you can do to prevent periodontal disease. We know we missed many of you due to the 2020 COVID closure this past spring. We’re here and ready for you. Please visit our website to request an appointment online:  www.eggertfamilydentistry.com. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

Battle of the Brushes: Electric Versus Manual

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Dental professionals everywhere sing the same tune. Brush your teeth. Twice a day. Two minutes per session.

It’s a critical action for healthy teeth and overall oral wellness.

But what’s the best way? Dr. Elizabeth & Dr. Jeff, and especially our Eggert Family Dentistry hygienists, hear that question all the time. Manual or electric? Which is the best toothbrush for the job?

The ADA (American Dental Association) approves both for removing oral plaque, which causes decay and gum disease.

Let’s explore the pros and cons so you can come to your own personal conclusion on the subject.

Electric Toothbrush: The Pros

Greater cleaning power: One powerful advantage of the electric toothbrush is the ultrasonic vibration they offer. The bristles vibrate or rotate, helping dislodge plaque buildup from your gums and teeth. Those electric micro-movements help ensure good coverage when you brush. Studies show that electric toothbrushes are more effective at decreasing plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes.

Easier for those with limited mobility: Because they do most of the work for you, electric toothbrushes may be best for people with limited mobility, such as people with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or paralysis. They may also be easier to use for people with developmental disabilities.

Built-in timer: Most electric toothbrushes today have an integrated timer, ensuring that you brush for a full two minutes. Many also signal each 30 seconds, so you can make sure you give equal attention to each quadrant of your mouth.

Less waste: In terms of generating trash, electric toothbrushes are generally better than manual because the piece that’s discarded and replaced is smaller.

May be better for people with orthodontic appliances: The high-speed rotating effects or ultrasonic vibrations of an electric toothbrushes can make it easier to brush around braces and other orthodontic appliances.

Kids often love them: Children who resist brushing because they find it boring may be more engaged with an electric toothbrush.

Healthy gum stimulation: An electric toothbrush will stimulate your gum tissues better than a manual brush.

Electric Toothbrush: The Cons

Price: Electric toothbrushes always cost more.

Replacing the heads: It may not be convenient to find replacements, and they are often sold in quantities to last a year or two. While this can be very convenient, it also adds to the investment!

Electricity needed: Most need to plug in to operate or to recharge. Some cheaper versions are battery operated, but then also don’t last as long.

Ticklish to some: Not everyone likes the vibrating sensation, although most people do get used to it.

More mess: Electric toothbrushes tend to generate more saliva, causing splatter to escape the mouth and get all over the bathroom mirror!

Manual Toothbrush: The Pros

Simple & effective: The handheld toothbrush will never go out of style. No electricity, charging, or batteries. Quiet and so portable! The manual toothbrush has stood the test of time.

Ubiquitous and accessible: Pick one up at any pharmacy, gas station or grocery store.

Cheap: Just a few dollars for three months of dental hygiene.

Manual Toothbrush: The Cons

Potential for overuse: According to one study, people using a manual toothbrush may be prone to brushing too hard, which can damage your gums and teeth.

No timer: Are you brushing for at least a full two minutes? If you have doubts, try watching the clock or using a kitchen or cell phone timer.

What’s the bottom line? At Eggert Family Dentistry, we really just want you to brush. Whatever device makes it easiest for you to keep up on your brushing—manual or electric—we support it! Call Eggert Family Dentistry at 651.482.8412 today for any questions you may have.

Protect Your Teeth During Sports With a Mouthguard

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If you play sports, please consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 10-20% of all sports-related injuries are maxillofacial injuries, relating to the mouth and all the connecting regions. The ADA recognizes “the preventive value of orofacial protectors, endorsing their use by those who engage in recreational and sports activities and encouraging widespread use of orofacial protectors with proper fit, including mouthguards.”

While the risk of injury is obvious in classic contact sports like football, boxing, wrestling, lacrosse, and hockey, the ADA also advocates a mouthguard when participating in limited-contact sports like baseball, gymnastics, racquetball and surfing. 

A well-fitting mouthguard will protect your dental health in a variety of ways. While it can’t guarantee that you’ll suffer zero dental damage, a mouthguard is almost certain to reduce dental injuries.

Benefits of Mouthguards

Mouthguards prevent teeth from being knocked out: Having an intact tooth knocked out is no fun. In some cases, it can be retained, but it will require substantial dental attention.

Mouthguards can prevent teeth from fracturing: It may be possible to save a broken tooth, but it will require a substantial filling, a crown, and likely a root canal. If it can’t be saved, an extraction and implant will be needed.

Mouthguards can protect soft tissues: When you suffer an unexpected impact, it’s easy to accidentally bite your tongue, cheek or lips. A mouthguard will help prevent this.

Mouthguards can protect against tooth displacement: Sometimes, an impact can loosen a tooth so that it stays in the socket, but is moveable. When you’re wearing a mouthguard, the force of the impact is distributed over several teeth, reducing the likelihood of displacement. Teeth can be displaced laterally (forwards or backwards) or can be extruded (down).

Mouthguards can prevent jaw fractures: By serving as a shock-absorber, a guard can help prevent the jaw from fracturing—a serious injury that may require surgery.

Mouthguards may help reduce concussions: Evidence is not conclusive, but it’s possible that the padding between the upper and lower jaws can absorb some of the impact that causes a concussion.

In Case of Dental Injury

Should someone suffer a dental injury during sports or any other activity, follow these guidelines:

If a tooth is fractured, stabilize the portion of the tooth retained in the mouth and control the bleeding by gently biting on a towel. Retain all tooth fragments and keep them submerged in water or milk.

If an entire tooth —root and all—is knocked out, handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. You can rinse it gently with water, but do not wash, sterilize, or scrub it. If possible, place it back in the socket (the correct way) and then bite gently on a towel. If not, transport it to the dentist.

In both cases, time is critical and you should be in the dentist’s chair within two hours.

Wear a Mouthguard for Sports

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love seeing you, but we hope you never have to come in for treatment after a preventable dental injury! Take care of your teeth, please. Wear a mouthguard for sports.

Implants Versus Dentures

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Thanks to modern dentistry, loss of a tooth – or many teeth – doesn’t have to be permanent. With a small investment of time, money and skilled expertise, it’s possible to replace teeth with implants or dentures.

When our patients are facing the loss of one or more teeth, they come to us for counseling on the best path forward. We consider it part of our customer care to walk them through the options and make sure they understand the pros and cons of each option. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love helping our patients understand the best choice for their individual circumstances. Here’s a quick summary as a starting point.

Implants: The Pros

The best part about implants: They feel and behave like your original teeth. You care for them in a similar way, so you likely don’t need to embrace any fresh routines or invite any new bottles or tubes into your bathroom cabinet. They will prevent neighboring teeth from migrating, so they preserve your bite. Because they are anchored in the bone, they help preserve bone mass in the jaw, Once they are established, they nearly take care of themselves. The feel of chewing, the nuances of speaking, the sensation when you run your tongue along the inside of your mouth – these will all feel completely familiar. Implants are built to last a lifetime, and they almost always do.

Implants: The Cons

Dental implants can take awhile from start to finish. Typically, it’s about six months between initial surgery and final placement of the abutment and crown. There is usually some healing time of the implant which will continue to leave you toothless for awhile. If, however, the missing tooth is in the front of the mouth, we can place a temporary tooth for cosmetic reasons. Depending on your situation, implants may cost more than other options.

Dentures: The Pros

Dentures can be crafted and placed in a shorter time period than implants. They don’t usually require surgery, but sometimes bone recontouring can be necessary to get the denture to fit just right. The initial cost of dentures is lower than most implant replacement options; however, they may need to be replaced as the shape of the jaw, mouth and adjacent teeth change over time, so in the long run may end up costing more.

Dentures: The Cons

Dentures will never feel like your natural teeth. They must be removed for cleaning, and because they can trap food, cleaning is extra important. Denture wearers may have to forgo some of their old eating habits such as corn on the cob. Because they don’t help preserve bone mass in the jaw, denture wearers are likely to experience ongoing jaw bone deterioration, which may prevent them from being a candidate for implants at a later time. Subsequent bone loss may contribute to a sunken appearance of the lower cheeks.

We hope this summary helps you understand your options. We look forward to evaluating your personal situation, and helping you embark on the tooth restoration program that fits your needs. Call us today at 651-482-8412 for your exam and consultation!

Why It’s Important to Replace Missing Teeth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Everyone wants a full set of strong, healthy, functional teeth. They enable us to eat and enjoy a wide variety of food, chew that food to get maximum nutritional benefits from it, and speak clearly. And hey, they also just look good. When you’ve got a full smile of clean healthy teeth, it’s easy to feel confident when you’re talking, eating, and laughing.

Most of us start off with a full set of 32 teeth, and many of us have our wisdom teeth removed during elective surgery, leaving us with 28 teeth to take care of. However, due to a variety of reasons, many of us loose at least one tooth by middle age, and by age 65, one in four people in the U.S. has lost all their teeth.

Causes of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is caused by many factors.

Injuries such as falls or sports accidents can cause tooth loss. Even without immediate tooth loss, sometimes there’s sufficient trauma to the jaw bone and gums that a tooth sustains hidden damage in the nerve and root, which may take months or years to become obvious or fully abscess.

Periodontal disease may cause tooth loss. With this condition, the architecture supporting the tooth, like the bone, ligament, and gums, is damaged or destroyed. When this occurs, a tooth becomes loose and painful and often can no longer be saved.

Tooth decay results from bacteria converting the starch and sugar that accumulates in your mouth into acids, which damage the protective layer of tooth enamel and cause cavities. Some teeth are inherently prone to increased cavities due to deep grooves which trap food, tight and misaligned places which are hard to clean, or thin tooth enamel.

Excessive wear from clenching or grinding your teeth can also put a lot of stress on the teeth, causing structural damage in the form of cracks or fractures. As strong as teeth are, this structural damage compounds over time and occasionally an abscess will form from bacteria accumulating in the crack or the damage will be so severe there is no longer any way to save the tooth.

Extra acid in the oral environment will attack the hard enamel surface of a tooth. The enamel goes through a chemical process that is like dissolving. With this thin and weak enamel, the tooth is more prone to excessive wear or decay and can be lost as mentioned above. These extra acids can be from food or drink, acid reflux disease (including GERD), or systemic problems in how your body gets air and breathes.

Many Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth

When you lose a tooth, there are many reasons to replace it.

First, there’s your confidence and self-image. If you’ve got a visible gap in your smile, you are likely to smile less. You may be self conscious when you eat or laugh. In some cases, you may have trouble with a few sounds as you speak.

But beyond just your winning smile, there are other concrete and medical reasons why it’s important to replace missing teeth. Each tooth plays a crucial role in your mouth’s function. A missing tooth can shift your bite pressure onto other teeth, and over time, neighboring teeth may migrate into the space the missing tooth once occupied. Missing teeth also invite plaque to build up in hard-to-clean spots, which can encourage gum infections that might lead to further tooth loss. Also, the bone which formerly anchored the tooth will start to deteriorate and diminish, which can jeopardize neighboring teeth.

Eggert Family Dentistry and Tooth Restoration

Deciding whether and how to replace a missing tooth is a personal choice each person should discuss with our dental team. If you have experienced or are anticipating tooth loss, please come in for a consultation. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff will be more than happy to explain your options for restoring your beautiful smile, and to help you understand why your tooth was jeopardized and how to improve the conditions for your remaining teeth. Call us today for an appointment, 651-482-8412.

Over-the-Counter vs. Professional Teeth Whitening

The relatively low cost of teeth whitening combined with its track record of proven results makes it a popular choice. In 2018, over 40 million Americans whitened their teeth – either at home or professionally. But are all teeth whitening methods created equal? Let’s explore the facets of both so you can decide which method is right for you!

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

Strips: Because hydrogen-peroxide coated strips can be purchased for under $40, they are a popular go-to for people who are looking for whiter teeth. However, the strips do not provide excellent coverage for the crevices of teeth and the part of the teeth along the gum line and in between the teeth may be missed. Extreme tooth sensitivity is common and they only whiten teeth from two to four shades.

Toothpaste/Mouthwash/Gum: While these are certainly the most affordable option, they are best used in combination with other methods as they only whiten teeth by removing surface stains and typically the results aren’t very noticeable.

Professional Teeth Whitening
At Eggert Family dentistry, we offer KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching, Zoom Whitening, at-home trays with Opalescence bleach, and convenient Opalescence Go!.

KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching: The most reliable and effective bleaching system on the market, KöR restores your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen and can whiten teeth up to 16 shades! The oxygen from the whitening gel is absorbed deep into the tooth, dissolving stain molecules and changing how the tooth reflects light. Most people experience little or no sensitivity with this treatment.

Zoom Whitening: Zoom Whitening is performed in a single, two-hour appointment and lightens teeth anywhere from 4-10 shades! Professional whitening gel is applied to your teeth and activated by an LED light which helps the gel penetrate into the teeth. Follow-up includes sensitivity management with a special gel and at-home whitening trays.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we also offer our patients professional, at-home bleaching trays that use carbamide peroxide bleach, a much more stable and higher concentration bleach than what is typically found in OTC hydrogen peroxide options.

Opalescence Go! is similar to some over-the-counter products, but at a higher concentration than most options and comes with a convenient tray and strip application process, helping to better address the nooks and crannies.

Prior to all of our whitening treatments, we will assess the best bleaching system for you during an office visit with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff and a thorough professional cleaning with one of our hygienists.

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth and would help choosing the best route for you, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert would be more than happy to speak with you. They can be reached at 651.482.8412.