Boise Dentists Blog

At Summit Dental, we love sharing our everyday life. Sometimes we'll post about tips on brushing your teeth or about how much we love our new office. Check back often to see what the latest is at our Boise Dentist Office.

Boise Dentists: Our Take on a Girls Day Out

Boise Dentists: Our Take on a Girls Day Out
As a Boise office full of ladies (only a handful of men in our team of four Boise dentists, eight hygienists, and twenty-five office staff workers!), we know the importance of taking an afternoon or evening to enjoy some good food and pampering with our girlfriends. Looking for some great ideas for a Girls’ Night Out in Boise? Here are our favorite places!


Nothing starts a ladies’ day out as well as a massage. Our favorite places to go are Elements Therapeutic Massage or Two Rivers Spa. Elements Massage offers relaxing Swedish and deep tissue massage at good prices, while we just can’t resist the awesome atmosphere at Two Rivers Spa. It’s worth going for a manicure or pedicure, but we also recommend their more rejuvenating services, such as a facial, massage, or body wrap.


After an hour at the spa, get a bite to eat for lunch or dinner. For lunch, we love the Matador in the heart of downtown Boise for some upscale Tex-Mex cuisine, or Fork Restaurant for loyally local or organic food. Favorite stops for dinner for us include Reef’s festive environment, sandwiches, and seafood, The Ram’s relaxed atmosphere and brewery, and finally a new pub, The Taphouse, with its traditional pub fare and 40+ drafts on tap.


No ladies’ night is complete without a bit of chocolate, so our Boise staff recommends going to Goody’s in Hyde Park to grab a milkshake, sundae, or favorite chocolates. For something closer to downtown and full of more gourmet sweets, nothing beats The Chocolat Bar. Our favorite sweets include the dark raspberry bar and their salted caramel.


Whether your girls’ night starts after dinner or if you are looking for a place to wind down for the day, we think The Tavern at Bown has the best chocolate martinis in Boise. Of course Bardenay has an amazing selection of drinks with their in-house vodka, gin, and rum (in addition to plenty of drafts and imported beers). Out of the three Bardenay locations, however, we prefer the Bardenay in Eagle for its great atmosphere. Relaxing there with a cocktail is the perfect way to wrap up a great day out with friends.


Did we miss one of your favorite stops? We’d love to hear of new places to go for a relaxing evening, so leave us a note in the comments!

Our Favorite Boise Shops for Dessert!

Our Favorite Boise Shops for Dessert!

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? We love a good cup of coffee or a delightful pastry, so here are our Boise dentists’ favorite places to go for coffee or dessert!

Our Boise staff love their coffee and can recommend several places around town where you can great mocha or regular coffee. Stop by Dutch Brothers for a latte on the go on your way to work, or choose one of the delicious monster scones at Big City Coffee when walking around downtown Boise. We also think Moxie Java offers some of the best blended iced coffees, perfect for hot summer weather! For a little more of the sweet stuff, we have to recommend the donuts and coffee at DK Donuts. This place has been around forever and still serves some of the best and freshest donuts in town!

A’Tavola is one of our favorite restaurants in all things—from lunch to dessert! The atmosphere, the gourmet food, and the sweets make it a great place. They serve locally-roasted coffee from Dawson Taylor, and have a beautiful display of yummy goodies to choose from. If you are looking for a great dessert date or a place to meet a friend, stop here for unique and delicious pastries.

If you love taking the kids to get ice cream or milkshakes, make sure you get the best sundaes in town at Goody’s Goodies in Hyde Park, or head to Blue Cow or U-Swirl for a great frozen yogurt. Our Boise dentists and staff love Goody’s not only for their great ice cream and old-fashioned feel, but also for their excellent location. We love the historic neighborhood, full of antique stores and specialty shops for browsing, in addition to its several summer festivals and events. When you are wondering where to take your kids for a frozen yogurt, we love Blue Cow for their unique flavors like peppermint stick and eggnog, while U-Swirl is great with Candy treats like Reese’s frozen yogurt, in addition to having other seasonal flavors.

While we love to go out for a cup of coffee and a donut or ice cream, we also know the importance of taking care of our teeth after eating something sweet.  It is always best to brush your teeth right away, but when this is not possible, at least swish with water and chew sugar free gum or mints, as this will help stimulate saliva flow to help buffer and clear the sugary treats.

We hope you enjoy a dessert from one of our recommendations! What are some of your favorite places to snack?


Congratulations to Leo Berliner, Our May Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Congratulations to Leo Berliner, Our May Cavity Free Super Star Winner!
Leo Berliner is our May Cavity Free Super Star Winner! By regular brushing and flossing at home, Leo didn’t have any cavities at his appointment this month, and so was entered into our monthly drawing. Congratulations, Leo, and enjoy your two movie tickets!


All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the 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!

Meet Our Two Local Boise Ceramists!

Meet Our Two Local Boise Ceramists!
Investing in local Boise businesses is one of the many benefits we have as a local dentists. While we can’t wait to talk more about our favorite shops and stores, we thought it was fitting to share more about two local ceramists we work with on a regular basis.


Ralph Langer from Langer Dental Arts and Jack from Treasure Dental Lab take care of our ceramic work for veneers, crowns, and implants. While many dentists outsource their ceramic work to companies overseas, we take pride in keeping this business local! Not only does it allow us to work closely with Ralph and Jack to give our patients the best result, it also allows us to invest in our own community for a stronger local economy.


Quality Material

By using a domestic lab that makes their own crowns and veneers, our Boise dentists know they are getting quality material that is free of toxins or filler material. This knowledge allows our dentists the confidence that they are giving every patient the longest-lasting and healthiest option for a dental crown or bridge. With an overseas or foreign supplier, our dentists cannot be sure of the quality material they are getting.


Tailored results

Not only can our Boise dentists know they are getting pure and high-quality material, they also know that their patients are receiving the most customized results. Because we use local Boise ceramists, we can send a patient to their office for an in-person assessment. This allows Ralph or Jack to see exactly the color and contour the dental crown or porcelain veneer should have. While they usually do such a great job the first time that there is no need for a second appointment, their nearby office allows us to send a dental crown or veneer back to them if it needs a little more tweaking. This would be impossible with an overseas supplier! The final result is a unique and completely customized veneer or crown that will look identical to the patient’s other teeth.


A stronger community.

Finally, by using a local Boise office for our ceramic work, we are supporting and encouraging our local economy. We love our Boise community and want to help it thrive. Using a local ceramist is just one way of doing that. These local labs have such great craftsmanship they deserve to be the first pick for our office’s business!


We know what a great job they do at Langer Dental Arts and Treasure Dental Lab, but we would love to hear about your first-hand experience. Leave a comment here, or stop by our Facebook page to let us know how much you appreciate these great businesses as well!

Boise Dental Work: Growing Up Might Mean Wisdom Teeth Removal

Boise Dental Work: Growing Up Might Mean Wisdom Teeth Removal
For many people, getting wisdom teeth removed is a rite of passage into adulthood. Usually removed when a patient is in their teens or early twenties, the procedure is usually accompanied by a lot of chocolate shakes and plenty of movie marathons. But what does the procedure actually require, and how do our Boise dentists give you the best care?


The Best Preparation.

Our Boise dentists make sure they know everything before heading into a procedure. Not all wisdom teeth have to be removed, if there is room for them, and some teeth do not require the surgical extraction generally associated with removing wisdom teeth. If they have already come in, they may be able to be removed with a simple extraction that only requires local anesethetic.


Not only do we do our research to give you the best care, we also keep our patients informed as well. A patient in need of getting their wisdom teeth removed will know how many teeth need removing and where they are. There are several reasons wisdom teeth need to be removed:
  • The teeth may be misaligned. This means the wisdom teeth are angled towards the patient’s molars. They can also be leaning too far outward or inward. In any case, they cause pain and discomfort.
  • The teeth may be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are still within the jawbone or tissue. While this may not be a problem now, it usually poses a problem later, especially if the teeth are also misaligned. They also may not have broken through the surface of the gums due to space issues and so need to be removed.
  • The teeth may be partially erupted. When a tooth is halfway emerged from the gums, it is called a partially erupted tooth. This can be very uncomfortable and cause swelling and pain. It is also very difficult to brush and floss and so is much more likely to decay.


After the initial exam, patients will receive the information they need to come prepared for the teeth removal. They will know how long the appointment will last, and about how long the recovery will take. It is difficult to give a time frame for the procedure or the recovery because every case is different and every patient is unique. In most cases, the recovery period only lasts a few days.


The Procedure and Healing Process.

On the day of the procedure our Boise dentists may recommend that you do not eat before the appointment so that you are ready for the anesthetic. A general anesthetic will allow you to sleep through the appointment as well as prevent pain. Once you are given the anesthetic, our Boise dentists may begin to count down from ten, or they may ask you to create a nice dream for yourself. In either case, you will be asleep within seconds and will wake up once the appointment is over.


Plan for a lot of sleeping and laying around for the day or two after the appointment to allow time for healing. Generally stay with soft foods like shakes, slowly switching over to regular food as you heal and are able to eat it. Our Boise dentists will give you a thorough recovery sheet so you know how to take care of yourself for the fastest healing. Most important of all, enjoy plenty of great movies or catch up on your favorite television shows!


Wisdom teeth removal does not have to be a painful process. With the best preparation and patient care, our Boise dentists do our best to keep every appointment simple and relaxing. We may even check up on you to make sure you are feeling okay after your appointment.


If you have more questions or think you may need your wisdom teeth removed, stop by our Boise office!



Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Hygiene for Kids 0-18 Years

Advice from Boise Dentists: Dental Hygiene for Kids 0-18 Years
Wondering how to take care of your kids’ teeth? Here are some guidelines for giving your kids the best dental care from age zero to eighteen.


Infant Care

A baby’s teeth start to come in anywhere from six to fifteen months, so its best to start wiping her gums at an early age. It can be hard to tell when teeth are beginning to come through, and it is best to get into the daily habit of brushing teeth sooner rather than later. Simply place some wet gauze or a wet washcloth over your index finger and rub it gently over her gums at bath time.


Once your child’s teeth have come in, you can begin to use a tiny amount of toothpaste on a baby toothbrush. When using so little toothpaste, you don’t need to worry about rinsing, so just focus on brushing the inside and outside of your baby’s teeth, in addition to brushing her tongue.


Kids Teeth

You can usually start teaching kids brush their own teeth when they are about six years old. Kids love to copy their parents, so brushing your teeth together can be a great way to get your children in the habit. Remember that it is best to brush lightly for a long time instead of really hard for a short period of time. To help your kids do a thorough job, you can teach them a song to go along with brushing that you can sing for them, or which they can sing in their head. Make sure your kids are brushing more than the front of their teeth as well.


You may also start flossing your kids’ teeth around this time, or teaching them to floss themselves. It is best that they be flossing every night, but make sure that they are at least flossing twice a week. Since they may not be as coordinated as you are, you can help supervise so that they do the best job and are not uncomfortable (for instance, many kids wrap the floss too tightly around their fingers and find it uncomfortable).


Keep your kids’ teeth looking their best by not only regularly brushing but also limiting sugary snacks or drinks, or at least having kids rinse or brush after eating.


Braces Care

During the teenage years, you’ll find that braces require more care due to the many nooks and crannies the braces create. Make sure you brush your gums and teeth as you normally would, but then also pay special attention to the braces, adding more pressure to the brush so that the bristles go between the brackets. It is best to spend at least a few seconds on each tooth, so an electric toothbrush may be easier.


Flossing is equally important with braces as bacteria and food particles can get stuck between the teeth. Thread the floss under the main wire and then move it up and down around each tooth. If you were given a permanent retainer on the top or bottom of your front teeth, you may want to use a disposable flossing threader which will allow you to floss this area easily as well.


Dental care is an important part of good health in children and adults. Keep your family healthy and cavity free by teaching them how to brush and floss from their toddler years to high school and beyond. Of course, we’d love to talk with you about how we can help keep your family’s teeth looking healthy. Leave us a comment, or call us at our Boise office!

Nolan Harasimowicz is our April Cavity Free Super Star Winner!

Nolan Harasimowicz is our April Cavity Free Super Star Winner!
Congratulation to Nolan Harasimowicz for being this month’s Cavity Free Super Star Winner! Nolan was entered into this month’s Super Star drawing by caring so well for his teeth that he didn’t have any cavities at his appointment. Enjoy your two movie tickets and keep taking such good care of your teeth, Nolan!


All children ages 3-14 who have no cavities get to join the 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!

Boise Dentists: Walking Through a Kids Appointment

Boise Dentists: Walking Through a Kids Appointment

At Summit Dental, our Boise dentists do their best to make sure that all of our patients, especially kids, have a relaxing and comfortable appointment. Take a look at how we keep the experience fun and comfortable for kids from their time in the waiting room to when they walk out of our office doors.

In the waiting room

The waiting room at our new Boise office has an entire kids area for families to relax in. Puzzles, toys, and books are just a few of the things kids can play with in the room, or they can tune into the flat screen television that plays children’s programs, Pixar movies, and other kid-friendly content. This room has a soft kid-friendly rubbery floor and brightly colored paintings along the walls to create a fun environment.

During the appointment

If the appointment is for a child between three and five years old (we recommend a first appointment at age three), the appointment is usually just a happy visit where we check their teeth and help them get acquainted with the office. The child can sit on their parent’s lap or by themselves, whichever is easiest.

Parents are always welcome back to the treatment rooms with their children, whatever their age. For some procedures, the experience may be better if parents wait in the waiting room, as the child may be less distracted, and it allows us to phrase things properly and use our “show, tell, do” philosophy. However, parents are always given the option to come back to the treatment rooms with their child if they feel it would be best.

Regardless what the appointment is for, our Boise dentists always use a “show, tell, do” philosophy with every procedure. This involves using kid-friendly terms while explaining and then showing what we will do before we do it. For example, when using the water sprayer or air sprayer, we will call it “rain” or “wind,” in addition to calling the suction that draws out the water the “big straw.”

For cavity fillings, we often use nitrous oxide or laughing gas for children as it helps them relax. To do this, we use a nose piece which we call their “silly nose.” The nose piece is flavored like cherries or strawberries, so we ask them if they can smell the cherries. This is another procedure where we use kid-friendly language, such as calling a cavity a “sugar bug” and referring to part of the filling procedure as “painting the tooth.” We sometimes offer different colored filling material in blue, green or orange so kids can choose their favorite color or school color.

We maintain the “show, tell, do” philosophy with our other tools as well. We call the drill a “water sprayer” and let kids feel the spray of water on their hands. When numbing a child’s mouth, we never use the word “needle,” and we do our best to hide the needle before getting them numb. We call it “sleepy juice” that is going to make their tooth feel sleepy or silly, and we call the poke they may feel a “mosquito bite.” We are almost always able to get their mouth numb without them seeing the needle or feeling much discomfort. Usually the one thing that can interrupt this process is if another family member or sibling is in the room and says something that will give the child anxiety.

The end of the appointment

After any filling, cleaning, or procedure, if the child is well behaved, they will get to pick out a prize from the treasure chest, get a coupon for a TCBY kids frozen yogurt, or receive a toothbrush and toothpaste, or perhaps all three! If the child doesn’t have any cavities, they are entered in the Cavity Free Kids Club, which has a monthly drawing for a prize and movie tickets. This monthly Cavity Free Super Star Winner is given balloons, movie tickets, and a prize in addition to getting mentioned on our Facebook page and blog. After every appointment, we generally call to follow up and make sure everything is feeling okay.

In the end, our main goal during a child’s appointment is to make the whole experience fun every step of the way, from waiting room to back in the treatment rooms. We choose the words that reflect this and then offer kids a “prize” at the end to reward the experience. We would love to talk to you about how we provide the best dental care for your children, so leave us a comment or stop by our Boise office.

Boise Cosmetic Dental Work: How We Personalize the Process of Cosmetic Dental Work

Boise Cosmetic Dental Work: How We Personalize the Process of Cosmetic Dental Work

We do more than just give you a porcelain dental crown and veneers. We do a thorough job of discovering what you want and what will look and work best with your smile. From our ceramists to our hygienists we aim to make you feel comfortable and to give you your best smile. Wondering how we do it? Here is a typical appointment schedule for getting crowns or veneers:

Initial Cosmetic Dentistry appointment.

If you are considering cosmetic dental work such as a dental crown or veneers, we will do some information gathering during the initial appointment.  Our Boise dentists will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab, where they will do a “mock up” in wax so we can show you what to expect as far as the shape and contour of your teeth. This will ensure that we are both happy with the direction of the case before we start.  During this appointment we also examine your facial profile and lip line as well as the smile at rest and full smile.  We generally take a few pictures for before-and-after comparison.

 Second Cosmetic Dentistry appointment.

The next appointment is the actual preparation of your teeth to receive the crown or veneer.  Thanks to the cutting edge ceramic materials we use these days, the changes we make for both crowns and veneers are minimal.  You also don’t need to worry about how your smile will look between this appointment and the placement of the permanent dental crown or veneers because we will give you provisional or “temporary” crowns or veneers.

At the end of this appointment we take an impression of your teeth to send to Ralph or Jack, our two favorite ceramists who both operate in Boise and the Treasure Valley area. They will create the dental crown or veneers according to the contours and shape we had in the original mock up. They will know the shade to make the veneers and crowns by looking at the picture we provide, or by having you go meet them personally for a custom shade appointment.

Why do we use a local lab? It gives us the option to send you over to their lab for a personal look at your teeth so Ralph and Jack can do their best job in matching the shade, color, shape, and natural anatomy of your teeth. Every person has subtle characteristics that give them their unique smile, so these are best matched in person with a highly experienced and talented ceramist. Secondly, because we are able to work so closely with Ralph and Jack we can get the highest quality, something that would be more difficult to achieve if we used an overseas company. Finally, using a local lab means we are keeping the business here locally, supporting the local Boise economy.

Third Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment.

This is the appointment where we try-in the permanent veneers or crowns to make sure both of us are completely satisfied with the result in all aspects.  If any minor changes are needed either in color, shape or contour, our Boise dentists will accomplish this prior to cementing the final veneers or crowns.  We have you evaluate your new smile in the mirror, and on some occasions we have a spouse or a friend view them as well to make sure you are completely happy with your new teeth.  If you are, we proceed to cementing the veneer or crown on permanently with a specialized cement designed to bond to both the natural tooth structure and ceramic material. We also like to take some photographs of the final result of your beautiful smile!

We do our best to accomplish most of the work on the front end of this process to ensure you are happy with the final product and have a long lasting and high quality veneer or crown.  After the dental crown or veneers are in place, you can help maintain the quality and health of these and your other teeth by following the same protocol as you would with your natural teeth: brushing twice a day, regularly flossing and keeping regular hygiene appointments. These regular check-ups help maintain the integrity of the restorations, as well as help catch any potential issues as soon as possible.

We love giving you the smile restoration you want through our thorough and personal cosmetic dental work process. Have more questions on the process? Stop by our Boise dental office or leave a comment below!


Your First Cosmetic Dental Appointment with Summit Boise Dentists

Your First Cosmetic Dental Appointment with Summit Boise Dentists
Worried about your first cosmetic dental appointment? Put your fears aside with this quick overview of your appointment at our Boise dental office. Your first appointment generally has three parts: expectations, evaluation, and consultation.


You can help us give you the best care by preparing for your appointment before you even arrive at our Boise dentist office. One of the first things we want to know when you head into your appointment is what expectations you have, so come to our office prepared to let us know what you are looking for and what concerns you have. Consider if you looking to fix a distinct problem, or if you want some general ideas on how to improve your whole smile.
If you want any changes completed by a certain date, now is the time to tell us (for example, many people come in for changes before an important day like graduation or their wedding). We will do our best to accommodate you!


If you are a new patient, we will give you a comprehensive new patient exam. This will help us understand if there are any underlying problems we need to address before deciding on a cosmetic procedure.
During a comprehensive exam, we will check for oral cancer, cavities, and evidence of periodontal disease or teeth grinding or clenching. We will also take x-rays to look for tooth decay, bone loss, and other major problems. Our goal is to give you a healthy and functional smile in addition to a beautiful smile. By addressing all the issues you have, not just cosmetic issues, we can save you time, money, and discomfort.


Once we fully understand what you want and what needs to be done, we will discuss the various options you have for a smile restoration or other procedure. Some of the procedures we may discuss include teeth whitening, ceramic crowns and porcelain veneers. If you need some teeth to be replaced, we can discuss the difference between a dental implant and a bridge. If you are looking for a full smile restoration, we will probably recommend a blend of these procedures, covering some teeth with veneers or crowns while whitening others and possibly replacing missing or severely damaged teeth.
In addition to giving you the smile you are looking for, we will also mention any other problems you may want to address. This could include getting a mouth guard to prevent further damage to your teeth from grinding or clenching, or it could mean starting some periodontal treatments for periodontitis.
We want to make every patient in the Treasure Valley area feel comfortable and confident during their appointments in our Boise dentist office. We hope that this overview helped give you a better idea of what to expect when you walk through our doors.
Do you still have a few questions about setting up an appointment or about cosmetic dentistry? Call our Boise office or drop a note in the comments below!