Understanding the Tasks of an Oral Surgeon and When to Visit Them

Understanding the Tasks of an Oral Surgeon and When to Visit Them

Dec 01, 2021

If you are often confused between an oral surgeon and a dentist when it’s time for a dental checkup you aren’t alone. Unbeknownst to many, the work of a dentist and an oral surgeon differs significantly.

A dentist does much of your general and preventive care, while an oral surgeon has specialized training dealing with more severe dental issues.

First, when you have problems with your teeth, gums, or jaws, you visit a dentist. It would be best to visit a dentist regularly for services such as teeth cleaning and oral checkups. During one of the appointments, if necessary, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon if they encounter a problem beyond what they can do in their office.

If you require oral surgery, your dentist will recommend visiting a reputable oral surgeon’s dental office. Concord Woods Dental Group offers quality oral surgery services besides other general dental services.

What oral surgeons do

Oral surgeons are dentists that have undergone extensive training to earn specialty training in dental surgery. Usually, an oral surgeon has spent at least eight years in school.

The American Dental Association’s Commission also approves an oral surgeon on Dental Accreditation. Some of the activities that oral surgeons perform include the following.

  • Tooth extraction

In case of severe tooth decay or trauma, the oral surgeon must remove your tooth. Tooth extraction is usually recommended when the tooth cannot heal on its own. Also, when a tooth is extremely diseased beyond repair, it must be removed.

Also, your tooth may be extracted because of overcrowding in the mouth or because of an injury such as in a vehicle, sports, or personal accident. You require the expertise of an oral surgeon to extract the tooth safely and painlessly.

  • Jaw issues

If you have jaw pain, an oral surgeon has the skills to assess if you require jaw surgery or not. Jaw surgery solves chewing problems and tension.

If you have missing teeth, the jaw will shrink and weaken. An oral surgeon can perform jawbone grafting to make you a candidate for dental implants. Jawbone grafting allows you to grow new bone tissue to replace any missing.

  • Impacted teeth

Usually, when you enter adulthood from adolescence, wisdom teeth start to emerge. In some cases, there is no space to accommodate the extra teeth. An oral surgeon may perform a tooth extraction to create the necessary space. It’s also common to remove teeth if you are looking to get any orthodontic treatment.

  • Oral cancer

Oral cancer is delicate and can only be handled by an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon may perform tumor removal to treat oral cancer. Treatment of oral cancer is usually complicated and may extend to the neck and the head. If you have advanced cancer or a recurrent form of cancer, the tumor removal is supplemented with other cancer therapy.

  • Dental implants

When you have missing teeth or have undergone a tooth extraction, an oral surgeon can install dental implants to fill the empty space. Besides restoring your chewing/biting capability, dental implants enhance your smile. An oral surgeon ensures the dental implants take a natural appearance.

  • Facial trauma

Facial trauma can happen, especially during accidents. If your face is severely damaged, you may need oral surgery and maxillofacial surgery to rectify the damage on your face. In case of facial trauma, oral surgery can address knocked out teeth, internal oral lacerations, fractured jaws, and fractured facial bones.

The same but different

Both dentists and an oral surgeons have undergone four years of study to acquire a degree in Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD). An oral surgeon then undergoes specialty training for an additional four years.

Although both focus on oral health, a dentist specializes in general dentistry, while an oral surgeon focuses on complex invasive procedures. An oral surgeon can therefore address general dental issues if necessary.


Once you visit your dentist, you will be referred to an oral surgeon with complex dental problems. Alternatively, you can head directly to an oral surgeon’s dental office and consult with the oral surgeon for a thorough diagnosis. Oral surgery is the solution to correct many dental issues.

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