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

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Posts for: August, 2016

By Reep Family Dental
August 19, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Periodontal (gum) disease is potentially devastating to your teeth, gums and bone. To fight it we have to remove the substance that causes and sustains the disease from all oral surfaces — a thin layer of bacteria and food particles known as plaque.

To accomplish this task, we use a variety of hand instruments called scalers to mechanically remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits), as well as ultrasonic equipment to vibrate plaque loose and flush it away with water. If we detect plaque deposits well below the gum line and around the tooth roots, we may need to use other techniques like root planing or surgery to access these deeper areas.

 While gum disease is persistent and aggressive, these traditional techniques have proven quite effective in controlling the infection and restoring health to diseased gums. Yet like other aspects of medicine and dentistry, technological advances have created a new option for gum disease treatment: the Nd:YAG laser.

The Nd:YAG laser is named for the crystal it uses to produce a narrow and intense beam of light on a specific frequency. In recent years it's become an important surgical tool because it can distinguish between diseased and healthy tissue, destroying the former while not affecting the latter. It's being used now on a limited basis for treating gum disease, especially for removing infected tissue in deep pockets that can form below the gum line, and for removing plaque and calculus from root surfaces.

 Because of its precision, early evidence of effectiveness is encouraging: minimal tissue damage and swelling, less bleeding and reduced patient discomfort after treatment. The heat from the laser has also been shown to kill bacteria and essentially sterilize the area.

Still, the findings aren't conclusive enough as to whether lasers are superior in most circumstances to traditional scaling methods. For the time being, we'll continue to use the tried and true methods for removing plaque and calculus. But as laser technology advances, the time may come when this new approach to gum disease treatment will become a more prominent and beneficial option for patients.

If you would like more information on your treatment options for gum disease, 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 “Lasers Versus Traditional Cleanings for Treating Gum Disease.”

By Reep Family Dental
August 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Countless surveys rank “a nice smile” at the top of the list of desired physical attributes. The appearance of your teeth can significantly affect how healthy and young you look to other people. If you want to show off your best smile possible at your next big social affair or business meeting, learn more about porcelain veneers. For many patients of Reep Family Dental in Yakima, WA, getting dental veneers is a life-changing experience that helps them regain their confidence. 

What Are Veneers?
When your natural teeth don’t give you the smile that you’d like, dental veneers can.veneers Veneers are translucent tooth coverings that have a similar look and feel to contact lenses. They can be bonded to the front of your teeth and shaped to give you a whole new look when you smile. They help with the following common cosmetic problems:

  • Too-small teeth.
  • Gapped teeth.
  • Slightly protruding or crooked teeth.
  • Yellowed or stained teeth that can’t be whitened.

How Veneers Are Installed
The process of installing new veneers takes about two or three appointments with your Yakima cosmetic dentist. Your natural teeth have to be healthy enough to support the veneers before they are installed. Before the installation appointment, a small amount of enamel is removed from the front of each tooth in the treatment plan to make room for the veneers. At the final appointment, they are securely bonded to the surface and adjusted by the dentist, then your beautiful new smile is revealed.

Your Best Smile Possible
Many patients are amazed by how much better they look when they get veneers. Porcelain veneers don’t just brighten up your teeth, they brighten up your entire face. Studies have shown that when your teeth are whiter and straighter, it makes you look younger and healthier. Veneers will give you a better smile for as many as 20 years with good dental care.

Make Today the Day
If you’ve been thinking about getting veneers to improve your smile, but have been delaying for one reason or another, make today the day. Call Reep Family Dental in Yakima, WA today at (509)-248-0986 to set up a consultation appointment.

By Reep Family Dental
August 04, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”