Dentist Vs. Oral Surgeon: Who Do I Need to See?

Both dentists and oral surgeons can help you get a beautiful and healthy smile. But what are the differences between these professionals- and who should I see for my dental needs? In this article, we’ll go over the key similarities and differences between a dentist vs. oral surgeon.

Dentist Vs. Oral Surgeon: Is There a Difference?

When comparing a dentist vs. oral surgeon, it’s important to know that both are highly trained and qualified to care for your teeth. Both dentists and oral surgeons attend dental school and receive the same general training. However, oral surgeons receive additional surgical training after this. This means that, while dentists can diagnose and treat oral issues, only oral surgeons can perform oral surgeries.

When To See a Dentist

Dentists are general practitioners who all patients need to see. The ADA recommends visiting the dentist every six months. During these bi-annual appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth, check for cavities, and help you protect your overall oral health. They also work with hygienists, who will clean your teeth and remove any plaque buildup.

When To See an Oral Surgeon

Patients who need an oral surgery will need to see an oral surgeon. General dentists can refer patients, or patients can choose to visit an oral surgeon themselves. Either way, the oral surgeon will examine the mouth, help the patient explore surgery options, and recommend the right procedure. They also work closely with a patient’s general dentist to make sure their oral surgeries align with the patient’s overall dental goals.

Can General Dentists Perform Surgeries?

There are a few basic procedures that a general dentist can perform, such as routine tooth extractions and root canals. However, oral surgeons are needed for more complex procedures. Many patients also choose to see an oral surgeon even for simple procedures. Their expertise helps to ensure patients, giving them peace of mind before a stressful appointment.

Talk to an Oral Surgeon Today

At Rock Creek Oral Surgery, we help patients of all ages achieve their dream smiles. Our team handles it all- from basic tooth extractions to complex mouth reconstructions. Call us today to learn more!


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