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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some Frequently Asked Questions about Dr. Schoonover and his practice:


1. What are Mini Dental Implants and how can they help me?

What We Do at Dr. Larry's practice• Mini Dental Implants are artificial tooth roots made of threaded titanium screws. Four such implants can stabilize a lower denture so it stays put. Six implants can stabilize an upper denture and allow the middle of the denture to be removed, which means the patient can feel the roof of the mouth with his/her tongue again. This simple procedure can be accomplished in about 90 minutes. A single implant can replace a tooth root, and allow Dr. Larry to add a crown where a tooth has been missing. To replace molars, Dr. Larry will sometimes place two such roots for the crown to ensure strength and life-long stability. To make a long story short, Mini Dental Implants allow you to have your confidence and your smile back. This is one of the life-changing procedures that Dr. Larry LOVES to do! And, he is an expert at this procedure. He teaches this technology to dentists nationwide at the request of 3M, the same company that makes duct tape and post-it notes.
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2. I have had dentures for years. How can I make my dentures fit better?

• Denture Stabilization is the answer! In about 90 minutes, and with a very simple procedure, Dr. Larry can place Mini-Dental Implants to “tighten up” an existing upper or lower denture. By noon, you could be having lunch with the security of tight dentures. Four Mini-Dental Implants can stabilize a lower denture so it stays put. Six implants can stabilize an upper denture and allow the plastic covering your palate to be removed, which means the patient can feel the roof of the mouth again. Mini Dental Implants let you snap your dentures in and out. Talk about confidence!!! You can chew, sing, and smile again like you always wanted. Eating apples or carrots? Public speaking or singing? Dining out? NO PROBLEM!
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3. Is Dr. Schoonover a specialist?

What We Do at Dr. Larry's practice• Many people think so when they are first examined by Dr. Schoonover because he is so thorough. Dr. Larry is a general dentist who has completed extensive additional training in all 16 disciplines of dental care. He has obtained the prestigious Masters award with the Academy of General Dentistry, which is a very high honor recognizing his passion for all phases of dental care. This simply means…he really knows! And better than that…he really cares!
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4. Will Dr. Schoonover clean and fill my teeth?

• At the Clendenin office, Dr. Larry performs all phases of general dentistry and would be delighted to schedule your appointment for these general dental services. At the Elkins office, Dr. Larry performs dental exams, x-rays, orthodontics and orthopedics (straightening teeth and bone), bleaching, and work-ups for complete dental make-overs (full rehabilitation). He also provides TMJ treatment and Mini-Dental-Implants at both offices.
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5. When should my child be checked for braces?

• By age 7 every child should have had an orthodontic consult to determine the need for space maintenance or early orthopedic corrections (cross-bites, retrusive (small) chins, overbites, underbites, crowding, or gapping teeth). By treating these problems early, many severe problems can be prevented or made easier to treat at a later age.
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6. Can Dr. Schoonover bleach my teeth?

• Yes, Dr. Larry is delighted to provide the latest and most effective bleaching services at both the Clendenin and the Elkins offices. Just wait til you see the difference! Wow!!
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7. Will Dr. Schoonover give me a dental make-over?

• Of course! Dr. Larry provides complete dental rehabilitation services and can diagnose and plan treatment for all types of cases at both offices. On some occasions, Dr. Larry will ask a patient to see him at both offices. The actual rehabilitation (crowns, bridges, veneers, and such) accomplishes amazing results. See for yourself! Call for an appointment to talk this over.
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8. Can Dr. Schoonover take out my wisdom teeth?

• Certainly! Dr. Larry provides surgical services at the Clendenin office with your choice of local anesthetic and with nitrous oxide & oxygen (laughing gas). In most cases, Dr. Larry finds that IV sedation is unnecessary, but still sometimes desired. If you prefer, Dr. Larry will refer you to a skilled surgeon if IV sedation is required.
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9. Does Dr. Schoonover do implants? Why are they needed?

• Dr. Larry is an advocate of Mini-implants for these types of cases.

Orthodontics: The implant provides a stable support which is used with elastics or wire to move the natural teeth into the best, most beautiful, functional position. After treatment, the implant is easily removed.

Dentures: Several mini-implants can be placed where there are no teeth as a support for complete or partial overdentures. Overdentures can be wonderfully successful using either implants or shortened natural teeth for abutments, and the fit is amazing. Yes, you can go back to eating apples again.

Congenitally absent teeth: Sometimes Mother Nature just leaves one out. Dr Larry believes the arches are still most harmonious and the bite more functional when space is orthodontically matched and a tooth added.

Prematurely lost teeth: Implants make a wonderful abutment for crowns or bridges to replace teeth. Other options in this case include partial dentures.
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10. How often is Dr. Schoonover in Elkins?

• Dr. Larry works in Elkins by appointment for two to four days per month as needed. With examinations, consultations, orthopedics, orthodontics, cosmetic bleaching, implants, TMJ, and some complete make-over services, the time is by appointment only. Just call ahead and let us know what you need.
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11. Does Dr. Schoonover accept my insurance or can I make payments?

• Dr. Larry is happy to bill your insurance for you if you have coverage for the dental services you need. Any co-payment is expected at the time of treatment or before. Due to the nature of orthodontic services, they are generally financed over an 18 month period with a down payment, and if payments are made on time, NO FINANCE CHARGES. Dr. Larry is also happy to work with you to use your BENE-Card or MSA (medical savings account). We accept Mastercard, Visa, and Discover for your payment convenience and also participate with Care-Credit which is a wonderful new method for financing your dental care.
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12. Does Dr. Schoonover make dentures?

• Absolutely! Dr. Larry is proud to customize dentures for patients so they can be both esthetic (good-looking) and functional. It is Dr. Larry’s goal that no denture adhesives are required for a great fit. One great method to increase the “tightness” of your dentures is to place a few MINI-DENTAL-IMPLANTS and “snap” your dentures to them. Patients are encouraged to continue to appoint for a check-up and cancer-screening every 6 months.
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13. How often should I see Dr. Schoonover if nothing hurts?

• If no treatment needs have been identified and no treatment is in progress, Dr. Larry likes to see all his patients at least every 6 months for an exam, cancer-screening, cleaning and fluoride. Home care supplies can also be obtained at this visit. For some patients a three month schedule is more appropriate. The goal is to find and treat problems before they hurt or to prevent problems altogether. Dr. Schoonover will prescribe the recommended frequency for each individual patient. Top of Page

14. If my child needs braces, will Dr. Schoonover take out teeth to make room? Does he use that strange head-gear?

• Dr. Larry prefers the non-extraction approach to orthodontic (braces) care, and when treatment begins early enough, he can almost guarantee that extractions (other than wisdom teeth) won’t be necessary. Dr. Larry has never resorted to the use of head-gear for orthodontic treatment. He prefers early functional and orthopedic treatment whereby he actually stimulates growth of the jaws by exerting gentle pressure. It is amazing what can be done if the child is seen early.
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15. I heard Dr. Schoonover teaches other dentists. Will he use my case to teach?

• Dr. Larry is often honored with a request to share his very successful techniques with other dentists, and he does so gladly. Many of Dr. Larry’s patients volunteer to help other patients by allowing him to teach other dentists using their case as an example. Dr. Larry has taught hundreds of other dentists this way. If your case will be used as a teaching case, your identity will be protected unless you give explicit permission for your personal information to be used.
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16. Does Dr. Schoonover do white (tooth-colored) fillings?

• Absolutely! Only your dentist will be able to see these when they are finished. The beauty of these fillings is not only in their appearance. They can be easily repaired and if (heaven forbid) the patient gets new decay around one, the dark appearance of the decay can be detected much earlier against the white filling than against a dark metal filling. X-rays are also more effective diagnosing problems through cosmetic fillings. Just for the record, Dr. Larry also recommends gold fillings in certain situations when their location does not compromise esthetics (great looks).
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17. How much will my treatment cost?

• Every individual has unique dental needs and most often, there is more than one way to fix a problem. Dr. Larry will be glad to discuss your needs and help you arrive at a plan that suits your priorities. One thing to consider:" You get what you pay for." Dr. Larry always chooses the best of materials and uncompromised techniques to provide your care. It is not always wise to search for a bargain price. You wouldn’t want the cheapest brain surgeon or the cheapest parachute. Your health and happiness are ultimately the most valuable commodities of life.
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18. How do I make an appointment?

• With a smile of course! Call 304-548-7227 or toll-free 1-888-HAS-SMILes (1-888-427-7645) Just download and complete registration and consent forms, which can be accessed with the Forms link.
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19. Does Dr. Schoonover cater to cowards?

• Yes! The entire staff works hard to put your fears to rest, and to make your dental treatment downright enjoyable. Music, relaxation techniques, a good sense of humor, and when necessary, nitrous oxide and oxygen (laughing gas) are a great help. Dr. Schoonover also keeps four different types of local anesthetics in stock in the office.
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20. What is nitrous oxide gas?

• Nitrous oxide and oxygen gases (N2O-O2) are combined to form a safe and enjoyable breathable sedative administered through a little nose mask. (Yes, the doctor can still see your teeth.) Patients who use N2O-O2 are relaxed but fully awake and in control of themselves. It’s just a little something to take the edge off. The effects are completely reversible within seconds, allowing the patient to drive themselves home or carry on with normal activities. Kids love the “happy gas”, as it allows them to be good and actually enjoy the visit.
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21. What if I’m afraid?

• First of all, please understand that it is okay to be afraid. It is not something about which to be embarrassed or ashamed. Dental fear is a very common thing. Nearly half of Americans have reported to be afraid to go to the dentist. Dr. Larry considers that to be a real problem that prevents many people from obtaining ideal dental care. He works patiently with his clients to overcome the fears they have developed from a previous “bad dental experience.” Many patients are comforted by the fact that Dr. Larry keeps most of the instruments out of sight and just seems to better understand their fear than most.
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22. What if it’s just a baby tooth?

• Ahhh, this is a favorite topic for Dr. Larry. Most people have the belief that since the baby teeth will "just fall out anyway", that they don’t have to be filled if they get a cavity, or they can be taken out to make space if a patient’s teeth are crowded. Unfortunately, when that happens, a lot of damage can occur to the future permanent teeth. Dr. Larry refers to these baby or primary teeth as “spaceholders.” Each and every primary tooth has a purpose and a destiny to maintain the health of an area of the gum for a future larger permanent tooth. If decay ravages a primary tooth, the adjacent teeth relax and drift into the space now made available from the decay. That minimizes the available space for a future permanent tooth and sets up a future crowded or mis-aligned condition, known as malocclusion. Keeping primary teeth in good health is the best way to reduce the future severity of a need for braces. Oh, and it is natural for the baby teeth to have spaces between them, too. So don’t worry, Mom, a little extra space is usually a good thing. But, like everything else, there can be too much of a good thing. Have your child checked by Dr. Larry to be sure that everything is on track.
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23. Can dental disease affect the rest of my body?

• It sure can. As a matter of fact, recent research has implicated gum disease as a direct link to heart attacks, stroke, premature and low birth weight babies, and diabetes. Dental abscesses have been known to cause infections in the inner lining of the heart and even in the brain.
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24. What if I have other questions?

• You are welcome to ask any question. No question is too simple and there is no such thing as a “stupid” question. So, if you read the entire webpage, and still have additional questions, just give us a call or drop us an e-mail. Dr. Larry is always glad to have an excuse to talk. (If you know him, you already know that.)
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25. What does "Master" mean?

• Master means that Dr. Schoonover has achieved a great milestone in his career that indicates he really knows a lot about dentistry. To become a master of the Academy of General Dentistry, a dentist has to take hundreds of hours of training on all 16 areas of dentistry through his practice career. He also has to pass a tough examination. Lastly, he has to study several approved cases "hands on" and be able to present (or teach) his work to a group of his peers. There are only a very few Masters in West Virginia. Dr. Schoonover is VERY fortunate to have obtained this milestone and made a great number of friends in the process.
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26. Does Dr. Larry REALLY travel all over the world teaching other dentists?

• Yes, Dr. Larry REALLY travels all over to teach other dentists. He has taught classes in office design, child identification, rural practice, infection control, and his new favorites....Mini Dental Implant Procedures and Dental Restoration Procedures. He has been lucky enough to teach dentistry all over the United States, and also has spoken overseas. Dr. Larry truly loves to teach, and works hard to help his patients and other dentists keep “learning for a lifetime!” Continual learning is kind of his thing! His patients are pretty glad of that, and it really shows in his work.
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27. I'm from the country. With all his fancy education and high-tech training, will Dr. Schoonover STILL make me feel at home and explain things to me so I can understand??

• Dr. Larry is ALSO from the country. He prides himself on growing up in Clay County, WV. He remembers running barefoot through the woods and the river, and picking fresh tomatoes to eat right out of the garden. (He still does most of this stuff...smile) And when it comes to straight talk, Dr. S is really good at explaining things in ways that make sense. As a matter of fact, on several different occasions, Dr. Larry has even helped people to understand some dental idea when the patient didn't even speak English. He ALWAYS tries to help patients to STREEeeetch the dollars so they can get the most bang for their buck. Dr. Larry loves helping people understand their dental needs, and loves teaching dentistry.
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If you have any other questions for Dr. Larry, please feel free to send your questions using the email form on the left. Or give the office a call at 304-548-7227. He'll be glad to hear from you!

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