6 Hidden Benefits of Invisalign Over Traditional Metal Braces

Hidden Benefits of Using Invisalign with Creekview Dental

When many people think about Invisalign, they see how much better clear aligner trays look compared to traditional metal braces. This can be enough of a difference for patients to request the Invisalign treatment by name when it comes time to consider orthodontic treatment. However, there are many other benefits of Invisalign orthodontics over metal braces. Here are six of the less obvious reasons.

Smooth, More Comfortable Edges

Traditional metal braces have sharp and hard brackets and wires, which can make wearing braces uncomfortable. Orthodontic wax can help minimize any discomfort. However, there aren’t any sharp edges on an Invisalign aligner tray. This means that Invisalign tends to be a more comfortable treatment option when compared to metal braces.

Reduced Risk of Tooth Damage

Often, patients experience a small degree of tooth damage from wearing metal braces. This can include white spots on the teeth. With Invisalign aligners, there are fewer modifications made to the actual teeth. This reduces the risk of damage to your tooth enamel.

Less Sports Restrictions

While wearing metal braces, you may not feel comfortable playing certain contact sports. Some schools and junior leagues might prohibit teens from playing contact sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment with metal braces. Others allow players with braces to play if they wear special protective orthodontic mouth guards. However, there aren’t similar restrictions for teens with Invisalign.

No Food is Off-Limits

With Invisalign, you take out the aligner trays when it is time to eat. This means that you won’t have the same eating restrictions as someone who wears traditional metal braces. With braces, small food particles can get stuck in the brackets or dislodge wires. In particular, foods with kernels, such as popcorn, can be problematic. This isn’t a problem with Invisalign.

Easier Oral Hygiene

It can be difficult to properly clean between the brackets and wires with floss and a regular toothbrush. Sometimes other tools can be used, such as a water flosser, to make the process easier. With Invisalign, you take out the aligners to brush and floss your teeth. While you’ll need to be more proactive with oral hygiene with Invisalign, it shouldn’t be very different than your normal oral hygiene practices.

Improved Self Esteem

Many patients report having higher levels of self esteem as a result of Invisalign treatment. Unlike if they would have had metal braces, they aren’t embarrassed about their orthodontic treatment and don’t mind smiling in pictures. It can seem like a minor thing, but feeling confident in your smile can help you feel great and make a better first impression.

Invisalign is a top choice orthodontic treatment option for many patients. It’s more comfortable, less obvious, and easier to keep up with proper oral hygiene habits. If your dentist recommends orthodontic treatment, it’s worth asking about Invisalign.

Ready to Make Your Invisalign Dental Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment. We offer sedation dentistry, Invisalign, and many other dental best practices intended to make you more comfortable.

3 Reasons to Always Choose a Dental Implant When Possible

Creekview Dental - Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming one of the most used and successful dental solutions available. A dental implant is a small device that a dental surgeon implants in your jaw bone. It is connected directly to the bone so that it is sturdy and permanent. Then, an abutment (connector device) and a crown  are attached on top of the implant to replace your tooth. In many cases, dental implants are a better solution to replace broken, chipped, damaged, dying, or missing teeth. Here are three reasons why you should choose a dental implant over other dental solutions.

Comfort and Functionality

Because of the way dental implants are designed, they are more comfortable than nearly all other dental solutions. This is because they are the most like a real tooth. The implant creates an artificial root that a crown can sit on, and the crown is styled and shaped like your other teeth. In essence, you are getting a realistic replacement for your tooth. Since the implant is placed in your bone, it is extremely sturdy. It won’t wiggle or place pressure on your gums when you chew. It supports the crown just like the root supports a tooth, so it functions just like a regular tooth will.

Longevity and Costs

One of the most persistent problems in cosmetic dentistry is making the solutions last for a long time. Many dental solutions look great, but may not last as long as you would like. Since the implant is rooted in your bone and made out of Titanium, it has excellent longevity. Dental implants are among the longest-lasting dental solutions with very few patients needing a replacement. Titanium is chemically stable and resistant to rust, so it won’t decay over time. If placed correctly, it won’t need to be replaced unless some type of trauma damages it or knocks it loose, or if poor oral hygiene and gum disease causes bone loss around the implant. 

Because the implant lasts so long, it is also more affordable than most dental solutions. Over time, the crown and abutment may be replaced since the crown can wear down like a normal tooth will. However, the implant is not exposed and will not decay. You will likely never need to have it replaced, so, you will only pay for the implant once. Other tooth replacement options, like bridges using existing teeth and partial dentures, are often replaced at least once, and you have to pay for it each time.

Dental Implant Format Options

Dental implants come in several formats. You can have a single tooth replaced with a dental implant. In this case, the abutment and crown are held by a single implant. However, you can also have a dental bridge installed instead of a single crown. This will take two implants, one on each end of the bridge. It will let you replace several teeth at the same time. 

If you need a more extensive replacement, like in the case of a full mouth reconstruction or you need dentures, there is a new option called All-on-Four. In this case, an upper or lower denture is created to replace all of the teeth in an arch. It is then attached to 4 implants placed in the arch. You can essentially replace all of your teeth using only four implants. Dr Haag can help you develop other treatment options based on your needs as well.

Let’s Get Started

If you are looking for a skilled dental team, we are ready to help you improve your dental health. Give us a call at (651) 738-8204 to schedule an appointment. Our team has the experience and training in implant placement and restoration, cosmetic, restorative, and sedation dentistry to work with dental implants and help you have a healthier smile.

6 Questions to Ask Your Dentist During Your First Visit

6 questions to ask on your first dental visit at Creekview Dental in Woodbury, MN.
Pretty girl sitting at the dentist’s and interacting with the doctor

When you schedule an appointment with a new dentist, you want to make sure that the dentist will be a good fit for your family. While you can get some information about a dental practice from its website, there are some questions that you’ll want to discuss with your dentist in person. Here are some questions to ask your dentist during your first visit.

What pain management options are available?

For more complex dental procedures, there are different pain management options available. This includes nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”, sedation dentistry, and topical anesthetics. It is a good idea to check with your new dentist to see what kind of pain management options they offer and to see if it matches what you’re comfortable with. If you really want sedation dentistry, it is important to ensure that the dentist you choose offers it. Dr Haag is certified for Sedation Dentistry and has been treating patients with sedation for over 15 years.

What’s the policy for missed or canceled appointments?

It is worth clarifying the policy for missed or canceled dental appointments. Will there be a fee charged if an appointment isn’t canceled within 24 or 48 hours? Is the policy different for a teeth cleaning appointment with a dental hygienist versus a procedure schedule with the dentist? It is important to ask questions to better understand the policy to avoid any unnecessary fees.

Is emergency dental care available?

Dental emergencies happen. Does your dentist offer emergency services? Do they have later hours certain days of the week? If not, is the dentist available for emergencies or is there an emergency dentist that they work with and recommend? You never know when you’ll need to seek out emergency dental care. It is a smart idea to know your options in advance.

Who is responsible for filing insurance claims?

When you check in with the front desk for your dental appointment, be sure to ask who is responsible for filing insurance claims, if you have dental insurance. At Creekview Dental, we will file the insurance claim on your behalf. Other dental offices will provide you with the paperwork so that you can take care of it on your own. You don’t want to miss out on reimbursement for an insurance claim due to a misunderstanding.

Can I be screened for oral cancer?

Dentists can often be the first health providers to detect oral cancers. While your dentist likely checks for oral cancers during routine dental exams, it is always a good idea to doublecheck. At Creekview Dental, Dr Haag uses VELscope technology to effectively diagnose any abnormalities. You can also ask about any other health concerns you may have.

What steps should I take to ensure proper oral health?

You can ask your dentist what steps you should take to ensure proper oral health. This includes how often you should schedule a dental exam and if you should be using fluoridated toothpaste. Guidelines change over time and by your age, so it is worth asking for their recommendation.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health with a dentist in Woodbury, MN, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Haag and let’s hope it’s not an emergency!

Signs of a Dental Emergency

Emergency Dentist - Creekview Dental

Dental emergencies require prompt care from a dentist, as they can easily go from bad to worse in a very short amount of time. Yet it is not unusual for minor problems that can be treated at home to manifest symptoms that may resemble those of a dental emergency. If you are ever in doubt, call us right away. As a general rule, severity and duration matter. Here is what you should know about emergency dental care.

Pain Scale – 1 to 10

Pain is subjective, and different people experience it in different ways. Still, it can be a good gauge of whether a dental problem is an emergency. If you have mild dental pain, try gently flossing your teeth, as you may have a small piece of trapped food debris like a popcorn kernel stuck under the gums. Take an over the counter pain reliever and monitor your symptoms to seem if the pain lessons. If you have no other symptoms and the pain remains but does not worsen, call our office during regular operating hours. If you have severe pain, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Bleeding

Bleeding when brushing or flossing is a common sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. This must be treated right away to prevent it from progressing, but it is not a dental emergency. However, if you have sustained trauma such as a fall, you experience severe bleeding following a dental procedure, or you have significant unexplained bleeding, call Dr Haag right away.

Swelling

Swelling is often a sign of infection or trauma. A small, tender, swollen spot can generally wait until regular operating hours as long as you don’t have a fever or severe pain. A larger and more painful swollen area, especially in combination with a fever, could be an abscess. Call our office right away. You may need to start an anti-biotic as soon as possible.

Fever

A fever can be a sign of many different things throughout your body, and a mild to moderate fever is not necessarily an emergency on its own. However, a high fever can be dangerous. A fever in tandem with oral pain, bleeding, or swelling, can indicate a worsening dental infection. Get emergency dental help immediately for a high fever or a fever with other signs of dental issues.

Knocked Out Tooth

A knocked out tooth is always a dental emergency, and time is of the essence. Most successful reattachments occur within 30 minutes of the injury. Carefully pick up the tooth by the chewing surfaces, rinse it under cool running water, and either push it back into the socket or submerge it in a glass of milk. Do not touch the nerve roots. Call our office immediately. If we are closed, our voicemail message will tell you how to reach Dr Haag.

Lost Dental Restoration or Broken Tooth

If you lose a filling or a crown, or you chip a tooth, it may or may not be a dental emergency. These situations should be treated ASAP to prevent future damage, but they can generally wait until regular business hours. However, if you have pain in the tooth or a severe break, it is best to seek emergency help.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Haag and let’s hope it’s not an emergency!

5 Signs Your Teen is Ready for Invisalign

It is common for teens to ask about Invisalign as an alternative to traditional metal braces when their dentist suggests braces. Teens generally don’t like the look of metal braces and fear that they will get teased by having them. Invisalign can be an excellent solution for many teenagers who need braces. However, not all teens are candidates for Invisalign treatment. Here are five signs that your teen is ready for Invisalign.

Invisalign Braces at Creekview Dental in Woodbury, MN.

1. Has Enough Free Time

Getting started with Invisalign takes a few appointments but after that your teen only needs to return to our office every 4 – 8 weeks. We will give your teen multiple sets of Invisalign aligners so that they can change them on their own approximately every week. If your teen has many extracurricular activities that would prevent them from being able to go to regular appointments, it might be difficult for them to undergo Invisalign treatment. However they would have the same challenges with metal braces at an orthodontist office. The average Invisalign case takes 9 – 12 months so you can’t simply schedule Invisalign treatment only for the summer.

2. Permanent Teeth

One challenge of teen orthodontics is the emergence of permanent teeth. If your young teen still has some of her baby teeth, there is a good chance that we will want to wait until all of your teen’s permanent teeth come in. Depending on your teen’s specific case and the severity of the misalignment, we could recommend proceeding with treatment even if there is still one or two teeth that need to come in.

3. Responsible

Teens need to be responsible enough to participate in Invisalign treatment. They will need to wear their aligners 20 to 22 hours a day and not lose track of aligners. They also need to have a high level of commitment to dental hygiene. Over the course of Invisalign treatment, they will need to take extra special care of their dental health. This includes brushing their teeth after eating and drinking anything besides water, before they put the Invisalign aligners back in.

4. Self-Conscious

While Invisalign is an extremely popular treatment that has many benefits, many people become interested in Invisalign because of the clear aligners that are difficult to see. There won’t be a set of shiny metal braces in school photos or in class every day. This makes Invisalign a top choice for teens that are self-conscious about their appearance and who fear that they might be bullied or otherwise uncomfortable with traditional braces.

Committed to Straight Teeth

If your teen is committed to having straighter teeth, they’re much more likely to have success with Invisalign. They will be more likely to remember to wear their aligners and to prioritize going to appointments without a fuss. As long as your teen is committed to the process and Dr Haag agrees they are an Invisalign candidate, there is no reason to think that they won’t be able to choose Invisalign over metal braces.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Invisalign cost is determined by how long the treatment will take. In many cases, Invisalign treatment at our office costs less than metal braces at an Orthodontist. If you have Orthodontic coverage on your dental insurance plan, it will help with the cost to the same extent it would help for metal braces. No matter the final cost, Invisalign treatment is an investment in your teen’s long-term dental health and appearance. Oftentimes straightening your teen’s teeth now can avoid periodontal and other dental issues in the future. It is important that your teen is ready to make the most of it.

Invisalign is a very popular option for teens and adults alike. For many teens who are mature enough to follow the required wear times and to maintain optimal oral hygiene, Invisalign can be one of the best decisions available. Be sure to check with us to see if it is a good fit for your teen.

Ready to Make Your Dental Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with Invisalign for your teen, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Watch Out For These Signs of Gum Disease

Roughly 80% of all adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Many who have it don’t know it, as early stage symptoms can be extremely subtle. However, it is important to keep an eye out, as treating gum disease is manageable through regular routine cleanings and dental checkups. Catching gum disease in the early stages is critical as it can increasingly become more difficult as it progresses.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease starts with a plaque, a sticky mix of food debris and bacteria that coats the teeth. It can harden into tartar, or calculus, which is quite difficult to remove. Tartar irritates the gums, creating tiny openings that bacteria can enter. When bacteria get into the gums, the chronic infection known as gum disease is the result.

The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the bacteria will start to attack the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth, leading to periodontitis. This stage carries a high risk for severe tooth decay and even tooth loss, and the infection can wreak havoc on your overall health.

If you notice any of the warning signs below, tell your dentist as soon as possible

Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be caused by many factors, but most cases can be alleviated with careful oral hygiene. If you notice bad breath and an odd taste in your mouth that do not go away with brushing and flossing, you may have early stage gum disease.

Changes in the Gums

Healthy gums are smooth and even across the teeth, and are pink or coral in color. They feel firm to the touch, and there are no sore spots. If your gums are tender, red, or swollen, or if you experience pain with brushing, you may have gingivitis.

As gum disease worsens, the gums start to recede from the teeth. Gums that do not look even or teeth that appear longer than they once did may indicate the gingivitis is worsening to periodontitis.

Bleeding or Pus

Since gum disease causes inflammation and irritation, bleeding gums are a natural result. If you experience bleeding during brushing and flossing, or when eating crunchy foods, call your dentist.

As gum disease progresses, small pockets of pus can form between the teeth and the gums. They feel swollen to the touch, and may be hard or soft. If you accidentally pop one while brushing or eating, you will notice a very bad taste in your mouth. If these remain untreated, they can develop into large, highly swollen, extremely painful abscesses.

Changes in Your Bite

The way your teeth come together is known as your bite. In later stages of gum disease, bacteria invade the bones and support structures of the teeth. This can cause your bite to change. If you have a partial denture that no longer seats properly in your mouth, or if your teeth no longer fit together evenly, tell your dentist immediately.

Lose or Shifting Teeth

In late-stage gum disease, the teeth can become loose and start to shift within the mouth. This is a serious symptom that indicates imminent tooth loss. To save your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist right away.

Ready to Make Your Dental Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Can You Overcome Periodontal Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of Americans over age 30 have advanced periodontal disease, known as periodontitis. Left untreated, the condition can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, though, it is possible to overcome even advanced periodontal disease with prompt and thorough dental treatment. Here is what you should know.

Can You Overcome Periodontal Disease?

Gingivitis

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, begins as gingivitis, in which bacteria begin to invade your gum tissue. Signs include redness or swelling in the gums, along with bleeding when brushing or flossing. At this point, it is easy to reverse. Step up your brushing and flossing routine and see your dentist as soon as possible for a professional cleaning.

Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. At this point, bacteria start to advance into the ligaments and bones that support your teeth. Painful abscesses, receding gums, and shifting teeth are common signs of periodontitis. At this point, you are at serious risk for tooth loss if you don’t seek treatment. See your dentist immediately.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is the first line of treatment for periodontitis. After numbing your mouth with a local anesthetic, we will use a variety of tools to remove built-up plaque and tartar from below your gum line, removing the bacteria and infection. We will then gently reshape the tooth roots to encourage healthy reattachment of the gums to the teeth. We may prescribe a mouth rinse for you to use during healing.

In most cases, scaling and root planing takes care of the problem, and the pockets around your teeth will return to a healthy, normal size. You will remain at higher risk of recurrence, so we may recommend more frequent professional cleanings than average, such as four times per year instead of two. You will not need another scaling and root planing procedure unless your periodontitis recurs.

Surgical Options for Periodontal Disease

Occasionally, scaling and root planing is not enough to restore your teeth and gums to health. In this case, we may recommend surgical treatment. Surgical options for periodontal disease include:

Pocket Reduction:

If the pockets around your teeth do not reduce to normal levels, you may need a pocket reduction. After numbing the area, we will fold back the gum tissue to access the damaged bone. Smoothing the bone and removing any remaining bacteria typically encourages the gum tissue to reattach.

Gum Graft:

If your gums have receded to the point that the roots are exposed, we can take tissue from your palate and graft it onto your gums to cover the roots. This helps protect the roots from decay and sensitivity, while halting gum recession and bone loss.

Bone Graft:

If periodontal disease has destroyed some of your jawbone, we can rebuild it with bone graft made of powdered synthetic bone and tissue-stimulating proteins.

Periodontal disease can be quite serious, and once you have had it you are at an elevated risk for recurrence. Fortunately, even advanced periodontitis can be managed with modern periodontics techniques.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Whitening Your Teeth Naturally: What You Should Know


“Natural” is the latest trend, from organic skincare to whole foods. Teeth whitening is no exception, as a quick Google search will demonstrate. Natural doesn’t always mean healthy, though. Even if you notice whitening, you could be damaging your teeth. Here is what you should know.

girl checking her teeth whitener

Acidic Fruits

The theory states that natural citric acid from lemons, oranges, or similar fruits, will remove stains from the teeth, leaving them whiter. Some people choose fruits with digestive enzymes, such as mango or pineapple, and some mix the fruit with baking soda or another abrasive.

The truth is that consuming acidic fruits as part of your diet can help reduce tooth staining. Scrubbing your teeth with them, though, is not the best idea. Prolonged contact with acids or enzymes will wear down your tooth enamel. This not only increases your risk for cavities and tooth decay, but it will actually turn your teeth yellow—the natural color of the dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Natural Scrubs

Natural tooth scrubs typically consist of pastes made from either baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal and water. Allegedly, these pastes remove staining and yellowing, making your smile shine.

In reality, like acidic fruits, natural tooth scrubs can cause damage to the tooth enamel. There is no definite proof that they whiten the teeth, and they are likely to reveal the yellow dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Spices and Oils

Numerous spices and oils, such as turmeric and coconut oil, are alleged to whiten teeth. They are unlikely to cause damage, but they are also unlikely to work. Instead, return your oils and spices to the kitchen cabinet and pick up an ADA (American Dental Association) approved whitening toothpaste instead.

Better Ways to Whiten

There are several steps you can take to whiten your teeth using methods that are proven both safe and effective:

·         Brush your teeth twice per day for 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth

·         Use a whitening toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval

·         Floss once per day

·         Limit the consumption of dark berries, coffee, red wine, and other tooth-staining foods and beverages

·         Rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal, snack, or sugary beverage

·         Don’t smoke or use tobacco

·         Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year

·         Talk to your dentist about specific whitening products and services that are approved by the ADA

·         Have your teeth professionally bleached once per year or as suggested by your hygienist

Many people want a whiter smile, but not all internet-recommended methods are smart choices. Choose whitening methods that are proven to be safe and effective rather than raiding your pantry in a quest to follow the latest fads.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appo

How Your Dental Health Predicts Your Overall Health

Your dental health can serve as a strong predictor to your current overall health, as well as what future health conditions you might be at risk for. Your dentist will monitor your teeth and gums to see what to further address. Here are some of the ways that your dental health can predict your overall dental health.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

If you have advanced gum disease, such as periodontal disease, you have an increased risk of heart disease. This is because bacteria in your gums can travel through your cardiovascular system into your heart. If you have gum disease and a family history of heart disease, your dentist will pay extra attention to your gum health to reduce your risk.

Early Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become brittle and less dense over the progression of the disease. Many people think of osteoporosis as a condition that only impacts seniors, but this isn’t the case. Without other reasons to suspect osteoporosis, some patients aren’t aware that they have it. However, your dentist might be able to see the signs of osteoporosis by seeing receding gumlines or loose teeth. This could help to prevent further loss of bone density.

Diabetes Risk

Your dental health strongly correlates your diabetes risk. If you have inflamed gums, oral infections, and poor dental health, you’re at an increased risk for diabetes. Gum inflammation interferes with how fat and sugar are metabolized, which negatively impacts insulin secretions from your pancreas. Additionally, cytokines can build up by inflamed tissue and can also enter the bloodstream and interfere with the body. Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums can be a good defense against your personal diabetes risk.

Possible Premature Birth

Pregnant women with poor dental health are at an increased risk for premature birth. This means that your unborn baby and the welfare of the mom could be at risk because of poor dental health, which could impact the duo for a lifetime. This is due to signals from the inflamed gums that make their way into the placenta. This makes the body think that it is time to expel the baby out of its mother’s body early to prevent further damage.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The best way to keep your teeth sparkling white is to practice scrupulous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing and twice-annual professional cleanings. You can also have your teeth professionally whitened either in our office or with our take-home bleaching system. To maintain your beautiful white smile, though, you should also pay attention to what you eat and drink. Here are some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. (more…)