What is a bridge?

A dental bridge is a restoration used to replace one or more (typically a maximum of three) missing teeth. While there are several types of dental bridges available based on your specific dental needs, the most common is known as a traditional dental bridge. The traditional bridge is made up of an artificial replacement tooth (called a pontic) and two dental crowns. The crowns are placed on the natural teeth or dental implants adjacent to the gap left by the missing teeth. These crowns anchor the pontic in place and ensure it is a stable restoration. The dental bridge is custom designed to match the natural appearance of your smile for an aesthetic look that blends in with the rest of your smile.

Do I need a bridge?

We may recommend a dental bridge for your smile if you have experienced the loss of one or more teeth in a row. Dr. Travis Royce may suggest a bridge in order to:

  • Relieve excess stress on the bite

  • Enhance the beauty of your smile

  • Restore your ability to speak, chew, and eat as normal

  • Prevent the natural teeth that remain from shifting out of place


What is a crown?

A crown is a dental restoration we may recommend if a tooth is seriously decayed or otherwise damaged. The dental crown completely encases the damaged tooth, starting at the gums, in order to restore the tooth to optimal health, structure, and functionality. The crown is custom made to match the shape and size of the original tooth, blending in beautifully with your natural smile. At Alpine Heights Dentistry, dental crowns can be made from a number of materials; many of our patients prefer porcelain crowns because they can be matched to your natural tooth color for an aesthetic effect.

Do I need a crown?

Our Doctors, the Pillings will carefully evaluate your smile to determine whether a dental crown in Meridian, Idaho, is the best available option for improving your smile. Our dentist may recommend a crown in order to:

  • Complete a dental implant to replace a missing tooth

  • Enhance the beauty of your smile

  • Strengthen a weakened or cracked tooth

  • Support and attach a dental bridge

  • Restore a significantly damaged or decayed tooth

  • Improve the functionality and appearance of a misshapen tooth

  • Protect a tooth after root canal treatment


If you need a dental crown, Dr. Pilling may recommend CEREC® in Meridian, Idaho. CEREC technology allows our dentist to provide dental crowns and other restorations in just one dental visit. This is an improvement over traditional restorations, which take about two weeks to construct in a dental lab. CEREC restorations will be custom made from ceramic materials.

When creating a CEREC crown, our dentist will first remove a small amount of enamel to allow room for the dental crown. Our dentist will then use the CEREC Omnicam to take 3D images of your teeth in color. The Omnicam eliminates the need of messy, traditional impressions. After digital images are taken, our dentist will use CEREC software to design your dental crown. The software will recommend design possibilities, making the process much faster. Then our dentist will mill the crown using a milling machine. This process will only take a few minutes. Our dentist will place the CEREC crown in your mouth to examine the fit and color. Any needed adjustments are made. Then your dental crown is permanently cemented into place.


What is teeth cleaning?

A dental cleaning is one of the most basic treatments we provide at Alpine Heights Dentistry, yet it is essential to your dental health. Visiting our dental office regularly for a teeth cleaning in Meridian, Idaho, helps us to make certain that your smile stays in good health and function. During your routine teeth cleaning, our dentist and dental team will:

  • Thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any plaque or dental calculus that has accumulated on the tooth surface

  • Polish each tooth for a bright, healthy smile

  • Carefully examine your smile, checking for signs of tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, or any other conditions that require treatment

  • Evaluate any existing restorations to make certain they are in good condition

  • Provide fluoride treatment to protect your teeth from decay

As needed, our Doctors will recommend further dental treatment to improve the health of your smile.

How often should I go to the dentist?

We generally recommend that you visit our dental office every six months. Some patients may require more frequent appointments because of certain conditions. We also recommend that you contact us for an appointment any time you experience dental pain or if you notice any type of dental damage. We are always here to care for your smile. We welcome you to contact us today to schedule your next visit!


What is a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies include a number of oral conditions that require treatment in a timely manner. A dental emergency may be caused by injury or trauma, or it may be the result of tooth decay or another condition that has not been properly treated. Common dental emergencies include the following:

  • A severe toothache or persistent tooth pain

  • A knocked-out tooth

  • A partially knocked-out (extruded) tooth

  • Injuries or damage to the soft tissues of your mouth, including the gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue

  • A lost or damaged dental restoration, such as a crown, filling, or bridge

  • A chipped, fractured, or broken tooth

  • An object stuck between the teeth that does not come loose with gentle flossing

If you or a member of your family experiences one of these dental emergencies, or another type of dental emergency, we encourage you to contact us at Alpine Heights Dentistry as soon as possible. Dr. Travis Royce is pleased to provide emergency dental care so you can always receive the care you need. Our dentist and dental team can also provide you with information on how to care for your smile until you can come to our office. For more information about what to do in the case of a dental emergency in Meridian, Idaho, we invite you to contact us today.


What is a filling?

A dental filling is a simple yet effective type of dental restoration. We typically recommend a dental filling to repair a tooth that has experienced minor to moderate decay or damage. Dental fillings are applied, shaped, and hardened directly on the tooth surface. After our dentist has removed all decay from the tooth, we apply the filling material and shape it to fit the contours of the tooth. Once the filling is properly sculpted, we harden it and make sure it fits your bite comfortably. Dr. Travis Royce can usually complete the entire filling process in a single pleasant visit to our dental office.

Do I need a filling?

If the damage is not extensive enough to require a dental crown, a filling may be the right restoration to restore the tooth’s structure and health. The dental filling replaces the damaged tooth structure so that your smile stays healthy and functional. There are multiple types of dental fillings available, including amalgam (silver) fillings and composite (white) fillings. Our dentist will make certain you choose the type of dental filling in Meridian, Idaho, that is best for your specific dental needs. We invite you to contact us today at Alpine Heights Dentistry to learn more about fillings and to set up your next visit to our office.


What is digital radiography?

Digital radiography, or digital X-ray technology, is an advanced type of X-rays we use at our office to capture high-quality images of your teeth, bone, and surrounding structures. While traditional X-rays use X-ray film, digital X-rays use a digital sensor for images of a higher quality that require less time to take and develop. Digital radiography in Meridian, Idaho, uses up to 90% less radiation than traditional film radiography, and the process for taking digital X-rays is also more comfortable. At Alpine Heights Dentistry, we use both bitewing and panoramic X-rays to gain a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of your oral health.

What can dental X-rays detect?

Our Doctors use digital dental X-rays to identify a number of dental problems and conditions that are more difficult or even impossible to detect with the unassisted eye. Our dentist may use digital radiography to detect:

  • Bone loss

  • Developmental abnormalities

  • Cavities and tooth decay between teeth

  • Fractures in existing fillings

  • Infection in the tooth root

We also utilize digital radiography to plan a number of dental treatments, including dental implants, oral surgery, root canal treatment, and more. We welcome you to call or visit our dental practice today to learn more about digital radiography and its advantages.


What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is often used in the dental field. Fluoride is found in many foods, as well as water; many communities supplement their water supply with fluoride for enhanced dental health benefits.

Is fluoride bad?

In truth, fluoride is good for your teeth. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth strong. As you eat and drink throughout the day, your tooth enamel (the outer, protective layer of the tooth) is attacked by acids, sugars, bacteria, and plaque. These factors demineralize the tooth enamel; too much demineralization without sufficient remineralization results in tooth decay. Fluoride and other minerals remineralize the tooth enamel and help to prevent tooth decay.

Do I need fluoride?

We recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Your dentist may also recommend other products, such as mouthwash, that contain fluoride as needed. During your visit to Alpine Heights Dentistry, Dr. Travis Royce often provides a professional fluoride varnish, which is applied directly to the surface of the teeth to protect them from decay. For more information about fluoride in Meridian, Idaho, please contact our dental office today. We are dedicated to helping you keep your smile healthy!


What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery includes a number of surgical dental treatments aimed at improving the health, function, and appearance of your smile. In most cases, we strive to provide the most conservative treatment possible; however, oral surgery may be the best available option for treating certain conditions. The most common forms of oral surgery we provide at Alpine Heights Dentistry include:

  • Tooth extraction – We provide both simple and surgical tooth extractions at our dental office. Surgical tooth extractions require that we make an incision in the gums because a tooth has not erupted, because the tooth has broken off at the gum line, or because we need to remove a section of the bone as well.

  • Dental implants – Implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone to provide a permanent, stable replacement for one or more missing teeth.

Do I need oral surgery?

Our Doctors will thoroughly examine your smile to determine the best possible treatment options. We may recommend oral surgery in Meridian, Idaho, if other, more conservative treatments will not provide the results you need and desire. For more information about oral surgery, and to set up your next visit with our skilled dentist, we welcome you to contact us today.


What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition that affects the gums and soft tissues of the mouth. Caused by bacteria in plaque, gum disease is characterized by two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the earlier stage of periodontal disease. During this stage, the gums become swollen and tender. You are also likely to notice that your gums bleed easily and that your gum tissues are redder than usual. Gingivitis can usually be treated and controlled with improved at-home dental care. If not properly treated, however, gingivitis will progress into periodontitis.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease. This stage is marked by the recession of the gums and the formation of pockets where the gums have pulled away from the tooth structure. When not treated with professional care, periodontitis results in bone loss and tooth loss.

What is gum treatment?

Our dentist and dental team are committed to providing quality treatment for gum disease in Meridian, Idaho. Based on the severity of the condition, our Doctors may recommend scaling and root planing (deep cleanings), antibiotic treatment, professional cleanings, or other treatment. If you notice the signs of gum disease described above, we encourage you to contact us today at Alpine Heights Dentistry to receive the care you need.


What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment, which is often simply referred to as a root canal, is an endodontic treatment typically recommended when the dental pulp, tooth nerves, and other inner tissues of the tooth become damaged or infected. During root canal therapy, our dentist removes all infected and injured tissues from the tooth and thoroughly cleans the tooth. We then fill the tooth with a medicated material to treat the infection. Finally, to restore the tooth’s structure and functionality, we seal the tooth with a restoration; in most cases, a dental crown is needed to effectively protect the tooth. Our Doctors can usually complete root canal treatment in just one or two comfortable visits to our dental office.

Does a root canal hurt?

Root canal therapy has a reputation for being a painful treatment. In reality, however, a root canal in Meridian, Idaho, often results in no more discomfort than a normal dental filling. We use high-quality anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding areas, and our dentist uses the highest level of skill when caring for your smile. In fact, root canal treatment typically results in pain relief because we are removing and treating tooth infection, which often causes intense tooth pain when not treated.

We invite you to contact us today at Alpine Heights Dentistry to learn more about root canal treatment. We are eager to improve your dental health!


What is a sealant?

A sealant is a simple yet effective preventive dental treatment we provide at Alpine Heights Dentistry to protect your teeth from tooth decay. The dental sealant is a very thin coating of resin material that is painted onto the chewing surface of the tooth. This resin is clear or tooth colored, so you can rest assured that your sealants will not affect the appearance of your smile. The dental sealant works by creating a barrier on the surface of the tooth to block out bacteria, plaque, and food debris that can stick in the natural pits and grooves of the tooth surface. This helps to prevent tooth decay and keep the tooth healthy. The dental sealant also forms a smoother surface over the ridges and grooves of the tooth, making it easier to keep clean through regular brushing.

Do I need a sealant?

Our dentist may recommend a dental sealant in Meridian, Idaho, to help prevent tooth decay. We often recommend sealants for children when their permanent back teeth (molars and pre-molars) come in to protect them from decay and damage. Some adults may also benefit from sealants if their back teeth have not been previously decayed and restored. To discover whether sealants are the right choice for your smile, we welcome you to contact Dr. Travis Royce today.


What is tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction, also called tooth removal, is the complete removal of a tooth. There are two main kinds of tooth extraction: simple extractions and surgical extractions. Surgical extraction requires making an incision in the gums to reach and remove the tooth. We offer both types of tooth extraction in Meridian, Idaho, to ensure we meet all of your dental needs and goals for a healthier smile.

Do I need tooth extraction?

Our caring dentist at Alpine Heights Dentistry strives to help you keep your natural teeth when possible. Some conditions, however, may make tooth extraction the best available treatment option for your smile. Our Doctors may suggest tooth extraction if:

  • A tooth is so seriously decayed or otherwise damaged that we cannot effectively restore the tooth with a restoration like a filling, crown, etc.

  • A primary tooth (baby tooth) is not falling out as it should and is blocking the way for the erupting permanent tooth

  • Serious infection has destroyed a large portion of the tooth and supporting bone structure

  • There are too many teeth to properly fit in the mouth

You can rest assured that we use the greatest skill and compassion when extracting a tooth. For more information and to set up your next appointment at our office, we welcome you to call or visit us soon.