General Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation

Ask About Oral Sedation and Nitrous Oxide as Part of Your Treatment

Despite our charismatic, kind way of treating patients at Lowry Dental, a trip to the dentist for some is often not looked upon with great excitement. This is referred to as dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is not unusual, for it is quite natural for a person to feel uncomfortable when placed in a vulnerable situation such as a dentist chair.

For most, simply explaining the treatments thoroughly to reduce surprises is enough to ease any one’s mind. For most children, a cartoon or movie to see during treatment is enough to make them comfortable. (The same way they tune us out at home during their favorite show works at the dentist office as well.) This technique often works well on adults too. These techniques work well for most but not for everyone. For some individuals the use of conscious sedation is warranted.

At Lowry Dental, your Boise dentist, we offer two forms of conscience sedation: Inhalation and oral conscience sedation. The most popular method is the use of inhalation conscious sedation (nitrous oxide and oxygen, often called laughing gas). Though this method rarely makes one laugh, it can calm one’s nerves and make them feel a bit dreamy for the length of the procedure.

Oral conscious sedation is used when a deeper sedation is needed to reduce anxiety. A sedative drug is taken by mouth prior to the planned treatment. If the individual has an even greater degree of dental anxiety, the dentist may prescribe an oral conscious sedative to be taken at home one hour prior to going to sleep on the evening before the appointment. This method is used on adults and not on pediatric patients at Lowry Dental for safety reasons. A driver is always required when using this method of sedation.

In some instances with your pediatric dentist and special needs dental patients, a trip to the hospital is warranted to have treatment done under general anesthesia. At Lowry Dental, we have privileges to do this at St. Alphonsus Hospital. This is a wonderful way to accomplish dental work for those patients who would not be able to have it done in the office because of behavioral issues.

At Lowry Dental, we strive to make your visit as comfortable as possible as we journey together to maintain your healthy smile for a lifetime.

Bridges

A Dental Bridge Can Replace Your Missing Teeth and Bring Back Your Smile!

A fixed bridge allows a missing tooth or teeth to be cemented back into your mouth. The teeth on either side of the missing one(s) are prepared to receive crowns. Then a custom fitting bridge is fabricated in a dental laboratory. This one piece appliance is then cemented onto the adjacent teeth. Fixed bridges can be very esthetic and functional.

Most often these bridges are made of porcelain fused to gold to allow for nice esthetics. In the back of the mouth, for increased strength, all gold alloy can be used. For highly esthetic needs on front teeth a non metal all ceramic bridge can be made, although some strength is sacrificed.

Until the last few years, this was the state of the art method to replace a few missing teeth. They can be made quite quickly and they look great. If the adjacent teeth are already crowned or have large existing restorations a fixed bridge may still be the best choice. If the bone in the area of the missing tooth is deficient, making an implant more difficult, a fixed bridge would also be a good choice. Patients who take some medications (osteoporosis, some chemo therapies, etc) may also not be surgical candidates for implants making a fixed bridge a better choice.

The biggest disadvantage of the fixed bridge is that it involves the adjacent teeth. If down the road something happens to one of them (fracture, decay, etc) the whole project needs to be redone.

Infection Control

We Follow Rigorous Standards for a Clean, Safe Office

Infection control promotes good health for you and our staff. We take many precautions to prevent the spread of illness and infections within the walls of our office. We care about infection control and want you to feel comfortable sitting in one of our chairs. Since knowledge about infection control is important, we would like to explain our procedures and protocols.

We follow the guidelines specified by the governing federal agencies including the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Some of the important guidelines include:

  • Gloves and face masks1
  • Proper hand washing using disinfectant soap or hand sanitizer1
  • Sterilization of dental equipment before any use1
  • Cleaning surfaces with disinfectant chemicals1

1 = Disposable items

We use a high temperature autoclave to sterilize our equipment. This process kills microscopic bacteria and viruses. We service our autoclave routinely and run rigorous tests to verify it’s efficacy.

The bottom line is that we care, and we want you to be well informed so you can make good decisions about the care you will receive at Lowry Dental. Please do not hesitate if you have any questions or concerns.

Oral Hygiene

Regular Teeth Cleaning Appointments Promote Good Oral Hygiene and Good Overall Health!

Proper preventive care is much more advantageous than fixing problems after they happen. In our office preventive dentistry begins with a thorough exam and a visit with one of our excellent hygienists. Professional cleanings done on a regular basis can keep your gums and the bone that secures your teeth to your jaw healthier. We can also monitor your teeth and detect signs of tooth decay early if they exist in your mouth. Often, if a problem is found, we can help you change your home care habits or routines to help keep your mouth more disease free. Small early problems are much easier and much less expensive to treat.

Unhealthy gums, which are red or inflamed and bleed easily, have been associated with other systemic problems like heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions. Our hygienists will help you stay healthy. It is important to care for your teeth and gums even if your insurance does not pay for this care.

Periodontal Maintenance

Helps Treat Gum Disease and Gingivitis

Approximately 30 percent of our population has some level of gum disease. Not only does this jeopardize the health of our teeth, gums, and the underlying bone that supports them but also our overall health. There is a direct correlation between inflamed gums and heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions.

Gum disease is affected by several factors including diet, genetics, home care, and overall health. If you have this problem, we will need to treat you with a different level of care. Periodically we will need to “deep clean” your gums and the pocket areas around your teeth. This often needs to be done a section at a time and would require local anesthetic for your comfort. A regular monitoring of your gum health and pocket depth measurements allows us to elevate our progress in dealing with this disease in your mouth. We would normally have you back into our office every 3 to 4 months to keep this disease process under control.

If you have dental insurance they may or may not pay for these treatments as they would for preventive cleanings. However, this does not mean the treatments are not critically necessary to maintain your health. Don’t rely on your insurance to determine what is best for you. They don’t care. They are only there for the money and your employer’s contract determines what benefits will be paid.

Dental Sealants

Protect Your Teeth From Harmful Bacteria and Decay

Dental sealants are effective in the prevention of decay on the biting surfacing of molars. Permanent molars often form with deep crevices on the chewing surface. As food, dental plaque, and bacteria are trapped in these grooves, decay will start to invade the tooth even deeper. After thoroughly cleaning out these crevices and preparing the tooth surface a resin composite sealant can protect these teeth for several years. Sealants provide a smooth and easy to clean chewing surface that seals out harmful bacteria that may cause decay. If done early enough before tooth breakdown occurs, these preventive sealants offer a great protection.

Dental Crowns

Your Dental Crown Procedure Options at Our Boise Practice

Crowns work well for teeth considerably broken down from either old failing restorations, decay, or broken off tooth structures. They cover the remaining tooth and restore the shape and function. They provide an excellent restoration.

All gold crowns work very well in restoring back teeth where esthetics is not a concern. They function very well and are about the same hardness as natural teeth. For people who grind their teeth, these work better than porcelain. The biggest disadvantage of all gold crowns it that they look “gold”.

Porcelain fused to gold crowns allows for a more esthetic restoration that is also very strong. They can be made to match the other teeth reasonably well.

All ceramic crowns can be very esthetic and the newer materials are quiet strong. They are best suited for teeth in the esthetic zones of a person’s mouth. They can, if needed, be used in higher stress areas like back teeth. They are not as strong as porcelain fused to gold or all gold crowns.

When restoring your tooth with a crown, the existing tooth is cleaned and reshaped. An impression is then taken followed by a temporary crown. The temporary crown will work and look reasonably well while the real crown is made in the dental laboratory. At your next appointment the real crown will be cemented onto your existing tooth.

Bonding

Corrects Minor Defects in Your Teeth for a Smile You’ll Feel Good About

Bonding is an alternative to veneers. Bonding a layer or multiple layers of composite tooth colored restorative material is often used to improve the esthetics of a tooth or teeth. Minor defects like chips, cracks, spaces, or gaps between teeth, or discolored areas can be masked achieving remarkable esthetic results. These procedures are usually accomplished with minor tooth preparation and generally do not require the teeth to be anesthetized (numbed). Teeth that are not shaped ideally, or in some cases where the smile line could be improved ,are good cases for this procedure. When performed by our skilled and artistic dentists using the very best materials, very nice results will make you feel better about your smile.

There are some limitations to dental bonding. Not every situation can be treated with those techniques. Sometimes after several years the composite material will pick up some stain. They are, however, easily repaired. Eventually these bonded teeth could be restored with a porcelain veneer restoration, which would have a longer esthetic lifetime.

Root Canal Therapy

Got a Terrible Toothache in Boise or Meridian? We’ll Let You Know if the Relief of Root Canal Therapy is Right for You.

Root canals may have a negative reputation. However, this bad rap usually comes because of the severe toothache a patient might have. The treatment that remedies the toothache is then associated with the bad experience. Generally, root canal treatment is not bad. The area with the problem is “numbed” and the inside of the “sick” tooth is cleaned out. All of the original pulp tissue inside the tooth and what remains of the dead or dying pulp tissue is completely cleaned out. The pulp chamber area is then thoroughly cleaned, shaped, and disinfected. The pulp chamber is then filled and sealed with a special material that allows the tooth to remain in the mouth but the tooth is no longer “alive”. Most root canal treated teeth have a very good prognosis.

Back teeth that have received a root canal treatment should be restored with a crown, which holds the tooth securely so that it cannot fracture. Front teeth may or may not need a crown because the biting force is less in front. Root canal treated teeth can become more brittle.

Usually, a person is better off to save a tooth rather than to extract it and replace it in some way. We are happy to thoroughly explain your options. In some cases, if decay has severely jeopardized the remaining tooth , the bone support is lacking ,or some other reasons, extracting the tooth may be the best treatment.

Root canal treatment usually requires 1 or 2 appointments and the subsequent crown requires two additional appointments.

Tooth Fillings / Restorations

We’ll Show You All Our Options for Our Boise Practice

Amalgam

For many years teeth were restored using silver amalgam fillings. They often last for many years when they are well done with proper care. Although the silver amalgam contains mercury, it is bound within the molecule of the amalgam and has not been proven to be a real health hazard. It is, however, often accused of causing this or that ailment. The biggest real complaint against amalgam fillings is that they are not very pretty. For that reason most people prefer a tooth colored filling or restoration.

Tooth colored fillings

Teeth that have small areas of decay or small old restorations that need replacing can easily be restored with tooth colored fillings. This is a resin material that usually contains a ceramic filler to provide strength and wearability. It is bonded to the remaining tooth structure after the decay and/or old filling is removed.

Onlays

Teeth that have larger decayed areas or larger old restorations often lack sufficient remaining tooth structure to “hold” a filling for a predictable result. Often these teeth can be restored with a more conservative restoration than a crown by utilizing an onlay. These restorations “lay” over the chewing surface of the teeth. They are made in the lab after taking an impression of the prepared tooth. The completed onlay is then cemented to the remaining tooth with special cement that bonds it to the tooth.

Tooth colored filling with fluoride

For people with high rates of decay there are filling materials made that contain fluoride. Fluoride ions are released, which make the teeth more resistant to decay. These are especially helpful for young children who get decay and adults who are more cavity prone or suffer from a dry mouth. Many of today’s prescription drugs cause decreased saliva flow, which greatly increases decay, especially on the roots of teeth.

Tooth Extractions

When Tooth Extraction is Your Best Option, We Will Care for You Every Step of the Way

Nobody wants to lose a tooth, but sometimes there are not any other good choices. Our dentists are exceptionally skilled in doing extractions. We can help you through these unpleasant decisions to remove a tooth or teeth. We can help you determine how best to prepare for the experience and give you instructions for the healing period to follow. We will also counsel you on how best to replace the missing tooth or teeth.

When the procedure is done in our office you will be given a local anesthetic. You will feel “numb” and the only sensation you will feel is pressure. If needed, you may be given nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or a type of conscious sedation medication. We do not put you under a general anesthetic where you would be unconscious. If you feel strongly about having a general anesthetic we will refer you to a very competent oral surgeon.

Wisdom Teeth

Our Dentists Will Educate You About Wisdom Teeth Removal and Care

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that normally erupt into your mouth when you were about 18 years old. Some people get them in earlier, some get them later, and some don’t get them at all. Most people do not have room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. This causes them to be impacted, which means they are “stuck” against the tooth in front or under the gum that remains over them. Both of these situations can eventually cause some problems.

Some of these problems are as follows: If the gum tissue lies over the wisdom tooth either partially or completely, you can often have pain because of an infection around them. If the wisdom tooth is angled into the tooth in front of it, it can cause difficult to treat decay on the twelve year molar in front. Wisdom teeth may also exert a forward pressure on your other teeth causing increased crowding. Sometimes cysts and other growths result from leaving wisdom teeth in when they cannot erupt properly.

Wisdom teeth are most ideally removed around age 18 before the roots are completely formed. They are then more easily removed and the recovery time is minimized. We remove a lot of wisdom teeth and would be happy to talk to you if you have concerns.

Generally if the patient is older than 25 years old, we will wait until there is a specific problem prior to removing wisdom teeth. Other situations may also exist that would make waiting our treatment choice.