Routine dental care helps you to avoid a variety of dental issues like tooth decay, and it helps to maintain an attractive smile. Taking good care of teeth starts with consistent oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and biannual visits to the dentist can save you thousands of dollars over a lifetime.To develop…
Can a General Dentist Perform Oral Surgery?
It is easy to think of oral surgery as a long procedure that takes place in an operating room. This is not always the case. The phrase ‘oral surgery’ is an umbrella term that covers common procedures like root canals and tooth extraction. It also describes procedures on the other end of the spectrum; like bone grafts and jaw correction surgery. You may already be making a list of the type of dental specialists that perform oral surgery. Compare yours with the one in the next section.
Different kinds of oral surgery and the type of specialist that performs them
Oral surgery includes tooth extractions, orthotic surgery and everything in between. Different procedures require different skill sets. This means that some dental specialists are better suited than others to perform certain kinds of oral surgery. For example:
- Periodontists perform gum flap and gum graft surgery
- Oral/maxillofacial surgeons as well as periodontists perform bone grafts and place dental implants
- Oral/maxillofacial surgeons perform corrective jaw surgery, cleft palate repairs and other surgeries that affect the facial structures around the mouth
- Endodontists specialize in the treatment of the inner tooth, so they perform a lot of root canals
- Prosthodontists specialize in the placement of prosthetic teeth, so they are involved in the installation of bridges, dentures and sometimes implant-supported restorations
- General dentists usually perform root canals and tooth extractions, including the removal of problematic wisdom teeth
In the case of a severely impacted wisdom tooth, a general dentist may refer their patient to an oral surgeon or periodontist. They may also refer a root canal patient with complex root anatomy to an endodontist, periodontist or oral surgeon.
How a general dentist works with patients who need oral surgery
The role of a general dentist is to offer first-line treatment to their patients. They perform preventative tasks like periodic dental checks and teeth cleaning. They monitor the dental development of younger patients and take care of the oral health of older ones.
General dentists also treat common dental problems like tooth decay, injury or cavities. They remove damaged dental tissue and install restorations to repair affected teeth. While a general dentist will perform a variety of procedures that count as oral surgery, they will refer more complex cases to the appropriate specialist.
That being said, some general dentists continue to acquire skills and training throughout their careers. They gain additional certification that allows them to perform complex root canals, challenging wisdom tooth extractions and even dental implant surgery.
A general dentist can guide you through oral surgery
General dentists have long-term relationships with their patients, putting them in a unique position to recommend ideal and customized treatment plans. Our general dentist has the expertise and experience to perform minor to moderate oral surgeries. However, your diagnosis may point to a more intensive procedure. In which case, our dentist will bring in and work with a dental specialist that will deliver an excellent outcome for you.
If you have an oral health issue that is affecting your quality of life, reach out to us. Our dentist is happy to diagnose you and craft a treatment plan that will restore your oral health.
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