Oral Surgeon Vs. Dentist
We all know why we need to go to the dentist, but many of us are a little bit uncertain as to what an oral surgeon does. If you need a routine checkup or a cleaning, a dentist can do the job, but for more advanced procedures, it's best to trust in an oral surgeon to do the job correctly. Oral surgeons have more specialized training, making them the best possible doctor to help you with particular procedures such as complex extractions. We here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have the skill and the expertise to provide you with the highest quality of care when you need an oral surgeon on your side.
The Differences Between an Oral Surgeon and a Dentist
There are two primary differences between an oral surgeon and a dentist: their education and their scope of practice. What that means is that while dentists are qualified for a wide array of treatment procedures, oral surgeons complete more schooling to treat you better when you need more advanced care.
A dentist, like an oral surgeon, starts with a bachelor's degree. It's their post-undergraduate education that makes the difference in their training and education. Dentists typically obtain four years of education after getting their bachelor's; then they take a practical exam to prepare them for practice. Oral surgeons, on the other hand, have up to six years of residency to prepare them for practice. This includes our studies and extra coursework. After completing it, then we can finally take our exam for board certification. Our areas of study differ, as well. Dentists get their education in anatomy and physiology while we must be trained in surgery and anesthesia in addition to our other curriculum.
Going to see a dentist is like going to see a general practitioner. They focus mainly on your oral wellness and will mainly work on keeping your teeth clean and healthy. They may perform fillings, root canals, and crowns. Occasionally they may perform extractions, but that is something that is better left to the specialists, the oral surgeons. As oral surgeons, we are the doctors that help you when your problems are beyond the abilities of a general dentist. We can do surgical extractions, biopsies, surgical reconstructions, and dental implants. When you need the care of a specialist, that's when we step in.
Going to see an oral surgeon may be the ideal option for you, depending on what kind of work you need to be done. If you're just looking for a routine checkup, then a dentist should be sufficient for your care. However, as oral surgeons, we can help you when you are at risk of complications. If an issue arises during a routine extraction, it's vital to have quick access to possibly life-saving care. Outcomes are vastly better when you come to see us, and implants are more successful in general when placed by an oral surgeon.
If you're looking to learn more about the differences between general dentistry and an oral surgeon, please give us here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (623) 412-0310 today. It's our pleasure to answer your questions and help you schedule an appointment at our office for more information or a consultation.