Tooth Extractions: Dentist or Oral Surgeon?
A tooth extraction can be done by a dentist or an oral surgeon. However, the choice of who performs the procedure will depend on the complexity of the extraction.
Getting Started: Dentist or Oral Surgeon?
At the first sign of tooth problems, you may go to your dentist for a comprehensive examination. It is at this point the dentist determines if an extraction will be required and if it can be carried out in the office. A dentist can usually carry out an extraction if it can be performed with Novocain or local anesthesia. For more complicated procedures, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon who they work with. Some clinics already have an oral surgeon on their staff.
Reasons for Referral to an Oral Surgeon
Some of the complications that might warrant a referral to an oral surgeon include:
- Impacted Teeth: Impacted teeth grow into the gum tissue or bone for some reasons. Thus, removal is difficult and requires general anesthesia. It involves a lot of cutting which makes it the work of a trained surgeon.
- Facial Structure: If you have an unusual facial structure which affects the positioning of your teeth, a dentist will find it difficult to perform an extraction. Large sinuses and limited jaw mobility are some of the facial anomalies which will require extraction by an oral surgeon.
- Cracked or Fractured Teeth: Teeth that are already impaired are much likely to break during extraction. Cracked or fractured teeth calls for a more demanding surgery.
- Dental Anxiety: Some patients dread any visit to the dentist even if for a minor procedure. Hence, they will rather sleep through the procedure. Such patients are referred to an oral physician since it will require one to administer general anesthesia to a patient.
- Extraction Complications: Complications might sometimes arise in an extraction procedure. If your teeth have complex roots or develop a crack during a procedure, the services of an oral surgeon will be required to complete their extraction. A timely referral will save you a lot of pain and reduce the risk of further complications.
A good dental practice will always determine when an extraction is needed and the best professional for the job.