Dental Specialties in Flagstaff

When do Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud refer to a specialist?

While some dentists try to do everything “in house” this is not always in the patient’s best interest.  People are recommended to a specialist whenever Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud feels his patient will benefit.

What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons receive years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth and neck.

Why is Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud referring you to an Oral Surgeon?

There are many reasons a patient is better off going to an oral surgeon as opposed to their general dentist.  Each case must be considered by the general dentist as to whether or not the patient will benefit from an oral surgeon. Reasons for referral include the following:

-An oral surgeon has spent many extra years with supervised training. 

-All they do every day all day is oral surgery.  Practice makes perfect!

-There are many complications that may occur during or after oral surgery. Experience and knowledge allow the surgeon to foresee these potential problems and risks and perhaps better inform the patient prior to surgery.  They are also more prepared to handle these situations when they arise, leading to a better outcome for the patient.

-Oral surgeons are able to offer I.V. sedation and General Anesthesia.

– Oral surgeons are often better able to evaluate the extraction site for a future implant.  They may “add bone” or conserve bone at the time of the extraction to preserve the site for a future implant.

-Most dentists refer their own family members to an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth extractions. Dr. Bacon did.

-The Oral Surgeon that Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud refer to has extracted 50,000 teeth! 

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. They have had extensive training with additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they devote their time, energy and skill to helping patients care for their gums. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.

Why is Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud referring you to a Periodontist?

Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud has determined that your gums require special attention. The periodontist and Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud work together as a team to provide you with the highest level of care. They will combine their experience to recommend the best treatment available to you while keeping each other informed on your progress. By referring you to the specialist, Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud is showing a strong commitment to your dental health. Some specific reasons to refer a patient to a periodontist include:

– Periodontists lives are about treating gums all day every day.  They know what works and doesn’t work.  

-When a patients periodontal health is deteriorating despite the general dentists efforts, a periodontist may step in and get better results.  New patients to our office with advanced periodontal disease or localized periodontal conditions will be sent for treatment to the periodontist when it is in their best interest.

-Periodontists are able to offer I.V. sedation and General Anesthesia.

-Your periodontal condition is like the foundation to a house. Before extensive or even minor restorative dental work is provided, the foundation needs to be solid.  The experience of a periodontist is helpful in determining which teeth are worth spending time and money on or if alternative treatment such as an implant would be more reliable. Thoughtful time spent on the front end can save a lot of frustration and disappointment further on.

What is an Endodontist?

The Endodontist examines, diagnoses and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.

Endodontists examine patients and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth. Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud refers all his patients in need of root canal treatment to a root canal specialist.  It is also sometimes necessary to have an endodonist give a second opinion as to the diagnosis of dental pain. 

Why is Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud referring you to an Endodontist?

Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud refer their patients to an endodontist rather than having it done “in house” for the following reasons:

-Endodontists mainly do root canals all day every day.  The more you perform a procedure, the better you get at it.  Root canals involve cleaning out a small area that is difficult and sometimes impossible to see. When done incorrectly the result is often tooth loss. Seeing an endodontist after a root canal is done wrong to try to fix the problem is often futile. 

-Our endodontist has a microscope that expands the small canal that must be cleaned to the size of full computer screen.  This level of magnification is very beneficial to successful endodontic results.

-Tooth aches can often refer pain to the wrong tooth!  Nothing is more disappointing and frustrating than having a root canal done on the wrong tooth! This is much less likely when involving the specialists. 

-When a general dentist needs a root canal they themselves see the endodontist rather than a fellow general dentist.  Say no more.

What is a Prosthodontist?

The prosthodontist examines and diagnoses disabilities caused by loss of teeth and supporting structures. They formulate and execute treatment plans for the construction of corrective prostheses to restore proper function and aesthetics of the mouth, face, and jaw. There are no prostodontists is Flagstaff.  We do not make full dentures at Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud‘s office but can refer you to a good denture making dentist.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. Although either type of dentist is capable of addressing your child’s oral health care needs, a pediatric dentist, his or her staff, and even the office decor are all geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care from a pediatric dentist should be considered.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and other devices, an orthodontist helps straighten a person’s teeth and correct the way the jaws line up.

Orthodontists treat kids for many problems, including having crowded or overlapping teeth or having problems with jaw growth and tooth development. These tooth and jaw problems may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. These problems can also be genetic or inherited.

Why is Dr. Bacon or Dr. Lerud referring you to an Orthodontist?

-An orthodontist has gone to school an extra 3 years beyond dental school. Orthodontists only work on the occlusion and esthetics of a patients bite so they have a lot more experience.

-Very minimal instruction concerning orthodontics is provided in dental school.

-When done incorrectly fixing poor results can be much more difficult than doing it right in the first place. Moving teeth incorrectly can lead to problems and even tooth loss.

So why would you go to the orthodontist?

Your dentist or one of your parents might recommend it because they see a problem with your teeth or jaws. Or a kid who doesn’t like the way his or her teeth look might ask to see an orthodontist.

Dentistry in Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud‘s Office

 Over 25 years of experience have taught Dr. Bacon much. Just as the specialists are good at what they do because of their experience, he has focused on what he does best, which is restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Because he has always sent the above dental work to specialists when it is in the patients best interest, Dr. Bacon has been able to get more experience than mosts dentist at what he does best.  If your goal is high quality dental work, rest assured this office will provide that for you.

Voted Best of Flagstaff by the readers of the Arizona Daily Sun 2016

Flagstaff Dentist Dr. Bacon and Dr. Lerud and their staff are experienced, friendly and dedicated to caring for your individual needs. If you would like to have your teeth cleaned and checked, please call our office in Flagstaff, AZ at Flagstaff Office Phone Number 928-774-1168