When we think about dentists and the treatments they provide, we tend to think about exams, cleanings, X-rays and other common services you’d expect. However, we often don’t consider the more complex treatments that dentists will sometimes offer in-house as well, such as tooth extractions, whether they are for a damaged tooth or problematic wisdom teeth. These treatments as well as many others are actually best suited for an oral surgeon in St. Louis rather than a dentist. Read on to learn when you should see an oral surgeon instead of a general dentist!
What Treatments Do Oral Surgeons Actually Perform?
Oral surgeons focus on the teeth, the gums, and even the jaw. Below, you can find detailed descriptions of the most common treatments you’ll find offered from an oral surgeon. Keep in mind that not every single oral surgeon out there is guaranteed to perform all of these treatments.
Whether you need a single tooth extracted as a result of an infection/injury or you need to have a problematic wisdom tooth taken out because it has become trapped underneath gum tissue, extractions are some of the most frequently performed procedures by oral surgeons.
Dental Implant Placement
Placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, which means it’s best performed by someone who understands the complex inner workings of teeth and the jawbone how they interact with dental materials like titanium (which is what dental implants are commonly made from.)
Cleft Lip and Palate Repair
Cleft lips and palates are birth defects that negatively affect the way parts of the sinus cavity and mouth grow during pregnancy. This can cause gaps in the roof of the mouth, lip or both. Oral surgeons are the best positioned to repair these defects.
Whether there’s an infection in the facial tissue or a facial injury has occurred that left multiple bones broken, an oral surgeon has the expertise to both handle trauma suffered to the face as well as treat infections when they appear and prevent new ones from developing.
Bone can break down as a result of tooth loss, making it difficult or even impossible to place dental implants without future treatment. Oral surgeons can perform bone grafts to expand current bone tissue in all areas of the jaw where needed.
Why Should You See a Specialist Over a General Dentist?
Oral surgeons are dentists who. This is because they have taken the extra time to complete surgical training following their undergraduate and dental education, which can typically take 6 to 8 years to complete already. Most oral surgeons will also complete final specialty examinations administered by a certifying body, such as the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
All in all, oral surgeons have more training performing certain treatments and have more experience than general dentists when it comes specifically to surgical procedures. They have also completed education and residency training that is often not part of a typical general dentistry academic track. If you need a tooth removed or an implant placed, trust your smile in the hands of a specialist.
About the Author
Dr. Stewart Moreland is a board-certified oral surgeon with diplomate status from the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. For decades, he’s been serving patients a wide variety of dental treatments. He’s also served as a State Examiner for the Missouri Dental Board specialty licensing examination in oral and maxillofacial surgery. If you’re looking for exceptional care from an oral surgeon, don’t wait to contact him through his website.