November 2018

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection caused by bacteria in dental plaque that affects the gums, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. It causes a range of symptoms such as swollen gums, bleeding, and loose teeth. According to one study, half of American adults have periodontal disease, but we hope that this blog will help to reducing that number.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • You should visit your dentist if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below:
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity or discomfort while brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose or misaligned teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of pus between teeth and gums

Keep in mind that periodontal disease often goes unnoticed, so you still need to take care of your oral health, get your teeth cleaned every six months, and see your dentist regularly even if you’re not experiencing these symptoms.

Periodontal Disease Prevention

While tooth loss may only occur in the advanced stage of periodontal disease, you can easily avoid this awful outcome by adopting a few preventive measures.

The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night. However, brushing is not enough to get rid of the food stuck in your teeth, so you need to floss once a day too.

Don’t be surprised if your dentist asks you to change some habits. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, diabetes, and the regular use of certain over the counter medications.

Overall, as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly, you likely won’t lose your teeth or have to go through a surgery to repair your gum tissue.

So, have you been taking care of your oral health? Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease or not, come see us at Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We’d love to improve your smile and make it brighter. Contact us through our website or by calling (208) 376-7721 to book an appointment.

Blog post: How preventative care helps save you money

Periodontal Disease: Symptoms and Prevention

October 2018

Blog post: benefits of dental sealants (duplicate)

December 2018

Some people are prone to cavities, no matter how well they brush and floss. A predisposition to certain factors, including the composition and flow of saliva, diet, and even the strain of bacterial infection present in the body all contribute to the formation of cavities.

Tooth morphology is another contributing factor, one that the team at Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can certainly help with. Food particles have a nasty way of getting caught in the deep grooves or fissures of your teeth, especially of yourmolars. This is a recipe for disaster… or rather, for cavities.

That’s where dental sealants come in.

What Are Dental Sealants?

The American Dental Association defines a dental sealant as “a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that adheres to the chewing surface of your back teeth.”

The dental sealant procedure is quick and painless, and it creates a strong protective layer on the enamel of each tooth. The sealant fills in any nooks and crannies in your teeth, thus eliminating the opportunity for food bacteria to settle in and cause decay. While they can’t replace your daily dental hygiene routine, dental sealants can offer extra protection against cavities, and can reduce the risk of decay by up to 80% in your molars!

Who Can Benefit from Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are most frequently recommended for children, as soon as their permanent teeth have erupted. It's always better to prevent a cavity than have to try to fix it later. Helping to keep your kids’ teeth cavity-free from the get-go will help you save time, money, and some additional dental work down the road.

While they are primarily geared towards children, adults can benefit from dental sealants, too! No matter our age, we’re all susceptible to tooth decay. By establishing a strong barrier between the fissures in your molars and the food particles in your mouth, you’re eliminating an opportunity for bacteria to grow and for tooth decay to set in.

Dental sealants can be a great option for your family to help stop tooth decay in its tracks. Be sure to talk to your dentist about them at your next appointment!

CareCredit - Start Your Treatment Today!


Dentistry has improved a lot in the last decade, making it easier than ever to get the gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted. Porcelain crowns and veneers are some of the best options for fixing damaged, stained, or slightly misshapen teeth. These treatments are frequently confused, so we want to set the record straight on getting the straight, white teeth you deserve.

So, what is the difference between a crown and a veneer?

Dental Crowns

While getting a crown might initially seem like an honor, this dental procedure is actually pretty common. Crowns are used most frequently with individuals whose teeth have been broken or damaged, or whose discolored teeth cannot be whitened with ordinary procedures. The “cap”, as it’s sometimes called, is marginally thicker than a veneer, and covers the entire tooth. This makes it far more sturdy and resistant to damage.

The crown fitting procedure requires two visits. On your first visit, Dr. Hayhurst will prepare the damaged tooth by taking impressions, noting the shade of your tooth, and fitting you with a temporary crown. After a few weeks, you’ll see him again to have the permanent crown fitted.


Veneers, on the other hand, are better suited for patients that require slight changes to tooth positions, shapes, colors, and sizes. Thinner than a crown and covering only the front of the tooth, veneers offer a natural look, great strength, and resilience.

At Scott E Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer both traditional and no-prep veneers. Although both traditional and no-prep veneers offer a faster recovery than crowns, no-prep veneers can be done even more quickly and with less discomfort than both of the other options. That’s because the dentist can remove less tooth material to bond no-prep veneers to your teeth.

Veneers and crowns are created for unique individuals based on their tooth shape, size, and color. As such, it can be almost impossible to identify the difference between natural teeth and veneers or crowns. Better yet, the porcelain substance they’re made with resists unsightly stains, like coffee, red wine, and tobacco! That’s just one of the good reasons to choose veneers or crowns for your smile makeover.

If you’re ready to get your picture perfect smile, give us a call at (208) 376-7721 or request an appointment online to get the process started. We look forward to seeing you! 

Crowns vs Veneers: What’s the Difference?

september 2018

How is your oral hygiene? If your toothbrush has been worn out for months, your gums bleed every time you brush your teeth, and you can’t even remember the last time you visited your dentist, it’s time to change your habits. Symptoms that look harmless might develop into something worse and require costly treatments. In this blog, we talk about how simple preventive measures can help you not only keep good dental health, but also save money.

Replace Your Toothbrush

An average toothbrush—nothing fancy or cheap—usually only costs up to $5 and should be replaced about every three months. While we hate goodbyes, if yours is looking like this, just let it go. You need your toothbrush in good shape to ensure that there are no leftover food particles in your mouth that can cause plaque and tooth decay.

Dental Hygiene

Now that you have a new toothbrush, you must know how to use it properly. That’s why we encourage you to take this quiz created by the American Dental Association. 

Here are their tips for good dental hygiene:

  • It should take at least two minutes to brush your teeth (the average is 45 seconds).
  • If you had eaten or drunk something acidic, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing.
  • Don’t brush too hard because it may hurt your gums.
  • You should floss at least once a day.

Even when you’re not experiencing any symptoms of oral diseases, it’s important to have regular checkups with your dentist every six months.

Periodontal Disease

You’re not the only one who appreciates a sweet dessert. The bacteria present in saliva love it, too! Poor brushing and flossing helps them to form a sticky bacterial plaque. At some point, it hardens and turns into tartar—which can be removed only by a dentist. When tartar spreads below the gum line, it can cause periodontal disease, an infection that might put your dental health at risk.

Here are some symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • Receding teeth

Several studies have proven that periodontal disease can cause other health problems, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and respiratory issues. The treatment varies according to the stage of the infection: Usually, it involves cleaning the roots of the teeth below the gums, but a corrective surgery may be necessary in extreme cases.

These treatments are complex and, consequently, expensive. If you can avoid all these problems and save money by adopting simple preventive measures, why not?

Book your appointment at Scott Hayhurst Family Dental and let us take care of your oral health! Our clinic is located in Boise, Idaho. Contact us through our website or call (208) 376-7721.

How Preventive Dental Care Helps You Save Money.

March 2018

April 2018

The Benefits of Dental Sealants.

Blog post: use your dental benefits before 2018 (duplicate)

There’s no doubt about it: holiday expenses can really add up. Between gifts and travel, and jam-packed schedules, the last thing you’ll want to do is book your family’s dental appointments. But what if we told you there was a way to save money this year, and it began by calling Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry?

Did you know that only 2.8% of people with PPO dental plans reach or exceed their plan’s annual maximum, leaving 97.2% of people sitting on unused dental benefits? As soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, you can kiss all your unused dental benefits goodbye! While it may be a hectic time of year, using your benefits now could actually save you money and a headache down the road. Here are 4 reasons you should use them before you lose them:

Dental problems will only get worse

Postponing your dental appointments can only make matters worse and lead to more extensive and expensive treatment! A recent study suggests that a simple annual cleaning is crucial for identifying future problems such as gum disease, cavities, and even oral cancer. Although you may not have pressing issues now, basic preventative care is an excellent way to use your benefits and will help you achieve and maintain a healthy set of teeth and gums!

Create a timely strategy to save big

If you require a procedure involving multiple visits, getting started at the end of the year is a great strategy! To help maximize your benefits, your dentist can split the treatment over this year and next, allowing you to take advantage of your replenished funds and dramatically reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your dentist!

You are paying, so don’t waste your money

A deductible is the amount of money you must pay to your dentist before your insurance kicks in. On average, it’s $50 for the year. Come January 1st, you will need to pay the deductible again regardless of any unused benefits. If you’re not using your benefits but continuing to pay monthly premiums, the money is simply wasted. Remember, even if you don’t need any dental treatment, schedule a cleaning and let those benefits pay for your preventative health before your fees potentially increase and you have to dole out more cash!

Confidently enjoy your holidays

Last, but not least, using your benefits now means enjoying the holidays! Once the hustle and bustle of the season has died down, you can look forward to 2018, knowing you got the most out of your benefits and saved some money!

At Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide personalized care for adults, teens, and children and go above and beyond to provide you with the care you deserve. If you have outstanding dental benefits, there has never been a more opportune time to book an appointment than right now! Don’t let your dental benefits go to waste—be sure to use them before December 31st!


Prevention in Dentistry Saves you Time and Money!

June 2018

Blog post: Prevention in Dentistry Saves you Time and Money!

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is particularly true when it comes to our health. We all know how small health problems, when left unchecked, can become bigger and more expensive to fix over time. Taking time for preventative health measures like exercising, following a healthy diet, and regularly visiting your doctor can stop those problems from growing out of proportion, or even from appearing in the first place.

Our dental and oral health is no different. Practicing preventative dental and oral health is as simple as following the advice that your dentist has always given you, from daily brushing and flossing to refraining from smoking. By following these tips, you can not only improve your health, but also save yourself from time-consuming and expensive dental visits. 

  • Brush 2-3 times a day (after meals) and floss once a day to prevent the collection of food particles and buildup of plaque between the teeth. Finish with an anti-microbial mouth rinse to help prevent gum disease.
  • When brushing, use gentle force with a soft-bristled brush. Hard brushing can actually wear down the enamel on your teeth, making them weaker, more sensitive, and more susceptible to staining.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or when the bristles appear to be fanning outward. A worn brush is far less effective.
  • Always brush your tongue to improve your breath and remove bacteria that could travel to your teeth and gums.
  • Eat a healthy diet including foods that are good for your teeth. If you’re brushing and flossing effectively, there’s no need to avoid coffee or tea (provided they aren’t sweetened with sugar), as these beverages can both be healthy for your teeth.
  • Smoking is one of the most destructive activities for your oral and dental health. Refrain from smoking, and if you are a smoker, make a plan to quit.

Finally, and importantly, a large part of preventative oral and dental health is making regular visits to your dentist. Much like regular checkups with your doctor, a dental checkup every 6 months to a year can help your dentist identify and fix problems, sometimes even before they start. Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers a variety of preventative dentistry services, from Laser Cavity Diagnosis to Fluoride Treatments, Sealants, and Ultrasonic Cleanings to keep your teeth in top shape. To make your regular or preventative dental appointment, call us today at (208) 376-7721 or visit us online to find out more about our dental services! 

Blog post: Protect your Teeth (and Sleep Better) with a Nightguard

Protect your Teeth (and Sleep Better) with a Nightguard.

May 2018

If you’ve been waking up with headaches, a sore jaw, or the achy feeling of misalignment in your teeth, you’re probably grinding your teeth in your sleep. Sleep bruxism, or the grinding or gnashing of teeth during the night, is often related to other sleep disorders like snoring or sleep apnea, and can also be a result of stress during waking hours.

Aside from causing pain and damaging your teeth, sleep bruxism can have an adverse effect on your quality of sleep. That’s why dentists often recommend custom-made nightguards for patients who suffer from sleep bruxism. While over-the-counter nightguards prevent your teeth from grinding together, they cannot protect the joints and muscles of the jaw, so headaches, pain, and poor sleep may persist. A custom-made nightguard, on the other hand, offers the following benefits.

Reduce pain and headaches

Sleep bruxism and other temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) can cause everything from jaw muscle or joint fatigue to headaches, ear aches, muscle spasms, and lockjaw. A correctly-formed nightguard, however, will work to properly align your teeth, reduce the tension in your jaw, and ease the strain on the joints and muscles.

Prevent damage to teeth

The nightly wearing-down and grinding away of enamel can, depending on the severity of the bruxism, cause anything from mild tooth sensitivity to gum recession, abfraction (the formation of triangular grooves in the gumline), chips, cracks, and even fractures. The most immediate benefit of a nightguard is that it protects the tooth surfaces from each other during the night, greatly reducing enamel damage.

Improve sleep

With the constant activity of grinding, especially the muscle fatigue and pain that it causes, bruxism can dramatically affect sleep quality. By protecting your teeth and discouraging grinding, a custom nightguard can make sleep more restful. In fact, nightguards can even prevent snoring, meaning your partner may just get a better rest as well.

Save money over time

When sleep bruxism goes untreated for an extended time, the cumulative damage of each night’s tension and grinding becomes expensive to repair. Often this damage affects the entire mouth, rather than an individual tooth. By reducing damage to your teeth, a custom nightguard can spare you from significant dental costs down the line.

If you suffer from sleep bruxism, a nightguard may be just what you need to dramatically improve your dental health, sleep quality, and general quality of life. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers both nightguards and sportguards that are made to measure for a perfect fit that protects your teeth. Stop putting up with the daily grind of sleep bruxism, and contact us today by calling (208) 376-7721 or visiting us online

july 2018

Blog post: CareCredit - Start Your Treatment Today! (duplicate)

Did you know that at Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we accept CareCredit as a form of payment? It’s important to us to be accessible to our patients, and we share that goal with CareCredit.

What is CareCredit?

CareCredit is different from a regular credit card.” CareCredit believes in helping people get the care they want for themselves and their families.

In fact, CareCredit has a lot of benefits when it comes to those out-of-pocket expenses that your medical insurance may not cover. Some details include:

  • Over 200,000 enrolled providers who accept CareCredit payment
  • Shorter-term financing options of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months
  • No interest on purchases of $200 or more when you make minimum monthly payments and pay the full amount due by the end of the promotional period
  • Extended longer-term healthcare financing for 24, 36, 48, or 60 months

CareCredit has been providing valuable financing for over 30 years. Cardholders can use their card to pay for treatments and procedures that insurance typically doesn’t cover, and even pay for deductibles and copayments.

Applying for a CareCredit card is easy. Start your application and use your card to pay for your next treatment at Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry!

Whether you’re a new patient or a regular here, your health and wellbeing are our first priorities. At Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer dental services that include preventative dentistry, cosmetic contouring, dentures, implants, fillings, whitening, sealants, extractions Invisalign, and more. Get in touch with us online or by calling 208-376-7721 to book your appointment!

Blog post: CareCredit - Start Your Treatment Today! (duplicate)

August 2018

Your oral health isn’t just about keeping those teeth pearly white. In fact, your oral health can actually contribute to your overall health, which makes it even more important to commit to regular dental care.

These are some health concerns to be aware of (and encourage you to brush twice a day).

Heart Health

One of the major ways in which oral health can affect overall health relates to your cardiovascular health. Gum disease can put you at risk for coronary heart disease as well as stroke. Bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and cause heart inflammation, and over time this buildup can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Bone Health

In cases of periodontal disease, the oral infection can affect the gums and bones that support the teeth. In extreme cases, this can lead to tooth loss. There is some evidence that suggests periodontal disease can also affect bone density in the rest of the body as well.

Brain Health

Recent studies suggest that oral care can directly impact brain health, especially in regards to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation from gum disease can lead to inflammation in the brain cells, which contributes to cognitive impairment.

Mental Health

Poor oral hygiene can actually result in poor self-esteem. Gum disease isn’t attractive; from swollen, bleeding gums to tooth decay and loss, it can really affect how you look and speak. Healthy mouths can contribute to improved confidence and self-image. That’s something worth smiling about!

What Can You Do to Improve Your Oral Health?

A little regular maintenance can go a long way when it comes to your oral health! Brush twice a day, brush your tongue, and floss once a day. Keep sugary and acidic treats to a minimum to help preserve your enamel, and eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to keep your body in great health. Don’t forget to book your regular dentist appointments as well! At Scott E. Hayhurst we can help detect and treat gum disease and other oral health issues before they become more serious. Contact us online or by calling 208-376-7721.

Of course, the best prevention for your dental health starts at home. No one should ever underestimate the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but there are also a few office treatments and strategies that can help you stave off dental decay in the long run.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are made of plastics and were created to interfere with the formation of plaque on your teeth. It’s no wonder, then, that they can help prevent tooth decay. Sealants are a great choice for children and adults who have no cavities as of yet. They can last for up to a decade; however, they should be checked regularly for damage. Using sealants means that you may be able to save on expensive repair work in the future if you prevent tooth decay in the first place.

Dental Guards

Tooth grinding typically happens in your sleep. It's often related to anxiety and stress, but it can also be related to diet or poorly aligned teeth. Eliminating caffeine, adding exercise to your daily regimen or seeking counseling to deal with stress can be helpful.

Your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard that will help protect your teeth from grinding as you sleep. When untreated, this bad habit can cause teeth to crack or wear away. In some cases, untreated grinding requires expensive dentures to replace damaged and decayed teeth.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleanings can be a more beneficial choice than manual treatments for some patients. Patients with a lot of tartar and plaque buildup can benefit from ultrasonic cleanings the most.

Studies show that using ultrasonic instruments allows wounds caused by scraping to heal more quickly. At the same time, the area is still cleaned just as effectively as it is with a manual instrument. Though this can be more expensive in the short term, in the long run, it helps you save money.

If you're in need of a new dentist, call Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Dr. Hayhurst is an experienced professional when it comes to preventative care. Book your appointment by sending us a message or by giving us a call at (208) 376-7721! 

Prevention is Key in Dentistry.

Blog post: CareCredit - Prevention Is Key In Dentistry (duplicate)
Blog post: crowns vs veneers (duplicate)

November 2017

Blog post: dental implants

what are dental implants and how do they work?

Dental implants can help people who are missing one or more teeth get their smile back. This medical procedure is incredibly safe when performed by an experienced dentist, which is why you'll be in good hands with Dr. Hayhurst and his staff. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are 3 million people in the United States with teeth implants—and the number is growing by 500,000 every year. If you’re considering dental implants, here’s what you need to know:

How Is the Procedure?

Typically, the procedure involves making an opening in a patient’s jawbone where an implant is surgically placed. This implant is usually made of titanium, which allows it to attach to your bone and provide support for a crown. Before placing the crown, your dentist will secure it with a connector, also known as an "abutment". Finally, the crown is screwed or cemented onto the abutment and acts just like a natural tooth.

How Can You Prepare For The Procedure?

Just like any other surgery, you have to go through a few exams to ensure that dental implants are suitable for you. Dental X-rays play a significant role in the procedure because they reveal the condition of your jawbone. Sometimes a process called “bone grafting” is necessary if the patient has a damaged or weak jawbone. Always follow your dentist’s recommendations to give your mouth, teeth, and bones time to heal.

Dental Implants vs Dentures

Both dental implants and dentures are designed to look like natural teeth. However, teeth implants are the most effective dental treatment for missing teeth because they make it easier to eat and speak. As long as you see your dentist regularly to be sure that your implants are in good shape, you'll enjoy a better experience than what dentures can provide.

At Scott E. Hayhurst Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide good long-term oral health care for patients in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and surrounding areas. If you’re interested in teeth implants, contact us through our website or by calling (208) 376-7721 to book an appointment. 

Blog post: periodontal disease