Improving Your Smile

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Father’s Day is just around the corner and that means trying to figure out the perfect for him! What about a bright, new smile? Have Dad fill out this checklist to see if a Smile Makeover is right for him.

Smile Checklist

Do you try to hide your smile when you meet new people?

Are you unhappy with the color of your teeth?

Do you have gaps between your teeth?

Do you have any crooked teeth?

Do you feel your teeth are too short or too long?

Do you feel your teeth aren’t quite the right shape?

Are any of your teeth chipped or damaged?

Are you missing any teeth?

If he answered yes to any of these questions, we can help! Here are some options to help improve Dad’s confidence in his smile again.

  • Teeth Whitening – May be the best solution for you if your natural teeth are stained or yellowed. Whiter teeth can make you look years younger! We offer in-office teeth whitening and home teeth whitening systems.
  • Veneers – May be the best solution for you if you have chipped, broken, misaligned or badly stained teeth where whitening will not be effective.  A veneer is a tooth colored shell that is bonded to the front of teeth and the result is a beautiful smile.
  • Tooth Contouring and Dental Bonding – May be the best solution for you if your natural teeth are poorly shaped or have minor imperfections. Tooth contouring is often a quick way to shape your teeth to achieve that perfect smile.  It is sometimes combined with dental bonding, in which composite resin material is added to the tooth to achieve that perfect smile!

Smiles are important and even life-changing sometimes. If you think the gift a Smile Makeover is just what Dad needs, call our office today for a FREE Cosmetic Consultation with Dr. David Ripplinger in Boise, Idaho. (208) 402-1040






Are baby teeth really that important?

iStock_000006684208MediumWe recently celebrated how wonderful moms are. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is! Most moms would say they would do everything in their power to keep their kids healthy. We all have questions about how to do this. Oral health might not be the first thing on our minds; questions might come up such as this one. We thought it would be helpful to give some insight from a dental perspective.

So, as a mother, you make ask questions like these, “Are baby teeth really that important?”, “Should I have a baby tooth with decay fixed when it is just going to fall out in a year or two?”, “Is it really worth fighting a daily battle with a toddler to get a toothbrush in their mouth?” These questions come up all the time in the dental office. While we hear and understand those concerns, we must set this one straight. Baby teeth are extremely important and worth fighting for!

Healthy baby teeth

  • Aid in proper nutrition
  • Help with speech development
  • Hold room in the jaw needed for development of permanent adult teeth
  • Can have a big part in building self-esteem
  • Allow a child to focus in school without the distraction of tooth pain
  • Set the child on a path of good oral health habits for life

What Happens If I Don’t Treat Tooth Decay?

Unless the baby tooth is already loose and on its way out, your dentist will most likely tell you that the tooth needs to be repaired. Primary tooth decay is serious! It can spread quickly and lead to infection or an abscess. An abscess occurs when a cavity reaches the nerve of the tooth. Once the infection reaches the end of the root, a pocket of pus begins to form called an abscess. Sometimes that pus cannot drain and can cause throbbing pain, swelling and may be accompanied by a fever.  An abscessed tooth needs to be taken care of by a dental professional right away and might require antibiotics to fight the infection. If not treated, the infection could spread to other parts of the child’s body. The dentist will either try to save the tooth with a baby root canal or by simply removing the tooth. If the tooth is removed the dentist will often put in a “space maintainer” to hold a place in waiting for the permanent tooth to erupt.

Start With A Check-up!

Regular checkups are important for young children who don’t always let on that there may be a problem until it is too late. Helping children develop the habit of caring for their teeth has payoffs throughout their life. Healthy teeth also mean easier dental visits, which is a plus for both parents and children. Call to schedule a checkup and cleaning for your little one, today!

Side note: Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children ages 5-17 with 59% affected. More than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental-related illnesses.

If you think your child may have a cavity, call our dental office today in Boise, Idaho to schedule a check-up!  (208) 402-1040





April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

oral-cancer-screening.pngA very important part to regular dental visits is an oral cancer screening which is included in all 6 month dental check-ups in our office in Boise, Idaho.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 49,750 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year – 132 every day. One person every hour a day will die from it.

Detecting Oral Cancer

As with many cancers, early detection is crucial and can result in an 80-90 percent recovery rate. Keeping up with your preventative care schedule (most dentists recommend a professional cleaning every six months to one year) allows for consistent screenings by your dentist.

The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. During the screening, Dr. Dave will check the inside of your mouth for sores, red or white patches or changing tissues. He will use  gloved hands to check for lumps or other irregularities in the tissues. If an abnormality is found, further tests such as a biopsy, dye test or light test may be performed.

The two major risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. Anyone who has ever had a prior diagnosis of any oral cancer is also considered high risk. Oral cancer is most likely to be detected by your dentist and early detection and proper diagnosing are imperative to successfully fighting this disease.

If you have concerns about lumps or discolorations in your mouth, contact your dentist. Call today to schedule your next check-up and oral cancer screening in our office. (208) 402-1040

How to Eat Healthier

We all say that on January 1st of every new year that we will make it our New Year’siStock_Mouth Biting Apple_ExtraSmall Resolution to eat healthier and lose weight, but not many of us make it much farther than Valentine’s when we fall off the wagon by eating a huge heart shaped box full of chocolates. Whoops! Let’s get real. March is National Nutrition Month so in honor of that, we thought we’d go a little beyond just teeth and talk about overall health for a minute. As we know, they can very much be connected after all, especially when considering the correlation between diabetes or heart disease with oral health.

Keeping that in mind, here are some realistic and simple ways to simply eat healthier.

  1. Check Labels: It’s not only for dieting or counting your calories, reading labels for the first time may be surprising. It’s always good to know what you are putting in your body. You may switch it up on your next grocery list.
  2. More Fruits & Veggies: Not to beat a dead horse, but we all need more! Try to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies and the other half with grains and lean proteins. The recommended portion size for meats is 3oz.
  3. Cook Your Own Meals: Stay away from boxed foods and eating out. Fresh fruits, veggies, and good ol’ fashion home-cooked meals are the way to go. Boxed and processed foods contain large amounts of sodium that are much higher than the recommended daily amount. Other things to keep in mind when buying premade meals are additives like MSG, artificial sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fat, and much more.

Life can be busy. Throwing in a pizza in the oven on soccer night once in a while is understandable. Just knowing these very basic tips help make a big difference in your health.  Keep these fundamentals in mind and you are well on your way to eating healthier! And while your on a health kick in the month of March, it’s a good time to make sure you are on schedule with your 6 month dental check-ups as well!

If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, be sure you contact your dentist. Dr. Dave in Boise, Idaho is happy to help you with your oral health needs.
Contact our office today, (208) 402-1040! 

Dry Mouth – Bad Breath for Valentine’s?

shutterstock_heart-covering-mouthDry mouth, a condition that affects about 10% of all people, may be one annoyance that gets in the way of your romantic plans this Valentine’s Day.

Symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Hoarse Voice
  • Frequent feeling of thirst
  • Dry feeling of the tongue, mouth or throat
  • Mouth Sores
  • Difficulty tasting, chewing and swallowing

Dry mouth is not just an annoyance. Saliva also works to prevent bacteria and infection in our mouth. When there is not adequate saliva, we are at higher risk for gum disease, tooth decay and more.

Some of the common causes of dry mouth include: side-effects of certain medications, certain diseases and infections, life style choices such as chewing tobacco or smoking, dehydration, and nerve damage.

There are many things that you can do to treat dry mouth and stimulate saliva throughout the day.

  • Drink increased amounts of water
  • Use a mouth rinse or toothpaste specially formulated for dry mouth
  • Avoid salty foods, dry foods, and foods and beverages with high sugar content
  • Make a conscious effort to increase breathing through your nose rather than your mouth
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Use a humidifier/vaporizer
  • Sucking on sugar free candy or gum
  • Keep a lip moisturizer handy

Dry mouth and the symptoms it presents can be problematic and uncomfortable.  Fortunately, Dr. Dave in Boise, Idaho has many treatment options available. If you are suffering from persistent dry mouth call our office today for a consultation. (208) 402-1040. 

Get A New Smile in 2017

A self esteem and confidence boost is often gained by the restoration of your smile! Teeth that are decaying, broken or left untreated can account for chronic tooth pain, difficulty speaking and eating and can also become a deterrent when it comes to social engagements and job opportunities. At Victory Dental, we are grateful for the opportunity to help those suffering from extreme tooth problems to restore their confidence and get their life back.tooth-whitening-large

A smile makeover is a detailed process with many factors that must be taken into consideration. The goal is to make the new smile look natural and beautifully blend in with the patient’s mouth and face shape. Some of the aspects that Dr. Dave in Boise, Idaho considers are:

  • Tooth shape – the shape and length of teeth play a big part in making a smile seem more masculine or feminine, older or younger. The dentist may look at old photographs to try to match the natural appearance of the patient’s youth as much as possible.
  • Tooth color – of course we all want white teeth, but it is possible to go too white. The dentist may choose a slightly less brilliant white for an older patient to make the smile look more natural. A good rule of thumb is to choose a color that is not whiter than the whites of your eyes.
  • Tooth proportions – the dentist will examine the teeth to correctly proportion each one against the other teeth so the two central front teeth are dominant and the smile line appears natural.

Call today for a free cosmetic consultation.

Let us help you smile with new confidence! (208) 402-1040


Use Your 2016 Benefits!

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It’s that time of year again. Do you still have money available from your dental insurance company that will be lost come midnight on December 31st? If you have an insurance plan that starts over every January, this pertains to you. Once the New York Times Square Ball drops at midnight, any remaining insurance money not used will magically be gone, just like 2016!

Big Treatment Plans

If you have a large treatment plan, your dental benefits can easily be drained by one large procedure. If you don’t want to wait an entire year to get the next step done, begin work this month in 2016 and in 2017 you benefits will have started over so you can move on to the next step in your treatment. Here are a few ways using up your 2016 benefits now can help you maximize your insurance money and get a start on your treatment plan:

  • Root Canals: After the initial procedure has been completed for a root canal, oftentimes a dental crown still needs to be placed on that same tooth. Root canals can easily use a large portion of your insurance money leaving little to nothing for the dental crown. Not to worry, simply wait until January to do the crown so you will have a fresh pot of insurance money to use.
  • Dental Implants: The initial root replacement procedure is done and billed at your first visit. After the allotted healing time takes place, then the actual tooth pieces are finished. This is a great procedure to split up and do part in 2016 and part in 2017.
  • Wisdom Teeth: It is wise to use December for large procedures like getting wisdom teeth out! This month has plenty of holiday vacation for teens to stay home and recoup while they are out of school. Plus, getting wisdom teeth out usually drains most insurance benefits for the year.
  • IV Sedation: If you have any appointments that require sedation dentistry, patients usually need the rest of the day off if not a couple days to heal depending on the procedure performed. Again, holiday vacations in December make this a great time to stay home without taking off extra vacation days.
  • Extractions: No one likes missing work with a toothache, so get on top of your treatment plan. If you know there are teeth that need to be extracted, use this time for recovery as well as using 2016’s insurance money up. As the new year brings in more insurance money to use, you can decide how to best replace those missing teeth whether that be a dental implant, bridge, or denture.

Other Benefits of Using Your Money Now

Deductibles: Depending on your insurance plan, most insurances have a deductible that will be applied to your account annually. It’s best to get as much work done this year so you can avoid that deductible until January 1st.

Flex Spending: Just like dental insurance, some Flex Spending accounts start over with the coming new year. This is money to be used for your out-of-pocket healthcare costs including dental care. If you don’t use this money, you lose it! That’s like throwing away money!

Don’t put off your dental care until 2017. Start it now!

Treatment plans can be difficult to read sometimes with all their dental codes and jargon. Not to worry, we can help. Dr. Dave in Boise, Idaho is here to answer any questions that you may have about your treatment.

We want to see you maximize your dental insurance benefits and flex spending accounts. Give us a call today and we’ll help you finish 2016 with a smile!