Why You Need To See A Local Dentist

By maintaining good personal hygiene, you will not only prevent tooth severe illness but also boost your self-confidence. There have been scientific studies conducted which show that people who have radiant healthy smiles tend to be happier people than people who do not. In order to diagnose and treat dental issues before they become complicated and expensive, dental checkups are critical. This information will outline the basis of why it is important that you see a dentist regularly.

Preventing tooth decay, gum diseases, and the need for corrective dental procedures, can all be done with the promise of regularly scheduled dentist visits. In the event that you have problems with dental health, your overall health can suffer as well. Keeping in mind the end goal to distinguish issues in the starting stages to cure issues quicker, going to your dental practitioner routinely is definitely an absolute necessity. You can get important advice on managing your teeth from qualified dentists.

Porcelain veneers are one of the most frequent procedures you will find in the office of a cosmetic dentist. Porcelain veneers are another form of teeth whitening and can also provide straighter teeth. If a cosmetic dentist is experienced, they’ll certainly have a lot of expertise in handling veneers.

You need to get the right advice in order to practice the right daily dental care. We have to learn the importance of oral health—children and adults alike. They need to be taught the proper way to brush and floss their teeth. In order to effectively ensure proper dental care, your dentist should be making sure to properly instruct you on how to prevent tooth decay.

A reliable dentist has an already constructed reputation that is impressive among their patients because of the high level of care that they provide. Actually, if you go to the website of a credible dentist and see what previous patients think about their services, you will see that they’re more than happy with the service they received. Ensuring that they provide the very best services to their patients is what a respectable dentist does. Your expectations will probably be exceeded by the quality of dental services administered by the dentist.

A dentist isn’t in the position to provide top notch services to their patients without the right equipment. Most dentists understand how important it is for their patients to get great care, in order that they always purchase the equipment that is right for their needs. They always seek to ensure that they stay up to date on current technology in the dental industry so that they can provide patients with the care that they deserve. When consulting with a popular dentist, you could be certain that he will use high quality dentistry equipment to ensure that you get quality dental care.

Contact our Boise dental office today at 208-853-2221.
Beautiful pretty smiling teen girl

Repairing A Broken, Chipped, Or Malformed Tooth

End The Embarrassment Of A Single Unsightly Tooth

Have you ever thought, “I love my smile, but I hate that one tooth!”

Having one problem tooth can make you feel like your years of dental visits and good hygiene don’t mean a thing. All people see is that one bad tooth that calls attention to itself.

If this is a problem you are familiar with, we have good news. A damaged or malformed tooth does not have to stay that way. There are easy, fast solutions available that can quickly make your smile more symmetrical and attractive.

Chipped And Broken Teeth

As we age, tooth enamel becomes more brittle. Biting and chewing on hard foods that once were no problem may unexpectedly break a tooth and hit you with a case of dental anxiety: Are all my teeth going to start breaking? Am I starting to fall apart? Is this how it starts? Am I on a fast road to dentures?

Panic attacks aside, having a broken or chipped tooth is bad for many reasons. It can detract from your confidence in your appearance and in your ability to bite and chew your food. It can also weaken the tooth and make it more vulnerable to decay and infection. Teeth suddenly breaking may feel like a serious catastrophe, but it’s actually very common for adults to sustain this type of damage. In many cases, the tooth can be restored with a dental crown. These tooth-shaped protective caps give you a durable artificial tooth that will harmonize with your smile and give you a reliable biting or chewing surface for years to come. Crowns are typically made of strong dental porcelain, metal, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Unlike your natural teeth, crowns do not stain like natural enamel, nor are they susceptible to cavities.

Porcelain veneers are another option for correcting a damaged tooth. These ultra-thin ceramic shells fit over the front of a tooth, to create a brand-new surface for the world to see. They are every bit as durable as dental crowns, but do not encircle the whole tooth.

When you come to Maple Grove Dentistry, Dr. Russell Jensen will examine your tooth and suggest one of these treatments, based on the condition of the tooth and the extent of the damage.

Malformed Teeth

Teeth that naturally look a little different from their peers offer their own unique frustrations. The tooth may be too short, have an unusually ridged edge, or may be significantly smaller than your other teeth. Individual teeth can also appear to be a darker color than your other teeth. In all these cases, a dental crown or porcelain veneer can be crafted to match the surrounding teeth and hide the natural appearance of the malformed tooth.

About Dental Crowns And Veneers

Dental crowns and porcelain veneers are considered a permanent treatment for teeth. In order to be permanently affixed to your tooth, a small amount of enamel must be resurfaced. This means that once you get a crown or veneer, you won’t be able to go back to not having one, as the treated enamel may be sensitive and will be more vulnerable to damage.

Crowns and veneers typically take two dental appointments. At the first appointment, Dr. Jensen will conduct the examination, take x-rays, and resurface the tooth enamel. He will also take a dental impression, which will be used to create the restoration in an off-site laboratory. A temporary crown or veneer will be affixed to the tooth before you go home. After one-to-two weeks, the permanent crown or veneer will be ready and we will call you in for the second appointment.

You Can Fix That Tooth!

If you have a broken, chipped, or malformed tooth, you may feel like hiding your smile—but that’s no way to live. Your smile is the most basic way you reach out to others in the world; it tells people you are open, friendly, and ready to interact. When you are embarrassed about an aspect of your smile, you might spend a lot of effort trying to hide the problem, but we want you to know that am easy solution is in reach.

To make an appointment at Maple Grove Dentistry, call 208-853-2221 to reach our Boise, ID dental office.


What Is The Best Way To Repair A Damaged Tooth?

Repairing a damaged tooth is important for maintaining a show-stopping smile, as well as for the health and functioning of all your teeth. If you fail to repair a tooth, you may lose that tooth and the chances of losing another tooth increases. The best way to repair a badly damaged tooth is a dental crown, which acts as a protective cap for what remains after the damaged enamel is removed. Boise, ID dentist Dr. Russell Jensen uses gentle dentistry techniques to provide the best results from dental procedures. Your comfort is our priority, if you’re feeling anxious about having a dental crown placed, Dr. Jensen can provide oral sedation and a gentle touch to get you through your procedure and leave you with a beautiful, toothy grin.

At Maple Grove Dentistry, we do everything we can to help you feel comfortable during your dental procedures. To learn more about repairing a badly damaged tooth, schedule your appointment with Dr. Jensen today in Boise, ID. Call 208-853-2221.

Replacing One Tooth With A Crown

Dr. Jensen encourages patients to get a dental crown when they wish to repair a decayed or cracked tooth because it provides a durable replacement that completely caps the damaged tooth. A dental crown can solve a failed restoration, cover a severely decayed tooth, and cover tooth cracks that leave the tooth susceptible for future breakage by replacing the outer tooth, or the part of the tooth that is seen. A crown resists future tooth decay, however it does leave the tooth root vulnerable, so care should be taken to make sure gingivitis and gum disease do not set in and expose roots to bacteria. Dr. Jensen will replace the damaged enamel with a custom-made crown that matches the rest of your smile, leaving no evidence of restorative work. You will however notice drastic improvements in the function and appearance of your smile.

What Is A Crown?

A single dental crown is created from either metal, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). A porcelain crown can easily be matched to the shade of your natural teeth to ensure a more integrative restoration and beautiful results. No matter which material you choose to have your crown created from, they’re easy to care for. Dr. Jensen instructs patients to continue proper brushing and flossing habits to extend the durability of their tooth replacement, as well as to maintain a radiant smile that will fill you with confidence.

With a dental crown, you’ll have a sturdy replacement for the lost enamel structure of your tooth. You won’t experience any limitations during eating, such as having to stop eating hard foods. Permanent crowns are uniquely created to fit your mouth comfortably and provide you with a natural-looking restoration. After having a crown placed, you will have the freedom to use your teeth to their full ability, without limitations.

Dental Crown Procedure

Deciding to restore a decayed tooth is an important decision. Once you feel completely comfortable with your decision, you can expect a permanent, durable crown in two dental visits. At the first visit, Dr. Jensen will prepare the tooth by removing all the damaged enamel. If he finds that the pulp chamber has been penetrated, he may also need to apply root canal therapy. He will then take an impression of the tooth. The impression will be sent to the dental laboratory to aid in the creation of your custom-made crown.

During the first visit, Dr. Jensen will also prep the area for the permanent crown. He will clean the area and remove any damaged enamel. This part is different for each patient, so the extent of the preparation varies. After prepping the space, Dr. Jensen will place a temporary crown to provide your mouth with some support while your permanent crown is being created for you. You’ll wear your temporary crown for roughly a week. This won’t provide you with as much durability as your permanent restoration will, but it will get you through the week.

When your permanent crown is received, Dr. Jensen will permanently attach it to your underlying tooth. Just as the name suggests, this will provide you with a permanent tooth restoration. It will appear and feel natural in your mouth, once you’re used to the crown.

Restoring a badly decayed tooth reduces embarrassment and provides you with full function of your mouth.  Don’t wait to talk to Dr. Jensen about getting a dental crown. Schedule your appointment today in Boise, ID. Call 208-853-2221.


Dental Office Teeth Whitening Trumps Store Bought Products Every Time

Your smile is the first thing that others notice about you; it’s an important part of making a first impression. Perhaps you want to look your best for a job interview or blind date, or just look great in your sister’s wedding photos. Whatever the reason, a bright and beautiful smile is a key component in making the best first impression possible. Rows of teeth whitening products line the shelves at your local grocery store, but to achieve the your best smile, you should seek out Dr. Russell Jensen’s help.

We’re ready to help you make the best first impression possible. Schedule your professional teeth whitening appointment with Dr. Jensen by calling our Boise, ID office. Call 208-853-2221 today or visit us online.

Store-Bought Whitening Products

Our teeth can stain for several reasons, but the greatest contributor to discolored smile is food and drinks. A great rule of thumb to go by is this: if the food or drink can stain your carpet, it can just as easily stain your smile. This includes things like wine, coffee, tea, and dark colored berries. It’s no secret that to maintain radiant, healthy smiles we need to brush our teeth twice a day and floss regularly. But your daily dental routine shouldn’t stop there. Store bought teeth whitening products can enhance your smile and there are tons of options out there. You can choose between various brands of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, you can even choose between varieties of flavors if minty fresh just doesn’t appeal to you. There are also whitening gels and strips that can be applied to the surface of your teeth, to brighten the appearance of your smile.

Over time, however, the use of store bought whitening gels and strips can wear down the enamel on your teeth if you use them non-stop, so it’s important to be cautious when you use these products. You should never use them longer than the recommendation states on the box. Tooth enamel is what protects our teeth, and long-term use of whitening products can weaken its protective qualities. It’s fine to work on the color of your smile at home, but for faster results that reach those deeply embedded stains, you should consider dentist-provided treatments. Dr. Jensen knows the how important first impressions can be and he’s ready to help you impress others by giving you the polished smile that you’ve always wanted.

The Benefits Of Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional treatments are better able to reach the stains that can’t be eliminated using only store bought products. Dr. Johnson’s whitening treatments use a stronger whitening agent, which contains a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. These prescription strength products release oxygen into your teeth to break up the chemical bonds of the stains, and work much faster than store-bought products. In-office treatments are more efficient at breaking down chemical makeup of pigment stains, which means faster whitening and less risk of harming enamel.

Another benefit of dentist-provided whitening treatments is that they use customized trays to deliver the whitening gel, which fit your teeth much better than the one-size-fits-all trays and strips available at drugstores. This makes the gel more efficient at breaking down stains, since less saliva will transfer to the trays and dilute the ingredients. It also reduces the chances of the gel transferring to your gums, which can cause sensitivity. If you experience a burning sensation in the teeth and gums using store-bought whitening products, you may be pleased to know that Dr. Jensen’s treatments are far less likely to have this effect.

Neither store-bought products or professional teeth whitening will leave you with a permanently stain-free smile. It’s recommended that you come in every few months for touch-up treatments to maintain your radiant smile. Dr. Jensen may also provide you with a take home whitening kit in between your professional appointments. This kit will give you the ability to work on your smile at home, along with your regular oral hygiene routine.

Are you ready to take the next step toward reaching your dream smile? Call our Boise, ID office to schedule your teeth whitening appointment with Dr. Jensen. Call 208-853-2221 today or visit us online.


Realign Your Smile With Invisalign

Does your smile look crooked or busy? Do your teeth overlap? Maybe you had braces as a child, but over time your teeth have become crowded again. If this sounds like you, Invisalign® clear braces can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Call our Boise, Idaho dental office at 208-853-2221 to learn more about Invisalign or set up an appointment with Dr. Russ Jensen.

An Alternative To Braces

In the past, the only way to straighten your teeth was with bracket-and-wire braces. They took 2 years or longer to correct your alignment, and came with several unpleasant limitations. Wearing braces meant you had to avoid certain foods, visit the orthodontist every month for painful wire tightening, and your appearance was constantly altered by “metal mouth.” Bracket-and-wire braces also had a habit of irritating your inner cheeks or lips, requiring you to use lumps of wax to protect your soft tissues from protruding sharp metal. What a mess!

Furthermore, braces are indelibly associated with early adolescence. No grown adult wants to draw attention to his or her smile with the orthodontics most commonly associated with childhood. Many people simply feel that a misaligned bite and crooked smile are preferable to looking (and feeling) like an eleven-year-old again!

But now there is a more convenient option in Invisalign. Unlike traditional braces, this system is discreet, convenient, fast, and easy to keep clean.

The clear acrylic aligners are nearly invisible during most professional and social interactions. Even when they are noticed, they do not detract from the uniformity of your smile the way conventional braces can. Invisalign is an excellent choice for any adults who want to straighten their teeth while maintaining a normal appearance and lifestyle.

Benefits Of Invisalign

  • Discreet Appearance – Clear acrylic aligners are less visible and distracting than metal braces.
  • Convenience – Aligners are easily removed for eating and cleaning, no monthly dental appointments are needed.
  • Faster Results – Treatment takes only 12-18 months, compared to the 24 months needed for braces.
  • Easy to Clean – No food will get stuck in the aligners, and no special tools are needed to brush and floss your teeth.

How Invisalign Works

All orthodontics are based on the fact that teeth can be manipulated to shift their placement when gentle, incremental pressure is applied. Our teeth may feel permanently rooted in place, but the truth is that they can easily be coaxed to move into a new alignment. With braces, the wires are tightened once a month, but with Invisalign, more frequent replacement of aligners means the shifting will be more gradual (and cause less sensitivity). You will only need to come back to the office once every six weeks to check that you are progressing according to plan

With Invisalign, a dental impression is taken from your mouth, and a digital model of your ideal smile is then drafted. From there, a series of customized aligner trays is crafted to get your teeth from point A to point B in miniscule increments. If the aligners are worn for the recommended period of time each day, you will be ready for a new aligner every two weeks. Many patients actually finish treatment within 12 months.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Invisalign?

Any adults or older teens who are presently in a good state of oral health can undertake Invisalign treatment. If a dental evaluation reveals that you need treatment for tooth decay or gum disease we can create a treatment plan that will restore you to good oral health before you start Invisalign.

Another requirement is that you must be motivated to correct your alignment and improve your smile. Invisalign requires devoted compliance. The aligners must be worn 20-22 hours per day in order for the treatment plan to work—so there can be no “cheating.” If the aligners are not worn enough, this can disrupt whole series of aligners and a new dental impression may need to be made and new aligners crafted.

Are you ready for a more even, uniform smile? With Invisalign, it can be yours in as little as one year! Call our Boise, Idaho dental office today at 208-853-2221 for an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Russ Jensen.


Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are the foundation of restorative dentistry. When bacteria cause tooth decay, the empty space (cavity) is cleaned and then filled with a durable material to preserve the function and appearance of the tooth. The materials may have changed, but the basic process of filling a cavity has been the same since it was introduced by French dental pioneer Pierre Fouchard in the late 17th century. Evidence from documents and remains suggest ancient civilizations in Egypt, Rome, and China may have improvised the process, as well. Most astonishing is the discovery of a primitive beeswax filling, found in human remains from over six thousand years ago in modern day Slovenia. With advanced materials and medical knowledge, fillings today are safer and stronger than ever.

There are now many variations of the dental filling, and new materials are constantly being devised and studied. Most current fillings are made from composite resin although amalgam, silver fillings, are still in use in some offices. It’s estimated that 99% of the population will need a filling at some point, so when your time comes, your dentist can recommend which type of filling is appropriate, based on the tooth’s location and the extent of the damage.

If you suspect have a cavity that needs a dental filling, call our Boise, Idaho dental office to set up an appointment with Dr. Jensen at 208-853-2221.

What’s In A Filling?

The two most commonly used materials for fillings today are composite resin and amalgam. At Maple Grove Dentistry we do not currently place amalgams.  Although they are a functional and viable filling material we have chosen not to use this material due to its distinctive metallic appearance. Composite fillings are tooth colored, and are therefore the preferred material when a filling is needed as they blend in with the natural appearance of teeth.

Amalgam fillings are an alloy of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They are best used with small-to-medium sized cavities and are an excellent, durable option. Amalgams can expand with age, sometimes causing a tooth to crack, but the average life span for an amalgam filling is 12 or more years.

Composite resins are made from a high-tech mixture of hard plastic, glass, and inorganic minerals such as silica. While traditionally not as durable or strong as amalgam, composite resins actually bond to the tooth and reduce the risk of dislodgement. They can shrink over time and lead to leaking or further decay, but they generally last about 8 years. Composite resins have an added advantage in that they can be polished and filed after the filling has been placed, to ensure a comfortable, natural feel to the restoration.

While amalgam and composite both have finite lifespans, this should not be cause for alarm. There are many reasons why a filling might need to be replaced, and as long as you are visiting your dentist on a regular basis, he can let you know when and if you will need a new one. Most replacement fillings can be completed as quickly and easily as the original.

Some other materials used in fillings are gold and glass ionomer cement (GIC). Gold fillings are not common, due to the cost of the materials and the need for a dentist to be specially trained in its use. However, gold fillings are, in fact, an excellent option because they have a longer life-span than either composite or amalgam. Gold fillings have been known to restore a tooth for several decades, even up to 50 years. GIC is actually used primarily as a dental sealant and to affix braces to teeth, but can be used in fillings, as its physical properties and its ability to release fluoride make it a better choice, in some cases.

Mercury Controversy

There has been some controversy over the use of mercury in dental fillings because mercury is toxic to the human body. However, since the mercury is part of an alloy, or mix of other metals, it does not have the same toxic effect on the body as free mercury. It has been determined by several organizations, such as the World Dental Federation (FDI) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that mercury alloy fillings are safe and effective for use by most people. The only exceptions to this are patients who have a known allergy to mercury, are pregnant, or who have other related health problems.

Despite this judgment, some organizations, such as the World Health Organization, still object to the use of mercury on the grounds that it can end up polluting the environment. Because mercury amalgam is less costly, it is therefore used more freely in 3rd world countries, where there may be no regulations on how waste mercury is handled. In the United States, however, most states have laws that dental offices must adhere to, which can alleviate these concerns.

Step By Step: Your Filling

Fillings are considered a direct restoration, because they can be completed by a dentist directly inside a patient’s mouth. Indirect restorations, on the other hand, such as crowns and bridges, must be created in a lab and be shipped to the dental office. As a direct restoration, dental fillings have the advantage of being one of the fastest, most conservative procedures in modern dentistry. Most fillings can be completed quickly, in just one 30-90 minute office visit.

First, a dental x-ray will be taken, to determine the size of the cavity. Cavities appear as dark spots on an x-ray and can show your dentist how deep and pervasive the tooth decay is. This can help him determine how long it will take, which materials and tools will be needed, etc.

Before the filling gets underway, an injection of an anesthetic, such as novocaine, may be given to ensure you feel no discomfort during the procedure. Quite often, a filling will only be on the surface of the enamel, and no anesthetic is needed.

There are essentially two steps to a dental filling. The first step is tooth preparation, during which a tooth is cleaned and readied for the filling. This process consists of removing any decayed tooth material and bacteria from the cavity. During the second step, your dentist will fill the cleaned cavity with the amalgam or composite resin. When resins are used, a curing light will be used to harden the materials. Afterward, the filling may be polished to make sure it looks and feels natural in your mouth.

How Is A Filling Different From A Crown Or Root Canal?

As a conservative, direct restoration, a filling is the simplest way to repair a tooth damaged by decay. If the tooth has sustained too much damage, however, a crown may be needed instead of a filling. If much of the structure of the tooth has been decayed, reinforcement with a dental crown often will be necessary.

A dental crown is a replacement tooth created in a laboratory, usually from porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), which offers greater strength than amalgam or composite. The crown is custom-made to completely cover the damaged tooth, and it will fit comfortably into your mouth. A dental crown usually requires two appointments with your dentist: one to prepare the tooth and apply a temporary crown, and one to attach the permanent crown. In the end, the crown is attached over the tooth, entirely covering the natural tooth. Crowns are not subject to decay, of course, but the gums and the roots of the tooth are still vulnerable to damage, so you must take good care of the crown, just as you would a natural tooth.

A root canal treatment is the most comprehensive form of dental restoration, and is necessary when infection has gone beyond the enamel and into the dental pulp. Root canals are most often used to repair deep cavities and cracked teeth. Pain is usually a good indicator of whether a root canal will be needed, since teeth only have nerve endings in the pulp. During a root canal, the interior part of the tooth is cleaned and all the soft tissues are removed: connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerve endings. Afterwards, a combination of dental cement and gutta-percha is used to fill and seal the roots of the tooth, to prevent re-infection. Afterwards, a filling or crown completes the restoration. A root canal procedure will stop any pain and restore the structure and function of the tooth permanently.

Why Fillings Fail

Although fillings are the best way to repair a mild-to-moderate cavity, they do not last forever. When properly cared for, a filling can last 12 years or more, but additional tooth decay, a crack, or intense pressure can loosen a filling, or dislodge it entirely. This is one of the reasons why six month appointments are so important. During a dental exam, Dr. Jensen will check your fillings for signs of damage, so when you do need a replacement, it can be done quickly and conveniently—and before you experience any discomfort.

If you need a new or replacement dental filling, call our Boise, Idaho dental office to set up a appointment with Dr. Jensen at 208-853-2221.
Closeup portrait of a happy mature couple having fun.

Preventive Dentistry Techniques And Tactics

An ounce of prevention, the adage goes, is worth a pound of cure. It’s always better to prevent bad things from happening, rather than accept the consequences of calamities coming to pass. When the health of your teeth and gums is concerned, this adage rings exceptionally true. The human body is amazingly capable of healing itself and finding ways to self-correct inadequacies; cuts heal, bones mend, and our immune system fights off infection every day. Unfortunately, the major exception to this is our teeth. Once tooth decay sets in, there is nothing the human body can do to reverse it. It will only worsen and cause greater damage when left untreated. For this reason, modern dentistry has developed an arsenal of tactics and techniques to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. Our mouths are the natural home to many strains of bacteria, which, if allowed to flourish, weaken and breach the enamel of our teeth, leading to tooth decay. Cavities can ultimately infiltrate the inner dentin of the tooth and cause pain and tooth loss if not treated with dental restorations, such as fillings. Bacteria can also lead to chronic gum disease, which inflames and destroys the soft gum tissues that hold our teeth in place. Cavities damage our teeth, but the greatest cause of tooth loss is actually gum disease. Bacteria only get the chance to do harm, however, when they are allowed to feed on dental plaque and calculus, and there are several ways we can stop that from happening.

If your teeth and gums are not reason enough to enlist you in the war on harmful bacteria, there is also ample medical research that links gum disease to a number of other serious illnesses. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis are just a few illnesses that have a direct connection to mouth bacteria. When you have gum disease, frequently bleeding gums give bacteria access to the rest of your body via the bloodstream. There are many reasons to take your “ounce of prevention” seriously: to preserve the health and strength of your teeth and gums, as well as the continued well-being of your whole body.

If you want to maximize the benefits of preventive dentistry, or if you need to schedule a routine dental appointment, call our office to set up a consultation with Dr. Jensen at 208-853-2221

Your Dentist’s Tools Of Prevention

A dentist’s strongest weapon against tooth decay is being able to deliver professional teeth cleanings every six months. Even the most skilled and astute tooth-brushers accumulate calcified plaque (tartar) on their teeth, which leads to cavities when untreated. Tartar is bacteria’s favorite food, and can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.

Lasers have become an efficient tool for dental cleanings, as they not only remove tartar with less tooth sensitivity than traditional dental tools, but can also identify spots of dimineralization on tooth enamel. During a routine examination Dr. Jensen will check for “soft spots” where enamel has been weakened by bacteria and cavities may soon develop. Special lasers can assist in locating these spots, so they can be treated to stop decay from progressing.

Fluoride treatment is another essential tool to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is added to our drinking water and your toothpaste, rinses, and floss because it is the safest, most effective substance for strengthening tooth enamel. Regular fluoride treatments give you another layer of protection beyond your daily routine.

Another technique, which is particularly helpful wfor teeth used for chewing (molars), is providing a barrier in the form of sealants. Our back teeth are shaped differently from other teeth, to help us pulverize food before swallowing. Ridges and crevasses on molars are excellent for breaking down food—but they are also more prone to developing cavities, as they offer more nooks in which bacteria can habitate. Plastic sealants fill and seal off some of the deeper ridges in our molars, without affecting their ability to  grind food. Such sealants take only minutes to apply, and can prevent cavities in molars for several years.

Prevention At Home: Brushing And Flossing

You most likely know the steps you should take at home to prevent tooth decay, but it may be helpful to remember why you do them. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing once a day. Both activities are designed to clean the teeth of any particles of food that remain after you eat, as well as the bacteria that cling to those particles and feed on them. Fluoride is especially good for protecting the enamel of your teeth, so be sure your toothpaste has plenty of it. Flossing is another critical technique for removing plaque and bacteria from between your teeth and under the edges of your gums. If your teeth are close together, this is an essential step; microscopic bacteria can fit between your teeth, even if your toothbrush cannot.

When plaque is not adequately removed by brushing and flossing, it can calcify into insoluble tartar, which provides bacteria with a permanent food source that can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. Skipping your brushing routine for even one day can significantly increase the amount of enamel-damaging bacteria living in your mouth. The ADA recommends a number of tips for brushing teeth that have been proven to effectively clean your teeth without damaging your enamel or the soft tissues of the mouth.

Tips For Brushing

  • Brush twice a day. (Routinely brushing more than twice may harm your gums.)
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard or medium bristles may also irritate your gums.
  • Brush for two minutes each time. This has been determined to be the optimum time needed for reaching every surface of teeth, without overdoing it.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste, preferably one endorsed with the ADA seal.
  • Hold your toothbrush at 45 degrees, and use a variety of brushing techniques: up and down, in small circles, etc. Change the way you grip your toothbrush to reach different surfaces of your teeth, such as the backs of your front teeth, and behind your molars.
  • Gently brush your tongue and all other surfaces of the mouth to further remove bacteria.

Tips For Flossing

  • Floss every day. Those who do not floss daily may experience bleeding gums, which may make you less inclined to keep flossing—but you must. When daily flossing starts, any bleeding should stop within two weeks, as your gums become healthier and more resilient.
  • Use whatever type of floss is most pleasant for you. You may prefer teflon-coated Glide floss, cinnamon flavored floss, unwaxed floss, or preloaded dental flossing picks—use whichever form will encourage you to stick with a daily routine.
  • Floss between every tooth, gently scraping up and down to remove plaque and bacteria.
  • Floss under the gum line, in a small c-curve, to get beneath the surface of the gums.
  • Use approximately 18 inches of floss. Wind it around the index fingers of each hand, to give you the greatest amount of flexibility in reaching each tooth.

Fluoride rinses can also assist with removing bacteria from your teeth, as can antiseptic rinses such as Listerine. But unless your dentist prescribes a particular rinse for the treatment of gingivitis or periodontitis, do not consider them a requirement for your daily routine. They cannot take the place of brushing or flossing.

Prevention At Home: Starving The Bacteria

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, you can also reduce the growth of bacteria in your mouth by removing their food source. With the prevalence of brushing and flossing, many people take for granted that avoiding certain foods and beverages can actually be more effective at controlling bacteria.

Sugary food and drinks, such as candy and sodas, accellerate the growth of bacteria. Even if you are brushing your teeth twice a day, every hour those sticky sugar molecules sit on your teeth increases the amount of bacteria living on your enamel. It’s not enough that you plan to brush the sugar away later—if you consume large amounts of sweets regularly, the damage may be happening despite brushing your teeth.

But it’s not just sugary sodas and sweets you should avoid. Many people don’t realize, starchy foods that convert to sugar in the body can be equally damaging. Potato chips and white bread, for example, stick to your teeth as readily as candy, so excess should be avoided. You can also strengthen the enamel of your teeth by avoiding acidic foods, or taking them with non-acidic foods to neutralize damaging effects. For example, if you like to sip lemonade or coffee all day, make sure you intermittently snack on low-acid snacks, such a vegetables and dairy products.

Staying well-hydrated can also help control bacteria. Dehydration is not just dangerous to many body systems—it can also put your teeth at risk. When you aren’t well hydrated, your body produces less saliva, which is your first natural defense against mouth bacteria.  Avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine is a great way to prevent dehydration and dry mouth. Be mindful if medications cause dry mouth, and consider chewing gum to ramp up your saliva production if drinking water isn’t enough.

Techniques And Tactics For Preventing Tooth Decay

Dr. Jensen offers a number of techniques that prevent bacteria from gaining the upper hand—removing tartar, strengthening enamel, sealing off high-risk areas—and no doubt you’ve developed our own brushing and flossing techniques that work for you. But the best tactics are (1) sticking to routines, and (2) creating layers of protection. If you maintain your daily routine for home care, and your twice a year routine for professional dental care, you will have every advantage against bacteria and cavities.  Likewise, you create multiple layers of protection against bacteria when you brush and floss, use fluoridated products, and provide less food for bacteria in the form of starches and sugars.

To learn more about preventive dentistry, or if you need to schedule a routine dental appointment, call our office to set up a consultation with Dr. Jensen at 208-853-2221


What To Do If You Knock Out A Tooth?

So you’re playing baseball and your teeth catch the ball before your glove does. Or maybe you tripped over a tree root and your teeth caught your fall. Our teeth are always trying to help, but sometimes they do too much and can get caught on the wrong side of an accident.  If that’s the case, don’t worry. We can help!

In the event, you knock a tooth or teeth out (also called tooth avulsion) remain calm. There is a good chance we can save the tooth so that you can keep it, but you will have to act quickly and carefully.

If your tooth is knocked out the blood vessels and nerves that were connected to the tooth have been separated and cannot be repaired. At some point, the tooth will require a root canal but the bone can reattach to the root so that you can keep the tooth.  The younger you are the more likely the bone is to heal around the tooth.  Primary or ‘baby’ teeth cannot and should not be saved but happily, an adult tooth will replace it.

What to do

If you lost a tooth or teeth it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible after the tooth has been knocked out.  You can call our office at 208-853-2221, or if it’s after office hours, give Dr. Jensen a call on his cell phone at 801-592-5695.  Be very careful while handling the tooth to prevent additional damage.

Follow these recommendations to increase the chances of saving your tooth:

  • Be gentle with the tooth. The root and the tissue attached to it are very delicate and can easily be injured. Try to handle only the top, white part of the tooth and leave the root alone.
  • If the tooth is dirty it can be rinsed off with milk. If milk is not available, water can also be used. Do not scrub the tooth clean with a brush or wipe, as doing so can damage the root.
  • Keep the tooth damp. If the tooth dries out the root will be damaged, and it will not reattach to the bone. The tooth can be kept moist by putting it in a glass of milk. If milk is not available the tooth can also be stored in your mouth so that your saliva will keep it wet. Sometimes younger children can accidentally swallow the tooth so placing it in their mouth is not advised. If a young child has lost a tooth have them spit into a cup and place the tooth in the saliva. As a last resort water may also be used; however, the previously mentioned methods will generally yield a better result.
  • If you are able you can try to put the tooth back in its socket. A lot of times it will slide in. When doing this make sure the front part is facing forward. Do not be forceful as you can damage the bone. If it does not go in easily keep it moist until you can come in and see us.

What We’ll Do

Again, give us a call as soon as you lose your tooth because minimizing the time the tooth is out of your mouth is critical.  When you get to the office, we will take an x-ray to evaluate the bone around the socket.  Dr. Jensen will then rinse the socket with saline and place the tooth back in the socket if you have not already done so. Ideally, the tooth should be re-implanted as soon as possible. We see the best results when this is done within an hour of the accident.

Depending on how long the tooth has been out of the mouth a root canal may be done at the time you come in or we may wait and re-evaluate things at a future appointment.  Dr. Jensen will then splint the tooth to the teeth on either side so it will not move. Limiting movement of this tooth is important so the bone can reattach to the root. Usually, this takes 3-4 weeks as long as there was not significant damage to the bone, which can then require additional repair time.

Healing will be monitored at regular intervals to determine if the bone has successfully reattached to the bone. This is normally done in 3-6 months. As long as there is no issues or infection, the next check will be done at your next appointment.

We know it’s a bad day if you lose your front tooth, but fortunately, if proper precautions are taken there is a good chance we can put it back and you can keep it for years to come.


Dental Crowns For A Gorgeous Grin

At Maple Grove Dentistry, we treat patients with many types of dental problems. From filling cavities to performing root canal treatments, Dr. Russell Jensen can perform any dental procedure you need.

For patients with cracked, broken, or severely decayed teeth, this typically entails the placing of dental crowns.

The placement of dental crowns, one of the most common dental procedures performed today, has helped many patients restore beauty to their damaged smiles.

When consulting with patients who require crowns, Dr. Jensen usually recommends white porcelain dental crowns, as they provide the most natural, lifelike restoration available.

To learn more about dental crowns and how they can improve your smile, contact our Boise, ID dental office today at (208) 853-2221 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jensen.

About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns protect teeth damaged by severe decay, fractures, and breaks from incurring further damage, while restoring a natural, healthy look to your smile. The doctor can use them to replace large fillings when the tooth doesn’t have enough structure remaining to support a new filling.

Crowns provide support for dental bridges needed when patients have lost one or more teeth. The doctor also often uses crowns to cover the site of a root canal therapy procedure.

Dr. Jensen places dental crowns over damaged teeth, which he prepares by removing a small amount of their enamel layer. The crowns are bonded in place to provide stability and structure to the damaged tooth. The doctor may also place a crown as a restoration for a dental implant, to replace missing the missing tooth and its root.

Technicians in a U.S.-based dental lab fabricate these custom designed shells to achieve a permanent, snug fit over severely damaged teeth. We can create crowns from porcelain, metal, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Dr. Jensen recommends porcelain crowns for your front teeth, because they look the most natural.

Types Of Crowns Available

Dr. Jensen will design your dental crown from one of several materials. If you have difficulty deciding which type of crown works best for you, the doctor will happily go over the pros and cons of each to help you with your decision. Your dental crown options include:

Metal Crowns

Traditionally constructed out of gold, platinum, silver or other metals, these crowns were once the standard. They provide great durability and withstand most biting and chewing forces without chipping or breaking. They also allow for more of the tooth’s original structure to remain than other crowns. Aesthetically, however, metal crowns prove inferior to all other materials, as they cause dark spots to appear on an otherwise bright smile. While most dentists placed nothing but metal crowns for over a hundred years, they mostly use them only for repairing teeth in the back of the mouth now, if at all.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

PFM crowns have become very popular in recent years. They have an aesthetically pleasing appearance and great durability. The most popular material for crowns next to ceramic, PFM crowns provide structure and strength that most other materials lack. Some patients, however, may experience trouble with these crowns wearing down opposing teeth more than other types of crowns. The doctor can match the porcelain color to the patient’s natural teeth, making the crown virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth. As patients age, however, their gums start receding, and a dark line where the metal and porcelain meet may become visible at the gum line.

Porcelain Crowns

The most cosmetically pleasing of all crowns, Dr. Jensen designs porcelain crowns to provide the most lifelike restoration available. The material used for these crowns, which the doctor can match to the color of your natural teeth, mimics the translucence and natural reflectivity of tooth enamel, giving them the most natural appearance. Porcelain crowns provide resistance to stains, so you should not need whitening treatments to keep them looking clean and white. If you plan to have your teeth whitened, Dr. Jensen will typically suggest doing so before having a dental crown placed, as it will resist the whitening treatment as well.

Placing A Traditional Dental Crown

The process of placing a ceramic crown typically requires two visits to our office. You will start the first visit by having a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Jensen. The doctor will review your medical and dental history and perform a complete examination of your mouth to ensure that you don’t have any other issues he needs to address before placing your crown.

The doctor will polish the damaged tooth and prepare it to receive the crown by removing a minimal amount of enamel; just enough to make room for the thin shell. Once he finishes preparing the tooth, the doctor will make impressions of it and the area surrounding it.

He will forward the impressions, along with any necessary shading information, to an offsite U.S.-based dental lab, where a certified technician will hand craft your crown and shade it to match your natural tooth color.

Dr. Jensen will provide you with a temporary crown to wear while your permanent restoration is created. While wearing the temporary crown, you will need to avoid hard or sticky foods that could dislodge the crown or cause it to break. You will need to do your best to keep chewing to the side of your mouth without the crown. Also, when flossing, instead of lifting the dental floss from between your teeth, try sliding it out. This will decrease the likelihood of accidentally pulling the crown out.

When we receive your permanent crown, usually around two weeks later, you will return to our office to have the crown permanently placed. Dr. Jensen will remove the temporary crown and replace it with your new permanent restoration, checking for a good fit and testing for proper occlusion.

When he feels everything fits correctly, the doctor will use a strong, but safe dental adhesive to permanently bond your new crown to the tooth. With proper care and regular dental visits, your ceramic crown can last up to 15 years before it needs replacing.

Placing A Crown To Restore A Dental Implant

If you have lost one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease, or facial trauma, Dr. Jensen will surgically place tiny posts of titanium called dental implants in your jaw to replace the missing tooth roots. As they heal, the implants will fuse with the bone in your jaw, providing a sturdy anchor for a restoration. The doctor has several restoration options for these implants, including dental crowns.

This procedure typically requires two surgeries. The doctor will place the implants during the first surgery, and will send his design of your crown to a reputable offsite lab, where technicians will fabricate your crown while the implants heal.

Then three to six months later, when the implants have fully healed, you will return to our office to have the implants surgically exposed from underneath the gums. The doctor will attach small connectors, called abutments to the head of each implant.

He will then attach the crown to the abutment, bonding it in place. Implant-supported dental crowns provide a very life-like restoration in both appearance and function.

Call Us Today

Dr. Jensen places dental crowns to restore functionality and beauty to our patients’ smiles. If you would like to learn more about dental crowns and the benefits they can provide you, call our Boise, ID, dental office today at (208) 853-2221 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Jensen.

Toothache - suffering young man with teeth problems

Your Emergency Dentist In Boise

Some days come with unexpected struggles. You’re just living your life happy as a clam, then boom – you bite down on a seed and chip a tooth. Or little Freddie is guarding the soccer goal like a champ, then bam – he takes a kick to the mouth and a tooth flies out. Emergencies happen, and Dr. Jensen is here to help you in your time of stress and need.

Patients can reach Dr. Jensen after hours with a dental emergency by calling or texting his cell at +1-801-592-5695.

When To Call An Emergency Dentist

People have different pain levels, different responses to blood, and different ideas of what constitutes an emergency. The most common situations in which you should call the dentist for a same-day appointment are as follows:

  • Knocked out tooth
  • Intense oral pain in a tooth, the gums, jaw, or jaw joints
  • damaged crown or filling that leaves you unable to eat
  • A chip or crack that’s causing pain to the point that you cannot sleep
  • A crown or a veneer has come off in the front (yes, front teeth cosmetics are treated as an emergency in our dental office)

When to Go to the Emergency Room  

If your mouth, head, face, or jaw is bleeding significantly and cannot be controlled you should go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care.  Once the bleeding has been controlled and you have been evaluated for significant injuries, you can call our office for an emergency dental visit to address any tooth related concerns.

You should also go to the emergency room if you think you may have broken your jaw and are in severe need of immediate assistance.  If you are in stable condition but think your jaw is broken call our office and we may work with an oral surgeon to help you receive treatment.

When to Schedule a Convenient Appointment

If you are experiencing a toothache that does not keep you up at night, and taking over the counter pain medication helps you function during the day, you should schedule a dental visit for a convenient time. Waiting will only create the potential for a future dental emergency.

If your crown or filling becomes dislodged, but you can fit it back in place, put a dab of toothpaste on the underside of the restoration and replace it on the affected tooth. Then, call us to schedule a convenient appointment for us to recement or replace the restoration.

Right now, before you forget, log +1-208-853-2221 into your smart phone under “Emergency Dentist.” We’ll be literally a phone call away, the next time you have a dental emergency.

First Response For Dental Emergencies

Whether you need to see the dentist immediately or can wait and schedule a visit later in the week, you need to learn first aid response for urgent dental trauma. These tips are a good start.

Tooth Falls Out

When a permanent (adult) tooth is dislodged, find the tooth if possible. Hold it by the hard crown/tooth portion, not the root. If the tooth is very dirty, you may gently run it under a trickle of water to clean it, but DO NOT SCRUB THE ROOT. If you are able to, place the tooth back where it goes and call our Boise office ASAP.  If you are not comfortable doing this then place the tooth in a small container of either the patient’s saliva or regular milk, and bring the tooth to our office.  Timing is critical as the odds of success in saving the tooth go down significantly after the tooth has been out of the mouth for more than an hour.

Restoration or Temporary Falls Out

A crown, inlay, onlay, or filling may come out of place when you least expect. If possible, find the restoration. If it is in one piece, place a dab of toothpaste on the inside and put it back into place. If the restoration is in pieces, bring them to our office as it may help us to match the color of its replacement. If you cannot find it, don’t panic.

Call +1-208-853-2221, and we’ll determine on the call whether you need to come in immediately or make an appointment for a more convenient time.

Severe Toothache

Sometimes, people experience the quick onset of a significant toothache when a piece of food is lodged between teeth. Before calling the dentist or panicking, or even taking medication, try to floss around your hurting tooth. Once the rogue piece of food is dislodged, your comfort will be restored. Dr. Jensen has found popcorn kernals, toothbrush bristles and even a crab shell lodged beneath the gums so if this is the source of pain cleaning it out will bring relief and help you avoid a dental appointment.  If flossing does not help, call us at 208-853-2221 to schedule a limited exam.

Call Us Today

If you want a dentist who’ll be available when you need him most, call us to schedule a new patient appointment today. We’re conveniently located in Boise on N Maple Grove Road, at the intersection with Ustick Road. We’re open early hours, Monday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday reserved for large cases as needed.

Right now, before you forget, log +1-208-853-2221 into your smart phone under “Emergency Dentist.” We’ll be literally a phone call away, the next time you have a dental emergency.
Patients can reach Dr. Jensen after hours with a dental emergency by calling his cell at +1-801-592-5695.