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

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Posts for: April, 2016


It would seem the best time to turn your attention to orthodontic problems with your child is when their permanent teeth have come in around early puberty. In fact, you should be attentive much earlier at around 6 years of age.

Here are 3 reasons why an early orthodontic evaluation could be beneficial to your child’s dental health.

We may be able to detect the first signs of a malocclusion. Also known as a poor bite, it’s possible for an experienced dentist or orthodontist to notice the beginning of a malocclusion as the permanent teeth start coming in between ages 6 and 12. Crowding of teeth, abnormal space between teeth, crooked, protruding or missing teeth are all signs that the teeth are not or will not be coming in properly and some type of treatment will eventually be necessary to correct it.

We might spot problems with jaw or facial development. Not all malocclusions arise from faulty erupting teeth position: sometimes they’re caused by abnormal development of the jaw and facial structure. For example, an orthodontist can detect if the upper jaw is developing too narrowly, which can create a malocclusion known as a cross bite. The difference in the source of a malocclusion will determine what present or future treatment will be needed.

We can perform “interceptive” treatment. While braces won’t typically be undertaken until the permanent teeth have come in, there are other treatments that can “intercept” a growing problem to eliminate or lessen future treatment needs. Orthodontists may recommend appliances that help guide incoming teeth, coax impacted teeth to come in fully or expand portions of the upper jaw to normal dimensions.

As with other areas of health, the earlier orthodontic problems are found the better the chances of a successful and less interventional outcome. By having your child examined orthodontically you may be saving money and future difficulties.

If you would like more information on when to begin monitoring bite development in your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Early Orthodontic Evaluation.”


When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”

Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.

Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.

While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.

There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”

 An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.

Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Reep Family Dental
April 01, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are your missing teeth affecting more than just your smile? Do you feel embarrassed or self-conscious of your gaps? If so, you could dental implantsbenefit from dental implants. These permanent and effective dental restorations rejuvenate your smile, leaving you looking and feeling great. Don’t let missing teeth affect your smile. Ask your Yakima, WA dentist about dental implants.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants have three main parts:

  • Implant Fixture: The fixture is a titanium, biocompatible cylinder which your dentist implants into the jawbone beneath the missing tooth to replace its root.
  • Implant Abutment: The implant’s abutment connects the implant’s fixture to the prosthetic tooth.
  • Crown: A dental crown covers the implant itself to replace the missing tooth.

Dental implants work in two phases: implantation/recovery and crown placement. During phase one, your dentist surgically implants the fixture into the jawbone. After surgery, the fixture begins to integrate into the bone. After successful integration, phase two begins. This simply involves an appointment with your dentist to attach the crown to the fixture.

What can dental implants do? 
In addition to replacing a single tooth, dental implants can also replace many or all of the teeth. By strategically placing implant fixtures throughout the arch of the mouth, the implants can hold a removable or permanent full denture in place. Implants also replace several teeth in a row with an implant-supported bridge. Instead of using the healthy teeth surrounding a gap to hold the bridge in place, an implant on either side provides a sturdy foundation for the restoration.

The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are made to last a lifetime with the proper care. They function and feel just like normal teeth, meaning you will care for your new implant just as you would your own teeth. Brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day and seeing your dentist for regular examinations and cleanings at six-month intervals ensures your implants stay healthy. In addition to being easy to maintain, dental implants also function like natural teeth. This allows you to eat the foods you love, speak without fear of your dentures moving around or falling out and live a confident, gap-free life.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Nic Reep, DDS at Reep Family Dental and Dental Sleep Solutions in Yakima, WA. Call (509) 248-0986 to speak with an associate about scheduling your consultation for dental implants.