What’s The Difference Between an Oral Surgeon And a Dentist

When you’re visiting your dentist with tooth or jaw complications, you might be surprised when
your dentist refers you to an oral surgeon. While dentists and oral surgeons hold similar
overlapping traits, the two have distinctly different specialties. Understanding the specific
practices of each doctor will give you an idea of what to expect at your next appointment. Staying
informed can help you recognize symptoms that your dentist can treat, and complications that
need to be passed along to an oral surgeon.

Dentist

The Dental Difference: Dentist Duties and Education

Dentists can be described as the general practitioners of oral health. They’re responsible for
overall care of your teeth, including filling cavities, straightening teeth and the performing the
highly dreaded root canal. Your dentist is the go­-to doctor for toothaches and cleanings; they
keep your teeth in top condition to minimize the risk of infection, or even losing teeth.

Dentists can be described as the general practitioners of oral health. They’re responsible for
overall care of your teeth, including filling cavities, straightening teeth and the performing the
highly dreaded root canal. Your dentist is the go­-to doctor for toothaches and cleanings; they
keep your teeth in top condition to minimize the risk of infection, or even losing teeth.

Another difference between an oral surgeon and a dentist is the focus on cosmetic procedures.
If your teeth are yellowing from smoking or too much coffee, your dentist can give you that
celebrity smile. Dentists also can create custom veneers to get your teeth looking straighter and
whiter.

In general, it takes 3 to 4 years of undergraduate school plus four additional years of dental
school to graduate as a general dentist.

 

Understanding Oral Surgeons & Procedures

A big difference between an oral surgeon and a dentist lies within procedure. Oral surgeons are
highly specialized doctors who undertake complicated oral surgeries. You’ll likely see an oral
surgeon if you have complications relating to your jaw, such as TMJ (Temporomandibular joint
dysfunction). You’ll also see an oral surgeon for extraction of wisdom teeth and dental implant
placements.

Oral surgeons are certified to put patients under anesthesia; they receive hospital­-based training
to safely put patients under for oral surgery. Oral surgeons also receive up to 8 years of
postdoctoral training after dental school.

The difference between an oral surgeon and a dentist consists of different forms of training,
complication of procedures, and the certification of patient anesthesia. Both dentists and oral
surgeons are vitally important to your oral health. If you have are experiencing concerns that may
need to be addressed by an oral surgeon, contact Riverside Oral and Facial Surgery to schedule
a consultation.