The Oral Surgeon (AKA Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeon) is a dental specialist who has attended dental school in order to become a dentist and then attends a post graduate speciality program to become proficient in procedures that a general practice dentist may not have the expertise or exposure to.
Some of these procedures would include, but are not limited to: wisdom teeth removal (most popular), repairing broken jaws, correcting jaw problems, biopsies, removal of cysts, bone grafting, placement of dental implants and repairing cleft lips and palates.
Your family dentist can perform these procedures as well, but from time to time they do refer their patients out to have an oral surgeon have a look, assess, and perform certain procedures.
From my experience, medical doctors also refer to the oral surgeon in specific situations. For instance, for my son’s broken jaw, they booked a consult appointment promptly with the on-call oral surgeon. Once the patient has been assessed and treatment has been established, they schedule an appointment. The patient shows up for surgery, and in my sons’ case, he had a metal plate placed to stabilize the jaw for approximately 6 weeks and then he had to book another surgery date to have the metal plate removed. While he was under general anaesthetic, the oral surgeon removed his wisdom teeth as well.
There are a few factors that influence why your family dentist would recommend you go to the oral surgeon: age of patient, position of wisdom tooth in the jaw, and where the nerve runs in the lower jaw.
For whatever the reason, for referral or visit to an Oral Surgeon, they are experts in their field and will give you all the options available for optimal care.
Braeside Dental Centre