Bismarck’s Dr. Michael Lassle, North Dakota’s only board-certified prosthodontist, admits he’s an “OCD perfectionist,” a desirable trait in a profession where he says “millimeters are miles.” Lassle, a native of Glendive, describes prosthodontists as the engineers of dentistry, specialists who “marry aesthetics and science as they plan and execute heavy reconstructive work.” Lassle has completed advanced training in the full scope of dentistry, including crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, sleep apnea, TMJ and cosmetic dentistry. Lassle’s typical patient is “a middle-aged person who’s had a lot of dental work done and things are wearing out.” He said he also sees a fair number of children who have malformed or missing teeth.
Lassle, 34, met his wife and practice-mate, Dr. Megan Brend, the daughter of Bismarck dentist Dr. Lee Brend, when they were both sophomores at University of Mary. They married in May of 2008, just months before the two entered dental school at University of Louisville. “We’ve truly evolved as a professional couple,” Lassle said. “I don’t know how some couples do it, when one is in professional school and the other is not. It’s truly one of the most competitive, demanding, and craziest events in a person’s life.”
His father-in-law was the first person to suggest he look at dentistry as a career. Little did they know that one day they would work together professionally. “I wanted to be an ER doctor my entire life, worked during undergrad as an EMT,” said Lassle. “About the same time I met Megan, and her father was a tremendous influence.” Dentistry, and eventually prosthodontics, appealed to Lassle’s penchant for tinkering. “I’m always fixing, rewiring or building something,” he said. “One of the reasons I love implants is the hardware side of it.”
A family atmosphere prevails at Brend Dental and Lassle’s Dakota Prosthodontics and Implant Center. The offices on Bismarck’s Turnpike Avenue are part of a “dental institute” of sorts. The building houses multiple dental practices including general dentistry, orthodontics, oral surgery, and periodontics. Lassle pointed out how patients benefit, especially convenience-wise, from the extensive cross-referring that goes on inside the building. During his three-year residency in prosthodontics at University of Minnesota, Lassle worked part-time at Brend Dental, flying to Bismarck weekends. He affiliated his prosthodontics practice with Brend Dental over a year ago.
“One of the main reasons I did prosthodontics after dental school is I saw the need here in Bismarck,” Lassle explained. “A lot of patients from the area previously had to travel to Minneapolis, Denver, or Seattle for complicated work. Now they don’t have to drive the long distance to obtain these specialized services.”