Is it necessary to see an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth extracted? Or can you go to your regular dentist instead?
Most general dentists are qualified to remove teeth, and many do perform simple extractions. However, when it comes to removing the wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, most dentists refer their patients to an oral surgeon.
Specialized Training for Surgical Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists who also have completed extensive specialty training.
In fact, oral surgeons spend an additional four to six years of training in hospital-based residency programs that are accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). They receive extensive surgical training in specializations such as dental implant placement, bone grafting, facial surgery, internal medicine and tooth extraction.
This intensive, specialized training means that oral surgeons are truly qualified to handle all types of surgical procedures involving the face, mouth and jaw areas.
Removing the third molars often requires anesthesia, and most patients prefer to be asleep during the procedure. Most dentists do not have the necessary qualifications and training to use sedation.
Oral surgeons, however, are licensed by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) to administer general anesthesia. So if you don’t want to be awake during the procedure, you will definitely want to see an oral surgeon.
Experience in Wisdom Tooth Extraction
General dentists manage the overall oral health of their patients and undertake straightforward procedures, such as fillings, crowns and root canals. Although they may do tooth extractions, their experience is limited when compared with oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
These professionals spend the majority of their time performing surgical procedures. As a result, oral surgeons have extensive experience in wisdom tooth removal and can perform the surgery safely and efficiently.
The Risk of Complications in Wisdom Tooth Extraction
For some patients, wisdom tooth removal is simple and straightforward. Others are not so fortunate, as their third molars may be impacted, infected or poorly positioned.
Oral surgeons regularly deal with these types of issues and are well-qualified to perform even the most complex extractions.
Occasionally, even a seemingly simple extraction may become complicated during the procedure. During extraction, for example, the tooth could fracture, the sinus cavities could be exposed or the surgeon may find it necessary to remove bone or tissue.
These complications are often not identifiable until after the procedure has begun. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are prepared to address these problems in the moment.
Do you need to have your third molars removed? The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah has the training, experience and qualifications to safely perform all types of oral and facial surgery, including wisdom tooth extractions.
Contact our convenient Salt Lake City office today to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced oral surgeons.