3 Ways to Fix a Chipped Tooth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

A chipped tooth is no laughing matter. Depending on the severity of the break, a chipped tooth can be embarrassing and extremely painful. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we have three options for repairing a chipped tooth: bonding, veneers and crowns. Let’s take a closer look at each of these three options.

Dental Bonding

One of the biggest perks of dental bonding is the ease of the process. Dental bonding can be completed in a single appointment. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff apply a putty-like composite resin to your tooth and then sculpt and shape it before curing and hardening the material with an intense blue light. Once polished, composite bonded restorations have a smooth and shiny finish, blending in well with the natural teeth.

Dental bonding is an effective way to repair and reshape a cracked tooth and is also used to correct gaps in teeth or cover up stains. Dental bonding usually lasts for 5-10 years and is a cost-effective solution that helps restore your natural smile.

Check out Lia’s story about her experience with dental bonding here!

Veneers

Sarah's Smile After

Veneers are a stunning option for cracked teeth as well as stained, gaping, and misaligned teeth. They consist of a thin porcelain shell that covers your existing tooth. Applying veneers is a little more labor-intensive process than dental bonding and requires 2-3 visits to complete. At your first visit, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will discuss the result they hope to achieve with the veneers. Then, they prepare your teeth for the custom porcelain overlay and take an impression of your prepared teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental lab where your veneers are fabricated. In the meantime, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will fit you with an attractive temporary solution. The veneer preparation process takes 2-3 weeks. Once your custom veneers are created, you will come back into our office where we will polish your teeth and bond your veneers in place. We work hard to make sure they feel like natural teeth and that you love the results.

Take a look at Katie’s story to learn how porcelain veneers transformed her smile!

Crowns

A crown is an excellent option for repairing a severely cracked or damaged tooth. Commonly made from 100% porcelain, crowns restore the integrity of a damaged tooth more than dental bonding or porcelain veneers because they “cap” or fully encompass the entire tooth. They facilitate chewing and can be color-matched to the rest of your teeth for a flawless appearance.

Creating and placing your custom crown will take 1-2 visits with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff. A local anesthetic will ensure your comfort while your tooth is prepared for the crown. In many cases, we can take a CEREC scan of your tooth and fabricate your custom crown in our office the same day! Sometimes, however, a lab fabricated crown may still be the better choice for your situation. If that is the case, we will take an impression of your tooth and surrounding teeth and send this impression into one of our trusted labs where they will fabricate your custom crown. This process usually takes 2 weeks. In the meantime, we will fashion a temporary crown for you to wear.

When we fit your crown, we use a cement bonding agent to ensure that your crown stays securely in place. Crowns usually last 10-20 years with proper care.

Read Mary’s story to learn how crowns dramatically improved her smile!

Do you have a chipped tooth that needs to be repaired? Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to make an appointment and discuss your options!

5 Ways to Improve Your Smile This Year

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

We’re already a few months into this new year. Maybe you’ve intended to tackle cosmetic dentistry work in the past few years but haven’t made it a priority. Make 2021 the year! At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer many cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here are a few of our services that we think might pique your interest:

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. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff also offer the Zoom and KöR 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. KöR bleaching is the most effective whitening system on the market and is backed by scientific research to bleach even the previously-thought-impossible-to-bleach tetracycline stained teeth.

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.

Read a couple of Eggert Family Dentistry Invisalign® success stories here!

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 natural teeth. This process takes two or three visits and the results last for many years.

Read Katie’s Story here to learn about the transformational power of veneers!

ICON: Sometimes teeth develop white or brown spots. This can happen for several reasons. If your teeth were exposed to too much fluoride as a child, you eat foods that stain teeth or smoke cigarettes or in some cases, if you suffer from Celiac Disease, these unsightly spots may occur. Fortunately, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff offer a minimally invasive treatment that reduces the appearance of these spots. During an ICON treatment, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff infuse teeth with a resin that lightens teeth without the need to reshape or remove enamel in any way.

Read Chauncy’s story here to learn more!

Tooth replacement: Losing permanent teeth can happen from trauma to the jaw, from gum disease or from tooth decay. Regardless, it can be an awkward situation and one that most people want to remedy as quickly as possible. If you’re dealing with missing permanent teeth, you have some excellent options. These options include dental implants, bridges, partial dentures or full dentures.

Dental implants: With dental implants, a titanium post is fixed into the bone where the tooth was and the jaw bone grows back around the implant, holding it firmly in place. Then, an abutment and crown are fitted on top of the implant.

Bridges: Just like it sounds, bridges “bridge” a gap caused by missing teeth and use the neighboring teeth as anchors. These false teeth can stand in for one or more missing teeth. However, bridges can cause stress on neighboring teeth and food can get trapped underneath them, making cleaning more difficult.

Partial dentures: Partial dentures or “partials” replace one or more teeth. These false teeth attach to a plastic base and often have a metal framework. They are fairly comfortable and easy to remove for cleaning.

Full Dentures: Full dentures are full sets of upper and/or lower artificial teeth that are suctioned into place and removable for cleaning. While they can take some getting used to, they start to feel more normal over time. Full dentures will eventually become loose as bone mass degrades.

If you want to learn more about different tooth replacement options, read our post here!

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we have an abundance of experience and are passionate about helping our patients achieve a more confident smile. If you’re interested in learning more about which cosmetic dentistry procedure can help you achieve your goals, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

Tips for Whiter Teeth Between Your Recare Visits

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

It’s not disputed that whiter teeth lend themselves to a more attractive smile. Statistically, more than 66% of Americans recall attractive features about someone more easily than they recall unattractive features. Thus, a white smile and straight teeth leave a stronger impression than a dull smile and crooked teeth. In fact, Americans make the unconscious assumption that people with straighter, whiter teeth are more intelligent, even though there is no basis for this. These findings demonstrate the power of a brilliant smile to make a lasting impression. If you’re feeling self-conscious about your dull smile, there are quite a few avenues you can pursue to regain and maintain a whiter smile this year.

Tooth discoloration prevention

The biggest investment you can make in your dental health is in the way of prevention. There are several things you can do to prevent tooth discoloration:

Avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth: Many foods are intensely pigmented, have substantial tannins or are highly acidic and easily stain enamel. Avoid or limit the consumption of berries, red wine, tomato-based products, dark chocolate, coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and sugary treats. If you consume these, wait a half an hour to let your saliva start the neutralization process and then brush your teeth thoroughly.

Quit smoking: It goes without saying that smoking is bad for your lungs and can lead to many forms of mouth, throat and lung cancer. But did you know that tobacco also lodges in the crevices of your teeth and causes staining? Kicking the habit is an investment in many facets of your health.

Eat healthy: Not only is it helpful to reduce or eliminate certain foods, beverages and tobacco from your diet, but it’s also important to make sure you’re consuming a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Calcium is found in several vegetables and dairy products and helps strengthen enamel. Vitamin D is also important because it helps your body absorb calcium. Phosphorus works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Potassium, vitamins C, K and A contribute to dental health as well. In addition, incorporating crunchy fruits and veggies into your diet can keep your teeth clean and staying hydrated with plenty of water each day keeps bacteria from building up in your mouth and causing tooth decay.

Practice daily dental care: The single best way to prevent tooth discoloration is by brushing and flossing faithfully each day. Brush in the morning and evening (more often if you eat sugary, acidic, or highly pigmented foods) and floss at least once a day. Additionally, you can incorporate a daily swish of fluoride mouthwash to cleanse your mouth from residual food particles and bacteria and keep enamel strong.

Cosmetic whitening solutions

In a perfect world, we would all make lifestyle choices that ward off tooth discoloration and enjoy white smiles without intervention. However, for many reasons—some that are out of our control—our teeth become dull and stained. Fortunately, Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff have some excellent cosmetic procedures that help restore the white smile you long for.

Professional home trays: Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff offer professional at-home bleaching trays that use carbamide peroxide bleach, a much more stable and higher concentration bleach than that in over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide kits. Professional at-home trays are also safer and more effective than over-the-counter options.

Zoom Whitening: Another popular option we offer at Eggert Family Dentistry is 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 the teeth. Follow-up includes sensitivity management with a special gel and at-home whitening trays.

KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching: Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are also proud to offer the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching system. 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.

If you want to keep your teeth sparkling white between visits, avoiding or limiting enamel-staining foods and beverages, eating healthy, pursuing daily dental care, and avoiding tobacco are smart choices. If you’re looking to brighten up your smile, talk to Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff about our professional whitening services. Either way, make sure you prioritize your bi-annual recare visits at Eggert Family Dentistry. Teeth that are freshly cleaned and polished are more resistant to discoloration. If you’re interested in learning more or to schedule your next visit, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

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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.

Tooth Discoloration: Causes and Prevention

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Tooth discoloration can be an embarrassing situation that often leaves people feeling self-conscious and trying to stifle their smiles. Discoloration can be categorized as extrinsic or affecting only the surface of the tooth, intrinsic or affecting the inside of the tooth or age-related – discoloration that occurs as enamel wears away over time. Tooth discoloration can appear yellow, brown, grey, white, black or purple, depending on the cause. Let’s take a look at some culprits of tooth discoloration, how to remedy it and how it can be prevented.

Causes of tooth discoloration

There are several causes of tooth discoloration. A few of them include:

Foods: Highly pigmented foods such as tomato-based sauces, chocolate, berries and beets can cause yellow or brown discoloration.

Beverages: Beverages that contain tannins, such as coffee, tea and red wine can cause a yellow, brown or purple tinge.

Tobacco products: Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can result in brown or dark yellow teeth.

Aging: Tooth enamel wears away over time, exposing the inner layer of the tooth (called dentin) and leaves behind a yellow appearance.

Antibiotics: Tetracycline stains the enamel of unerupted teeth, resulting in a banded grey or brown appearance.

Injury: Blood flow can be cut off to a tooth, causing it to turn grey.

Teeth whitening

There are a couple of options when it comes to teeth-whitening.

Over-the-counter whitening: Options include whitening strips and toothpaste/mouthwash. These whitening options are thought to be affordable, however, results are subtle as teeth only whiten an average of 2 shades. Over-the-counter whitening strips can also result in significant tooth sensitivity. These methods are best used in combination with another professional whitening method.

Professional whitening: At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer four whitening optinos – KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching, Zoom Whitening, at-home trays with Opalescence bleach, and Opalescence Go!:

        • With the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching method, oxygen from the gel is absorbed into the tooth, produces little or no sensitivity and can whiten teeth up to 16 shades!
        • Zoom Whitening is performed in a single two-hour appointment and can lighten teeth anywhere from 4-10 shades. Follow-up care includes sensitivity management and whitening trays.
        • Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff Eggert also offer 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.

Prevention

While not all teeth stains can be avoided, bruising and flossing after eating foods notorious for staining teeth can keep the pigment from attaching itself to the tooth. As a general rule, daily brushing, flossing and mouthwash help combat stains. Also, according to BMC Public Health, “Twenty-eight percent of smokers reported having moderate and severe levels of tooth discoloration compared to 15% in non-smokers.” Clearly, limiting or eliminating the use of tobacco products is another powerful step in warding off tooth discoloration.

Eggert Family Dentistry wants to help you keep your teeth pearly white! If you need to schedule a recare visit or would like to discuss teeth whitening options with us, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

I Want to Whiten My Teeth Professionally: What Are My Options?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Have you been longing for whiter, brighter teeth? Make 2020 the year you pursue your dream! At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer four effective teeth whitening methods – the Philips Zoom Whitening System, the KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System, at-home custom trays using Opalescence Bleach, and Opalescence Go!. Read on to learn more about each method and decide which method is right for you.

Philips Zoom Whitening System

This is one excellent teeth whitening option we present to our patients.

  • One of the easiest and most effective teeth whitening options
  • Lightens teeth from 4-10 shades
  • Performed in a single two-hour appointment
  • At-home maintenance includes whitening trays and sensitivity management
  • Results are fast and visible, typically same day!

KöR Whitening Deep Bleaching™ System

This is another effective teeth whitening option we offer.

  • Restores teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen
  • Can lighten up to 16 shades
  • Bleaching trays are created in the KöR lab from impressions of your teeth for a perfect fit
  • We apply conditioner to your teeth to prep them for home bleaching
  • We “set” your shade in our office once your desired shade is reached
  • You can expect little-to-no sensitivity
  • With custom maintenance, results are permanent

At-Home Professionally Made Custom Bleaching Trays Using Opalescence Bleach

This is an especially popular option.

  • Can lighten 2-8 shades
  • Bleaching trays are created in our office from impressions of your teeth for a great fit
  • Appointments are fast to obtain the trays and with bleaching at home, most people see results in as little as 2 weeks
  • The bleach used is carbamide peroxide, a much more stable and higher concentration bleach than what is typically found in OTC hydrogen peroxide options
  • Maintenance is easy with bleach refill kits that we keep in stock for your convenience

Opalescence Go!

Our most economical professional option.

  • Can lighten 2-4 shades
  • Similar to some over-the-counter products, but at a higher concentration than most options
  • Comes with a convenient tray and strip application process
  • Kit is available to “Go!” with no other pre-operative steps needed

If you’re looking for a teeth whitening solution that is more effective than whitening toothpaste and over-the-counter whitening strips, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff would love to talk with you. Give us a call at 651.482.8412!

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!