Archive for November 2012

Boise Dentists: We’re Thankful for Our Roots!

Boise Dentists: We’re Thankful for Our Roots!
With so many good things happening around Summit Dental this year, we wanted to take a step back and look at where we’ve come from. We have a solid history of excellent Boise dentists, staff, and care, so let’s go back and remember where it all began:

Then: Summit Dental Office Opens in 1975

Summit Dental opened for the first time in 1975 with Dr. Terry Gustavel and Dr. Skip Pierce. Located on Overland Road in the Boise Bench, the office was converted from an old house. The practice remained here for three years, already growing from a beginning patient base of 10 patients a day, or around 500 patients total.
While in the house, the practice had two doctors, two assistants, one hygienist, and a front desk assistant (who was the wife of one of the doctors). Dr. Pierce is still an associate of the practice, and several of the assistants and hygienists from those beginning years are still here working with us today!

The First Move: North Latah Road in 1978

In 1978, the Summit Dental Office moved from Overland Road to North Latah Road near Ann Morrison Park. This dental office is where Summit Dental truly began to grow and expand, taking on Dr. Carson Mooney, then Dr. Robert Studebaker, and finally Dr. Lance Ritchie.
This office is also where our beloved fish tank came to be! Coming around sometime during the 1980s, the Summit Dental fish tank has been a proud element of our waiting room for over 20 years. The tank experienced an upgrade during our recent move, including a switch to all live coral and the addition of several new types of fish.

Now: Office Moves to Americana Boulevard in 2012:

With 23 staff members and close to 6,000 current patients, Summit Dental moved to a custom-built facility in August of 2012. Coming a long way from a converted house, this office boasts 16 patient rooms, a beautiful waiting area, and a separate kids’ waiting room, not to mention a prime location. We easily see 100 patients in a day, coming a long way from our beginning of 10 patient appointments per day in 1975.
We’re so thankful for great Boise dentists, staff and of course great dental patients! We know that many families that began with us in 1975 are still with us today. So thank you so much for growing with us! We can’t wait to see what good things will happen in the coming years!
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Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Care During Holiday Meals

Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Care During Holiday Meals
As a day that centers around an hours-long meal of iconic and sugary foods (marshmallow sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, and cranberries, for example), Thanksgiving offers plenty of opportunity for tooth decay. If you want to make sure you teeth stay healthy for Christmas, take a look at our tips for Thanksgiving Day:

Rinse with Water.

Sugary treats like candy and desserts (and even sweet fruit) provide plenty of nutrients for the bacteria in your mouth, building up plaque. The acids in these foods can stay in your mouth for 20 minutes or more, so rinse with water as soon as you are done eating, or even in between dishes.

Take a Portable Toothbrush.

Many portable toothbrushes are no longer than the palm of your hand, making them incredible easy to place in a pocket or purse. Colgate Wisps don’t even need water to use. Coming pre-pasted, these brushes also have a pick on the end of the handle so you can floss. By brushing as soon as you are done eating and before a food coma sets in, you can protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque.

Brush When You Remember.

A portable brush means you can brush whenever, not just when you get home, tired and ready to fall asleep. Even if you know you will have a few drinks or snacks later, brush when you think about it so that you can’t forget. You can always brush again later!

Eat Dessert Close to the Main Course.

Try to eat your desserts close to your meal, as your mouth produces more saliva then and can better clean and protect your teeth from sugary foods. If that is not an option, try chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol afterwards. The gum will help your mouth produce more saliva while the xylitol sweetener may even encourage enamel growth.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family while also protecting your teeth with these great dental care tips for a holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving from our Boise dentists and the rest of the Summit Dental office staff and team!
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How to Understand and Decide on a Dental Insurance Plan

How to Understand and Decide on a Dental Insurance Plan
Finding good dental insurance plans—or any good insurance—is stressful. How do you know if you have found a good plan? Remember that we would love to help you, so call us and talk about what plans you are looking at. We’ll do our best to help you understand your options. When you go over your options alone, however, keep in mind this list of things to look for:

What to Look Out For

A Waiting Period. Many insurance companies have a one-year waiting period where you are paying for insurance but cannot use it. If this is the case, you might be better off looking for a different plan or just paying out of pocket.
Limits. Dental insurance plans usually have a ceiling on what they will pay per year. This amount may be measured per family or per person. Consider the dental expenses you think your family will need to see if this plan’s limit will suit you.
Coverage. Some insurance companies will only cover silver fillings (the ones that contain mercury) and will not cover composite fillings for cavities. This is another red flag that may mean this insurance plan is not a good fit for you.
Stipulations. Every plan will have some stipulations about copays, pre-existing conditions, limits, and other things already mentioned. Be sure you look over what these stipulations are to see if they are compatible with your family’s needs.
Coverage Percentage. Every dental plan should state rather clearly what percentage of your dental fees they will cover (usually around 60 percent or 80 percent). But you need to ask if this is 60-80 percent of the doctor’s fees, or 60-80 percent of the insurance company’s set fees. Here’s the difference: insurance companies create set fees for what theythink a cavity or cleaning should cost, regardless of whether your Boise dentist’s fees are different. You can see how this could cost you, so make sure you clarify this with your insurance company.

Do Dental Patients Really Need Insurance?

The short answer is that it depends. Dental patients should look at what they need and what insurance would cover, but the decision is mostly personal preference. Here are some examples of what you could consider:
Mostly Preventative. Most older people probably just need preventative care, so simple dental insurance like a $700 limit to use on whatever the dental patient wants or needs is probably enough to cover biannual cleanings, check-ups, and the like. For those looking for another simple dental insurance option, flex spending accounts are generally a good idea as well.
A Waiting Period. If there is a waiting period, however, you may be better off without insurance and instead pay out of pocket.
For Lots of Dental Work. If you need a lot of work done on your teeth, really good dental insurance could be a huge help. But know that for something like dental implants, most insurance companies won’t cover much. Coverage for these procedures has improved over the years, however, so you may get coverage up to 40 percent.

The Bottom Line

In order to discover if you have a good dental plan and if it’s worth the investment, ask lots and lots of questions. And call us to go over your options! We’d love to help you find the best plan and can help you pick up on the red flags of a bad plan.
Any other questions about finding a good dental plan? Give us a call or stop by our office!
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