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4 Signs You Need a Boise Night Guard

Image via Flickr by k.kazantzoglou Life is full of surprises!!!:)

You’ve probably heard about a Boise night guard to help with Bruxism (teeth grinding), but aren’t sure if you need one. Here are four signs that you grind your teeth and need a Boise night guard to protect them:

1. You Wake Up With a Headache

Bruxism (teeth grinding) is hard on every muscle from your shoulders up, so it can easily cause migraines or headaches. If you wake up with a headache, you might want to visit Boise dentists to see if you need a night guard.

2. Your Jaw Clicks or Is Sore

By putting so much pressure on your jaw throughout the night, you might find that it is sore or stiff, especially in the morning. Long-term Bruxism can even result in your jaw clicking or getting stuck.

3. You’ve Noticed Changes in Your Bite

As you keep so much pressure on your teeth and jaw for so many hours in the night, the pressure can cause your teeth to shift. This can mean loose teeth, or an unmatched bite. Over the long term, teeth grinding can actually change the way your face looks because it affects your teeth and jaw so much.

4. Your Teeth Are Easily Cracked or Chipped

Bruxism not only moves your teeth, it also weakens them.  A dental patient with Bruxism is much more likely to have a cracked tooth or to chip a tooth. A Boise night guard would protect teeth from this by preventing your teeth from grinding against each other.

Have you used a Boise night guard? Have you noticed a difference?





Have a Boise Dental Emergency? (yes sometimes things happen on the weekend)

So you’ve cracked a tooth, lost a filling, or are in severe pain on a Saturday and don’t think you can get an appointment until the work week. Here’s what you can do:

Image via Flickr by Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

Call the Boise Dentists at Summit Dental, Even After Hours

First thing you can do is call our Summit dental office in Boise to see if we can help or if we have any available weekends. Boise dentists make themselves available for phone consultations during a Boise dental emergency as well. In a Boise dental emergency, our dental office will connect you with one of our Boise dentists for a quick consultation. Our Boise dentists will let you know what you need to do until you can see a dentist and can even let you know if you can’t wait and need dental care immediately.

Save a Lost Tooth or Even Tooth Fragments

If you’ve chipped a tooth or lost an entire tooth, find the pieces, avoiding touching the tooth’s roots if you can. Sometimes our Boise dentists can re-implant the tooth, especially if you get to the office within 30 minutes of the accident. Before then, avoid touching or cleaning the tooth’s root and keep it in a cup of milk.

Take Care of the Pain from a Boise Dental Emergency

What you are probably wanting to know most of all, however, is what you can do to get the area from the Boise dental emergency to stop hurting. Below are a few things you can do:

A wet compress. Place an icepack next to your cheek to dull the ache, or even get a cloth wet and lightly bite down on it if that helps.

A wet tea bag. A similar idea as the compress, the tea also has tannins that will help with swelling and pain. Simply place the tea bag (dunked in cold water) next to the area in pain. You can lightly bite on it if that helps as well.

Over-the-counter Boise tooth pain medicine and pills. Take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen or naproxen sodium so it can start working to bring down your pain level as well. Don’t, however, place a pain reliever next to the Boise tooth pain. These pills were meant to be swallowed, not applied topically, and they can be harmful to your teeth and gums. Instead, look for a pain relieving dental gel at your local pharmacy.

Salt water.  Mix up a cup of salt water and slowly rinse and spit. Not only will this help with pain, it also gets rid of bacteria.

Have you had a Boise dental emergency? What happened?




5 Signs of Gum Disease

Wondering how to know if you have gum disease? Here are five signs that could mean you have a gum disease:

1. Bleeding, Red or Swollen Gums

Summit dental 2013 08 healthy gumsIf gums are infected, you might notice that they look and feel irritated. Redness and swelling is common. Gums may also bleed regularly when eating, brushing, or flossing.

2. Receding Gums

When a patient’s gums are infected, they may also notice gradual gum loss as the bacteria and infection eats away at their gums and enamel. This will happen slowly, so you may not notice the change day to day. Our Boise Dentists and hygienists, however, have a trained eye and can recognize the gum loss. Yet another reason to keep your annual dental check-up!

3. Perpetual Bad Breath

Have you noticed that your breath is always stale or smelly? While brushing your teeth regularly and brushing your tongue can help, gum disease can trap the bacteria in your mouth that gives you bad breath. If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, it’s probably time to see our Boise dentists about gum disease.

4. Painful Chewing and Sensitive Teeth

Gum disease affects a lot more than just your gum health. The infection caused by the disease can also eat away at tooth enamel, making your teeth much more sensitive and even causing pain when chewing. Our Boise dentists can check for dental disease and can also recommend a special toothpaste that will help protect sensitive teeth.

5. Loose Teeth and Gum Disease

As gum disease irritates and eats away at your gumline, it can undermine your teeth’s stability. A higher gumline can leave a tooth root exposed. Not only can this be painful, it can also loosen its hold in your jaw. Untreated, the tooth can continue to loosen and even become infected.

Do you recognize one or more of these signs? Regular brushing and flossing can help you keep good gum health and prevent gum disease, but if you are exhibiting more than one of these symptoms, it might be time to drop by our Boise dental office for an appointment. We’d be happy to help!




Straightening and Aligning: #4 of 4 Areas of Boise Cosmetic Dentistry

Sometimes you can only do so much with porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, or gum shaping when looking at Boise cosmetic dentistry. In these cases, it’s time to call in a Boise orthodontics office for a dental fix. Thankfully, we have a good relationship with several Boise orthodontics in the area and are more than happy to give you a recommendation.

Boise Orthodontics: Braces

Image via Flickr by monica y garza

Braces can fix everything from too-crowded teeth to a crooked or turned tooth, among many other things. Braces from a Boise orthodontics office may also be necessary before getting a dental implant as braces will help shift your other teeth to make room for the implant. Braces aren’t just for kids, either. Adults often need them if their teeth have shifted since they were kids or if they never had the braces they needed. Invisalign braces can work to straighten teeth without the bulky brackets and wires as well for those who are self-conscious. Once teeth are straight and healthy, you still may want porcelain veneers to correct any imperfections in shape or color, but you need to start with the Boise orthodontics office.

Retainers: The Underappreciated Dental Fix

Braces aren’t the only way to correct crooked teeth. Many times a retainer will suffice for something like an underbite. And once teeth are straightened with braces, a retainer will make sure the teeth stay in the right place. You still have to wear your retainer, however, or your teeth may shift and all that work you went through with braces can be undone rather quickly if you don’t follow the instructions from our Boise dentists and their colleagues.

Dental Care with Braces or Retainers

Dental care is especially important when straightening your teeth because the extra dental hardware is a magnet for gathering food particles and bacteria. If you have braces, you should become a champ at flossing. With a retainer, make sure you brush your teeth extra well, especially around the gums which can become sensitive when in contact with a retainer all day. And don’t forget to floss, too!

Have you used braces or a retainer? How did you keep your teeth clean and cavity free?


Dental X-Rays Vs. Impressions – What’s the Difference?

Image via Flickr by Sharon Drummond

Have you ever been confused about the difference between Boise dental x-rays and impressions? Both take a panoramic view of your teeth, but they have incredibly different purposes. Here’s what makes each process unique:

Boise Dental X-Rays for Finding Cavities and Hidden Teeth

If you are getting a cavity filled, in need of a dental implant, or any other number of dental procedures, you’ll need a dental x ray. Here are a few things a dental x ray can show our Boise dentists:

  • A tooth’s root. This is especially important to see if the teeth are straight and healthy, or if there is room for a dental implant.
  • Cavities. While our Boise dentists can see a cavity when inspecting a patient’s teeth, a dental x ray can be helpful in discovering just how big the cavity is.
  • Impacted teeth. Boise dental x-rays will show a child’s adult teeth under their baby teeth in addition to showing the position of wisdom teeth in adults.
  • Bone and gum loss or abnormalities. If you have suffered bone or gum loss from a disease, Boise dental x-rays can show our Boise dentists the extent of the damage.

Dental Impressions for Getting a Crown

Instead of looking for cavities, abnormalities, or teeth that have not yet surfaced, dental impressions are used to give our Boise dentists and 3-D mold of your teeth. This shows us:

  • The patient’s bite. With a dental impression, our Boise dentists can see exactly how your teeth and jaws fit together. This is useful for seeing how to make a dental crown, but it can also be helpful in seeing how your jaws align.
  • The shape and size of a tooth. When you need a dental crown or implant, our Boise dentists can get the exact shape and size of your teeth thanks to a dental impression.
  • The shape and size of all your teeth. If our dentists need to give you a partial, a mouth guard, or customized teeth whitening trays, we want the exact 3-D design of all of your teeth. A dental impression gives it to us so that whatever we make will be the perfect fit.

New CEREC Restorations Digital Impressions

While you sometimes need both Boise dental x-rays and dental impressions, our Boise dentists have found an easier way to get your dental impressions. Instead of using a putty-like substance with large and uncomfortable trays (as dentists have used for decades), Summit dental has recently purchased CEREC digital impressions technology.

Here’s how the new CEREC digital impressions works: Our dentists will run a wand-like camera over your teeth, which sends the CEREC digital impressions onto a computer. The program immediately constructs a 3-D digital likeness of your teeth on screen. These digital impressions are then used just the same as the physical impressions.

Want to learn more about the difference between dental x-rays and physical or digital impressions? Ask one of our amazing Boise dentists or staff the next time you are in the office!



Advice from Boise Dentists: How Often Should Dental X-Rays be Taken?

Image via Flickr by Ano Labb

Wondering how often you should get dental x-rays or how safe dental x-rays are? Our numbers and recommendations vary with every patient, but below are some examples of how we might modify our x-ray dental schedule to fit you:

Dental X-Rays During Annual or Semi-Annual Cleanings:

Some dentists will take a dental x ray from their patients every six months simply because their insurance will pay for it. Others rely on a visual exam and only use dental x-rays if we see a problem. Our Boise dentists tend to side with the latter group.

X-Ray Dental Schedule for Children:

Our Boise dentists prefer to rely on a visual inspection of a child’s teeth instead of taking a dental x ray. The reason? Children may be more vulnerable to radiation than adults. And a visual inspection is a good way to see if there is any need to get a dental x ray. As children get older, we might recommend getting x-rays every one or two years.

X-Ray Dental Recommendations during Pregnancy:

If possible, we (and the American Pregnancy Association) recommend waiting on non-emergency dental x-rays until after the pregnancy. While radiation levels are very low as explained below, we just don’t see the need to take any chances, especially during the first trimester. Don’t take this as a ticket out of making an appointment with our Boise dentists during pregnancy, however! Treating cavities and other dental problems is extremely important during pregnancy due to the stress these issues can bring on the body.

X-Ray Dental Schedule for Those with Dental Disease:

People who we know have recurrent issues with their teeth should definitely get a dental x ray more often. This will clearly depend on the patient and their history, however, but a common number would be six months.

How Much Radiation in a Dental X Ray?

There have been a lot of conversations lately about the radiation in dental x-rays. Several sources have said that the radiation in dental x-rays is equal to the amount of radiation you get in a day from the sun and other sources. So the levels are generally pretty low. However, radiation exposure cumulates over a lifetime, so there is good reason to not be too hasty to get dental x-rays done.

Hopefully this will give an insight into how our office works with dental x-rays. Got more questions? Feel free to talk to us or send us a note, and we might write about it here!



Boise Dentist Teeth Whitening Advice for Summer

With summer here, we know many of you are looking to whiten your teeth. Here are tips for Boise cosmetic dentistry for each of our three teeth whitening procedures:

Advice for Crest Extra-Strength Boise Dentist Teeth Whitening Strips

With special-strength white strips available only at the dentist, you can get professional results that is easy to use on the go. Here are our tips for this affordable method of Boise cosmetic dentistry:

  • Try to the strips keep off the gums. While you want to make sure that you are covering your teeth, you don’t want the peroxide gel on your gums as it can irritate them and cause ulcers. This is especially important since these strips require more weeks of use for best results.
  • Only use for the recommended daily time. Since the peroxide in the strips can irritate gums, don’t keep them in all night. Cap the time at 45 minutes.
  • Sip coffee and tea through a straw. If you can’t give up your teeth-staining drinks, drink them through a straw so that they don’t get on your teeth during the whitening process.

Advice for At-Home Teeth Whitening Gel with Customized Trays

As our most popular teeth whitening solution, this gel and tray kit has a customized tray that is made from an impression of your teeth, so it fits perfectly. This customized tray also keeps the gel just on your teeth and away from your gums.

  • Keep trays in all night. Since the trays keep the whitening gel off the gums, you can leave the trays in all night for the most whitening. Plus, it is no hassle to put the trays in before bed.
  • Look out for sensitive teeth. If your teeth start to hurt or become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, you can try one or all of three things:
    • Use less gel in the trays
    • Use the trays every other day instead of once a day
    • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth like Sensodyne.
    • Once at the desired whiteness, only touch up once a week. Some people get obsessed with teeth whitening and Boise cosmetic dentistry, continuing to use the strips every night. However, once you reach the desired level of whiteness, you only need to use the whitening strips once or twice a month.

Advice for Boise Dentist Teeth Whitening In-Office Appointment

Image via Flickr by NYCArthur

As the fastest way to whiten your teeth, in-office treatments can use a stronger solution because the process is under professional supervision. If you don’t have the time, this is a great option.

  • Get teeth healthy beforehand. In-office teeth whitening can aggravate any cavities or decay in your teeth, so you’ll need our Boise dentists to make sure your teeth are healthy and ready to go!
  • Start using toothpaste for sensitive teeth before the appointment. If you are prone to sensitive teeth, you can start protecting your teeth from sensitivity by using Sensodyne a week before your appointment.
  • Watch out for staining foods or substances. Teeth can be unusually vulnerable to staining right after whitening, so take a few days off of coffee, tea, wine, or smoking.

Still have questions about Boise dentist teeth whitening? Boise cosmetic dentistry is our specialty, so contact us for more information!


How a Boise Dentist Performs Smile Restoration

Before and After: Image via Flickr by Dr. Alper, DMD, Cosmetic Dentist

Wondering how a Boise dentist at Summit Dental Group can restore your smile? The process involves three steps and can be completed in a day!

Step 1: Consultation with a Boise Dentist

Boise consultations are when we take a look at your teeth and at your dental records to see what we’re dealing with and how we can help you. This will help us see if we are dealing with a recurrent problem or with something that is strictly Boise cosmetic dentistry. A recurrent problem would be something like pain or problems with an old partial or filling while a strictly cosmetic issue would be tooth discoloration. Whatever it is, we can help!

Once we’ve identified the problem, we’ll talk over with you the plan for your smile restoration in Boise. For crowns and veneers, we can discover the problem, make the smile restoration in-house, and install it permanently the same day, thanks to our CEREC technology.

Step 2: Impressions and Preparation for Boise Cosmetic Dentistry

Once we’ve decided on a plan, we can begin taking impressions and prepping your teeth (or we can schedule a later appointment for impressions and installation). We don’t use the messy and uncomfortable goo for impressions that you have probably seen with another dentist. Boise cosmetic dentistry at Summit uses our CEREC Omnicam wand to take a digital impression of your teeth. The CEREC Omnicam is just as accurate if not more so than physical impressions, and it transfers immediately to our computers so you can see what your teeth look like and how the crown or veneer will fit perfectly with them.

The best thing about the CEREC system for Boise cosmetic dentistry? The CEREC Omnicam captures exactly what your teeth look like. The program will use this perfect impression to create a perfect crown or veneer. This keeps your bite the same and the overall look of your smile the same. Of course, our dentists can always tweak the look of a crown or veneer for your preference.

Step 3: Same-Day Installation of Crowns and Veneers

Once you are happy with the on-screen look of a smile restoration, Boise dentists will send it to our in-office 3-D printer to create the all-porcelain crown or veneer. We can then install it for you to see how it looks. You can bring a family member or friend with you to check out your new smile and make sure that it has the look you want. After we’ve made it look just the way you want, we’ll cement it in place, giving you a new permanent smile.

Still have questions about smile restoration in Boise from a Summit dentist? Boise office hours are generally 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Feel free to stop in and talk with us!


The Do’s and Don’t’s of Boise Teeth Whitening

You know you want to get your teeth whitened, and you’ve heard plenty of things that you should and shouldn’t do with the process. Here are four things you should keep in mind:

Image via Flickr by Kaptain Kobold

1. Do research and ask your dentist in Boise which whitening methods work the best for you.

While you should do your own research, you can also get valuable information by talking with your dentist. Boise dentists at our Summit Dental Office offer three methods of Boise teeth whitening: extra-strength whitening strips, an in-office teeth whitening Boise treatment, and customized whitening trays. The teeth whitening trays offer a great mix of affordability and customized work and is our most popular choice.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute to get teeth whitening in Boise.

Unless you choose an in-office treatment with a Boise dentist, you’ll need at least a few weeks to get to your teeth to the desired whiteness. Give yourself a month with the extra-strength Boise teeth whitening strips or customized trays.

3. Do become extra vigilant with daily dental hygiene.

By brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day, you can keep your teeth the beautiful white you want them to be long after your teeth whitening Boise treatment. You can further keep them white by rinsing your mouth or brushing after eating or drinking anything extra sugary.

4. Don’t drink staining liquids during or right after your Boise teeth whitening treatment.

If you want to see results quickly and want them to last, avoid drinking tea, coffee, soda, and other dark liquids that are more likely to stain teeth. A patient’s teeth are especially vulnerable to staining right after a teeth whitening Boise treatment, so it is especially important to avoid these substances during and soon after the bleaching process, no matter which method you choose. The same goes for smoking or chewing tobacco—it yellows your teeth, so limit use, rinse after using, or (best of all) cut it out completely.

What have you learned from getting your teeth whitened? Let us know!



Advice From Boise Dentists: 4 Signs You Need a Dental Crown

Ever wondered why you really need to get a dental crown? Aside from replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant, there are at least four signs that you need a dental crown:

Image via Flickr by I am a Pear

1. You Are Getting a Root Canal

A root canal means that infection has found its way to the nerve of a tooth, killing the tooth and causing an infection at its root. At our office a dentist, Boise trained and based, will drain the tooth and fill the root to seal it off, but we usually recommend a crown to finish the treatment. After a root canal, the tooth is dead and is therefore more brittle and easier to break. If the tooth has already had a few cavities (and most teeth that require root canals have), it will be even more susceptible to breaking. A crown will give it an extra seal of protection and added strength.

2. Our Boise Dentists Found a Deep Crack in the Tooth

As you’ll hear from our own dentist, Boise patients with a cracked tooth do not always need a dental crown. However, if you do have a cracked tooth, you need to see one of our Boise dentists as soon as possible to see how bad of a crack it is. Our dentists will make sure that the crack is confined and does not reach the nerve and kill the tooth. Deeper cracks require a crown to protect the tooth and to keep the tooth and its root strong.

3. Your Tooth Has Chipped

If your tooth has chipped in the simple course of everyday (that is, without any injury or trauma causing it to chip), it is a good sign that you need a tooth crown. Boise dentists will tell you that strong and healthy teeth don’t chip. Fragile, crumbling teeth do. If your tooth is starting to fall apart just due to everyday use, our Boise dentists will add a crown to protect as much of the tooth as possible and to keep the root of the tooth strong and healthy. Left alone, the tooth can continue to crumble, get infected, and be lost entirely.

4. A Dentist, Boise Trained, Has Found Too Many Cavities on One Tooth

The more cavities you have on a tooth, the more its strength is compromised. This can come from several medium sized cavities or just one very large one—if a single cavity covers more than half the width of a tooth, a filling won’t do. You’ll need a dental crown.

Still have questions about Boise crowns? We have a dentist in Boise that will happily answer your questions!