Archive for December 2013

The What, Why, and How of Dental Crowns

Wondering about dental crowns? Get the how and why of when you might need a dental crown below:

What Is a Dental Crown?


Our Boise dentists don’t usually recommend gold dental crowns 🙂 Image via Flickr by DeaPeaJay

A dental tooth crown in many respects acts as a replacement tooth. Whether your tooth has been damaged by an accident, decay, or is simply the wrong shape, a tooth crown is placed over your tooth so that you still have a good bite and straight teeth.

Why Would a Boise Dental Patient Need Dental Crowns?

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, it is very dangerous to leave it without a crown as food particles and decay can slowly make their way through the chip or crack to the root. This can result in a sometimes very painful infection that may require a root canal or a removal of the tooth. Even without the risk of infection, a damaged or incorrectly-shaped tooth can make it difficult to chew and can put additional pressure and wear on your other teeth.

How Does a Patient Get a Tooth Crown?

Thanks to the new CEREC in-office system, getting a permanent tooth crown can now be done in a single appointment. Simply come in, and a Boise dentist will have a look at your teeth and see what needs to be done. Once we’ve decided on a course of action with you, we’ll create a 3-D digital impression of your teeth and form the perfectly-fitting crown you need. While our CEREC machine creates the porcelain crown, a Boise dentist will prepare your tooth for it. Once the crown is ready, we’ll permanently bond it to your tooth, and you won’t have to worry about it again!

Do you think you need a dental crown? Wondering what the difference is between dental crowns and dental veneers? Take a look at our other articles, or stop by our Boise office for a chat with a dentist!


The 1-2-3 Truth about Dental Veneers

If you are an avid reader of the Summit Dental blog, you’ve heard about our dental veneers more than once. Now, however, is a time for us to lay out exactly what they are, how they work, and why you might need them.

1. What Are Dental Veneers?

Image via Flickr by Dr. Alper, DMD, Cosmetic Dentist

A Dental veneer is a thin sheet of porcelain designed to lay over a patient’s front tooth. They can be compared to a slimmed-down crown. Instead of creating a crown that recreates a whole tooth, however, a veneer just recreates the front and edge of a tooth.

2. How Do I get a Dental Veneer?

First, a Boise dentist from our office will begin with a diagnostic appointment to see what you are looking for and if a dental veneer will get the job done. Then, our Boise dentist creates a digital mock-up to make sure you like the look of the veneers, and we’ll prepare your teeth for them while our in-office CEREC machine creates your dental veneer. Once that is finished, we’ll attach the veneer with a temporary glue to make sure you like the final look, and then we’ll bond them to your teeth permanently! For a quick demonstration on how a Boise dentist would install dental veneers, take a look at this short animated video.

3. Why Do I Need Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers can be used to repair a chip, a broken tooth, a crack, an odd tooth shape, or a discolored tooth. Sometimes a patient will notice that not all their teeth responded to teeth whitening, leaving one tooth darker and discolored while the others are white. Another tooth could be too small or too short to be even with the other teeth. Dental veneers fix these problems without altering the original tooth too much. As long as the patient’s tooth is still sound, a Boise dentist may be able to get you a dental veneer instead of a crown.

Looking to get a chip fixed or hoping to even out the shape or color of your front teeth? Give a Boise dentist a call at Summit Dental! Our office is always friendly and eager to help, and we may be able to get you a dental veneer in a single one-day appointment!


Dreaming of a White Christmas

With the holidays coming up, many of us are probably hoping for the perfect amount of snow—you know what we mean. The kind where it looks pretty but doesn’t delay our holiday flights. No matter what happens with the weather, however, you can have a white Christmas when you ask your Boise dentist how to get your teeth to look and stay a beautiful, natural white.

There are a couple things you need to know to reach your goal of white teeth by Christmas, however:

1. Start Boise Teeth Whitening Now

Image via Flickr by Zellaby

Image via Flickr by Zellaby

If you are using a home-whitening kit, our Boise dentists will recommend that you start the teeth whitening process in the next few days. You’ll notice your teeth getting lighter in just a few days, but a Boise dentist knows that it takes most people anywhere from two to four weeks to get their teeth looking the way they want. And it doesn’t matter whether you are using the Crest prescription strength whitening strips (which we recommend for those who just want their teeth a tiny bit whiter), or if you are using our at-home Boise teeth whitening tray kit (the whitening kit that most of our clients use and love).

2. Know What Stains Teeth

In the middle of whitening and want to speed up the process? Or want to keep your teeth whiter for longer? First, a good Boise dentist would recommend avoiding the foods and substances that stain your teeth. This includes dark-colored soda, coffee, tea, cigarettes, and red wine. Can’t avoid them? Water down the staining affect they’ll have by putting milk in your tea or coffee or by rinsing or brushing your teeth after you consume a staining food.

3. Know that There Is Such a Thing as Too White

A good Boise dentist recommends responsible whitening, which means we don’t want our patients using Boise teeth whitening gels or strips every night for the rest of their lives. Instead, put on the whitening trays or strips every other day for a few weeks, and your teeth should become a natural-looking white. After that, all you might need is a night of teeth whitening every month or so.

If you want the brightest smile this Christmas, pick up a whitening kit today or schedule your quick, in-office whitening treatment. We’d love to make your dreams of a white Christmas come true!