If your dentist refers you to an oral surgeon, your internal alarm may go off, causing anxiety or fear. But fear not. Instead, take in this little dose of information that answers, “What is oral surgery and why do I need it?”
Distinguishing Dental Duties: What is Oral Surgery?
First, let’s clarify that asking “what is oral surgery” and what is oral and maxillofacial surgery” are one in the same. Oral refers to your mouth, while maxillofacial refers to your jaws and face.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon may diagnose, treat or perform surgery to resolve injuries or issues in the head, neck, face, jaws and hard and soft oral tissues. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is recognized internationally as a surgical specialty.
In fact, to become an oral surgeon, one must earn a four-year graduate degree in dentistry and complete a hospital oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program for a minimum of 4 years. This program includes specialized training in anesthesia and pain control.
If your dentist refers you to an oral surgeon, it does not necessarily mean you have a challenging case to treat! It simply means there is a specialized surgeon who can better treat your case.
When Might You Need an Oral Surgeon?
You might need oral surgery for something as common as dental implants, or for the treatment of a tumor or cyst in the jaw, for example. So oral surgery can solve cosmetic or reconstructive needs. Your dentist might also refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for:
- Facial pain or TMJ/TMD
- Wisdom teeth issues
- Misaligned jaw
- Reconstructive surgery following an injury
- Cleft lip and palette surgery
- Cancer in the face, jaw or neck area
- Obstructive sleep apnea
As a patient of The Happy Tooth, you will receive quality, pain-free treatment from board certified dentists and orthodontists. We will be honest and thorough as we perform regular dental work or oral surgery such as tooth extractions and dental implants. If we feel you need an oral surgeon, we will answer all your questions to help make your treatment as pain-free as possible!