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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


 

You don’t want your car to break down, so what do you do? You take it to your mechanic, and he checks things out. On your own, you keep the oil and coolant full, and keep an eye on your gauges.

Most of us would say we don’t want our teeth to, in effect, break down with gum disease, tooth loss, and the like. But rather than do the home care with diligent brushing and flossing, we only give it a cursory pass. And we exacerbate the problem by skipping our appointments for routine maintenance and cleaning with Dr. Egger and his friendly staff.

And since we’ve all been stuck at home for the past many weeks doing things we’ve rarely if ever done — 2000-piece jigsaw puzzles, playing Monopoly for the first time since you were 8, organizing the garage, et al — where’s the love for home hygiene?

Dr. Egger would like to remind all of you, our valued patients, that a little homework (and not the online variety your kids have been pretending to do) goes a long way to keep your gums healthy.

The value of good oral hygiene

Periodontal disease is a fancy term for gum disease…and it is something you do not want. Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than from cavities and decay. Three out of four adults will have some degree of periodontal disease some time in their life.

Although the various outcomes of periodontal disease are very painful and quite ugly, they can be prevented with little more than good home hygiene and regular professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Egger. That’s right, brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing can head off disease.

Plaque is the enemy

It all comes down to plaque. Plaque is the sticky coating that covers your teeth throughout the day. It’s colorless and sticks to your teeth down at the gumline. It forms constantly all day but can be effectively removed with simple brushing and flossing.

But if you don’t get the plaque off it does two things. First, it hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (informally known as tartar). Once tartar forms on your teeth, it can only be removed by a dentist.

Second, the bacteria found in plaque will begin to irritate the gums. This irritation causes the gums to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If the irritation continues, the gums begin to separate from the teeth, creating pockets that attract even more bacteria. You see where this is going — eventually your gums stop supporting the teeth and you begin to have tooth loss and jawbone erosion.

So, do your homework, so to speak, by brushing and flossing. And keep your regular twice-yearly checkups and cleanings with Dr. Egger. Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.

Dentures Mount Pleasant, MIDr. Egger fits, places, and maintains both full and partial dentures for our Mount Pleasant patients. While we firmly believe dental implants are the best option for replacing a missing tooth or two, we understand that most people can’t afford to replace a full arch of teeth with implants. For those patients, dentures are still probably the best option. Back in April we had a blog about full dentures.

But what if we could combine the two?

That way we can get the rock solid anchoring of implants with the large number tooth replacement of dentures. We call them implant-supported dentures, and we think they provide the stability, and corresponding security, that can often be missing with traditional dentures.

Dentures

When all the teeth in the patient’s mouth need replacing, dentures can return full functionality. They allow normal speaking and eating and, of course, present a perfect smile to the public.

Dentures are made from acrylic and porcelain and include upper and lower sets. And, while fitting dentures with the use of our modern panoramic camera is much more precise than it used to be, due to the nature of the gums dentures still can slip and move. What they need are anchor points.

Adding implants for stability

That’s where implants come in. Implants, by their very nature, provide the stability needed to keep dentures in place. Implants are basically titanium screws that are placed into the socket formerly occupied by the tooth root. The body then builds new bone and totally integrates the new implant. Once this process is complete, a post is attached to the implant and, in normal circumstances, an artificial tooth atop that post.

But with implant-supported dentures from Dr. Egger, we use the implants to anchor the dentures. No more slipping when talking or eating. The dentures simply click onto metal balls atop the implant posts. The number of implants we will use depends on how much jawbone mass has been lost while your teeth have been missing. When teeth are missing for longer periods of time, the jawbone beneath them begins to deteriorate because it doesn’t get the stimulation from the tooth above. Usually, we recommend four implants on top and bottom for ultimate stability.

If you’re missing most of your teeth, or have badly damaged teeth, it’s time to come see Dr. Egger. Call us at (989) 773-3560 to schedule your appointment.

Fluoride and You, Without the Conspiracy Theories

True, there are various nut jobs who think that fluoridation in the local water supply is a Communist or government conspiracy to control the minds of those drinkin
g the water. Also true, those people are probably some of the people who benefit the most from having that fluoride in the water!

Dr. Egger, a big fluoride fan from way back, wants his patients to be knowledgeable about taking care of their teeth. Fluoride, especially in children, is a crucial tool in fighting tooth decay.

So, here’s some information that you may not know about fluoride and why we use it to help protect your teeth.

 

How does fluoride work? Why does it help?

Your mouth every day is like a mine, with minerals coming and going. Minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. Therein lies the ongoing battle — too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

 

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

 

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

It was thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

 

Fluoride treatments with Dr. Egger

So, now you know that fluoride is one of your mouth’s best friends. Dr. Egger provides fluoride treatments to give our patients a more concentrated occasional fluoride application. We apply fluoride varnish topically at each appointment of our younger patients. Call us at 989-773-3560 and set up your appointment.

Arresting Periodontal Disease with Arestin®

ArestinYour know you should take care of your teeth. Just like you know you should clean the gutters out. Just like you know you should get new tires. Just like you know you should stop eating pork rinds.

But sometimes, the best intentions don’t lead to the follow-up behavior. In your mouth, this can lead to gum disease. But even though you didn’t do all of what you should have done at home, Dr. Egger has ways of addressing your gum disease, including a new prescription antibiotic treatment known as Arestin®.

Gum disease

OK, if you don’t get rid of that sticky stuff that forms on your teeth every day, that’s the beginning of the problems. Plaque forms from a mix of bacteria, bacteria by-products, and food residue and it covers the teeth. But you brush and floss it away twice daily so all is good.

Ah, but you don’t floss and you only brush in a cursory fashion. Then that plaque hardens into tartar that can only be removed by a dentist. And if that tartar starts to make its way under the gumline, now you have gingivitis and are headed toward periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease.

Root scaling and planing

That’s where Dr. Egger comes to the rescue. He uses root planing and scaling, two scary sounding terms, to fight back. Root scaling and planing go beneath the gumline to remove the tartar down to the roots. Scaling is simply scraping off the tartar with a dental tool. Planing removes any tiny grooves or pits on your tooth roots.

Arestin® to the rescue

Dr. Egger now also uses Arestin® in addition to planing and scaling. Arestin Microspheres are tiny particles, smaller than grains of sand, filled with antibiotics that kill bacteria that are irritating the gums. When the gums pull away from the teeth during gum disease, pockets form. Bacteria love these pockets. Dr. Egger places Arestin in these pockets when performing scaling and planing and it helps kill the bacteria and get your teeth on the path back to health.

If your gums are bleeding and irritated, you may have the beginnings of gum disease. Call us at 989-773-3560 and let’s talk about addressing your gum problems.

Using Lasers to Treat Gum Problems

Diode Laser Gum TreatmentSince the new Star Wars movie is coming out soon, we may as well talk about lasers. But Dr. Egger’s lasers aren’t used for blasters or other space-age weapons. For us, the diode laser is used to treat various gum conditions.

What is the diode laser?

The word laser is actually an acronym, who knew? It stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Different lasers are categorized by the wavelength of the energy they produce. Dr. Egger uses the diode laser, whose wavelength is ideally suited for soft tissue procedures since it is highly absorbed by hemoglobin and melanin. This gives the diode laser the ability to precisely cut, coagulate, ablate, or vaporize targeted soft tissue.

Uses of the diode laser

When the gums become inflamed or infected, tissue can need to be trimmed back. This is called a gingivectomy.

Root planing and scaling are done when the gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits, tartar, on them. Root planing and scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots.

While this was formerly done with dental picks, now Dr. Egger performs these procedures with a diode laser.

A gingivectomy removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of the pockets that have formed between the teeth and the gums. The laser removes any loose tissue, while simultaneously causing hemostasis (stopping the flow of blood). The laser eliminates the former problems of unruly soft tissue and blood when performing a gingivectomy.

In root planing and scaling, the laser not only makes for easier recovery for our patients, but also reduces bacteria normally involved in the procedure. This makes the procedure safer and more comfortable.

Want to learn more about how Dr. Egger uses the diode laser? Call us at 989-773-3560 and we’ll answer any of your questions.

You Don’t Have to be Royalty to Get a Crown

Dental CrownWhile being Prince Charles or the King of Siam is all well and good, you don’t have to be from a royal bloodline to receive one of the most common dental tooth restorations, a crown.

Dr. Egger uses crowns to repair teeth that are damaged and to anchor bridges onto adjacent healthy teeth. A crown can be made of either metal alloy or porcelain.

Reasons to have a crown

Crowns can have a wide variety of uses. The most common are:

  • If a tooth is deeply cracked or worn
  • If a tooth has a very large cavity
  • If a tooth has a root canal procedure
  • If a tooth is abnormally small, oddly shaped, or very discolored

How are crowns placed?

Fitting and placing a crown is two-step process. First, the tooth in question is evaluated using x-rays to determine the damage. Once a crown is deemed necessary (for instance, when a cavity is so large that too much of the tooth mass will be lost), Dr. Egger will discuss your options with you. If you choose porcelain, we’ll match the color to your other teeth.

Then the tooth is prepared. If there is decay, it is removed and filled. If a portion of a damaged tooth needs to be removed to make the tooth stable, we will do that. Next, a portion of the healthy remaining tooth is removed to make room for the crown to be placed atop the tooth. Then, we take impressions of the tooth to be crowned and the adjacent teeth. These impressions are sent to the dental lab to fabricate your crown. To cover the prepared tooth while your crown is being made, a temporary acrylic crown is placed on the tooth.

When your crown is finished, you return and we check the fit. Then Dr. Egger bonds it permanently onto your tooth. Any final shaping and polishing is done, and you’re good to go.

You don’t have to be Prince Harry to wear a crown. If you have a tooth that needs attention, call Dr. Egger at 989-773-3560 for an appointment.