Yakima, WA Dentist
Reep Family Dental
3804 Kern Road Suite A
Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 388-0331

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Posts for: March, 2015

By Reep Family Dental
March 30, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you one of the millions of Americans who are frustrated with missing or cracked teeth and multiple restorations? Are you concerned about what failing dental health is doing to your appearance and overall health? Does the prospect of dentures discourage or worry you? Stop worrying, and consider investing in dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Simply put, dental implants are a great alternative to removable dentures, fixed bridgework and gaps in a person's smile. Consisting of a metal screw (usually titanium) placed directly into the jawbone and a natural-looking porcelain crown above the gum line, dental implants provide a solid foundation for chewing, biting and speaking. They help maintain the size, structure and density of the jawbone where teeth have been extracted. They also serve as placeholders, stopping neighboring teeth from shifting and becoming Dental Implants loose.

What is the dental implant procedure like?

Most implants are placed using only local anesthesia right in the dental office. Some patients may elect light sedation for this 2-step procedure.

During the first visit, the dentist places the titanium implant directly into the jawbone. This metal screw is then allowed to integrate with the bone during a healing period of several weeks. During the next appointment, the dentist places a metal fixture called an abutment onto the implant and then securely glues a natural-looking porcelain crown on the abutment. Dentists can also use implants as the foundation for a full set of fixed or removable dentures.

What about the cost of dental implants?

The cost of dental implant surgery can vary, depending on how many of these prosthetic teeth are needed. Also, some patients require bone augmentation where donor bone or other bone-building materials are added to the jaw so that the implant stays in place.

So, in general, dental implants cost more than dentures and conventional crowns and bridgework. However, these traditional restorations need periodic replacement. For instance, a dental crown may last 7 to 10 years. Over many years, replacement costs add up.

Dental implants are a better investment no matter how you look at it. The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons states that about 95 percent of implant surgeries are successful and that the appliances, with proper hygiene and check-ups, can last for decades. So, while the initial expense may be higher, once an implant is done, it's done. In addition, some dental insurances cover at least a part of the cost, and dentists will work with patients to arrange payment plans.

Nic Reep DDS

At Reep Family Dental in Yakima, Washington, Dr. Nic Reep and his staff can help you decide if dental implants are the right investment in your smile. They provide the latest in dental services in a comfortable setting and love listening to and educating their patients. Call Reep Family Dental today for a consultation today: 509-594-4437.


When Giuliana Rancic, long-time host of E! News, first saw her new son, she said it was “the best single moment of my life.” Recently, on the eve of Duke's first birthday, the TV personality and reality star spoke to Dear Doctor magazine about her growing family, her battle with cancer — and the importance of starting her child off with good oral health.

“Duke will have his first visit with the dentist very soon, and since he is still a baby, we will make his visit as comfortable as possible,” Giuliana said. That's a good thought — as is the timing of her son's office visit. Her husband Bill (co-star of the couple's Style Network show) agrees. “I think the earlier you can start the checkups, the better,” he said.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry concurs. In order to prevent dental problems, the AAPD states, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his or her first birthday. But since a child will lose the primary (baby) teeth anyway, is this visit really so important?

“Baby” Teeth Have a Vital Role
An age one dental visit is very important because primary teeth have several important roles: Kids rely on them for proper nutrition and speech, and don't usually begin losing them until around age 6. And since they aren't completely gone until around age 12, kids will depend on those “baby teeth” through much of childhood. Plus, they serve as guides for the proper position of the permanent teeth, and are vital to their health. That's why it's so important to care for them properly.

One major goal for the age one dental visit is to identify potential dental issues and prevent them from becoming serious problems. For example, your child will be examined for early signs of dental diseases, including baby bottle tooth decay which is a major cause of early childhood caries. Controlling these problems early can help youngsters start on the road to a lifetime of good oral health.

Besides screening your child for a number of other dental conditions or developmental problems, and assessing his or her risk for cavities, the age one visit also gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about dental health in these early years. Plus, you can learn the best techniques for effectively cleaning baby's mouth and maintaining peak oral hygiene.

Breezing Through the Age-One Visit
To ease your child's way through his or her first dental visit, it helps if you're calm yourself. Try to relax, allow plenty of time, and bring along lots of activities — some favorite toys, games or stuffed animals will add to everyone's comfort level. A healthy snack, drink, and spare diapers (of course) won't go unappreciated.

“We'll probably bring some toys and snacks as reinforcements,” said Giuliana of her son's upcoming visit. So take a tip from the Rancics: The age one dental visit is a great way to start your child off right.

If you would like more information on pediatric dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”


Tooth replacement at any age is a challenge, but especially for teenagers. Dental implants in particular may not be possible yet for teens or young adults whose jaws are still developing. Because it’s imbedded directly into bone, the implant will not move with the jaw as jaw growth occurs, making it look potentially unattractive.

The best solution could be a temporary replacement until their jaw reaches maturity. One such option is a removable partial denture (RPD), an artificial tooth set in an acrylic base that resembles gum tissue. Although we associate dentures with older adults, an RPD works well for teens as a temporary measure. Perhaps the best version for a younger person utilizes metal clips that fit over adjacent teeth and hold the RPD in place. Although quite resilient, the wearer needs to be careful when biting into something hard (like an apple or similar firm fruit) or the artificial tooth may break off.

Another option, a bonded bridge, is a fixed solution similar to a traditional bridge. Whereas a traditional bridge is supported by crowns affixed to the teeth on either side of the empty socket (and requiring extensive alteration of the teeth to accommodate them), a bonded bridge attaches to the supporting teeth with wing-like projections of dental material that attaches to the backs of the adjacent teeth, hidden from view. Although not as secure as a traditional bridge, they can conceivably endure until the teen’s jaw structure is ready for an implant or other permanent solution.

Choosing between an RPD and a bonded bridge will depend on a number of factors, including the teen’s individual bite, clenching or biting habits and the health and strength of supporting bone and gums. Regardless of the type of solution chosen, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, especially around a bridge. If bacterial plaque is allowed to build up on tooth surfaces, it could result in an infection that can damage both gums and bone, and reduce the chances of a successful implant in the future.

All these and other considerations should be discussed after a thorough examination. From there, we can advise you on the best course of action to restore both appearance and function until it’s time for a permanent restoration.

If you would like more information on temporary tooth replacements for teens, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.