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Hours of Operation

 

Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Closed on Friday
during the Summer.

Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


 

When you come in to see us for a regular cleaning and exam with Dr. Egger and our team, our talented hygienists do some “scaling” on your teeth to remove plaque and tartar all the way down to the gumline and across the entire surface of each tooth. This keeps your teeth and gums healthy.

But if your home hygiene hasn’t been quite up to snuff, or if you haven’t kept up your twice-yearly exams and cleanings, plaque and tartar could have started to work their way up under your gums. This is the beginning of gum disease. At this point, the plaque and tartar are probably just irritating your gums, but the issue needs to be addressed to keep things from spiraling downward toward full-blown periodontitis.

Dr. Egger will now need to do a little work under the gumline. This is called root scaling and root planing. It sounds kind of scary, but these two procedures are linked together and are really not a big deal. Plus, they keep our patients from Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding areas from moving into the more involved treatments necessary for later stage gum disease.

When does a patient need root scaling and planing?

Root scaling and planing are non-surgical procedures whose job is to address and cause periodontal disease to retreat. Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. The accepted measurement from the top of the gumline to where the gum attaches to the tooth should only be from one to three millimeters in depth. The problem comes when plaque and tartar accumulate around and under the gums, below the gumline. This is the start of periodontal disease and deeper pockets will form around the teeth. These harbor even more bacteria, worsening the situation. The depth of these pockets can now be four millimeters or more. Root scaling and planing is the first option to treat the advancing gum disease.

How root scaling and planing are done

The goal is to get the gums to heal and reattach themselves firmly to the teeth, as they did when they were healthy. The first step Dr. Egger uses is root scaling. If possible, Dr. Egger uses a diode laser for both scaling and planing. This is done below the gumline on the roots of the teeth. All plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits are removed. Next, root planing is done to smooth all the rough areas on the surfaces of your roots. When these surfaces are smooth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t adhere to the root surface, allowing your gums to heal.

Afterwards

After a period of time, you’ll be asked to return so that Dr. Egger can ascertain the effectiveness of our efforts addressing your periodontal disease. He checks to see if your gums that were red and swollen have become firm and pink again. Bleeding should be reduced, and the pockets that were growing should have shrunk back down. If these signs all point to good progress, you may not need any additional periodontal work, but if the conditions have become more severe, Dr. Egger may need to enlist the services of a periodontist to intervene to halt the progression of bone loss.

Obviously, the way to avoid all of this is to practice good home dental care, and to keep your twice-yearly exams and cleanings with Dr. Egger. Is it time for your next appointment? Call us at (989) 773-3560 to schedule your time.

There’s no shortage of misinformation thrown around these days. Whether it’s outright lies on Twitter or false news stories circulated on Facebook, it’s hard to know what’s the real story.

In the dental world, root canals are the topic of misinformation. There’s more skewed information out there about root canals than news about so-called “elections” in the old Pravda newspaper in Moscow. Everyone believes a root canal is such a painful procedure that they’d rather avoid it at all costs. In fact, many people deal with the real pain caused by the infection in their tooth, rather than face the perceived pain of the root canal.

Since Dr. Egger performs his own root canals at his Mt. Pleasant practice, rather than sending you to an oral surgeon, we’d like to set the record straight.

It starts with plaque

This whole process starts with bacteria. When we eat, tiny food particles lodge on or between our teeth. If you don’t brush regularly or efficiently these foods break down into sugars and attract bacteria. Those bacteria are in the film on the teeth called plaque. Left to its own devices, the bacteria eventually begin to cause decay as they create acids that begin to penetrate the enamel of your teeth. If those acids eat through the enamel, the bacteria are now into the interior of the tooth, the pulp. Now your tooth is infected.

And that can be really painful. That’s because your tooth is full of nerve endings.

At this point, there are only two things to do, extract the tooth or do a root canal. A root canal will let you keep your natural tooth. Plus, you won’t have to deal with filling the gap left by your extracted tooth with either a bridge or an implant.

Root canal procedure

In a root canal, after the area is completely anesthetized Dr. Egger makes a small hole in the top of the tooth to access the infected pulp. He removes all the infected matter and the tooth root, which usually is also infected. Now the tooth is completely empty, and it has no feeling, as the nerves in the root have been removed. Everything is disinfected and then the tooth is filled with a rubber-based material called gutta percha. Then the hole is usually filled with composite resin and capped with a crown. Your excruciating pain from your infection (not your root canal) is gone and you can happily keep your tooth, maybe for the rest of your life.

And how painful was the root canal procedure? Most people equate the pain to that of having a routine cavity filled.

So, let’s get past the rumors and urban legends. Root canals aren’t any more painful than having a routine filling placed. It’s the pain necessitating the root canal that made you want to scream.

If you think you have an infected tooth, give Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560, and let’s get onto the business of saving that tooth with a root canal.

Root Canal Therapy Mount Pleasant, MIRoot canal. Mention those two words in casual conversation with someone and watch the reaction on their face. It will probably involve some look of discomfort, maybe even horror! Ah, root canals, the dental procedure right out of medieval torture.

Puhleeeeze. The reality of the modern root canal performed by Dr. Egger is far different than the preconceptions. Modern root canals don’t involve any more pain than having a typical cavity filled. And they will usually save your tooth.

Let’s get past the myths about root canals.

Myth #1 — The treatment is painful.

It isn’t true that a root canal is painful. This misperception of the procedure and the pain “supposedly” involved must come from long ago when anesthesia and dental practices weren’t as advanced as they are now.

Usually, people now associate the pain PRIOR to having the root canal with the procedure. This pain is coming from the infected pulp inside the tooth and this is what the root canal seeks to remove. An infection in a tooth can be very painful because the infection has progressed far enough to impact the nerves in the tooth root. A root canal removes the infected/decayed tissue, including the nerves in the tooth, and relieves this extreme pain. Modern technology has made it possible for a root canal treatment to be almost “painless.”

Myth #2 — Tooth extraction is a good alternative to a root canal procedure.

Extraction used to be a viable alternative, but those days are long gone. Dr. Egger strives to keep the natural tooth if at all possible, and a root canal procedure can do that. By keeping your natural teeth, you can continue to eat whatever you want. Also, root canal treatment is a cost-effective method of treating a tooth with infected pulp. The success rate in keeping the tooth, if there is enough healthy tooth remaining, is very high with root canals.

Myth #3 — The procedure causes illness.

This is nothing more than a dental “urban legend.” There isn’t a shred of evidence that root canal treatments cause various illnesses in the body. It is a safe and effective procedure that eliminates bacteria, prevents reinfection, and salvages your natural tooth. The fact is, if you don’t remove the infection in your tooth, then the infection can spread to other areas of your body.

If you have serious pain in a tooth, you may need a root canal to remove the infected pulp and save the tooth. Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 and let’s check it out.

 

This Root Scaling Isn’t for Your Yard

There are plaques you want to get, like MVP of the softball tournament down at Softball City before it closed in 2000. And there is plaque you don’t want to get, especially under your gums — dental plaque. When you develop dental plaque under your gums, Dr. Egger needs to remove it with root scaling and planing.

Who needs root scaling and planing?

When you come in for your twice-yearly cleanings with Dr. Egger and our team these involve scaling your teeth. You may not know that term, but that’s what happens when Sheila or Jan use a dental pick and remove plaque and tartar. These cleanings usually don’t go below the gumline.

But if your home hygiene program has been poor or if you’ve missed a couple cleanings/exams with us, that plaque may have started to sneak its way under your gums. This is the start of periodontal (gum) disease. If left alone, that plaque under your gums will start to wreak havoc.

Root scaling and planing will now be necessary.

What’s healthy and not?

Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. But if plaque has developed under your gums, the tissues that support your teeth will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can have a party. You’ll know this has happened because your breath will reek, your gums will bleed easily, and you’ll be able to see pockets where the gums are pulling away from the plaque on your teeth.

What is root scaling and root planing?

To get rid of that bothersome plaque we need to go under the gums. Root scaling is first. You’ll be given some local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort. Then Dr. Egger will use a pick to go below the gumline and break off any plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits from your teeth and the root surfaces.

After all of that junk is removed, next up is root planing. For this, we smooth all the rough areas on the surface of your tooth roots. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t like smooth surfaces much, so root planing helps keep the bad stuff off, and it allows your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly to your roots.

Home hygiene is important

How can you avoid these gum issues? A good home hygiene routine, along with keeping your twice-yearly exams/cleanings with the team at Dr. Egger’s, is usually enough to keep any plaque from developing under your gums.

Is it time for your next exam and cleaning? Remember, we’re closed on Fridays in the summer. Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.

A Menu of Dr. Egger’s Most Common Services

Common dental services Mt. Pleasant, MIWhether it is with or without anxiety, patients are always focused on their procedure. Maybe it’s a routine cleaning; perhaps it’s the need to have a filling placed. To keep everyone up to date, here’s a list of our most common services, treatments, and procedures at Dr. Egger’s practice.

Oral health exams: X-rays, oral cancer screenings, along with a visual examination of the teeth, gums, and jaw are involved here. We look for signs of decay, disease, misalignment, spaces, and other issues.

Prophylactic cleanings: We remove minor plaque and tartar buildup to reduce the risk of gingivitis and cavity formation. Every six months is the right interval.

Gum disease intervention: To head off gum disease, Dr. Egger usually only needs to do some scaling of the teeth. This sounds serious but is just scraping off tartar below the gum line where it builds up and begins to cause gum irritation. For more advanced cases, he uses a diode laser to remove diseased tissue and remove bacteria, and Arestin to help with healing.

Fluoride treatments & dental sealants: Usually for children, but occasionally requested by adults, fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. We apply a topical gel twice a year. Sealants are long-term plastic filling applied to the deep grooves in the molars. It can last for decades.

Dental implants: Dr. Egger is a big fan of dental implants for tooth replacement. Why? Because once they are accepted by the jawbone, implants function and look just like natural teeth. Plus, they can last the remainder of the patient’s life.

Root canals: When decay reaches the inner pulp of the tooth, it’s time for a root canal. This cleans out the interior of the tooth, removing the infected tissue and nerves and replacing it with rubber-based substance. The tooth is then usually capped. Root canals save teeth from needing extraction.

Extractions: Pulling teeth. Dr. Egger doesn’t remove wisdom teeth, but most regular extractions can be handled in-house. 

Fillings & crowns: A cavity is merely an area of decay in a tooth. Usually, routine fillings address decay before it damages the interior of the tooth. You can opt for metal amalgam or composite fillings. Crowns are what used to be called caps because they are placed atop the damaged tooth to return strength and functionality.

Dentures: Dr. Egger designs and fits full or partial dentures to replace a group of teeth or all of a patient’s teeth. Today’s dentures fit better, are more comfortable, and are easier to manage than those of previous generations.

Is it time for your regular cleaning and exam? Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.

Root Canal Treatment Mount Pleasant, MIStuff happens to your teeth. You may have been playing a little pond hockey with Henrik Zetterberg and a puck came up and bonked you in the mouth. You may have been playing a Turkey Bowl over on the Central Michigan fields and butted heads with another player by accident. You may have had braces when you were in high school. All of those scenarios can cause trauma to a tooth. The tooth wasn’t knocked out, but it was rocked. Or in the case of braces, moving the tooth may have caused root damage. You may not even know it when the trauma begins, but it can eventually threaten the life of the tooth.

And there are the more obvious issues, things such decay that has invaded the interior of a tooth. Or a previous filling that has again started to decay around it.

These are all cases where the tooth may be in danger of needing to be extracted, as damage has entered the interior pulp of the tooth. And because only little kids with wiggly baby teeth like to have a tooth pulled (hello, Tooth Fairy!), most of us will do what’s necessary to save the tooth.

That something would be a root canal with Dr. Egger.

What is a root canal?

While unfairly associated with medieval torture, root canals are a tooth-saving life raft. Every tooth has one or more roots that anchor the tooth into the jawbone. Nerves and blood vessels run through several tiny channels or “canals” in the root into the pulp at the center of the tooth. When a cavity or fracture allows bacteria to get into the interior of the tooth the pulp is likely going to become infected. Now things get bad. The bacteria will spread through the interior and down into the root canals. From there it can also begin to infect the surrounding gum tissue. Plus, it will inflame the nerve and surrounding tissue in the roots causing extreme pain.

That pain if where people confuse the pain of the infection with the pain (non-existent) of a root canal.

Dr. Egger uses a root canal to:

  • Get rid of the pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Stem the infection
  • Remove the decayed stuff in the interior of the tooth
  • Keep the remaining healthy tooth structure intact
  • Restore function and appearance of the tooth

How it’s done

Dr. Egger drills a small hole in the top of the tooth. Then he inserts a series of small round files into the interior of the tooth to scrape out and remove the dead pulp, bacteria, nerves, and other tissue. The tooth interior is now empty and is then thoroughly disinfected to make sure the infection is gone. The tooth is now filled with a rubber-like substance known as gutta-percha. It is then sealed with a filling and usually topped with a crown to return strength to the tooth. Unlike the rumors you may have heard, root canals are painless. They are done after the tooth and gums are local anesthetized. The damaged tooth can then usually live a long life despite not having anything inside it (except gutta-percha). That’s OK — we only need the living tissue in the tooth when the tooth is developing when we are kids.

Do you have a tooth with extreme pain? Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to make an appointment.

Root Canal Treatment Mount Pleasant, MI
 
There are certain things that you don’t want to get inside parts of your body. You don’t want those earwig things from Star Trek to climb into your brain through your ear. You don’t want “the” alien to jump on your face and climb into your mouth, taking up a cozy residence in your abdomen.

And you don’t want decay and infection to make its way into one of your teeth. When such an invasion is relatively minor, Dr. Egger can address things by removing the decay and placing a filling. But when the infection is more extreme, a root canal is the only way Dr. Egger can save your tooth.

What is a root canal?

Every tooth has one or more “roots” that keep the tooth anchored into the jawbone. These roots hold the nerves and blood vessels that run through tiny channels, also known as canals. These canals feed the pulp at the center of the tooth. See, now you know what a root canal is.

The problem comes when bacteria makes its creepy way into the pulp of your tooth. This can happen if the tooth becomes cracked. Or it can happen when decay gets through the enamel. Once inside, the pulp, clinically called dentin, becomes infected. Not satisfied with just getting in, the bacteria spreads down into the root canals and can even make its way out into the gums. While there, it tortures the nerves, creating the signature tooth pain that can be akin to medieval torture.

Now your tooth is in danger. Dr. Egger is going to have to perform a root canal to save it.

Wait, you said a root canal is just a passageway in the tooth root for the nerves and blood vessels. True, don’t ask us why cleaning out decay from the root canal is called a root canal. It just is.

Evict the invaders

To save the tooth, Dr. Egger drills a small hole into the top. He then goes in to remove all the infected pulp, the nerves, and any stray bacteria he finds. He does this with the help of tiny round files. His job, should he choose to accept it, is to remove all the infection and everything else from inside the tooth. Next, the empty tooth is thoroughly cleaned with a topical antibiotic to kill any malingering bacteria. Now the fun part — he fills the empty tooth with a rubber compound called gutta percha. If you play golf, you may recognize that term. Yes, it’s what the original golf balls were made of. The final step is to place a filling or a dental crown over the drilled hole to seal up the tooth.

Now your tooth can keep on keeping on. A tooth that has had a root canal may seem fragile since it is hollow, but it isn’t. The tooth could last the rest of your life.

The myth

There is some mythology surrounding root canals. People think they are extremely painful. Untrue. Root canals remove the source of pain, the infected nerves. Root canals are no more painful than having a regular filling placed. People mix up the pain that merits having a root canal done with the actual procedure. The infected tooth can be seriously painful, but not the root canal to save it!

If you have tooth pain, you may have an infected tooth. Call Dr. Egger at 989-773-3560 to make an appointment.

cleanings and examsDr. Egger doesn’t like to take any monkey business from dental plaque. He beats up on it much like Gordie Howe used to beat up on losers from the Rangers. One of the ways he handles plaque is with root scaling and planing.

Who needs root scaling and planing?

When you come into our office for your twice-yearly cleanings and exams, those involve scaling your teeth. You may not know that term, but that’s what happens when the hygienist takes the dental pick and removes plaque and tartar. These cleanings usually don’t go below the gumline.

But if you have been doing a less-than-stellar job with your home hygiene or have missed a couple cleanings/exams with us, that plaque may have started to sneak its way under your gums. This is the start of the periodontal (gum) disease. If left alone, that plaque under your gums will start to wreak havoc.

That’s when Dr. Egger needs to do a little root scaling and root planing.

What’s healthy and not?

Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. But if plaque has developed under your gums, the tissues that support your teeth will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can have a party. You’ll know this has happened because your breath will reek, your gums will bleed easily, and you’ll be able to see pockets where the gums are pulling away from the plaque on your teeth.

What are root scaling and root planing?

Now it’s time for Dr. Egger to teach the plaque who’s the boss. Root scaling is first. You’ll probably be given some local anesthetic to alleviate any discomfort. Then Dr. Egger uses dental picks to go below the gumline and break off any plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits from your teeth and the root surfaces.

After all of that junk is removed, next up is root planing. For this, Dr. Egger smoothes all the rough areas on the surface of your tooth roots. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t like smooth surfaces much, so root planing helps keep the bad stuff off, and it allows your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly to your roots.

Home hygiene is key

Of course, all of this could have been prevented had you been better about your home hygiene, and had you kept your twice-yearly cleanings/exams with us.

Is it time to book your next appointment? Call Dr. Egger at 989-773-3560.

root canalOK, unlike the Erie Canal, no one writes folk songs about root canals. But maybe they should. After all, the Erie Canal isn’t going to save your infected tooth, but a root canal will!

But root canals need a new PR agency. Everyone dreads them as if they were a torture procedure leftover from the Dark Ages. And this dread can make them delay getting the work done that can save the tooth. But the reality is a root canal doesn’t hurt any more than having a cavity filled.

What is a root canal?

The name root canal is actually part of the tooth, not the procedure. Every tooth has one or more roots anchoring it into the jawbone. Nerves and blood vessels run through several tiny channels or “canals” in the root up into the pulp at the center of the tooth. This flow is necessary to keep the tooth healthy and alive.

Problems occur when bacteria enters the pulp of the tooth. This can happen when a tooth develops a cavity or is fractured. Now the tooth becomes infected and the infection can spread down the root canals, even entering the gum tissue. When the infection inflames the nerves and surrounding tissue things get really painful. This is the pain that people sometimes wrongly associate with the root canal procedure, but the goal of the procedure is to alleviate the pain and save the tooth.

A root canal procedure is designed to:

  • Minimize pain
  • Remove the infected or dead tissue
  • Remove all bacteria
  • Reduce swelling
  • Keep remaining healthy tooth structure intact
  • Restore the function and the appearance of the tooth

How do you know if a tooth is infected?

The first signs of an infected tooth are pain in the tooth. This pain may extend down into the gums and jawbone, and the area will become swollen. If you leave it, abscesses may develop and foul-smelling pus will come with them. Leaving these symptoms without treatment can lead to fever, nausea, vomiting, and other issues that can even become life threatening.

What we do during a root canal

After finding the location of the tooth root canals on an x-ray, Dr. Egger drills a small hole into the tooth to access the pulp. He inserts small round files into the hole to scrape out and remove dead pulp and bacterial debris from the root canals. Thanks to local anesthesia, this is painless. Dr. Egger than washes out the inside of the tooth, often treating it with a topical antibiotic to ensure all bacteria is gone. Then he fills the now-hollow tooth with gutta percha. The procedure is finished when Dr. Egger applies either a filling or a crown over the drilled hole.

Recovery is pretty easy. Any swelling usually passes in just a couple of days. And because the nerves are removed during the cleaning out of the decayed tooth interior, the potential for pain is now gone. Although the tooth is now basically dead, it can stay anchored into your jawbone for the rest of your life if properly cared for.

If you think your tooth may be infected, this is no time to leave it alone. After all, the holidays are time for eating and you won’t want to do that if your tooth is killing you. Call us at 989-773-3560 and let’s take a look at that tooth and maybe save it with a root canal.

root canalRoot canal. There we said it. Wait, don’t run from the room screaming.

Yes, the much-feared root canal definitely needs a new publicist. People think this procedure, which is critical to save a tooth from being extracted, is something left over from the Dark Ages, right up there with being put on the rack and public flogging.

But Dr. Egger wants to clear up some of this fear of the root canal.

What happens leading up to a root canal?

Every tooth has one or more roots that anchor the tooth into the jawbone. Nerves and blood vessels run through several tiny channels or “canals” in the root into the pulp at the center of the tooth. Sometimes, a cavity or fracture allows bacteria to penetrate through the enamel on the outer tooth into the pulp, infecting the tooth. If the infection grows, the tooth can develop an abscess. Now the tooth is in a bad way, as the bacteria spreads down into the root canals and possibly into the surrounding gum tissue.

At this point, a root canal will be necessary to:

• Minimize pain
• Reduce swelling
• Remove infected and dead tooth tissue
• Get rid of all the bacteria and keep it from spreading
• Salvage healthy tooth structure
• Maintain function of the tooth

The actual root canal process

This is where people get it wrong. When the interior of a tooth becomes infected, all of the sudden nerves are exposed. That equals serious pain. This is where people get confused, lumping this extreme tooth pain in with the root canal procedure. Actually, the root canal is done to remove the cause of the pain!

Here’s what Dr. Egger does.

In a root canal, once you’re given local anesthesia, Dr. Egger drills into the infected tooth to access the infected pulp. He then diligently removes all the infected pulp, along with the tooth root (and all its nerves — the pain cause). Everything is thoroughly disinfected and then the now-hollow tooth is filled with a rubber-based substance known as gutta percha. A crown or filling closes the hole and you’re done. Plus, your tooth is saved, often for the remainder of your life!

How much does a root canal hurt?

Some people have watched Marathon Man one too many times and think a root canal is like the Nazi dentist Lawrence Olivier drilling Dustin Hoffman’s teeth and asking, “Is it safe?!” The truth is that a root canal procedure is no more painful than getting a typical filling. You read that right. Really the only pain is the slight prick of the initial anesthesia, along with some minor jaw aches afterwards due to having your mouth open.

If you’re having some tooth pain, decay could have entered one of your teeth. Call Dr. Egger at 989-773-3560 and schedule an appointment for us to take a look.