You already have a dentist, so why should you go see an oral surgeon?
Great question! An oral surgeon isn’t a replacement for your regular dentist. Your dentist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon work together as a team to provide the most comprehensive dental care possible for their patients because their focuses are a little different.
Most basically, the main difference between a dentist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is that one is a generalist and the other is a specialist.
Oral surgeons have spent an additional four to six years of medical school and hospital residency training and practicing their surgical skills practically in their specialty.
General dentists have a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree whereas most oral surgeons have a DDS degree as well as an MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree.
This means that oral surgeons have more practical training in surgery and are exposed to a wider variety of complications that might occur during procedures. Since an oral surgeon is a specialist, they can handle unexpected complications immediately on site rather than sending their patient elsewhere.
When you’re in need of dental check-up and ongoing dental hygiene, your best ally is going to be your general dentist. When you’re in need of more complex or specialty procedures, such as wisdom teeth removal, biopsies, dental implants, and dental trauma, your best option is to visit an oral surgeon.