Can A General Dentist Perform Oral Surgery?

oral surgery Brooklyn, NY

Oral surgery is a common way to treat various conditions and prevent issues from becoming more serious. While an oral surgeon may be the first person you would consider seeing, a general dentist may be able to help as well. Which dental professional you choose may vary from case to case. Different dentists also have various levels of training and skill. If you are concerned about your oral health and think you may need surgery, your dentist can direct you on what to do next.

What the general dentist does

A general dentist has a four-year college degree and must graduate from an accredited dental school. After finishing their academic requirements, the dentist may undergo additional training, including hands-on practice with different procedures. This dentist can do checkups and examinations. The dentist focuses on preventive maintenance and the treatment of cavities, gum disease, and infections.

What the oral surgeon does

An oral surgeon does training beyond that which a general dentist will do. This professional focuses on reconstructing the face after trauma or dysfunction. The oral surgeon performs oral surgery on teeth, the jaw, the neck, and the mouth. An oral surgeon may also handle dental implants and wisdom teeth extraction. A general dentist will often refer a patient to the surgeon for more complex needs.

Issues the general dentist can handle

Most general dentists have the knowledge and training to do a minor oral surgery. This may include a tooth extraction of a decayed permanent tooth. The dentist will fill cavities, do root canals, and handle gum scaling and root planing. Some general dentists can do more involved oral surgeries, such as correcting jaw alignments.

Issues the oral surgeon can handle

If a need is outside the general dentist’s normal scope of work, the oral surgeon is the right person to see. This may include reconstructing the face after a car accident or reshaping the jaw or cheekbones. Anything involving the nasal bones or eye sockets may also fall under the care of the oral surgeon.

Determining who does the oral surgery

The first step to getting surgery starts with visiting the general dentist. The patient will come in for an examination so that the dentist can understand the nature of the person’s issue. The dentist will do a hands-on exam and take X-rays. If the dentist believes the patient’s condition requires oral surgery, the patient can ask for a referral or recommendation. If the dentist feels comfortable handling the surgery, the patient will schedule an appointment. The dentist will also explain how the surgery will work and what the patient needs to know about it.

Getting the right help for your condition

Do not dismiss going to your general dentist if you need oral surgery. Your dentist may have the ability to perform your procedure. If your needs exceed the dentist’s training level, ask what oral surgeon in the area can appropriately accomplish it. Regardless of who does the oral surgery, you can feel good about getting the results you need.

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