If there’s one thing Dr. Daniel Shoop does better than caring for cavities, it’s caring for his patients.
Dr. Shoop and his Federal Way-based dentistry Dr. Shoop won Best Dentist in the Mirror’s Best of Federal Way 2019 awards.
Shoop Dentistry, which bought out longtime Dr. Jacka, has been at the Federal Way space since April 2018.
Hailing from Poulsbo, Shoop now resides in Tacoma after earning his education — and meeting his wife — at the University of Michigan. The couple welcomed a baby girl last year.
Shoop has been in practice for nearly five years, and still gets fired up about making his patients smile.
“I’ve always wanted to be a dentist,” Shoop explained adding there’s not a real underlying reason why — he just enjoys helping people. “It was always there, it’s just always called me. I never had an out of body experience, I never climbed a mountain and saw a cloud formed in the shape of a tooth … I’m happy, I love what I do.”
To him, dentistry is an art form that also allows you to help people.
“It changes their lives,” he said. “Your teeth are more than just eating; it’s also your self-esteem.”
While many people from Federal Way have sat in his dentistry chair, he enjoys working with kids or “really, really nervous people.”
“That’s an opportunity to make a change not just in someone’s day but in their life,” he said. “As you see them again and again, you see their walls come down and that’s kind of cool.”
Some of the best moments he’s experienced at work have been when completing immediate full dentures on people who have wanted to fix their smile for years, he said. Many times, patients break down crying out of happiness due to their fixed teeth.
“I’m really bad with names and faces but I’m good with teeth so when I see your teeth, I remember you,” he said, only half-jokingly.
Above all, Shoop’s utmost care leads him to service all people — not just his patients.
Twice he’s taken his talents across the globe on humanitarian trips to bring dentistry services to countries that need it the most. Shoop traveled to Guatemala in 2013 and recently returned from the Dominican Republic this past January.
While it’s incredibly helpful to the community served, it doubles as a learning experience for each volunteer, he said.
“It was incredible,” he said. “It’s a different experience, it makes you really grateful when you come back. As tired as you are, you’re charged and ready to go.”
Shoop said he also knows there’s a need for volunteerism right here in Washington.
Intermittently for the past four years, Shoop has also volunteered in Tacoma with the Medical Teams International with the Mobile Dental Program Dental Bus.
“I like to volunteer any time I can.”
The dental vans visit places where people need urgent help, according to their website. Along with providing dental care and prevention of future tooth decay, volunteers also teach good dental hygiene.
This program partners with community agencies to identify areas with the greatest need, according to Medical Teams International website, which often serves those living in poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, people experiencing homelessness, migrant workers, Native American populations, recovering addicts, veterans and youth, among others.
Recent technology upgrades have also improved Shoop’s dentistry atmosphere and function.
The office recently installed TV screens at each station and are hooked up to cameras so patients can watch along with procedures, see before and after photos, and more, Shoop said.
“What I’m really excited about right now is 3D printing,” he said.
Using resin and 3D printing machines, Shoop is able to create mouthguards, night guards and tooth implants, tailored to the precise needs of each patient.
Opposed to the previous way of procedures using models as guidelines or by freehanding, this new technology makes for a perfect restoration of the tooth and a quicker, safer procedure for patients, he added.
In his free time, Shoop can be found perusing dental boards for the latest technology or information, searching to educate himself to better serve Federal Way and the surrounding communities.
Although Shoop won the title as Federal Way’s Best Dentist, he believes it’s his office team who earned the award.
“I’ve been here for nine months,” he said. “I’m humbled and very appreciative.”
Shoop’s message to the Federal Way community?
“I am very grateful to be part of such an incredible team and thankful for the acknowledgment of our dedication to serving the community.”
Dr. Shoop Dentistry is conveniently located in Capitol Square Professinal Plaza at 700 S. 320th St., Suite E, in Federal Way. The business also offers a 5 percent senior discount.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 253-946-3575, or visit www.shoopdentistry.com.