What Is an Oral Surgeon and Their Role in Dentistry

Have you ever wondered who you should turn to when you experience severe facial pain, need complex extractions or have jaw irregularities to demand attention? Whenever basic dental care is insufficient, like check-ups, cleanings, tooth extractions and fillings, it’s time to call in the experts.

This is where the oral surgeons, often known as maxillofacial surgeons, come in to save your day.

What Is an Oral Surgeon?

An oral surgeon, also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is a dental specialist trained to perform complex surgical procedures in the mouth, jaw, face, and neck. These surgeons undergo several years of additional education and training beyond dental school, often including a hospital-based surgical residency.

They are equipped to diagnose and treat various conditions and injuries affecting the oral and facial region. This profession often collaborates with specialists like orthodontists and otolaryngologists to manage comprehensive cases.

What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?

1. Tooth Extraction

Whether it’s a straightforward single-tooth removal or a complicated tooth extraction involving several teeth, oral surgeons are the go-to specialists in the field. These experts handle everything from wisdom tooth complications to dental diseases and decay with surgical precision, ensuring relief from painful conditions with as minimal discomfort as possible.

Their surgical expertise, backed by extensive training in anesthesia, makes them qualified to select the most apt anesthetic option, allowing for a painless yet efficient tooth extraction process. Be it local anesthesia for minor surgeries or general anesthesia for more extensive procedures, oral surgeons know exactly what is needed and when.

2. Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom tooth removal remains one of the most prevalent yet challenging surgeries. Due to the complicated positioning and potential impaction of wisdom teeth, these removal cases often require a seasoned oral surgeon. Equipped with dedicated training and knowledge in dealing with wisdom tooth issues, oral surgeons bring a level of understanding and efficacy crucial to these procedures.

Their skills in managing pain from tooth impaction and the meticulous use of dental technology ensure the extraction of wisdom teeth becomes a safer, smoother experience for the patient.

3. Jaw Surgery

Topping the list of specialized surgeries performed by oral surgeons is Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery. After intensive hospital-based surgical residencies and advanced training in maxillofacial surgery, oral surgeons lead these procedures with unrivaled expertise and finesse.

Whether it’s addressing irregularities in the jaw alignment, discrepancies in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), or undertaking a complex jaw reconstruction, the experience and dedication of these surgeons play a vital role. With a comprehensive approach, they ensure jaw functions improve and aesthetic appearances are enhanced post-surgery.

4. Sinus Lift

For patients requiring dental implants but lacking sufficient bone levels, oral surgeons come to the rescue with a surgical procedure known as a sinus lift. The upper jaw, in the molar and premolar areas, often lacks adequate bone, making implant placement challenging.

During a sinus lift, oral surgeons create an incision in the gum tissue, gently lifting the sinus membrane to place a bone graft, enhancing the bone structure. The additional bone provides a sturdy base for the dental implant, ensuring a more secure and effective placement.

The recovery time following a sinus lift surgery differs among patients, with most individuals being able to return to normal activities within a few days. Your oral pressure should return to normal within 48 hours after surgery.

5. Frenectomy

A frenectomy, a seemingly straightforward surgical procedure that involves removing a small muscle connecting the gums and upper lip, is another task within an oral surgeon’s scope. This small tissue hindrance, common among infants and young children diagnosed with tongue-tie or lip-tie issues, can significantly impact their ability to eat, speak, and even breathe properly.

Oral surgeons, with their specialized training and surgical skills, safely and effectively conduct frenectomies, helping to rectify these issues and improve patients’ quality of life significantly.

6. Oral Disease Treatment

Oral surgeons are not only experts in surgical procedures but also hold proficiency in diagnosing, preventing, and treating a plethora of oral diseases. These diseases can range from typical gum diseases to severe oral cancer.

Equipped with modern imaging technology and a broad-based understanding of oral pathology, oral surgeons can devise effective treatment plans even for complex scenarios. Early diagnosis and intervention remain key for successful recoveries, emphasizing their role in regular dental check-ups and timely treatments.

How Does an Oral Surgeon Collaborate With Other Professionals?

Working Hand-In-Hand With Dentists

Oral surgeons harmoniously collaborate with general dentists, often with tooth extractions and cases involving pesky wisdom tooth issues. Dentists usually perform dental check-ups, teeth cleanings, and root canals and handle less complicated tooth extraction cases. However, when the severity of the dental issue transcends the routine, dentists refer patients to oral surgeons for a specialized approach.

Surgical Partnership With Orthodontists

Orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons unite when patients face bite issues or misaligned teeth that can’t be corrected with braces alone. Here, an oral surgeon’s expertise in jaw realignment surgeries comes into the picture, ensuring a holistic treatment plan for patients.

Collaboration With Medical Residents

During residency training, oral surgeons foster a close association with medical residents from different specialties. They exchange knowledge and insights revolving around internal medicine, plastic surgery, and critical care medicine.

Interaction With Ear, Nose, Throat Specialists

Oral surgeons also work in tandem with otolaryngologists, especially in cases involving facial trauma or oral cancer that need extensive surgical procedures impacting the ear, nose, and throat regions.

Cooperation With Anesthetic Teams

Given their extensive surgeries, oral surgeons frequently collaborate with anesthesia teams. Their synchronized efforts ensure patients experience minimal pain during surgical procedures, mastering the art of dental anesthesia application.

How to Choose a Reliable Oral Surgeon?

    • Check the Surgeon’s Credentials. Start by verifying their credentials. Ensure they have a dental degree from a recognized dental school, completed a hospital-based residency program, and have extensive surgical training. Look for board certification as it signifies the surgeon’s competency, extensive experience, and commitment to lifelong learning via a certification maintenance program.
    • Specialized Training and Knowledge. Given the broad spectrum of issues an oral surgeon handles, they must possess versatile knowledge and hands-on experience. From root canals to oral cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery, proficient oral surgeons can cater to many oral health challenges.
    • Examine Patient Reviews. Patient testimonials provide a reflective experience of the surgeon’s practice. They indicate the quality of care, treatment efficacy, and the surgeon’s interaction manner with their patients.
    • Continuity and Convenience of Care. Select an oral surgeon with convenient offices and flexible availability. Urgent cases like severe pain or knocked-out teeth demand immediate action, mandating oral surgeons to take up emergencies.
    • Network of Allied Professionals. A good oral surgeon always collaborates actively with other medical professionals. This association plays a critical role in complex situations, facilitating a comprehensive treatment plan.

Experience the Best in Oral Surgery With Custom Periodontics & Implantology

Oral surgeons play an essential role in dentistry, moving beyond general dental care to perform a variety of surgical procedures and treating complex oral diseases due to their rigorous training and vast surgical expertise. These professionals work tirelessly to restore oral health and enhance patients’ quality of life.

Trust our specialists at Custom Periodontics & Implantology for thorough and compassionate care. Our team of board-certified oral surgeon in Fort Worth and experienced support staff are committed to ensuring the continuity of care for all your oral health requirements.

Contact us at (817) 761-0996 or drop an email at info@customperio.com to schedule an appointment. Let us help you smile with confidence once again.