It can be challenging to decide which dental professional will best serve your specific needs. You might have heard someone mention oral surgeons while reading, or you might have asked a friend about them. Maybe you’re wondering what the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon is. We want to take the time to clarify this for you so that you know what the key differences are.
Who is a Dentist?
Dentists are the primary providers of dental care. After completing four years of undergraduate school, dental students take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and go on to four or five years of dental school. Upon completion of their education, dentists are awarded either the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree or the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree.
Who is an Oral Surgeon?
Oral surgeons, also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, tend to have the same education as general dentists, which includes four years of undergraduate school, passing the DAT, and four or five years of dental school. To become a dental surgery specialist, oral surgeons complete a residency at a hospital for between four and eight years after receiving a DDS or DMD.
What does a Dentist do?
Dentists usually operate in private or group offices. In general, they focus on maintaining the health and appearance of teeth and mouths. Along with scaling and cleaning, a dentist will also take care of your general dental health and provide treatments such as fillings, crowns, root canal treatment, gum care, dental bridges, and more.The responsibilities of a dentist include:
- Six-monthly routine check-ups for patients
- Identifying and treating gum and mouth problems
- Directing and supervising technical staff
- Dental restoration
- Diagnosis of teeth through X-rays
- Executing tooth extractions
- Formulating treatment recommendations for patients
- Educating patients about preventive dentistry
What does an Oral Surgeon do?
An oral surgeon is someone who specializes in surgeries of the mouth, face, and jaws, and is also known as maxillofacial surgeon. This is a medical specialty within the field of dentistry and requires a graduate education in oral and maxillofacial surgery. An oral surgeon provides more services than a dentist, including surgeries, bone grafting, and the removal of impacted teeth.
These professionals often treat cancer patients and accident victims and work with medical professionals in larger surgical teams. Besides responsibilities typically assigned to dentists, oral surgeons are also responsible for the following:
- Performing impacted teeth extractions, including wisdom teeth
- Extraction of teeth with bone involvement
- Aligning and placing dental implants
- The removal of oral cysts and tumors
- Getting rid of soft tissue
- Reconstructive surgery for accident victims
- The restoration of bone and soft tissue in the jaw
- Administering all anesthesia levels
- The realignment of the jaw
To whom should I turn? Oral surgeon or dentist?
Choosing the right person for your case depends on the treatment you need.
If you require routine dental care that a dentist is capable of providing, they will be the ones to give you that care. In cases that are complicated or require specialized surgery, an oral surgeon will likely be the best choice. Whenever you are unsure whether you should schedule an extraction or treatment of your teeth with an oral surgeon or with a dentist, contact your local dentist. When it comes to complicated procedures, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon, so if you are unsure of what you need, do not be afraid to see them.
At Harbour Pointe, we treat all our patients as individuals and will answer all your questions and address all your concerns .Do visit Harbour Pointe and reduce your worries because you have made the absolutely right choice!
For more information about bone grafting surgery and other dental procedures and solutions, consult Dr. Brian Hart and Dr. Kathleen Isdith at 425-353-1009 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website https://www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net for more information.