When do you Need an Oral Surgeon?


When you have a serious dental problem, an oral surgeon is the person to see. General dentists do a great job with routine care, including extractions, but if you have an impacted wisdom tooth or other condition beyond the scope of what your regular professional can do, he or she will be quick to refer you to an oral surgeon. Why? You need someone who has the training and experience to handle complex dentistry.

More Training to Handle Complications

An oral surgeon, also called a maxillofacial surgeon, not only has four years of dental school under his belt like your regular dentist, but also participated in a 4-6 year surgical residency to help him develop expertise in removal of wisdom teeth, as well as dental implants, bone grafting, trauma, and facial reconstruction. She may also have a dual medical-dental degree. While your regular dentist can pull a tooth, she has only had a 2-3 week training session in surgery, so is less equipped to handle complications.

An oral surgeon has other training and credentials as well:

With training and licensure in IV Sedation and General Anesthesia, they can put you completely out for long procedures or to handle anxiety. Your general dentist resorts to local anesthesia which may be ineffective.

  • They are certified in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Support.
  • They have passed exams to become board-certified in dental surgery.
  • They may have pursued additional fellowships of 1-2 years in specialties such as head and neck cancer, cosmetic facial surgery, craniofacial or pediatric maxillofacial facial surgery for cleft lip and palate repair and craniosynostosis, or soft tissue and skeletal injury repair of the face, head, and neck.

As a patient, you hope not to require the intense experience that an oral surgeon has to offer, but if you do, you are in good hands. A good oral surgeon surrounds himself/herself with a team of experienced professionals to ensure that you receive the care you need.

More Reasons to Use Oral Surgeons

The most common circumstance when you are likely to need oral surgery is for an extraction of a wisdom tooth, for multiple teeth, or for a tooth that is broken. This is usually at the recommendation of your general dentist who can help you obtain an appointment more quickly. The surgeon can remove the problem tooth or teeth, properly stitch you up, and handle the restorative work to make your mouth look like new.

If you need dental implants or replacement teeth, the surgeon often offers these services as well. These procedures may involve bone structuring or bone grafting to repair an atrophied jaw that must be done before cosmetic procedures. An oral surgeon is equipped to handle this preparatory work.

When your dental needs exceed what your general dentist can provide, Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center can offer the professional expertise that only a board certified oral surgeon can provide.

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