My Blog

Posts for: December, 2017

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
December 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics  

If you’ve ever looked at younger photos of yourself, you’re sure to notice differences with your present appearance. Of course, your basic features might appear much the same. But maybe your lips seemed a little thicker back then, or your nose a bit less prominent.

This is because your facial features don’t stop growing when you reach adulthood—they continue to change throughout your life. For example, lips reach their maximum thickness by around age 14 for girls or age 16 for boys; they’ll remain at that level of thickness for a few years before gradually thinning throughout adulthood. The nose will also continue to grow, becoming more prominent especially as changes in the lower part of the face can make the chin appear shorter.

Although each of us ages at different rates and in different ways, these general physical trends are somewhat predictable. That’s why we can use the knowledge of how our facial physiology changes with age to fine tune orthodontic or other cosmetic dental treatments. The most optimum approach is to consider treatment in the early stages of bite development during childhood or early adolescence.

This means we’re doing more than correcting a patient’s current bite: we’re also taking into account how tooth movement now might affect the jaw and facial structures later in life. By incorporating our understanding of age-related changes into our treatment we might be able to provide some hedge against the effects of aging.

This approach starts with early comprehensive dental care, preferably before a child’s first birthday, and an orthodontic evaluation at around age 6 to assess bite development. It may also be necessary to initiate interceptive treatment at an early age to lessen or even eliminate a growing bite problem to help ease the extent of future treatment. And if a bite requires correction, early evaluation can help create a timetable for effective treatment in later years.

Taking this approach can correct problems now affecting both dental health and appearance. But by acknowledging the aging process in our treatments, we can build the foundation for a beautiful smile well into the future.

If you would like more information on keeping an attractive smile throughout your life, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
December 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Discover the many advantages to choosing dental implants

Did you know that over 36 million Americans have no teeth and 120 million Americans are missing at least one permanent tooth? Unfortunately, these statistics are only supposed to increase over the next few years. If you are an adult who is currently looking for a way to treat your tooth loss and to regain your healthy smile our Port Orchard, WA, cosmetic dentist Dr. Ronald Schoepflin is here to tell you more about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Implants are small metal posts or screws that are designed to take over the role of tooth roots. When you lose one or more teeth you also lose the roots of your teeth, which are vitally important to the health of your jawbone. While there are other dental restorations on the market that can replace your missing teeth they can’t actually replace tooth roots. This makes dental implants the only restoration that can fully function and look like a real tooth.

How do dental implants work?

In order for an implant to take on the role of your tooth roots, it will need to be placed within the jawbone. This can be done during a very simple surgical procedure. Our Port Orchard, WA, dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the area thoroughly before opening up the gums to reveal the jawbone.

A small hole is drilled out of a specific area of the jawbone to place the implant before the gums are stitched up. What makes implants so different from other restorations is the fact that it naturally fuses together with the jawbone as the bone begins to heal. This will occur over the course of a couple months, making the jawbone and the metal implant one permanent unit from which to support a false tooth. An implant is the only tooth replacement that could actually end up lasting you the rest of your life.

Just because you are dealing with tooth loss now doesn’t mean that you have to deal with it for the rest of your life. Dental implants can completely change your smile around for the better. Call Schoepflin Dental Excellence in Port Orchard, WA, today to schedule a consultation with us.

By Ronald L. Schoepflin, D.D.S.
December 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  

Are you tired of those stained, chipped, slightly crooked or—in a word—unattractive teeth? We have an effective solution for you: cover them with life-like porcelain veneers.

As the name implies, a veneer is a thin layer of dental porcelain custom-made to match your tooth’s shape and color and permanently bonded to the outside enamel. With its translucent, light-reflective quality similar to tooth enamel, dental porcelain looks completely natural. Veneers are well suited for minor to moderate imperfections, and can even be used to correct slight gaps between teeth.

We begin the process by performing a comprehensive dental exam to begin planning the exact shape and color of your new veneers. We can now do much of this planning with computer imaging, which may also give you the chance to see how your veneers will look on you after treatment.

We often will also need to prepare the teeth to accommodate the veneers when we bond them. Although the alterations shouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive as with a porcelain crown, we will still often need to remove some of the enamel layer so the veneer won’t look bulky. Even though we’ll remove as little as possible, if needed it will still permanently alter your teeth—so they’ll require some form of restoration from then on.

Once we’ve prepared the teeth, it’s then time to create the veneers. This is typically done by a dental laboratory technician through a manual process that may take several weeks. Increasingly, though, equipped dental offices are now able to generate their veneers in-house with computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) milling technology.

Once the veneers are ready, they’re bonded securely to the teeth with a detailed process that helps ensure they’ll endure biting and chewing forces for a long time. Still, you’ll need to avoid biting into hard objects or using your teeth for such things as cracking nuts. If you have a clenching or grinding habit, we may also recommend you wear a night guard to prevent excessive forces against not just your veneers but your teeth as well.

By taking good care of them, your new veneers can give you many years of service. Most of all, they can transform your embarrassing appearance into a smile you’re proud to show.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers.”