What Differentiates an Oral Surgeon from a General Dentist?
May 16, 2020
General dentists and oral surgeons are the two types of doctors that you can turn to for the treatment of your dental problems. While they are both dental specialists, they do not commonly treat the same types of affections and they do not perform the same types of treatments – here is what they do.
What General Dentists Do
General dentists are the doctors to turn to for primary dental care – if one of your teeth develops a cavity or starts aching, if you need professional dental cleaning or you are looking for advice about dental care, it is a general dentist that you should contact.
The affections most commonly treated by general dentists include cavities, minor root infections, dental plaque and broken tooth, while the most common treatments include the application of fillings, bondings and veneers, dental cleaning and whitening and the application of dental crowns and bridges.
Any visit to a general dentist starts with a discussion of your dental problem, followed by a detailed inspection performed by the specialist to reveal all dental issues and by the actual treatment. Your general dentist will make treatment recommendations or, if the problem is beyond their competence, the doctor will refer you to an oral surgeon.
General dentists are the doctors to turn to if your child has a dental problem as well – most general dentists treat children as well and they can make recommendations about dental realignment solutions or refer you to the right orthodontist as well.
What Oral Surgeons Do
If your dental problem requires more specialized treatment, such as extraction or other types of surgical interventions or if you need a dental implant, your general dentist will recommend you to turn to an oral surgeon Buffalo Grove offers. Oral surgeons, also called maxillofacial surgeons, are trained and qualified to perform surgical interventions that involve the oral cavity and the jaw area – they usually complete the medical training that dentists do, then they follow further specialization courses and they also complete a full residency in maxillofacial surgery.
The most common procedures that they perform include the extractions of wisdom teeth and other teeth, the treatment of temporomandibular affections, the application of dental implants, the removal of clogged salivary glands and other growths in the oral cavity and various surgical interventions for the correction of facial or jaw problems. Oral surgeons are the specialists to turn to for the diagnosis and the treatment of pathological conditions, such as tumors or cancer – if any biopsy or imaging investigation is needed, the situation is best handled by a specialized maxillofacial surgeon.
When looking for an oral surgeon, it is a good idea to turn to the specialist you have been referred to by your general dentist. Oral surgery being a huge discipline, oral surgeons usually specialize in certain areas – for example, a surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgery might not be an expert in dental implants. As general dentists usually cooperate closely with multiple oral surgeons, your dentist will surely know which surgeon you should turn to with the affection that you have.