How Your Oral Surgeon and Dentist Work Together?

Although oral surgeons and dentists both specialize in dental care, they perform different tasks. However, some patients have difficulties deciding who to see for their dental problems. The line between what an oral surgeon and a dentist can and cannot do is relatively thin as much as it is clear. At some point during your treatment, you might have to work with both of them. This article shows you what a dentist and an oral surgeon do and how they work together in some instances.

What Do Oral Surgeons Do?

Oral surgeons operate on patients with complex dental problems that require surgery. Most oral surgeries performed by oral surgeons require anesthesia. So, oral surgeons are highly trained in the use of anesthesia. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are among the few medical experts and dental specialists trained to administer IV sedation and general anesthesia.

An oral surgeon performs many procedures, including placing dental implants, removing wisdom teeth, orthodontic surgery, laser surgery, oral and maxillofacial reconstruction, bone grafting, and treating advanced gum diseases.

What Do Dentists Do?

Dentists are trained to deal with the less complex dental issues like filling cavities and early-stage gum diseases. They also do routine oral checkups, cleanings, and monitoring of a patient’s dental health. It is also dentists’ work to take x-rays, fitting dentures, dental crowns, and bridges. Additionally, a dentist can perform root canals and prescribe medications.

Even with their distinct roles, these two specialists usually work together on various occasions. Here are some of the situations in which both the dentist and oral surgeon might work together.

Complex Tooth Removal Procedure

When you want a problematic tooth removed, you don’t go to the surgeon directly without seeking a dentist’s opinion. In most cases, the dentist will do the extraction if it is not a complicated surgical procedure. But if the extraction procedure requires invasive surgery, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon.

Placing Dental Implant

After tooth extraction, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon if a dental implant has to be placed in the empty socket. Sometimes this placement happens on the same day of tooth extraction.

Suspicious Oral Lesions

If your dentist notices a suspicious oral lesion when performing routine dental checkups, they will send you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. The surgeon might also order further medical tests to establish the cause of the lesion.

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