What exactly is oral surgery?

Many people don’t know what an oral surgeon really does until they need to have their wisdom teeth taken out.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of which procedures qualify as oral surgery and how an oral surgeon differs from your dentist.

Related to the mouth, jaw, face and neck

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (oral surgeons) specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of disorders that affect the face, jaw, neck and oral cavity. Some of these procedures involve the teeth, but not all. Oral surgery includes:

  • Wisdom tooth extraction
  • Dental implants
  • Orthognathic corrective jaw surgery
  • TMJ Surgery
  • Reconstructive facial surgery
  • Salivary gland disease
  • Surgery for TMJ disorders
  • Certain types of cosmetic facial surgery

Oral surgeons receive specialized training

To become a board certified oral surgeon, you must complete significantly more education and training than a general dentist. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon typically completes 8-10 years of schooling and residency after receiving their undergraduate degree. After finishing dental school and earning a dental degree (DMD or DDS), they may continue their education in medicine and graduate with a medical degree (MD). They are then required to complete a minimum of four years in a hospital-based surgical residency.

Common reasons to be referred

In some cases, the procedure you require is above your dentist’s skill level but sometimes your dentist may be capable of providing the treatment and simply thinks you’ll be more comfortable with a specialist or achieve better results.

Why get oral surgery?

Oral surgery has the potential to improve your quality of life. Whether your concerns are functional or aesthetic, you can be happy with the way you look and get back to living and eating like you always have.