PCDS Members please contact for a link to the members only information until the updated page is available.


Welcome to Pierce County Dental Society!

Pierce County Dental Society is a component society for current members of the American Dental Association and Washington State Dental Association.

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February President's Message - Dr. Sonia Pal

Dear Members,
Happy February and Valentine’s Day. The days are getting longer and I see visions of Spring in our future. Though there has been recent snow, I enjoy that too, I am excited for the longer days, warmer weather, and being able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
I hope that all who wanted to receive the coronavirus vaccine have received it or have an appointment. The process can be a bit tricky, but it is moving forward as best as it can under the circumstances. Similar to the PPE challenges we faced, with time, it will smooth out. I have noticed that ordering and receiving supplies has become easier and the threat about not having enough is lower. Please reach out if you have any difficulty and/or need anything.
We are continuing to work on a transition plan for Cheryl’s retirement in June. The Executive Board is following up on a few options and in the next couple of months should have another update. We are planning the next academic year’s continuing education and exploring various ideas with Snohomish County. We are planning to continue our joint meetings and possibly have a hybrid meeting where if we are able to meet in person, we can do so as well as have the option for those that would like to participate from home. More to come on that.
Please look at the resources from WSDA about infection control education support to comply with new rules that went into effect January 23, 2021. This is a great member benefit and all is in an easy format to implement. The courses that WSDA has sponsored have been very good as well. I look forward to the next meeting in a couple of weeks with Roger Levin. Please sign up for our next meeting with Snohomish County on Tuesday February 23rd at 6:15pm. We will be learning from Dr. Thomas Gessel about "Orthodontic force systems for the growing patient: the intersection of dental and facial development"
Please continue to reach out with any questions or concerns and check up on one another. It’s comforting to know you have support and others who know exactly what we are all going through.
Best regards,

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - PCDS Presents Dr. Peter van der Ven

Dr. van der Ven will be presenting "Oral Phantoms and Dysesthesia"

About the Presentation:

The presentation will focus on phantom oral sensations, which are poorly
understood. We all have patients whose symptoms don't match their clinical
presentation. We'll discuss this issue after meeting a few patients whose
complaints are difficult to explain. What to do? At times, it's probably
safer to listen than to act.

About Dr. van der Ven:

Peter van der Ven was born in the Northeast and is in his 60’s. He went Bowdoin College (1974), in Maine, and afterward went to Harvard Dental School (1981). He did a GPR at the OHSU and was then a dental staff fellow at NIDR for three years, involved in patient care and clinical research in taste function and salivary disorders. He next came to the UW under a Dentist Scientist Award, completing the Oral Medicine Residency in the School of Dentistry in 1988, a PhD in Oral Biology in 1996, and becoming board certified in Oral Medicine in 1996 as well. He started working at South Sound Oral Medicine, Federal Way, in 1995 and took over the practice from its founder, Dr. Jeff Burgess, in 2005. He currently practices there with his associates, Dr. Simin Nakhjiri and Dr. Rashmi Malhotra.

Registration link will be live in the near future.

Tuesday, February 23 - PCDS Presents Dr. Thomas Gessel

Dr. Gessel will be presenting "Orthodontic force systems for the growing patient: the intersection of dental and facial development"

About the Presentation:

The practice of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is focused on the correction of malocclusion, and the improvement of facial harmony. In support of this mission, we are learning more about the correlation between facial/jaw development and the core functions of respiration, swallowing, and facial tone and posture. Treating growing children in the mixed dentition presents challenges and opportunities. As orthodontics increases considerations in diagnosis to include aberrant respiration and function, so too should we consider therapies aimed at addressing these etiologies. Myofunctional orthodontics aims to correct malocclusions by first addressing underlying breathing and swallowing disorders. When combined with traditional orthodontics and orthopedics, myofunctional therapy can enhance treatment outcomes, shorten treatment times, and improve stability.

About Dr. Gessel:

Doctor Thomas Gessel grew up in University Place WA. He completed his undergraduate studies in Business Management at Brigham Young University. He graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and completed his orthodontic residency at the University of Louisville. Following his professional training, he and his wife Emily decided to move back to their hometown to start their own family and practice.

Click on the link to register:

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We are dedicated to furthering education, mutual support and better communication with the general public for the purpose of their better dental health. The Society has a Central Office to provide information on current dental issues, act as a liaison to the outside community, and serve as a support to its member dentists. Our goal is to provide this website as a resource for dentists, patients, and the community. If there is information that you feel would be helpful to other patients or dentists, please email your suggestions to

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Patient Resources

We provide free referrals to our Pierce County dentists for those patients who are looking for a new dental home, and we also have a download-able list of multi-lingual dental offices located in Pierce County

The Society has a Central Office to provide information on current dental issues, act as a liaison to the outside community, and serve as a support to its member dentists. We have one full-time and two part-time staff persons. The Central Office provides no-cost referral and mediation services for the public. Mediation is done for member dentists only.

The Pierce County Dental Society is proud to honor the many dentists who have participated in volunteer activities over the years. Together dentists in Pierce County donated $1,000,000 in care to low-income individuals in dental need, and participated in several oral health educational activities throughout the County.

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Congratulations – The Pierce County Dental Foundation received $78,640 in donations for the 2019 “A Day for Smiles” event.

All proceeds for the “A Day for Smiles” goes to the Pierce County Dental Foundation Endowment fund. The fund has a goal of $1,000,000. Once the fund reaches $500,000 it will start disbursing the proceeds for oral health care for those in need, oral health education, and to support education for dental professionals. Currently the fund has over $233,000 in donations.

In 2019 the Foundation supported several community events to support improved oral health such as: Pierce County Dentists Care Program, Bates Free Dental Day, Tacoma Rescue Mission Free Dental Day, Pierce County Veteran’s Resource Fair, Pierce County Dental Society Children’s Dental Health Day, and oral hygiene supplies for schools in Pierce County.

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Pierce County Dental Society, 221 B Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma, WA 98402 : (253) 272-9960 : : 2/25/2021 : Page Phrases: Dental Society Pierce County Washington : Dental Society Pierce County Washington :