Tooth Extractions: Do I Need a Dentist or Oral Surgeon? - Vita Dental Spring
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Tooth Extractions: Do I Need a Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

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Tooth Extractions: Do I Need a Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

A tooth extraction procedure can be complex or simple depending on where the tooth is situated. When it comes to extractions most people are often faced with a dilemma: to visit a dentist or an oral surgeon? It is essential that you choose the right expert for your situation especially if it is urgent.

Basically, both dentists and oral surgeons are licensed to perform extractions, but how do you decide where to go to?

Where to Start

If you feel an inflammation that requires tooth removal, your dentist should be the first person you talk to. The dentist will analyze and examine the situation to determine if the extraction is needed and if it’s the right time. The dentist will also need to determine the complexity of the procedure to be procured and also decide if the procedure can be done in the office. Consultation normally entails on taking exams and X-rays of the affected tooth. 

Following a proper analysis, the dentist will decide whether to continue with the extraction or refer you to an oral surgeon. If the extraction is simple and requires local anesthesia to be removed, most dentists do this right in the office and at times just right after consultation.

The dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon if he or she comes to a sound conclusion that the procedure is too complex. Most dental clinics have oral surgeons hence the referral will be a simple process.

What Is Considered “ A Complex Tooth Extraction?”

Complex tooth extractions are normally handled by an oral surgeon. So what kind of tooth extraction is considered as complex?

  • Impacted Teeth

The term impacted teeth refers to teeth found just below the gum line. Pulling teeth placed under the gum line unseen is what makes the procedure complex rather than simply pulling. The procedure involves an invasive method that requires a cut through the gum tissues and removing the tooth even if it means in pieces. It will also involve a stronger anesthesia that may not be available in a dentist’s office. This is a serious surgical practice that will definitely require the expertise of a trained surgeon, in our case: an oral surgeon.

  • Cracked Teeth

If the tooth is already broken or fractured, it becomes vulnerable to more cracking and breaking during extraction. This may leave pieces of teeth underneath making this type of extraction better handled by an oral surgeon rather than a dentist.

  • If The Extraction Needs More Than A Local Anesthesia

Some tooth extractions are too invasive to stand on local anesthesia. Oral surgeons are licensed and trained in giving IV sedation that is given during complex surgeries. Dentists will only give local anaesthesia which is the same medication you receive during cavity filling.

How Do Dentists Differ From Oral Surgeons?

Dentists handle relatively simpler duties such as examinations, tooth cleanings, filling cavities, and even pulling some teeth. On the other hand, oral surgeons are trained a step further. Oral surgeons spend a few more years in dental surgery training for procedures that require cutting into the gum and bone tissues. This allows them to focus primarily on oral surgery while dentists can focus on general dental cases. In short, any procedure that requires surgery to be successful requires the expertise of an oral surgeon. A dentist can handle pulling of a tooth, but an oral surgeon is capable of slicing through the gums to replace a missing tooth or remove wisdom teeth.

Some dentists are offered special training on certain surgeries, but this differs from clinic to clinic. Most dentists will often refer you to an oral surgeon from within the clinic.

How Do I Trace The Best Oral Surgeons?

As earlier mentioned, the best oral surgeons are those that are recommended to you by your most trusted dentist. If you have a general dentist that you have built a strong relationship with, allow them to refer you to an oral surgeon for a procedure they deem complicated. This method helps you build confidence on the oral surgeon expected to conduct the procedure on you.

You could also contact your insurance company directly for referrals with their trusted contacts. The company will direct you to the best oral surgeons in the area and mostly those who work with them. Finally, there is the internet that can help you trace a good oral surgeon. Most websites have reviews from clients who have been previously been attended to tagging along with also the price of the services offered.

Whether you choose to visit a dentist or an oral surgeon for a tooth extraction ensure that you get the service from professionals to avoid spillover effects like damages sinuses. Book an appointment with us at Vita Dental Clinic to have your tooth extraction done professionally with any of your preference: a dentist or oral surgeon.