All Posts tagged Downtown Boise dentist

Wisdom Teeth 101: Common Signs You Need An Extraction

Wisdom Teeth 101: Common Signs You Need An Extraction

While most people will need a wisdom tooth extraction during their lifetime, not everyone will develop their wisdom teeth at the same time. Likewise, not all people experience the same symptoms when a wisdom tooth needs to be removed. As a result, it’s important to recognize the warning signs that may indicate you need a wisdom tooth extraction to avoid the need for an emergency Boise dental visit.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to seek wisdom tooth removal:

Common Signs You Need An Extraction

Pain or Swelling

As wisdom teeth develop, it’s not uncommon to experience pain or swelling. Pain or swelling can indicate an infection that can affect your overall health if left untreated. While some people notice jaw sensitivity, others may feel a constant dull pain. In either of these scenarios, it’s important to visit your downtown Boise dentist at Summit Dental Group for an immediate exam.

Difficulty Eating

Pain while eating is another common warning sign for a wisdom tooth extraction. If you find it difficult to chew or swallow, it may be time to visit your Boise dentist to find out if you have an impacted wisdom tooth. Likewise, food and bacteria can build up between a wisdom tooth and its neighboring molar causing pain due to decay or infection.

Sinus Issues

While it’s not something we’d normally associate with a wisdom tooth, sinus issues can develop when an extraction is needed. As a wisdom tooth and its roots develop on the upper jaw, they can push and rub against the sinuses putting pressure on them. This, in turn, can lead to sinus pain, pressure, headaches, and congestion.

Inflamed Gums

Often when a wisdom tooth develops, it can create a flap of gum tissue that resides next to the tooth. This gum tissue can trap small food particles and bacteria. This can cause pericoronitis (an infection near the wisdom tooth) causing the tissue around the tooth to become hard and inflamed. Symptoms of pericoronitis include painful, swollen gums, a bad smell or taste in the mouth, discharge from the gum near the tooth, swelling on the affected side of the face and swollen lymph nodes. As a rather serious issue, pericoronitis must be treated by your Boise dentist.

Do I Have to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important to consult with your downtown Boise dentist about the best method for extraction. In some cases, the tooth will emerge just enough that it can easily be removed at our Summit Dental office. However, an impacted wisdom tooth may need to be surgically removed. If this happens, we will refer you to an oral surgeon to best meet your individual needs.

If you’re experiencing any oral discomfort and aren’t sure whether or not wisdom tooth is the main culprit, call us at (208) 345-8962. We can help diagnose the problem with a thorough exam to help you decide on the best treatment option.


Responding to Boise Dental Emergencies

Responding to Boise Dental Emergencies

If you’ve ever had an accident where you’ve injured your teeth or gums, you may have experienced a dental emergency. That’s why it’s important to stay educated in order to prepare for a worst-case scenario so you can apply first aid before heading to your Boise dentist for more comprehensive treatment.

Responding to Dental Injuries

Seeking emergency dental services when an accident happens can determine whether or not a tooth can be saved. By understanding what you should in an emergency, you can also prevent infection or making a wound worse, especially if you can’t get into your Boise dentist right away.   

One of the best ways to prepare for an emergency is to have a first aid kit ready to go. In addition to the necessary materials of a standard first aid kit, it should include the following materials meant specifically for oral injuries:

  • Gauze to stop bleeding
  • Mouthwash to help clean wounds
  • Toothpaste or denture adhesive to temporarily hold lost crowns or fillings in place
  • A small cup or a special kit to preserve a knocked-out tooth

In the case of a knocked-out tooth, a person should be seen by a Boise dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t happen to have a first-aid kit on hand, you can simply fill a small cup with water or milk and use it to transport the tooth to the dentist.

When to See Your Boise Dentist

Not all injuries to the mouth warrant a visit to the dentist. However, it’s important to see your Boise dentist right away if teeth are loose, broken, or have become dislodged. With immediate dental care, teeth in these situations can often be saved. Without professional dental treatment, the chances of losing them greatly increase.

Lost crowns, fillings and bridges should also be promptly attended to. In the meantime, however, you can use toothpaste or denture adhesive to hold them in place. Other minor injuries such as lacerations, bruises, tears or cuts can be treated at home unless stitches or other special care is required where it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible.

Contact Summit Dental Group

Keep in mind that no matter how hard we try to prepare for a worst-case scenario, accidents do happen. In the case of a dental emergency, contact your Boise Dentist ASAP. At Summit Dental, we can provide you with over-the-phone recommendations as well as schedule an appointment depending on the severity of your dental emergency.



Boise Dental Tips For Protecting Your Toddler’s Teeth

Boise Dental Tips For Protecting Your Toddler’s Teeth

As adults, we all know how important it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Too many parents, however, often overlook the importance of teaching their children good oral habits during the toddler years. During these impressionable years, children between the ages of 2-5 learn and develop lifelong habits that will help them throughout their daily lives. That’s why it’s vital they learn how to care for their teeth and gums at an early age.

At Summit Dental, we believe preventative care and education are extremely important when it comes to maintaining optimal Boise dental health. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for helping your child develop healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime.

Toddler Dental Care

By the age of three, a child will have developed a full set of teeth. While they will eventually lose and replace these teeth with permanent ones, now is the perfect time to teach them good skills and habits.

During this age, there are many things you can do to help your child develop good Boise dental habits. Keep in mind that many of these habits go beyond basic brushing and flossing and extend to a healthy diet which not only keeps their teeth and gums healthy but their whole body as well.

Dietary Tips

After eating a meal or a snack it’s important to have your child drink water. Doing so will help rinse away leftover food particles between brushing and flossing. Sugar, as we all know, is bad for our teeth. However, many people don’t realize that you don’t have to eat candy to produce harmful acid that wears down your teeth. Most foods eventually break down into sugar causing it to stick on teeth producing acid and bacteria. Healthy snacks like cheese, on the other hand, help balance the alkalinity in the mouth breaking down harmful acids naturally.

Brushing and Flossing

With so many varieties to choose from, it’s important to find a toothpaste with a flavor your child likes. This will help encourage them to brush their teeth more frequently. Once they get the hang of it, you will find they will enjoy brushing their teeth on their own. However, it’s important to supervise to make sure they are getting it right and show them what improvements need to be made.

*Another fun tip is to get plaque disclosing tablets that color any areas where they forgot to brush their teeth. As they brush away the color, they’ll know exactly how clean their mouth is!

Regular Boise Dentist Visits

Regular Boise dental visits are just as important for kids as they are for adults. In fact, they may even be more essential. Like we stated before, your child will eventually lose their baby teeth. However, it’s important to make sure that going to the dentist is a fun part of their routine to help prevent any fears they may have associated with the dentist.

If you’re ready to start your child off on the right foot and want more information regarding your child’s Boise dental care, call Summit Dental Group at (208) 345-8962 to schedule an appointment today!


Choosing the Best Dentist in Boise, Idaho

Choosing the Best Dentist in Boise, Idaho

Are you looking for one of the best dentists in Boise to help with your smile? Searching for a new dentist can be a challenge, especially since there are hundreds of dentists to choose from in our area. However, knowing what to look for can help you shorten the list. That’s why Summit Dental Group has put together a few reasons you might want to schedule an appointment with us!

Voted Best Treasure Valley Two Years in a Row!

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. Ans 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!” – Idaho Statesman

After being honored as Boise’s #1 Dentist for two years in a row, Summit Dental has once again made the nomination list for the 2017 Best of Treasure Valley Awards! We are so grateful and honored by our wonderful patients for the nomination, and would like to extend a HUGE “Thank You” for your support!

Our Boise Dentists Value Experience & Continuing Education

All dentists are qualified to work on teeth based on their completion of dental school and a residency program. What sets our Boise dentists apart from the rest, however, is the experience they gain through their commitment to continued growth and education.

Check out our amazing team of Boise dentists to learn more about each one:

Carson Mooney, DDS In 1991, Carson graduated from Boise High School, then went to Pepperdine University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. In 2001, Carson earned his Doctorate of Dental Science from Creighton University and was privileged to return to Boise to practice with his longtime friend and mentor, Dr. Pierce. Carson practiced for 5 years as an associate for Skip and became a partner in Summit Dental Group in 2006. Dr. Mooney is a former President of the Southwest Idaho Dental Society and a current member of the American Dental Association and the Idaho State Dental Association.

Robert Studebaker, DDS – Dr. Studebaker attended Creighton University for dental school and graduated Cum Laude in 2005.  While in dental school he received his class award for pediatrics and endodontics.  After dental school, Rob returned to Idaho and completed a one-year residency program in advanced general dentistry with Idaho State University.  He has served as president of the Southwest Idaho Dental Society and is a member of the Idaho State Dental Association and the American Dental Association.

Lance Ritchie, DDS – Lance graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College in 2002, and a Doctorate of Dental Science from Creighton University in 2007. He also completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry at Idaho State University, where he received additional training in the placement of dental implants and complex case management. Dr. Ritchie is a member of the American Dental Association, the Idaho State Dental Association, and a participating member in the Boise Spear Study Club.

Zach Richardson, DDS – Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Zach graduated from Capital High School in 2004. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science at Carroll College in Helena, MT while competing on the collegiate football team. Zach then went on to graduate at the top of his class with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Currently, he is an active member of the American Dental Association and Idaho State Dental Association and enjoys staying up-to-date on all the latest trends and dentistry techniques by attending various continuing dental education courses each year.

Summit Dental Offers a Variety of Services

At Summit Dental Group, we believe that preventative care and education are extremely important to optimal dental health. We focus on thorough exams, checking the overall health of teeth and gums, and knowing how crucial this is in preventing dental disease. Not only are we concerned about the beauty of our patient’s 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.

Schedule an Appointment with Us!

There are a number of good reasons why the Boise dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and front office staff at Summit Dental Group are considered the best of the best in the Treasure Valley. In addition to focusing heavily on patient comfort and service, our team of dedicated dental professionals has years of experience that bring a tremendous amount of value to our patients and practice.

Want to learn more? Contact Summit Dental at (208) 345-8962 today!


Everyday Factors that Can Ruin Your Smile

Everyday Factors that Can Ruin Your Smile

First impressions are everything and your smile is the first thing people notice. That’s why it’s important to maintain healthy, beautiful teeth. However, brushing, flossing and visit your downtown Boise dentist regularly may not be enough. That’s why it’s important to take into account some of the everyday factors that can ruin your smile and put a serious damper on your oral health.  

Sports & Energy Drinks

While sports and energy drinks have become increasingly popular over the past decade, it’s important to remember that they can wreak havoc on your teeth. High in sugar and acidic components, many of these drinks can wear away tooth enamel,  leaving you vulnerable to cavities, tooth discoloration, and sensitivity. This, in turn, can result in costly, Boise dental repairs down the road.


Smoking not only turns your teeth yellow but causes a number of potentially life-threatening problems. Using any form of tobacco (smoking, chewing, etc.) can harm not only your overall health but your teeth and gums in a variety of different ways. In fact, tobacco use can cause throat, lung, mouth cancer and even death. Other side effects include increased acid levels, gum inflammation, tooth decay and tooth loss.


While there may be some health benefits to having a glass of wine, it’s important to note that regular wine consumption can also harm and stain your teeth. As with sports and energy drinks, wine contains high levels of acid that can harm tooth enamel. If you’re a regular wine drinker the dentists at Summit Dental Group suggest cutting back your intake, taking small sips and rinsing with water when you are done drinking.


Taking care of your teeth and gums is especially important during pregnancy. Changes in hormone levels can cause inflammation of the gums which can lead to gingivitis. In fact, studies have shown a direct link between gum disease and preterm, and low-birth-weight babies. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that are prone to bleeding. That’s why it’s important to visit your downtown Boise dentist for regular checkups when you are expecting.


Restrictive diets and poor eating habits can harm your teeth by depriving you of essential vitamins and nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. When dieting, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough folate, B vitamins, protein, calcium and vitamin C – all of which are essential for healthy teeth and gums. Poor nutrition can also put a damper on your immune system making you vulnerable to infections like periodontal disease.


Teeth whitening is the #1 requested cosmetic service today. However, over-whitening can cause translucent, and unnatural looking teeth. That’s why it’s important to talk with your downtown Boise dentist when you want to enhance your smile. While regular teeth cleanings can help remove many external stains while promoting good oral health, your Boise dentist can go over what is appropriate concerning your whitening expectations and goals.

At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists understand there are a variety of factors that can affect the health of your smile. If you are unsure about whether a certain habit, dietary choice or element of your daily routine may be affecting your oral health, call us at (208) 345-8962. Our dedicated team of dental professionals would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.



Boise Dental Tips For Preventing Acid Damage

Boise Dental Tips For Preventing Acid Damage

Everyone knows that sugar is damaging to your teeth. But how does sugar actually do the damage? It may be interesting to know that the main culprit isn’t the sugar itself, rather it’s the acid it produces. When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth begins to feed off the sugar creating acid that eats away at your tooth enamel.

The good news? Your mouth is constantly working to fight acid damage. In fact, the saliva in your mouth contains important minerals like calcium and phosphates that work to naturally repair your teeth. While adequate saliva is a good thing, it can’t protect your teeth singlehandedly…

That’s why the Boise dentists at Summit Dental would like to provide you with the following tips to help minimize the effects of acid damage:

  • Cut down on sugary drinks like juice and soda. While it may be hard at first, it’s important to reduce your intake of sugary drinks and replace them with water or dairy-rich products that help to protect and strengthen teeth.
  • Drink with a straw. It’s okay to indulge in a sugary drink every so often. When you do, however, it’s important to use a straw to prevent sugary liquids from making contact with your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps to rinse and wash away acid leftover from certain foods and drinks more quickly.
  • Wait to brush. While it may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth right away, it’s important to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking acid rich foods. The reason? Acid softens your enamel and brushing your teeth can wear it away even further.
  • Prevent stomach acid from entering the mouth. If you suffer from heartburn, acid reflux or frequent vomiting, it’s important to talk with a doctor about treatment to prevent these conditions from interfering with your oral health.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential when it comes to preventing and catching tooth decay caused by acid damage. For more information on ways to prevent or treat acid damage contact Summit Dental at (208) 345-8962. Our dedicated team of dental professionals would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.



Boise Dental: The Causes & Treatment of Bad Breath

Boise Dental: The Causes & Treatment of Bad Breath

We’ve all been there. At the most inopportune time, someone tells us we have bad breath. While embarrassing, bad breath doesn’t need to haunt your memories. In fact, it’s completely treatable in almost all cases. However, in order to keep bad breath from happening, it’s important to understand what causes it and how to treat it.

Causes of Bad Breath

Poor Boise Dental Health

Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is an essential way to remove food particles left over from eating. Leftover food particles not only cause bad breath but other issues like gingivitis, and cavities as well. It’s also important to visit your downtown Boise dentist for regular cleanings to remove any plaque or tartar buildup for a minty fresh, clean mouth.

Food Choices

Delicious foods with strong odors like garlic and onions are often the cause of bad breath. By allowing leftover food particles such as these to remain in your mouth, they will start decompose, emitting an unpleasant odor. In order to indulge in your favorite foods while preventing bad breath from happening, it’s important to brush and floss your teeth immediately after eating. Another suggestion? Avoid certain foods with strong odors when you have a planned social engagement like a date, etc.


Another common cause of bad breath is dehydration. Without proper hydration, your mouth cannot produce enough saliva to neutralize acids and rinse the mouth. While there are some medications and diseases that can cause chronic dry mouth, it may be helpful to chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and drink plenty of water.

Treating Bad Breath

At-Home Methods

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss after eating and before bed
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Use mouthwash
  • Clean your tongue
  • Drink plenty of water

Professional Help

If at-home treatments fail to eliminate your bad breath, an underlying issue like an infection or something more serious may be the cause. In that case, it’s important to visit your downtown Boise dentist. At Summit Dental Group, we can help you determine the cause of your bad breath and treat it if necessary. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (208) 345-8962.



Boise Dental Tips For A Younger Looking Smile

Boise Dental Tips For A Younger Looking Smile

How do you feel about your smile? If you’ve ever wanted to correct any issues with a best smile restoration, now is the time to visit your downtown Boise dentist. A warm, confident smile is a powerful indicator of a person’s overall health and attention to detail. Good oral hygiene and cosmetic dentistry can change the way you look and feel. At Summit Dental Group, our dentists can provide you with the healthy, younger looking smile you’ve always wanted.  

Good Oral Hygiene

One of the simplest things you can do is to practice good oral hygiene. That’s why it’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and visit your downtown Boise dentist regularly. Doing so will promote healthy teeth and gums while keeping your smile looking and feeling clean. By ignoring these simple habits, we put our smiles at risk which can lead to unsightly, even painful problems such as:

  • Cavities,
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth Loss
  • Periodontal disease

Cosmetic Dentistry

Even when you take good care of your teeth, there may be existing issues you’d like to correct. At Summit Dental, we offer a wide variety of cosmetic treatment options to enhance the appearance of your smile.

Yellow, Stained Teeth

Certain foods, medications, smoking or neglecting your teeth can cause embarrassing tooth discoloration. At Summit Dental, we use a wide variety of treatment options to correct and brighten your smile.

  • 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 a 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.

Chips or Misshapen Teeth

Chipped or misshapen teeth can be corrected by dental contouring or by the application of veneers or crowns.

  • Dental Contouring – A dental technique that removes small amounts of tooth enamel in order to change the shape, length, or surface of one or more teeth.

  • Veneers – Custom designed by your Boise dentist, veneers are small shells of porcelain that are bonded to the surface of your teeth.

  • Crowns – If a tooth is cracked or damaged a crown can be used to cap or completely cover a tooth. Crows can be made to match the color of a patient’s tooth, providing them with a natural look while restoring the normal function of the tooth.

Missing Teeth

If you have one or more missing teeth, Boise dental implants are a superior option compared to traditional treatments such as bridges or partial dentures. Implants are permanently placed in the jaw and do not require any special cleaning procedures besides normal brushing and flossing. They are similar in form and function to natural teeth and can replace one or more damaged or missing teeth.

Summit Dental Group Offers Best Smile Restorations

For adults, it’s not uncommon to need more than one dental procedure in order to restore a healthy, youthful smile. That’s why Summit Dental Group offers best smile restorations. Before any procedure, our Boise dentists will meet with you to create a personalized treatment plan that will help you meet your goals. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (208) 345-8962.


Caring For Your Best Smile Restorations

Caring For Your Best Smile Restorations

Whether you need to have a small cavity filled or want a full set of veneers, you can rest assured that Summit Dental Group offers the best smile restorations to meet your needs. Our dedicated team of dental professionals use the most advanced technology and therapies available in order to maintain the health and appearance of your smile.

Best Smile Restorations

Best smile restorations is a broad term used to describe the various treatments we offer to restore tooth structure. While some restorations are restorative in nature like dental implants, others are more cosmetic like dental veneers which help to cover chips, cracks, stains and minor misalignments. Additionally, best smile restorations also address varying degrees of tooth decay such as dental fillings, inlays, onlays and dental crowns.

Same-Day Restorations

Crafting best smile restorations depends on the nature of the restoration. In the past, most restorations were created off-site at a dental lab. This meant that impressions would be taken at a Boise dental office and a patient would have to wear a temporary restoration until the permanent restoration was created.

However, with today’s advancements in dental technology, the downtown Boise dentists at Summit Dental can craft crowns, inlays, onlays and other basic restorations in just one day with CEREC® dental restoration technology.

Care & Maintenance

With basic dental restorations, the key to maintaining good dental hygiene is to brush and floss your teeth twice daily (ideally after every meal), and to visit your downtown Boise dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. This will help keep harmful bacteria at bay while removing unwanted food particles and plaque buildup.

Post-Surgery Care

If you get Boise dental implants to support and replace missing teeth, it’s important to practice good dental hygiene to ensure your implants remain healthy. After surgery, you will need to follow the post-surgery instructions closely. After healing, however, regular brushing and flossing are key. You’ll want to delicately brush around the abutments and surrounding teeth. It’s also just as important to visit your downtown Boise dentist regularly.

Contact Summit Dental

To learn more about best smile restorations and other important dental care factors, contact Summit Dental at (208) 345-8962. Our dedicated team of dental professionals would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.



Unhealthy Habits That Damage Your Teeth

Unhealthy Habits That Damage Your Teeth

When it comes to maintaining your oral health, the most commonly offered advice includes brushing and flossing daily and visiting your downtown Boise dentist regularly. While these habits work to protect the health and integrity of your teeth and gums, there are, however, common daily habits that risk damage to your teeth. Below are some unhealthy habits to be aware of to prevent damage and injury that may harm your teeth resulting in costly repairs.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

You wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, would you? Of course not! The same rule applies when it comes to opening packages, bottles or performing other tasks with your teeth. Unless your job involves chewing food, you should never use your teeth as tools.

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding weakens the structure and enamel of your teeth. You could also end up with a chipped tooth or joint pain in your jaw from overly-stressed facial muscles. Stress is often the main culprit for teeth grinding. That’s why it’s important to practice relaxation techniques and to talk with your downtown Boise dentist about getting a mouth guard.

Brushing Too Hard

Many people think that in order to clean their teeth properly they need to brush aggressively. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Brushing too hard puts essential tooth enamel that you can’t get back at risk. To prevent this from happening, make sure to brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush using gentle pressure.

Biting Your Nails

Biting your nails not only puts you at risk of ingesting harmful bacteria and viruses, it can also chip your teeth and distort your jaw placement. While it’s a hard habit to break, doing so will provide you with healthy nails, while keeping you and your teeth healthy.


Smoking is a dangerous habit that poses serious risks to your Boise dental and overall health. Nicotine can not only hurt the enamel of your teeth, but the smoke from cigarettes contains thousands of chemicals that can destroy healthy cells and cause cancer. For your health and the health of those around you, smoking is an important habit to break.

Summit Dental Group

At Summit Dental Group, our Boise dentists understand we all have bad dental habits. After all, bad habits are easy to form. The good news is that we can break bad Boise dental habits once we learn to recognize them and how they are affecting us. This, in turn, helps us to commit to changing our behaviors.

To find out more about habits that may be hurting your Boise dental health call us at (208) 345-8962. Our dedicated team of dental professionals would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.