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The Importance of Referring Patients to Dental Specialists

At Paul M. Sandvick, DDS & Associates, we prioritize your oral health above all else. We understand that visiting the dentist can sometimes be daunting, especially when faced with the possibility of being referred to a specialist. However, we want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being drives every decision we make, including referrals to specialists.

A graphic of all the dentists at Dr. Paul M. Sandvick, DDS & Associates- Dr. Nicole Sawatzke, Dr. Aaron Mason, Dr. Collin Trainor, Dr. Paul Sandvick, Dr. George Vukmir, and Dr. Ahmad Eslami. There is text that is curved, which reads "Referrals to Dental Specialists" as well as the Sandvick logo at the top left corner of the image. The background is a blue color that coincides with the color of the Sandvick logo.

What is a Dental Specialist?

Dental specialists are trained professionals with additional education and training beyond general dentistry. They focus on a specific area of dentistry, such as orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, or oral surgery. These specialists have a deep understanding of the complexities of their respective fields and are equipped to handle complex cases that require specialized care.

Dental specialists play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and treating a wide range of dental problems. They work closely with general dentists and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients.

Types of Dental Specialists

A graphic depicting a cartoon tooth getting root canal treatment. The image has a blue backgorund and the Sandvick DDS logo at the top left corner of the image.

Endodontists specialize in treating the soft inner tissue of the teeth called the pulp. They are experts in performing root canal therapy, a procedure that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth and sealing it to prevent further damage.

Clear dental aligners advertisement with the brand name "reveal" displayed. The graphic has a blue background with the Sandvick DDS logo in the top left corner of the image.


Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing, preventing, and correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. They use various orthodontic appliances such as braces, aligners, and retainers to straighten teeth and improve the bite.

An image of periodontist, Dr. Ahmad Eslami's dental implant team's logo "Team Perio."


Periodontists specialize in treating gum diseases and other conditions that affect the supporting structures of the teeth. They perform procedures such as scaling and root planing, gum grafts, and dental implants to restore oral health.

A Prosthodontist using a handpiece in a dental lab setting to make a custom protheses. There is a blue background and the Sandvick DDS logo at the top left corner of the image.


Prosthodontists specialize in restoring and replacing missing teeth with artificial teeth and other dental prostheses. They use various techniques such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants to improve the appearance and function of the teeth.

Dr. Aaron Mason, of Paul M. Sandvick, DDS & Associates, smiling with a patient and the patient's young son sitting in a dental operatory chair.

Pediatric Dentists

Pediatric dentists specialize in providing dental care to children from infancy through adolescence. They have additional training in child psychology and behavior management techniques to make dental visits more comfortable and less stressful for children.

Two dental instruments laid across a dental x-ray. The image has a blue background with the Sandvick DDS logo at the top left corner of the image.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in performing surgical procedures on the mouth, jaws, face, and neck. They perform procedures such as tooth extractions, jaw surgery, and facial reconstruction to treat a variety of conditions.

Why do we Refer our Patients to Dental Specialists? 

You may wonder why we occasionally recommend seeing a specialist rather than handling everything in-house. Our approach is rooted in conservatism, meaning we advocate for the most conservative treatment possible that still effectively addresses your dental needs. Here's why we refer patients to specialists:

A streetview image of the Dr. Paul M. Sandvick, DDS & Associates building. There is text that reads, "When Necessary, We Refer to the Most Qualified Specialist for Each Unique Case!" The background is a blue color and the Sandvick DDS logo is in the top left corner of the image.

Expertise and Specialization: Dentistry, like medicine, is a vast field with numerous specialties. While general dentists like us are trained to handle a wide range of dental issues, specialists undergo additional years of education and training to become experts in specific areas such as endodontics (root canal therapy), periodontics (gum disease treatment), oral surgery, orthodontics, and more. By referring you to a specialist, we ensure that you receive the highest standard of care from someone who has dedicated their career to mastering the intricacies of a particular dental discipline.

Complex Cases: Some dental conditions require specialized knowledge, equipment, or techniques to diagnose and treat effectively. Complex cases involving multiple dental issues, severe trauma, or advanced stages of disease often benefit from the expertise of a specialist who has extensive experience in managing such situations. By referring you to a specialist, we ensure that you receive the comprehensive care necessary to address your unique dental challenges.


For example, Sandvick DDS often refers out complicated root canal procedures, involving furthermost molars. The amazing endodontists in our network are better tailored to perform these complicated procedures without any complications!


Advanced Technology and Techniques: Dental specialists typically have access to state-of-the-art technology and advanced treatment techniques that may not be available in a general dental practice. From precision instruments for surgical procedures to cutting-edge imaging technology for accurate diagnoses, specialists are equipped with the tools needed to deliver optimal results. By collaborating with specialists, we ensure that you have access to the latest advancements in dental care, enhancing the quality and effectiveness of your treatment.

A before and after image of a patient of Dr. Paul Sandvick and dental specialist, Dr. Ahmad Eslami. The before image is a smile with a missing front tooth. The after image shows a beautiful smile with the new dental implant and crown restoration in place of the missing tooth. There is text that reads "Communication is Key!" at the top of the image. The text next to the before and after picture reads, "Referrals to Specialists can be an Incredible Resource for Dentists and Patients Alike, but Adequate Communication is Needed to Maximize this Resource and Ensure a Great Patient Experience!" The background is blue and the Sandvick DDS logo is in the top left corner of the image.

Personalized Care: Every patient is unique, and what works for one individual may not be suitable for another. Specialists understand this principle and tailor their treatment plans to meet the specific needs and preferences of each patient. Whether you require a minimally invasive approach or have specific medical considerations that need to be addressed, specialists can adapt their care to ensure the best possible outcomes for you. By referring you to a specialist, we ensure that you receive personalized care that is tailored to your circumstances.

Long-Term Success: Our ultimate goal is to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. In some cases, this may require ongoing care and monitoring from a specialist who can provide specialized interventions and guidance. By working collaboratively with specialists, we can develop comprehensive treatment plans that address your immediate concerns while also laying the foundation for long-term oral health and wellness.


A national study found that just 54% of U.S. patients who were recommended to see a specialist for treatment actually went ahead and followed through with the referral.


At Paul M. Sandvick, DDS & Associates, we believe in transparency and patient-centered care. We will always discuss the reasons for a referral openly and honestly, addressing any questions or concerns you may have along the way. Our commitment to your well-being drives every decision we make, and we will never recommend unnecessary treatment or referrals.

Our amazing team of dentists strongly encourage following through with their referrals to specialists. 54% of U.S. patients do not do so and risk further oral health complications in the future.

If you have any questions about why we refer patients to specialists or if you would like to learn more about our conservative approach to dental care, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Your health and satisfaction are our top priorities, and we are here to support you every step of the way.


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