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.

Stressed Out? You May Be Taking it Out On Your Teeth

The technical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and it is common among many adults and teenagers. “Keep a stiff upper lip” or “get a grip!” That’s often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress. If you take it too literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It’s called bruxism, and often it happens as we sleep, caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. Symptoms include a dull headache or a sore jaw. You could have teeth that are painful or loose from severe grinding. This can lead to fractures in your teeth. Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax! Physical therapy, muscle relaxants, counseling and even exercise may help reduce tension. Don’t make your teeth the brunt of your stress. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, don’t hesitate to inform your local Boise dentists at your next appointment with Summit Dental Boise.

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Replacing Old Fillings: Advice From Boise Dentists

I know there have been patients that when it is recommended a filling be replaced they ask themselves this question: If my tooth doesn’t hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced? There are many reasons a filling may need to be replaced and more times than not, the best time to treat the condition is before you notice symptoms. Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings and restorations to wear away, chip or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up. If the seal between the tooth enamel and the restoration breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the restoration. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscess. If the restoration is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown. If you have any questions regarding your fillings, or notice a persistent ache in one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to inform your local Boise dentists at your next meeting with Summit Dental Boise.

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Placing Dental Sealants to Prevent Decay: Advice From Boise Dentists

You have probably heard of the term dental sealant and been unsure what the procedure is meant to accomplish. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings placed over the chewing surfaces of teeth to help protect them from developing dental decay. They cover the “pits and grooves” of teeth, the little crevices where food and plaque tend to accumulate.

The sealants are applied by the dentist or dental hygienist on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. It will go on as a liquid so it is able to flow in to the little grooves and pits and then it quickly hardens when a curing light is applied to provide a protective covering over the surface of the tooth. It is a very minimally invasive procedure with little to no discomfort and may protect the tooth for many years to come. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is the best way to help ensure everything remains in good condition. If you have any questions about dental sealants, don’t hesitate to ask your local Boise dentists at your next appointment with Summit Dental Boise.


Great Year to be a Football Fan in Idaho

We wanted to congratulate the University of Idaho and Boise State Football teams on great seasons and on their big bowl game wins.  Football in the state of Idaho is alive and well! Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next season and who knows, maybe a national championship….


Desensitizing Agent Used Before In Office Bleaching

The article written in October 2009 concluded that using a desensitizing gel before in office bleaching with a strong bleaching agent did reduce patient tooth sensitivity while not reducing the effect of the whitening procedure.  Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect associated with teeth whitening/ in-office bleaching.  This is good news for people concerned about this possible side effect and would like to have pearly white teeth!


FDA Classification of Teeth Whitening Agent

Rockville, Md.—The ADA has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to review and classify chemically-based tooth whitening agents.

Concerned that the application of unregulated dental products administered by unlicensed technicians or nonprofessionals may be harmful to consumers, the Association urged the FDA to “establish an appropriate regulatory classification for tooth whitening preparations that act by chemical means” to lighten tooth color.

The ADA detailed its concerns in a Nov. 20 letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., from ADA President Ronald L. Tankersley and ADA Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin.

The action was prompted by the prevalence of whitening in nondental settings such as malls, kiosks, salons and cruise ships, which offer the services.

In the letter, Drs. Tankersley and O’Loughlin called this “troubling since consumers have little or no assurance regarding product safety or the professional qualifications of individuals employed in these nondental settings.

“Consequently, the ADA has legitimate concerns about the safe use of tooth whitening products without the benefit of professional consultation or examination,” they noted.

In 2008, the increase in teeth-whitening businesses encouraged the ADA House of Delegates to call for the Association to petition the FDA to properly classify tooth whitening and bleaching agents. Resolution 73H-2008 also urged the ADA to support educating the public on the importance of consulting a licensed dentist to determine if whitening/bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.

In addition, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs compiled scientific research to describe treatment considerations for dentists before performing these procedures in order to reduce the incidence of adverse outcomes and report these findings to all state dental associations.

Res. 73H-2008 also called for constituent societies, through legislative or regulatory efforts, to support the proposition that administering or applying any intra-oral chemical for the sole purpose of whitening/bleaching of the teeth by whatever technique, except for the lawfully permitted self-application and application by a parent and/or guardian, constitutes the practice of dentistry, and any nondentist engaging in such activity is committing the unlicensed practice of dentistry.

More information is available in the ADA press release, posted online at


Understanding Your Dental Insurance with Advice From Boise Dentists

As the end of the year approaches, it is important to understand your dental insurance benefits. Each individual plan is very different and taking the time to read your policy will help you maximize the benefits you are entitled to. Many plans have annual maximums that renew at the beginning of the new year, and any benefit that remains generally does not carry over. Also, if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage, calling the provider’s customer service number can be a good way to have some of them answered. If you have any other questions please let us know next time you are in, and we will do our best to help you get them answered.


State Farm Health Fair Features Local Boise Dentists

Last week we had the privilege of attending the first annual State Farm Health Fair. The event was a success and had a great turnout of people interested in improving their health. The event was put on for the employees and had different health care professionals and vendors interested in overall health speaking about their respective areas of expertise. We answered lots of questions concerning people’s oral health and options in dentistry. Also, we were able to hand out a lot of toothbrushes, floss and oralpix as well as samples of teeth whitening and a drawing for two electronic toothbrushes. It would be great to see more events like this promoting personal health around the valley and we congratulate State Farm for taking the initiative.


Boise Dentists Announce Sugar Swap Winner

We would like to thank all of our participants in this years first annual Sugar Swap put on by the Boise dentists at Summit Dental! We had a great turnout, and ended up with 60 pounds of leftover Halloween candy. That’s 60 less pounds on the street! Next year we would like to continue the tradition and hopefully have even more participants and a bigger total of leftover candy.

Congratulations to Cooper, the winner of the grand prize drawing for an Ipod Touch. He was very excited to be the lucky winner and even said that he would share with his brother once in a while. Hope everyone had a great Halloween; we’re looking forward to Thanksgiving.