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Oral Surgeon Vs. General Dentist: What’s the Difference?

Oral Surgeon Vs. General Dentist: What’s the Difference?

Educational Course

Seeing a dentist for an oral health issue is usually straightforward. For simple procedures like dental crowns, root canals, or fillings, you can easily choose a dentist in your area that fits your needs the best. But, when do you need an oral surgeon, and what can they do differently, compared to a general dentist?


Educational Course


One of the main differences between a general dentist and an oral surgeon is the education they finish. Both general dentists and oral surgeons graduate from dental school, which takes 4 years. After dental school, students can get their license to become general dentists. But, to become an oral surgeon, a dental student needs to complete 4-6 years of surgical residency. 


The practice of a General Dentist


A general dentist performs regular restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. They serve as primary care providers and see patients of all ages for performing fillings, root canals, tooth extractions, gum care, deep cleaning, veneers, dentures, etc. 


In many cases, you are referred to an oral surgeon by your general dentist, who can assess the situation and recognize the need for a surgeon for your issue. General dentists can also perform minor surgeries and administer anesthesia of a certain potency (like inhaled or oral sedation). 


The practice of an Oral Surgeon


An oral surgeon like our doctors at Goldstein, Garber & Salama can perform more complex treatments, intervening where a general dentist can’t. Oral surgeons will also perform general surgery, when needed, having the advantage of expertise and experience, plus the optimal equipment and setting for performing oral surgery. 


Patients with more challenging issues, such as accident victims who suffer from facial injuries and need reconstructive surgery should see an oral surgeon. Patients with less complex issues can still see an oral surgeon to be assessed and to undergo treatment. 


Common interventions an oral surgeon performs include:


  • Simple and complex tooth extractions.
  • Dental implants.
  • Adding bone grafts to jawbones.
  • Repairing fractured bones in the face and jaw.
  • Removing tumors from the face and jaw.  
  • Correcting bite discrepancies by aligning the jaw.
  • Cosmetic surgery. 


If you are not sure whether you need to see an oral surgeon or not, you can see your general dentist. They will refer you to an oral surgeon if the issue extends beyond their expertise. Or you can see an oral surgeon directly and they will assess the situation. 


Need an Oral Surgeon?


We at Goldstein, Garber & Salama are expert oral surgeons in Atlanta. If you need an assessment or an intervention from an oral surgeon, book an appointment with one of our doctors and you will get the best treatment possible for your problem. 


Our office is completely equipped for minor and major oral surgery, and all our staff is trained to intervene in emergency situations and to handle complex cases. Our doctors collaborate closely with the supporting staff and you will be treated by a tightly woven team. 


Book an appointment today, our oral surgeons are here to help. 


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