An oral surgeon, also known as an “oral and maxillofacial surgeon” (WHO), specializes in treating all types of health problems related to the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face and jaw. An oral surgeon, also called a maxillofacial surgeon, specializes in procedures related to the mouth, jaw, and even the entire face. Many patients who have had an accident and require reconstructive dental treatment will see an oral surgeon. Like general dentists, both endodontists and oral surgeons prioritize the care of the gums, teeth and mouth.
Unlike traditional dentists, both endodontists and oral surgeons have received specialized training in different areas of the dental field. Usually, a dentist will refer you to an endodontist or oral surgeon if you have a more complex oral health problem.
Oral surgeryis a broad term for any operation that is performed on the teeth, gums, jaw, or surrounding oral and facial structures. It includes a wide range of procedures, including tooth extractions, dental bone grafts, periodontal (gum) grafts, and corrective jaw surgery.
Oral surgeons, often referred to as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, focus exclusively on dental surgery. Their most common surgeries include reconstructing injuries or defects, correcting the temporomandibular joint, extracting wisdom teeth, and dental implant surgeries. They also remove oral cancer masses. For example, if you've been involved in an accident and need oral surgery in a hospital, your health insurance will likely cover it.
The overall goal of oral surgery is to address any problem that interferes with your health or quality of life. Oral medicine is the specialty of dentistry that provides medically complex patient care by integrating medicine and oral health care. Oral surgery can restore health to your teeth, gums, and jaw joints, relieve painful symptoms, and improve your quality of life. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive 4 to 8 years of additional training after dental school.
If your tooth is broken into several pieces or an incision in the gumline is required to extract it, you will need an oral surgeon to perform a surgical extraction of the tooth. An oral pathologist is the oral health care provider who studies the causes of diseases that alter or affect oral structures (teeth, lips, cheeks, jaws), as well as parts of the face and neck. Both endodontists and oral surgeons can operate on your teeth and both are an important part of your dental team. Many different types of oral health care providers may be involved in caring for your teeth, gums, and mouth.
In cases of a cracked or broken tooth, you may need an oral surgeon or endodontist to treat it. Like endodontists, oral surgeons must complete additional education after finishing dental school that focuses on treating diseases and injuries of the mouth. Extensive dental procedures and oral surgeries require anesthesia to help control pain before treating the site. This includes the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases, such as oral cancer, lichen planus, candidiasis, and aphthous stomatitis.
Oral surgeons typically perform surgery on a larger scale and often remove and replace teeth to restore the function of teeth that cannot be saved.