What Kind of Oral Surgery Can a General Dentist Perform?

Posted on: 2 July 2021

Some dental conditions, such as tooth decay, require oral surgery. If you have a badly decayed tooth, for instance, you may need a dentist to extract it. But you may be wondering who would best be able to extract that tooth for you, your own general dentist or an oral surgeon.

General dentists are trained to perform some oral surgeries. The following list is an overview of the kinds of surgery that you can expect a general dentist to be able to perform.

A mild to moderate tooth extraction

General dentists can extract teeth as long as the extraction isn't too invasive. For instance, if there is still some tooth structure remaining above the gum line, then a general dentist can extract a tooth. But when a tooth has broken or rotted to the gum line, then more invasive surgery is necessary to remove a tooth. In more challenging cases, a general dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon.

Simple wisdom tooth extraction cases

Wisdom teeth are often very difficult to remove, especially if they are impacted. In other words, if a wisdom tooth is lodged in the jawbone and gum tissue, invasive surgery will be necessary to remove the tooth. An oral surgeon is best qualified to remove a wisdom tooth in complicated cases.

Not only do oral surgeons have more training and experience than general dentists do, but they can also offer more sedation options. This means that if a patient suffers from anxiety, then an oral surgeon can offer IV sedation or laughing gas to ensure the patient is relaxed during the surgery. Some general dentists, on the other hand, are limited in the sedation options they can offer.

Simple dental implant placements

General dentists can place dental implants. But this is usually only true in simple cases. For instance, if a patient has enough bone to support a dental implant, then some general dentists can complete the surgery without an oral surgeon's help. But if there are other factors, such as a lack of bone, gum disease, or sinus cavity proximity, then an oral surgeon is probably going to be more suitable than a general dentist.

Root canal therapy

A general dentist can also perform root canal surgery on a patient. But just as in the other cases, if there are other complications to deal with, such as twisted roots, which are harder to clean, then an oral surgeon is best placed to do the surgery.

If you have a dental condition that might need surgery, talk to your general dentist first. Even if they can't perform the surgery themselves, they can refer you to a trusted oral surgeon who can. For more information, contact a dental company, such as Valley Oak Dental Group, to learn more.


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