Oral surgeon showing patient dental xrayThe term “oral surgery” covers a wide range of oral procedures, including wisdom tooth extractions, dental implants, and bone grafting. Any surgery inside or near the mouth falls under the category of oral surgery. However, some non-specialist dentists perform minor oral surgeries in their office. In this article, we’ll explore the expertise of an oral surgeon over a general dentist.

As one of the top-ranked oral surgeons in Ft. Worth, Dr. Chris Tye performs a variety of surgeries. Dr. Tye has dual degrees in both dentistry and medicine, giving him an extra edge in understanding your needs as a patient. 

What’s the difference between general dentists and oral surgeons?

While dentists and oral surgeons share some similarities, a large difference exists between them. Similar to your general practitioner or doctor, a dentist handles your regular oral health care. When you require more care and expertise, your doctor will send you to a specialist. The same is true of most dentists. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is an expert in oral surgery. Maxillofacial is the term for anything relating to the face or jaws. 

If you develop an issue with your dental health that requires surgery, an OMS (oral maxillofacial surgeon) has the experience and knowledge you need. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t ask your general practitioner to perform open heart surgery on you and you shouldn’t ask your dentist to perform oral surgery. 

Why? The answer is simple. While both dentists and oral surgeons have studied dental health, an OMS has more understanding and knowledge in both medical and dental issues

Once they have earned their DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or their DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine), an oral and maxillofacial surgeon also completes four years as a resident in a hospital surgical residency. An oral surgeon must follow requirements to obtain certain state permits and licensing, after finishing their residency. Included in their medical training oral surgeons often train in the following fields:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology (the study of the ear, nose, and throat) 

An OMS has a lot of training in and beyond the dental field. Plus, like Dr. Tye, some oral surgeons earn other graduate degrees, participate in fellowships, and even acquire board certification.

The difference is plain to see. A dentist is an expert at caring for your general dental health, and an oral surgeon is a specialist who has years of study and experience performing oral surgeries. 

Why should I choose an OMS?

While medical doctors or dentists often have training to perform some oral surgeries, oral surgeons specialize in these procedures. An oral surgeon focuses only on oral surgery. With their intense and comprehensive training, oral surgeons have a significant amount of knowledge and experience, above and beyond the routine care of your dental health.

While many patients feel more comfortable with their familiar general dentist, when a serious dental issue arises, an oral surgeon is often the best choice.  Oral surgeons have much more experience and practice in completing specialized oral procedures such as:

  • Wisdom Tooth Removal
  • Treatment of Cancer in the Head, Neck, and Mouth
  • Treatment of Facial Traumas or Injuries
  • Reconstructive Surgeries
  • Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip Treatments
  • Corrective Surgeries on the Jaw
  • Surgical Treatment of TMJ Disorders
  • Dental Implant Procedures
  • Tooth Extractions

Though many of these procedures are common, they each come with certain risks, and delicate treatments, often best left in the hands of an expert. 

Your Oral Health Is in Good Hands with Oral Surgeons

A serious dental health issue may require you to see a specialist. Dr. Chris Tye and the team at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists are the top in their field. You can trust them with all of your oral surgery needs. Call us today at 817-552-3223 or complete our form online. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.