CALL US: (360) 514-9212

Our Services

Dr. Alan Snodgrass provides progressive family dental care specializing in preventive dentistry, laser periodontal treatment, and cosmetic dentistry in Vancouver, WA.

To learn more about the dental services we provide, click on the links below.

Preventive Dentistry

The biggest step in oral hygiene is your personal care at home. Dr. Snodgrass recommends a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam twice a year for optimal dental health, more frequently in certain cases. This recommendation applies to both children and adults. There are many simple steps to help ensure your smile stays healthy and strong for years to come. The standard dental cleaning is called a dental prophylaxis. Good oral health has demonstrated a very strong link between periodontal care and cardiovascular health, thus healthy gums and teeth extends far beyond just a beautiful smile. Dental teeth cleanings can reach many other areas of your overall health.

If you have had gum disease or serious tooth decay in the past, your preventative plan will involve much more thorough cleanings necessitating more than once a year checkups. Teeth cleaning may not be enough and other procedures may have to be suggested.

At Thurston Oaks Dental, we offer many great preventative care services for our patents. Some of the most common procedures are as follows:

Dental Exams

Alan Snodgrass, DDS recommends a dental exam every six months to ensure optimal oral health. This exam is typically done as part of your regular cleaning appointment. During your dental exam, we take digital x-rays to help us in our diagnosis of any oral issues that might not be visible to the naked eye.

Digital X-Rays

Digital dental x-rays are a method that uses up to 75% less radiation than traditional film-based x-rays. Dental x-rays are a diagnostic aid used to determine periodontal disease, cavities, or oral pathologies, and are now part of your standard dental exam and office visit. Some patients may only need x-rays every few years and some with a past history of cavities may require closer monitoring, needing x-rays several times a year.

Deep Cleaning

Deep Cleanings are often recommended by the hygienist and dentist based on of the presence and severity of periodontal disease. A deep cleaning may involve either full mouth debridement if it has been several years since the last cleaning, or scaling and root planing for patients with periodontal disease present. A proper diagnosis is made with a full mouth periodontal examination as well as x-rays.

Deep cleaning procedures involve use of local anesthetic and are usually completed over several appointments. During these appointments, your hygienist will clean underneath the gums as well as above them. Three weeks after the deep cleaning procedure is completed we will reevaluate to assess how well you have responded to treatment. At this time either a periodontal maintenance program will be selected or additional work may be needed.

Periodontal Maintenance

Patients who have had active periodontal disease and were treated successfully will go on a periodontal maintenance program that will meet your personal needs.

Restorative Dentistry

Thurston Oaks Dental offers a full range of dental restoration services.

Fillings

When you have a cavity, Dr. Snodgrass can help by removing the tooth decay from your teeth. He specializes in tooth fillings, which are necessary to fill the openings in your tooth, where your cavity and surrounding enamel has been drilled out.

You may need dental fillings for various reasons. The most common reasons are:
•  Your tooth has chipped
•  Tooth decay
•  Your tooth is worn down

There are different types of fillings available including indirect and direct, and temporary or permanent. If you need multiple teeth filled, you will receive a temporary filling, because all of your teeth cannot be filled permanently at the same time. You will also receive a temporary filling if you need immediate relief. Although a temporary filling is a successful procedure, it is not a permanent procedure. To have long-lasting results, you need to have a permanent filling.

If you have an indirect filling, this procedure will last longer than a direct filling, because it is stronger. The material used in a direct filling is soft and used for smaller fillings. An indirect filling is more extensive than direct fillings, and these fillings use dental cement to bond your teeth, unlike direct fillings that use soft material and a blue light. The materials for direct fillings are glass or composite ionomer cement, and silver amalgam. Indirect fillings use ceramics or gold. Silver fillings can cause allergic reactions, but we will help you determine if you are prone to these issues beforehand.

Dental Crowns

If your tooth needs to be restored, you will need a dental crown. Dental crowns are caps that come in the shape of a tooth. A crown is placed over the tooth for:
•  Improving your tooth's appearance
•  Strengthening your tooth
•  Shaping your tooth

Dental crowns are necessary in many situations. Both adults and children will need dental crowns, but for different reasons. Reasons for Crowns on Permanent Teeth:
•  Cosmetic modification
•  To finish a dental implant
•  Secure a dental bridge
•  Restore worn down tooth
•  Prevent tooth from breaking or cracking
•  Cover discolored teeth

Reasons for Crowns on Baby Teeth:
•  When a tooth is decayed but cannot be filled
•  Protect the teeth of a child that has trouble with daily oral hygiene
•  Prevent future damage to neighboring teeth

There are different types of crowns to choose from. The most common crown is the stainless steel crown. This is a temporary crown that is used until your permanent crown is made, typically from some other type of material. We recommend stainless steel crowns for your children. Once your child's permanent tooth comes in, the crown will come out with the primary tooth. Stainless steel crowns do not require multiple visits for children, and they are more cost-effective.

Metal crowns are made from base-metal alloys and/or Gold. Metal crowns are more durable, and are better at withstanding chewing forces. Another plus for metal crowns is that they are less likely to chip, if ever.

If you want a crown that resembles an actual tooth, you will prefer the porcelain crown. We recommend placing your porcelain crowns on your front or back teeth. Porcelain crowns are more natural looking, but they can break or chip.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is designed to permanently replace missing teeth. It is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. The implant is the support for a new porcelain crown. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. Reasons for dental implants include:
•  Maintain healthy bone levels
•  Help support overdentures
•  Keep the look and feel of a real tooth where one is missing

Crowns, bridges and dentures are not your only options when replacing missing teeth. Dental implants look and feel very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.

Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, through a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants into your jaw helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than substitutes. Candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.

Root Canal Therapy

A "root canal" or, endodontic therapy, is a procedure to save a tooth that is infected and would otherwise require extraction. Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by infection or decay. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. Reasons for root canal therapy include:
•  Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
•  Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
•  Extreme wear
•  Injury or trauma to the tooth.

Having a root canal done saves a tooth that would otherwise die and have to be removed. Extracting (pulling) a tooth could ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth as well as loss of bone where the tooth was removed.

While root canal therapy can be successful, it is not guaranteed. It is very important to have a permanent restoration (usually a crown) placed within 30 days of the root canal. If a permanent restoration is not placed, the tooth can further decay to the point where the root canal must be re-done or, worse, the tooth must be removed.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. There are several types of bridges. Your local Vancouver dentist, Dr. Snodgrass, will discuss the best options for your particular case. The "traditional bridge" is the most common type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. These fixed bridges most resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached on either side of the artificial teeth (pontics), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years with proper home care; however, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear. Reasons for a fixed bridge include:
•  Fill space of missing teeth
•  Maintain facial shape
•  Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
•  Restore chewing and speaking ability
•  Restore your smile
•  Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

Complete Dentures

Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. Dentures come in 2 varieties: partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth remain. When the condition of the teeth has deteriorated so far that they can no longer be repaired, removal is the only option.

A complete denture is a removable prosthesis of white plastic teeth in a pink gum-colored plastic base that rests on the remaining gum ridge once all of the teeth in the arch have been removed. It is important to note that life with an upper denture, a lower denture, and especially both, is a major lifestyle change when compared to natural teeth. Dentures impact the type of food you are able to eat, your self-confidence in social situations, and even your self-esteem. Reasons for a full denture include:
•  All teeth missing in the same arch
•  Restore chewing ability
•  Restore a natural looking smile
•  Economical alternative to other procedures

An upper full denture will almost always feel better than a lower full denture. In order to dramatically improve the fit of a lower full denture, we frequently suggest using dental implants as a retentive mechanism. Two dental implants placed in the lower jaw can help anchor the denture and significantly improve comfort. Sometimes, the implants can even be placed in the jaw after a denture has been in use for several years. Your Vancouver dentist Dr. Alan Snodgrass will help determine what the best treatment option is for you.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a cost effective way to improve your appearance. A bright, beautiful, healthy smile can increase self confidence and overall life satisfaction.

Dental Veneers

Veneers reshape your teeth and smile. They are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped, porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) in a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating much cosmetic dentistry for the front teeth. As with most dental restorations, veneers may someday need replacement. However, they are still very durable and can last many years, giving you a beautiful, long lasting smile. Reasons for porcelain veneers include:
•  Misshapen teeth
•  To create a uniform, white, beautiful smile.
•  Crooked teeth
•  Worn or chipped teeth
•  Severely discolored or stained teeth
•  Teeth that are too small or large
•  Unwanted or uneven spaces

Cosmetic Bonding

Bonding is when we apply a tooth-colored composite material to a tooth, shape it, allow it to harden, and polish it. It can be used when a tooth has been damaged or become stained. These are minor repairs that can be resolved through relatively inexpensive means rather than through a more costly dental procedure.

Dr. Snodgrass prepares the tooth surface so that the bonding material will adhere. He then shapes it so that it has a natural appearance. He allows the material to harden, usually with the help of a light. Then, we polish and buff so that the surface is smooth.

This is not a process that we recommend for staining caused by smoking. Also, the material is not as durable as porcelain veneers and crowns so it chips more easily. Eventually, it may require replacing. However, bonding is perfectly adequate and a more affordable solution to certain dental problems. Dental bonding can take less time to accomplish and may not even require anesthesia. And depending upon the issue, insurance may cover it.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a non-invasive, simple dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance your smile. White teeth improve confidence.

Having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients. There are several ways to whiten teeth. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth. Tooth whitening is not permanent. Touch-up may be needed once a year and more often if you smoke and/or drink wine, coffee or tea. Reasons for whitening include:
•  Yellow, brown stained teeth
•  Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
•  Florousis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
•  Normal wear of outer tooth layer

Tooth-colored Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural part of the tooth. The term composite refers to the actual filling material which is a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium.

Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when Dr. Snodgrass prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than with of an amalgam.

In addition, composites are "bonded", or attached by adhesive to the tooth. This often allows for a more conservative repair for the tooth. Composite fillings require that the tooth be kept clean and dry during the entire filling process and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite.

Composite filling material is also commonly used to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. Where possible, aesthetic bonding of composite material to front teeth is generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.

Dental Crowns

If your tooth needs to be restored, you will need a dental crown. Dental crowns are caps that come in the shape of a tooth. A crown is placed over the tooth for:
•  Improving your tooth's appearance
•  Strengthening your tooth
•  Shaping your tooth

Dental crowns are necessary in many situations. Both adults and children will need dental crowns, but for different reasons. Reasons for Crowns on Permanent Teeth:
•  Cosmetic modification
•  To finish a dental implant
•  Secure a dental bridge
•  Restore worn down tooth
•  Prevent tooth from breaking or cracking
•  Cover discolored teeth

Reasons for Crowns on Baby Teeth:
•  When a tooth is decayed but cannot be filled
•  Protect the teeth of a child that has trouble with daily oral hygiene
•  Prevent future damage to neighboring teeth

There are different types of crowns to choose from. The most common crown is the stainless steel crown. This is a temporary crown that is used until your permanent crown is made, typically from some other type of material. We recommend stainless steel crowns for your children. Once your child's permanent tooth comes in, the crown will come out with the primary tooth. Stainless steel crowns do not require multiple visits for children, and they are more cost-effective.

Metal crowns are made from base-metal alloys and/or Gold. Metal crowns are more durable, and are better at withstanding chewing forces. Another plus for metal crowns is that they are less likely to chip, if ever.

If you want a crown that resembles an actual tooth, you will prefer the porcelain crown. We recommend placing your porcelain crowns on your front or back teeth. Porcelain crowns are more natural looking, but they can break or chip.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is designed to permanently replace missing teeth. It is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. The implant is the support for a new porcelain crown. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. Reasons for dental implants include:
•  Maintain healthy bone levels
•  Help support overdentures
•  Keep the look and feel of a real tooth where one is missing

Crowns, bridges and dentures are not your only options when replacing missing teeth. Dental implants look and feel very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.

Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, through a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants into your jaw helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than substitutes. Candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.

Patient Comfort

We do our best to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible. Our beautiful facility has been carefully designed to allow us to provide un-hurried, stress-free dental care. Spa pillows and warm blankets are always available to help make you comfortable. We also provide DVD TV's in each room and ipod stereo headsets.

We also provide Nitrous oxide gas and oral sedation for our patients with dental anxiety. However, many of our patients with some dental anxiety find our caring, gentle approach makes sedation unnecessary.

Family Dental Care

We serve patients of all ages. As a family dentist, Dr. Snodgrass knows how to make your family smile. As a Family and Cosmetic Dental Office, we can design a personal plan to keep your smile beautiful and healthy for a lifetime.

Children

We enjoy working with kids. Cavity prevention can virtually guarantee freedom from dental decay. We recommend your child's first pediatric visit at age two. This visit is usually performed on the parents lap sitting in the dental chair. After introduction to our dental office and exam, a trip to the prize basket finishes the day.

Senior Citizens

The loss of teeth is no longer considered an inevitable consequence of age. Healthy teeth and gums can be maintained for a lifetime with proper dental care. Our hygiene team is experienced in advanced periodontal care. New techniques, like Periolase™, can even regenerate lost gum and bone support for weakened teeth. Frequently, medications can cause increased cavity rate. We can advise you on the latest preventive techniques to decrease this risk.




Thurston Oaks Dental
4305 NE Thurston Way
Suite 101
Vancouver, WA 98662

Phone: (360) 514-9212

 

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