Pediatric Dentistry: Tooth Fairy Approved

Family Dental Center in Idaho Falls

MACHEN FAMILY DENTISTRY has ‘family’ in its name for a reason! We offer the best dental care for patients of all ages in a positive and friendly environment! Dr. Machen, being a mother herself, especially loves to see the youngest little patients. Our office is TOOTH FAIRY APPROVED! When Dr. Machen helps to wiggle out a child’s tooth, they receive this special Tooth Fairy pillow, made especially for baby teeth! Check out the photos below, and schedule your child’s next trip to see our Idaho Falls dentist!

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What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

Idaho Falls Dentist, Machen Family Dentist


If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size.

What is a Crown?

A crown is a tooth shaped cover (cap) that is placed over a tooth that has been prepared by the dentist.

When is a Crown Needed?

A crown is needed when a tooth has had a significant amount of trauma or decay on the tooth.  A crown may be recommended for a tooth that has had a root canal, has greater than 50% of the tooth missing, or an entire cusp, a tooth with a significant crack or break, or is covering an implant. There are quite a few different kinds of materials that a crown can be made of. See the list below.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

  • Porcelain Fused to Metal
  • All Ceramic
  • All Porcelain
  • Zirconia
  • Gold

What are the Differences?

Porcelain Fused to Metal is a crown that has an interior of metal that is covered by porcelain.  This crown can be matched in color to the surrounding teeth making it aesthetically pleasing.

An all Ceramic or all porcelain crowns are the most natural in tooth color and are great for front teeth.  They are also great for those who have an allergy to metals.

Zirconium Crowns fused to porcelain are so close to natural teeth that it is hard to tell the difference. Zirconium crowns are also very strong and can be used anywhere in the mouth. Full zirconium crowns may be recommended in patients that have a strong bite and a history of breaking teeth.

Gold crowns are ideal for capping teeth that are in the back of the mouth.  Gold is very long lasting and gentle to the teeth they bite against.  They will also not chip. Out of all of the different types of dental crowns, gold crowns probably have the greatest potential for lasting the longest even though they are not the most aesthetically pleasing.

What are the Benefits of Crowns?

A crown can strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance. With a large filling, a crown strengthens the tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking, or restore one that’s already broken. A crown or a veneer is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant. If you have questions about crowns, feel free to give our Idaho Falls dentist a call at 208-552-0775.


Information on Tooth Extractions

Idaho Falls Tooth Removal, Machen Family Dentistry

What is a tooth extraction?

Answer: Extraction in dentistry means the removal of a tooth from the mouth, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding.

Why are Extractions Needed?

-Severe tooth decay
-Risk of infection
-Broken tooth that is not able to be fixed
-Crowding (orthodontic needs)
-Gum disease
-Damaged tooth from trauma

What to Expect in a Tooth Extraction

As an adult having a tooth extracted is hardly cause for celebration, but there is no need to worry. At Machen Family Dentistry we will work to keep you as comfortable as possible. Most extractions are easily completed in the dental office. Using the same type of numbing for fillings, Dr. Machen will first numb the area to lessen any discomfort. If you prefer, other sedation options are available upon request.  After the extraction, you will be advised of what post extraction regimen to follow. In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal, but overtime, your mouth will slowly fill in the bone where the tooth root was through the formation of a blood clot.

Recovery Tips

  • Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing.
  • Don’t smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours.
  • Follow the diet Dr. Machen suggests.

Post Care

For the first few days if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently. If you experience swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag and call us right away. Ask about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual, but don’t clean the teeth next to where the tooth was removed. Give Machen Family Dentistry a call at (208) 552-0775 if you have any other questions tooth extractions and what to expect. We would be happy to help! If you are in need of a tooth replacement, learn more about our dental implants or dental bridges.

Importance of Teeth Cleaning

Idaho Falls Dentistry, Machen Family Dentist

Adult & Child Teeth Cleaning

Teeth cleanings are essential not just for clean teeth, but a healthy mind and body as well. In a routine dental visit, there’s lots that people don’t know about. Here’s what you should know and what you should expect out of your next teeth cleaning.

Many people see the mouth as separate from the rest of their body, but the reality is that it’s all connected. Problems in your mouth can cause or even act as an indicator of disease in other parts of your body, such as dementia and heart disease. Teeth cleanings every six months are an essential part of keeping your mouth, and the rest of your body disease-free.  Teeth cleanings remove the buildup of plaque and tartar which for the most part is natural, but too much could cause gum disease. A professional teeth cleaning is done by the hygienist at a dentist’s office. The hygienist uses tools to remove tartar from your teeth.

Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary

1.) To prevent diseases in the rest of the body like heart disease, dementia, complications of diabetes and stroke.

2.) To prevent tooth loss.

Family History

You might know if there is cancer or heart disease in your family in case your doctor asks — and gum disease family history is just as important. Find out what type of gum disease and how severe. There’s a strong genetic predilection for gum disease and this information can help your dentist with your teeth cleanings and overall care.


We all have bacteria in our mouths and certain dental treatments can allow that bacteria to enter the bloodstream (called bacteremia). For most of us, this isn’t a problem. A healthy immune system prevents these bacteria from causing any harm. When you have a teeth cleaning, it is common for the bacteria that are in your mouth can get into the bloodstream after the procedure. This is very common, well-known, and safe — if you’re healthy. For certain groups of people, there is concern that this bacteremia could cause an infection elsewhere in the body. An antibiotic makes sure you cover all your bases. The American Heart Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has set up standards of what health issues need an antibiotic for dental treatment.


Regular teeth cleanings twice a year are important to maintain your oral hygiene and keep you healthy. If you are a little nervous about your teeth cleaning, just know you have nothing to worry about. Our Idaho Falls dentistry takes pride in placing our patient’s comfort first as they receive a thorough teeth cleaning. You are in good hands! Make sure to schedule an appointment for your teeth cleaning today with Machen Family Dentistry.

Replacement of Missing Teeth

Idaho Falls Dentist, Machen Family Dentistry

Dental Implants

If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable and hard to maintain, or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, talk to Dr. Machen to see if dental implants are an option for you. Dental implants are the most popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. Designed to blend in with your other teeth, they are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. There are generally three phases to getting an implant:

Dental Implant Procedure

  • First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
  • Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
  • Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
  • New and exciting methods are now underway to decrease the amount of time it takes to heal. Which means a patient can get the completion of an implant and get their smile back sooner!

If you are interested in dental implants, it’s a good idea to discuss it carefully with our Idaho Falls dentist first. If you are in good general health this treatment may be an option for you. In fact, your health is more of a factor than your age. You may be medically evaluated by a physician before any implant surgery is scheduled. Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or leukemia, may interfere with healing after surgery. Patients with these issues may not be good candidates for implants. Using tobacco can also slow healing.


If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges being the 2nd choice can help restore your smile. A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from porcelain and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.

An implant bridge attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue. Depending on which type of bridge Dr. Machen recommends, its success depends on the foundation. So it’s very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Solutions

wisdom teeth removal idaho falls, Machen Family Dentistry

Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth)

Third molars (wisdom teeth) that are impacted, or appear to possibly cause a future problem, will most likely be recommended to be extracted. Wisdom teeth can also be extracted for  orthodontic purposes or to maintain good oral hygiene.

When Do They Come in?

Third molars usually come in during the late teenage years to early twenties.  Some third molars don’t have room to come in and are blocked by other teeth. This can cause the tooth to only come in crooked or half way leaving the gum tissues irritated, inflamed and possibly infected.

What Potential Issues can they Cause?

Some third molars never come in but can still cause issues by pushing against adjacent teeth under the bone, causing crowding and shifting of other teeth. Teeth that have not yet entered the mouth but are impacted under the gums have a potential to cause a cyst to form around the tooth and can eventually cause significant complications.

What solutions are Available?

Dr. Machen provides her patients with a comfortable and relaxing dental experience during extraction treatment. We provide our patients with the choice of sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Whichever the choice you make, we make sure that you leave our office having a great experience!

Purpose of Night Gaurds

Idaho Falls Dentistry


HOW DO YOU COPE WITH STRESS… Literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It’s called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep. Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety, but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. The symptoms of teeth grinding may include the following below. 

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

  • Dull headaches
  • Jaw soreness
  • Teeth that are painful or loose
  • Fractured or chipping of teeth

Teeth Grinding: Children vs. Adults

Teeth grinding is also common in children. Since their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly, it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment. Most outgrow the habit by adolescence. While teeth grinding with adults is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:

  • Irritation in the mouth
  • Allergies
  • Misaligned teeth

Solutions to Teeth Grinding

Dr. Machen can fit you with a mouth guard perfectly suited to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause, you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re concerned about your or your child’s teeth grinding, ask Dr. Machen about the potential causes and solutions.