Archive for March 2012

Boise Dentists: What are Dental Implants?

Boise Dentists: What are Dental Implants?
Missing a tooth and wondering about dental implants? A dental implant is a highly recommended procedure for replacing teeth and improving a smile. For this procedure, our Boise dentists place a post into the jawbone as a replacement for the tooth’s root, and then permanently attach a crown to this post as a replacement for the tooth.


Obviously, if you have missing front teeth, you want to replace them with fake teeth for a complete smile. But there are other reasons for choosing dental implants. When you lose a tooth, your teeth will move to cover the gap of a missing tooth, creating worse gaps. More importantly, the jawbone will also begin to atrophy, making the surrounding teeth weaker and more likely to fall out. This also means you should get your dental implant in sooner rather than later because the jawbone can  in some cases become too weak to even support the implant without a bone graph.


A dental implant will replace all elements of a missing tooth, not just the aesthetics. The post will strengthen the jawbone and surrounding teeth just like a real tooth would, and the attached crown will keep other teeth in place.


The Procedure

If you are wondering how long it takes to get a dental implant, here is a brief description of the four appointments it usually requires.


First appointment. During this appointment we insure that your teeth are in the proper place for implants, and that you are a good candidate for the procedure.


Second appointment. Our Boise dentists place the post of the implant in the jawbone. It will take four to six months to allow the bone to heal around the post. During this time you may wear a temporary crown on a flipper or retainer.


Third appointment. We take an impression of the area for the new crown. This is also the time when we match the color of the crown to the color of your teeth.
  • Note: If you want to whiten your teeth, you should either do so before this appointment or plan on getting a lighter shade, as the crown will not change color with whitening.

Fourth appointment. We attach the new crown to the post and cement it into place. Dental implants usually last your lifetime, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it again!

The Benefits

Maintain a Beautiful Smile. Implants offer more than just a complete set of teeth—any retainer or flipper could do that; implants also strengthen your jawbone so that your features keep their shape (otherwise, the missing tooth and root can cause your face to “fall”). So getting dental implants can give your whole face a more youthful appearance!


Regain Chewing Ability. Dental implants can take just as much abuse as regular teeth. Not only can you use your whole mouth for eating, the replaced tooth will reduce the strain put on your other teeth.


Protect Your Surrounding Teeth. With a post to strengthen your jawbone, your surrounding teeth will stay strong as well and will not be able to turn or become crowded.


If you need dental implants, the sooner you get them the better. We would love to set up a consultation at our Boise office, or feel free to leave a question in the comments!

How Can Boise Dentists Restore Your Smile?

How Can Boise Dentists Restore Your Smile?
Restoring a smile depends heavily on what you want or need. Do you have missing teeth? Decayed or chipped teeth? Do you simply want whiter teeth? All these factors play into what kind of procedures the Boise dentists at Summit Dental will use.


Veneers and Crowns

The most common procedures for smile restorations are porcelain veneers and crowns. While made of the same material and resulting in the same effect (white, smooth teeth), veneers and crowns each have their own uses. Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that can change the shade and shaping of a tooth that is discolored or chipped, in addition to smoothing out spacing issues such as crowded teeth or excess spacing. They work well when replacing old fillings and are best used on teeth that have a sound structure. If your teeth are structurally sound or the veneers are strictly for cosmetic purposes, veneers could be your best option.


If your teeth are significantly worn down or need more protection, you may need to consider a porcelain crown instead. A crown is a covering for a tooth that improves strength as well as appearance.  They can restore a broken or worn down tooth, mask flaws in color and shape, and strengthen a tooth that was composed of more filling than tooth structure. Crowns are a good fit for teeth that are significantly decayed or that don’t have as much healthy teeth structure.


Implants and Bridges

Need a smile restoration for missing teeth? Implants and bridges are reliable replacements for missing teeth that will give you what feels and looks like a real tooth. When you have lost a tooth, replacing it with an implant can prevent jawbone deterioration and further tooth loss in addition to giving you a great smile. The post placed in your jawbone acts as the tooth’s root, keeping the jawbone strong. The crown attached to this post keeps the surrounding teeth in the right place, gives you a strong tooth for eating and chewing, and completes your smile with a tooth that is identical in shape and color with your other teeth. If you already have an implant but want an even further restored smile, replacing this crown in addition to adding porcelain veneers or crowns to your other teeth is an excellent way to get your ideal smile.


Each of your teeth may be unique; some may be worn down, others simply discolored, and so on. For the best smile restoration, our Boise dentists can use a combination of veneers, crowns, and implants to give you your most winning smile. In addition, while some of your teeth may need a porcelain veneer or crown, some may only require a little teeth whitening. Check out our previous blog on teeth whitening for more information on these procedures.


Have more questions about smile restoration? Stop by our Boise dentist office for a consultation, or leave us a comment or question below.

Teeth Whitening: Advice from Boise Dentists

Teeth Whitening: Advice from Boise Dentists

Everyone wants a bright and healthy smile, but it can be difficult to find tips for whitening your teeth both in the clinic and at home. Look at the tips and information below to understand how you can give yourself a bright smile.

Teeth Whitening Products

When you want whiter teeth Summit Dental in Boise offers in-office whitening and custom take-home whitening trays, as well as professional strength Crest White Strips. The custom take-home trays are our most popular teeth whitening product as they are easy to use and generally the most cost effective way to whiten teeth.

If the discoloration of your teeth is severe or unresponsive to whitening procedures, all-porcelain veneers are another popular choice. These will not only whiten teeth, but can also improve the shape and contour of your teeth for a restored smile.

When to Whiten

It generally takes three to four weeks to achieve the desired level of whiteness with the take-home whitening trays. After this initial time, you only need to touch up your teeth by using the whitening trays once or twice a month, sometimes less.

If you are looking to whiten your teeth for a special occasion, you should begin the whitening process about three to four weeks before the event, using the trays three or four times per week. If you plan on using the trays less than that every week, you may need to begin sooner.

Other Tips and Tricks

When beginning the whitening process, you should avoid or keep in moderation the foods and drinks that can stain teeth. This includes wine, coffee, darker teas, chewing tobacco, and smoking. Don’t think you can let go of your morning coffee? Weaker coffee will stain less, especially if it has milk in it. Most importantly, however, is brushing your teeth or at least swishing with water after every meal, and especially after you use the substances mentioned above that can stain your teeth.

Of course, good dental hygiene will keep your teeth looking their best. Regularly brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, and remember to schedule cleaning appointments with the Boise dentists here at Summit Dental every six months. With good dental hygiene and regular dentist appointments, you can help minimize or even prevent stain and tarter build up on your teeth for your brightest smile.

Have more questions on how to whiten your teeth? Leave a comment or stop by our Boise office!


Boise Dentistry: What Is Cosmetic Dental Work?

Ever wondered what exactly “cosmetic dentistry” means? You may be surprised to find out that it means more than teeth whitening. Not only does cosmetic dentistry improve the appearance of a person’s teeth, it can also correct functional problems with your bite or teeth structure. It covers a wide range of procedures that can eliminate problems with chips, cracks, cavities, and missing teeth. Three common procedures that you can find at Summit Dental in Boise include smile restorations, dental implants, and composite fillings.

Smile restorations. 

Smile makeovers and restorations can include a wide variety of procedures. The dentist will look at your smile and suggest the procedures that will give you the best result. This can include teeth whitening in addition to porcelain veneers and crowns. Teeth whitening can either be done in the office in a single appointment or at home with a customized whitening kit. Porcelain veneers are laid on the surface of teeth to eliminate chips, cracks, or discoloration. Porcelain crowns offer similar results while covering the entire tooth.

Dental implants. 

Implants are used to replace missing teeth. They generally involve the post, which is attached to the jawbone, and the crown, which is attached to the post so that the patient has a new permanent “tooth” in both appearance and functionality. With color matching, the porcelain crowns for implants and smile makeovers can match your own teeth so exactly that they naturally blend into your smile for a unified look.

Composite fillings. 

Colored, no-metal fillings are an excellent replacement for worn-out or decayed metal fillings. Not only do they match the color of your teeth, they will also stay more resistant to staining and discoloration. When you have a cavity or other problem on a visible part of your smile, composite fillings give you the protection you need while maintaining a great smile. Composite fillings are also a great alternative to other fillings due to their strength.
Think you might need a smile makeover, or have questions about composite fillings or implants? We would love to hear from you! Give us a call or stop by our Boise office.

Nathan Knoeller is our February Cavity Free Superstar Winner!

Nathan Knoeller is our Cavity Free Superstar Winner this Month! Congrats Nathan! This award is not easily earned. Nathan is very responsible in taking care of his teeth, and Nathan had no cavities during his appointments. Keep up the great work. We are proud of you, now go enjoy those movie passes!

The Summit Dental Super Star Cavity Free Program was created to recognize and reward those special patients who demonstrate excellent home care in between dental visits and therefore have no cavities when they come in for their dental check-up.

All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join Summit Dental Cavity Free Super Star Program! Each child will be entered in a monthly drawing for 2 Free Movie Passes! We will also place their names on our website as we want everyone to know that we are proud of these children who have been doing a great job taking care of their teeth and gums at home!