All posts by Summit Dental

Why Regular Boise Dental Checkups Are So Important

Why Regular Boise Dental Checkups Are So Important

While visiting your Boise dentist every six months may not seem like a fun thing to look forward to, it is however an important date to keep. If you’ve ever wondered why regular dental checkups and cleanings are so important we have a few things for you to think about:

Preventing and Detecting Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can manifest itself in several different ways, and is an extremely serious disease that often goes undiagnosed. Your Boise dentist is highly trained to recognize any signs and symptoms with regular dental checkups by noticing any oral abnormalities. Once detected, an early stage diagnosis is often easily, and successfully treatable.

Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities
Even if you are extremely diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, there are still areas that can be missed. Regular Boise dental cleanings help to prevent plaque that eventually builds into tartar from eroding your teeth or creating cavities. Once your teeth have been damaged, you will unfortunately have to once again visit your Boise dentist for much costlier repairs.

Gum Disease Prevention
Not only does plaque and tartar buildup cause tooth decay but it can also damage the gum tissues of your mouth. Gingivitis is caused when tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to a tooth. The infection then causes the gum to start to pulling away from the tooth by breaking down the surrounding tissue. Once that happens, it is officially called gum disease. A variety of symptoms like swelling, bleeding, and soreness in the mouth then develop. If left untreated, gum disease can eventually cause a breakdown of the bone that hold your teeth in place, causing them to loosen or fall out altogether.

Detecting Underlying Problems With X-Rays
Often there can be a variety of destructive silent diseases that have little to no symptoms but can progress quickly. A crucial part of visiting your Boise dentist for regular checkups is being able to see what may be happening below the surface of your gums. Other problems like impacted teeth, bone decay, cysts or swelling can also be found using an X-Ray. Once found, it is important to properly treat them before they develop into bigger, dangerous, and more expensive problems.

Not only is your Boise dentist concerned with cleaning and fixing your teeth they want to make sure you are healthy. It’s our job to care for our patients by not only being concerned about the beauty of our patient’s smile but their overall health as well. It’s important to keep in mind that while skipping your next dental appointment may not seem like a big deal, oral issues can and will develop whether or not you notice it. By staying on top of your Boise dental cleanings and checkups, you will not only save money but will be doing yourself a big favor in the long run when it comes to staying healthy and happy!

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Bad Boise Dental Habits to Kick

Bad Boise Dental Habits to Kick

Patients around the Treasure Valley put their trust in the dentists at Summit Dental group because of our commitment to education and preventative care. Serving people in and around Boise, our patients can count on our practice for advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments in order to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful.

A huge part in maintaining optimal dental health is knowing what you should and shouldn’t do in order to keep your smile feeling and looking its best. With that in mind, let’s consider some bad Boise dental habits you should seriously consider kicking:

Tobacco Use
If you smoke or use tobacco, it can lead to a variety of Boise dental health problems. This includes stains, bad breath, and an increased risk of oral cancer or gum disease. While there are some serious reasons to quit smoking, the health of your smile is one of them.

Brushing and Flossing Too Hard
While your Boise dentist highly recommends brushing and flossing on a regular basis, it can however be bad for your smile if you’re not doing it right. Some people brush and floss to hard resulting in damage to your gums that in turn can cause gum recession. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth gently yet thoroughly. We also recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles, not medium or hard ones.

Chewing on Hard or Inedible Objects
Often we find ourselves biting our nails, chewing on straws or on ice and pens. While it seems innocent enough, biting or chewing on hard or inedible things can cause damage to your teeth.

Opening Things with Your Teeth
We’ve all done it. Sometimes instead of finding scissors to open a bag of chips or removing a tag from a new article of clothing, we find ourselves using our teeth as a tool. Doing so greatly increases your chances of breaking or chipping a tooth!

Snacking on Sugary Foods
While we all love candy and other sugary foods, it’s important to remember that by over indulging, and not taking proper precautions like rinsing with water or brushing your teeth afterward increases your risk of developing cavities. Try limiting your daily intake of sugary foods, not only will your waistline thank you but your teeth will as well.

Not Wearing a Mouthguard
If you are the type of person who enjoys physical sports, it’s crucial that you wear a mouthguard in order to avoid any Boise dental injuries. Doing so will help to insure the health of your teeth, gums and tongue.

Not Visiting Your Boise Dentist Regularly
It’s extremely important to visit your dentist at least twice a year  for regular dental work and cleanings in order to maintain good Boise dental health. Doing so will also help prevent minor problems from becoming much bigger, and more expensive ones.

Contact Summit Dental Today
To learn more about improving the health and beauty of your smile, contact Summit Dental at (208) 345-8962. Our practice believes that preventative care and education are extremely important when it comes to maintaining optimal dental health. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full mouth restoration, or anything in between, Summit Dental Group will provide exceptional care as we restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile.



Summit Dental Group Voted #1 Dentist in the Best of the Treasure Valley Awards for a Second Year in a Row!

Summit Dental Group Voted #1 Dentist in the Best of the Treasure Valley Awards for a Second Year in a Row!

From all of the dentists and staff at Summit Dental Group, we would like to extend a huge “THANK YOU” to all of our wonderful patients who voted for us! We are so grateful and honored to have earned your business and respect over the years!

As a practice, we are overjoyed at having won #1 Dentist in the Best of Treasure Valley Awards for the second year in a row! Our dentists believe that preventative care and education are extremely important to optimal Boise dental health. We focus on thorough exams, and checking the overall health of your teeth and gums. Not only are we concerned about the beauty of our patients smile, we are also concerned about the overall health of our patients. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full mouth restoration, or anything in between, Summit Dental Group will provide exceptional care as we restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile!

For your next Boise dental visit, give us a call at (208) 345-8962 to schedule an appointment with the friendliest Boise Dentists in the Treasure Valley at Summit Dental Group! We try our best to make each visit fun and enjoyable for all of our patients!

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“Best of Treasure Valley voters know that Summit Dental Group takes dentistry to new heights. The team of dentists, hygienists, assistants and front-office staff all work together to provide patient visits that are fun and enjoyable. And yes, Summit believes you can enjoy going to see them. From routine exams to crowns and bridges, Summit’s goal is to have you leave their office with a smile!”



Boise Dental Treatment Options for Treating a Chipped Tooth

Boise Dental Treatment Options for Treating a Chipped Tooth

First impressions are everything. Especially when it comes to your smile as it’s often the first thing people notice about you. However, a chipped tooth might have you hiding your smile while damaging your self confidence in the process. Fortunately, your Boise dentist can easily repair a broken or chipped tooth. In fact, Summit Dental has several treatment options depending on the nature of the damage:

Dental bonding is one of the quickest and low cost options when it comes to repairing a chipped tooth. This treatment involves the application of a composite filling material that your Boise dentist will shape and color, matching your original tooth. There is little to no need to remove any tooth enamel. The best part? If you were able to preserve the chipped off portion (and it isn’t damaged), your Boise dentist may be able to reattach it!

A Boise dental veneer (like the one pictured above) can be used to hide small, damaged areas of a tooth. Veneers are thin, custom made shells placed on the front of a tooth in order to hide any flaws. However, with this option, some removal of the existing tooth enamel is often necessary in order to fit the veneer so that it’s flush and blends in with the surrounding teeth.

A crown is often the best choice when a relatively large portion of a tooth is missing. A crown will fully incase the visible portion of what remains of the original tooth above the gum line. It is shaped and sized to match the original tooth perfectly. Ceramic material and porcelain fused to metal crowns are often used for this treatment. In either case, the material will match the color of your other teeth. Keep in mind however, that some of the existing tooth enamel will be removed in order to allow the crown to fit over it.

While we all know that accidents are bound to happen every now and again, there are however a few steps you can take in order to reduce your risk for experiencing a chipped or broken tooth:

  • Always wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Refrain from grinding or clenching your teeth.
  • Don’t chew on ice, inedible things or hard candies.
  • And last but not least, NEVER use your teeth as a tool for opening things!


Creative Commons Image Courtesy of Sascha Hagner


Dr. Skip Pierce’s Retirement

Dr. Skip Pierce’s Retirement

Summit Dental would like to announce that Dr. Skip Pierce has retired from our practice as of December 16th, 2015. Skip was a wonderful addition to our dental office and always took wonderful, professional care of our patients and their families. As a compassionate and caring person devoted to his family and his practice, Skip was known for treating his patients like family while having improved the quality of dental care within the Treasure Valley community for over 40+ years. It is because of Dr. Pierce that three of our current dentists: Carson Mooney, Lance Ritchie, and Zac Richardson all decided to go into the field of dentistry having once been young patients of his own.

Dr. Pierce began practicing dentistry in 1974 having graduated from the University of Idaho in 1969 and the University of Washington Dental School in 1974. Dr. Pierce is a former president and member of the Idaho State Dental Board as well as a former president and member of the Idaho Delta Dental Insurance Board. Skip was also a Boise school board member for 12 years, as well as a one time board member of the YMCA.

Everyone at Summit Dental Group feels incredibly grateful for having worked with him and for the service and opportunity Dr. Pierce provided to so many while enriching everyone’s life that had contact with him in the process. He will always be remembered as a hardworking, committed, and friendly person. He is a true example to look for and follow. We will all truly miss his wonderful presence in our office and we wish him all of the best in his retirement!

Summit Dental Group



Boise Dental Tips for Memorial Day Fun

Boise Dental Tips for Memorial Day Fun

Memorial day is a very important holiday that provides us with a moment to honor and remember those we have lost, as well as the men and women who have served in the armed forces. This special day also marks the official beginning of summer in the United States with parades, picnics, BBQ’s, and relaxation. However, with all the Memorial Day fun ahead, it’s just as important to remember not to cut it short when it comes to a Boise dental emergency.

Summit Dental would like to provide you with a list of the most common Boise dental emergencies and what you can do until you can see your Boise dentist:

Toothache If you find yourself experiencing the dull intensity of a toothache, gently brush and floss your teeth before rinsing with warm water to remove any unwanted particles that may have gotten lodged somewhere. If your toothache persists, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Stay away from anything heat related, and try sticking to soft foods until you are able to visit your Boise dentist.  

Broken Tooth There are a variety of Memorial Day activities that may have sounded like fun but ended up not being such a great idea. If you find yourself with a broken tooth that’s bleeding, try applying a bit of gauze to the source and apply light pressure until it stops (usually within 10 minutes). A moist tea bag can also help. If you find yourself in pain, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ensure your comfort while avoiding any hard foods. Dental wax can also help avoid any jagged edges of your broken tooth from poking into your cheeks, tongue or gums.

Knocked-Out Tooth If you find yourself suddenly missing a tooth, the most important thing you can do is try and find it. Rinse the tooth gently in cold water (don’t scrub or use soap), and avoid touching it by the root. If the tooth is permanent, immediately try replacing it in the socket and hold it there using a clean washcloth. However, it’s important to know that you should not replace a baby tooth – doing so can damage the developing tooth below. If the above isn’t an option, place the tooth in a clean container with milk or cool water. Either way, it’s important to get to your Boise dentist ASAP. The faster you act, the better your chances are of saving the tooth.

No matter how you choose to spend the holiday, it’s important to have fun but play it safe! Happy Memorial Day!



Replacing Lost Teeth with Boise Dental Implants

Replacing Lost Teeth with Boise Dental Implants

Losing a baby tooth during childhood is a scary yet exciting milestone towards adulthood. However when you’re older, and you lose a permanent tooth, there’s definitely a cause for concern. Nobody wants to go without such an essential aesthetic and needed element. While the loss of a permanent tooth can be due to a variety of reasons, like accidents and injury,  it can also be a symptom of an underlying Boise dental health problem like gum disease or tooth decay. That’s why it’s so important to visit your Boise dentist on a regular basis to help identify and treat any problems before they progress into bigger, more expensive ones. It’s equally important to replace a lost tooth. Not only does a lost tooth immediately impact your smile and bite, it can also affect more long term issues involving the health of the bone that supports your teeth.

When it comes to replacing a tooth, there are a couple of different options depending on your individual needs ranging from Boise crowns and bridges to tooth implants. Whichever option you and your Boise dentist decide to go with, either of one will provide you with satisfactory and attractive outcome. Boise crowns and bridges often rely on using two of your natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. A pontic (your replacement tooth) is then sandwiched between two other crowns which fit over, and are bonded to your existing teeth on either side of the gap.

Boise dental implants however, involves only the affected area where the tooth was lost. The “implant” is actually a small titanium rod with spiral threads that resemble a miniature screw. The rod is then inserted into the jawbone replacing the root of the lost tooth. The replacement tooth is then attached as a customized crown that is secured to the end portion of the implant anchoring it firmly in place.

Dental implants and Boise crowns and bridges are both great options when it comes to providing you with a natural looking, functional and reliable replacement tooth. If you would like more information on the advantages of either option and what would be more appropriate depending on your individual needs, contact Summit Dental at (208) 345-8962 today. Our Boise dentists would be more than happy to schedule a time to talk with you and answer any questions you may have.


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Is Chewing Gum Good For Your Boise Dental Health?

Is Chewing Gum Good For Your Boise Dental Health?

Did you know that chewing gum can actually boost your Boise dental health benefits? While brushing, and flossing can never be replaced when it comes caring for your teeth, sugar-free chewing gum can however, strengthen your cavity-fighting efforts.

What does sugar-free chewing gum do?

Chewing sugar-free gum helps to increase the flow of saliva in your mouth that helps to neutralize and wash away acids left over from eating, especially if the food you’ve eaten contained a lot of of sugar and starch, both of which aid the formation of plaque. Acid left over from food is known to break down tooth enamel over time, causing cavities, and decay. Increased saliva flow also helps to provide your teeth with calcium and phosphate which in turn helps to strengthen your tooth enamel.

Clinical studies have shown that you can prevent tooth decay just by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after each meal. As an added benefit, chewing sugar-free gum helps to freshen your breath, boosting your overall self confidence as well.

Keep in mind that while chewing sugar-free gum helps support your Boise dental health, it’s not always the case for everyone. For example, people who experience any sort of jaw pain or TMJ symptoms should refrain from chewing gum and talk with their Boise dentist about what available options are best for you.

In conclusion, while chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to support your Boise dental habits, it’s not a replacement for your daily oral health routine. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth and visit your Boise dentist regularly. Regular Boise dental cleanings and exams will also help to detect and prevent any problems associated with your mouth.

So the next time you’re in line at the checkout stand, grab yourself a pack of sugar-free gum in order to help keep your smile healthy and happy!


Creative Commons Photo Courtesy of Maria Dimitrova


Boise Teeth Whitening Options to Brighten Your Smile

Boise Teeth Whitening Options to Brighten Your Smile

Boise teeth whitening is one of the most popular, asked-for, cosmetic dentistry procedures today. Why? Think about it. Your smile is one of the first things people see. Not only does a bright smile boost self-confidence, it commands the attention of everyone you meet. Unfortunately though, many people often find themselves hiding their smiles due to yellowed or stained teeth. At Summit Dental we offer a variety of teeth whitening Boise options that will help to eliminate stubborn & embarrassing stains while enhancing the overall look of your smile.

Understanding Discoloration

When considering a professional Boise teeth whitening treatment, it’s important to understand what causes your teeth to become discolored. While it seems like teeth are smooth and hard like porcelain, tooth enamel is actually composed of microscopic pores that gradually become stained over time as we age. Over the years tooth enamel is eventually worn down, becoming more and more transparent, allowing the color of dentin – the core material of your tooth – to show through.

While discoloration is a natural sign of aging, there are other common teeth staining causes:

  • Food & drinks –  Red wine, coffee, tea, cola, berries, pasta sauces, vinegars, etc., can all contribute to enamel erosion and cause considerable staining over time
  • Smoking – Nicotine from cigarettes & chewing tobacco leaves behind brown residue that slowly soaks into the tooth enamel causing discoloration.
  • Medications & Mouthrinses – Antihistamines like Benadryl, and mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can stain teeth.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene – Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing can lead to an overabundance of plaque and stain-causing residues.

Discoloration comes in two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are surface level stains left over from what you eat and drink. Brushing your teeth at home with an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste helps to remove normal extrinsic stains acquired throughout the day. Intrinsic stains on the other hand are located below the enamel and are caused by years of stain exposure.

Boise Teeth Whitening Options

At Summit Dental, we recommend having your teeth cleaned by one of our dental hygienists twice a year in order to remove built up tartar and plaque. A professional Boise teeth cleaning also includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing. During your teeth cleaning appointment and exam, you can then ask to have your teeth professionally whitened. Below are some of the teeth whitening options we offer:

  • One hour, in office “laser” whitening – This procedure is ideal for patients who want fast results and are not interested in at-home treatments.
  • At-home tray whitening – This procedure involves the patient wearing a custom dental tray for approximately 30 minutes per day, while at home, until desired results occur.
  • Crest Professional White Strips – These white strips are 4 times stronger and faster than the store bought brand Crest White Strips.

Keep in mind that teeth whitening results vary from person to person. Before beginning a Boise teeth whitening process, consult with your Boise dentist for a realistic idea of what you can expect to achieve and how long it should take to achieve them. It’s also important to note that over whitening can also cause loss of enamel, or translucent or unnatural looking teeth. A good rule of thumb is that the color of your teeth should match the whites of your eyes.

To ensure the health and beauty of your smile, schedule an appointment at Summit Dental before choosing over-the-counter tooth whiteners. As your #1 Boise dentist, we take pride in the dental services we offer and promise to make the best recommendation based on your individual needs. Call us at (208) 345-8962 today!

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Remove Plaque, Tartar and Stains this Spring with a Boise Teeth Cleaning

Remove Plaque, Tartar and Stains this Spring with a Boise Teeth Cleaning

Spring is officially here, and many of us are working on decluttering our homes and crowded closets. With summer soon approaching, Summit Dental wants to remind you that spring cleaning isn’t just for your home, it’s for your teeth too!

Visiting your Boise dentist for a professional teeth cleaning should be an important part of your annual spring cleaning routine. Professional teeth cleanings done twice a year help to prevent common dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. During a professional Boise teeth cleaning, our main goal is to remove any tartar buildup from your teeth and below the gumline.

While brushing and flossing regularly at home will help to reduce plaque buildup, missed spots of plaque here and there easily turn into tartar, which your at-home toothbrush can’t remove. Therefore, you need to see your Boise dentist at Summit Dental Group to have the tartar properly removed form your teeth.

A professional teeth cleaning with routine exams help to boost your at-home dental hygiene routine and provides your Boise dentist with a chance to examine your mouth more closely to ensure there aren’t any problems that have gone undetected.

On top of providing you with a squeaky clean mouth, your Boise dentist will make sure your oral health is in check while providing you with an opportunity to talk with them about any concerns you may have. Regular Boise dental exams and cleanings help your dentist to better understand your oral habits, allowing them to suggest changes in order to improve your overall health. Take time for yourself and your teeth this spring by scheduling a Boise teeth cleaning appointment at Summit Dental to keep your smile healthy!

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