Do Routine Tooth Extractions Require an Oral Surgeon?

When you need tooth extraction, can your general dentist do the job or do you need to go to an oral surgeon?

Surgical Tooth Extraction

In many cases, an oral surgeon offers the safest solution when you are having tooth pain that requires that you have the tooth pulled, but there are circumstances under which your general dentist can do the job.

Start Out at Your Regular Dentist – Why Should You Stay There?

When you have a toothache, the first place to go is your regular dentist. He or she will first examine the area in your mouth, and if you have an abscess, will likely write you a prescription for an antibiotic to kill the infection before proceeding. The next step is x-rays that will tell whether the aching tooth is in one piece, or if it is broken or not fully emerged. If the tooth is in good condition, with straight roots that lend it to easy removal, many dentists will undertake the tooth extraction. Teeth found near the front of the mouth that have a single root that is not too long are good candidates for removal by a general dentist.

Some dental professionals question whether this is the best approach, or whether the dentist should immediately send the patient to an oral surgeon. From the patient’s standpoint, having one’s regular dentist do the procedure is convenient, costs less, and may be less painful than a surgical procedure.

What if Your Tooth Extraction Becomes Complicated?

The problem is that many tooth extractions prove to be more complicated than they first appear. Oral surgeons, who routinely perform this procedure in their practice, are experienced in moving teeth without incident. Even for a “simple” extraction with a straight route, an oral surgeon can manipulate the tooth to dislodge periodontal ligament around the tooth root to remove the tooth from the bone. The oral surgeon can do this quickly and easily after assessing the patient, yet has the expertise to handle complications if they arise.

What can go wrong with tooth extraction? The possibilities range from minor, in the eyes of the oral surgeon, to major. Less serious complications include having a tooth with a very brittle root that is susceptible to fracture. The surgeon may need to remove some surrounding bone to remove the tooth along with fractured root fragments.

More serious complications of tooth extraction include cases where your tooth is broken off at the gum or has not erupted past the gum line yet. Some teeth that lodged in the gum may have come in sideways. These cases require the surgeon to make an incision in your gum and maybe remove bone around the tooth or cut the tooth in order to remove it in sections. Some procedures can be serious enough that you may even need a general anesthetic for the process.

Entrust Your Extractions to Oral Surgery of Utah

While your general dentist can handle some extractions, you may benefit going to an oral surgeon as soon as your regular dentist has discovered the need for tooth extraction. This will place you in position to receive the treatment you need if the procedure becomes more complex.

When you need tooth extraction, choose Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.