Oral surgery may sound like a niche field, but oral and maxillofacial surgeons make up the largest surgical specialty in dentistry. They specialize in treating oral conditions such as the extraction of wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, tumors and cysts of the jaw and mouth, and dental implant surgery. Some have a second specialty in either oral surgery or periodontics. The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) offers oral surgeons the opportunity to board-certify with both specialties, meaning that they can use “DDS/MDS” or “DDS/MD” after their name.
If you are not sure whether a patient should be referred to an oral surgeon, here are some things to consider.
What is the difference between oral surgeons and general dentists?
Oral surgeons treat oral and maxillofacial conditions, trauma, and deformities that require surgical intervention. General dentists primarily work on oral health care prevention such as fillings, teeth polishing, or scaling.
When should a patient be referred to an oral surgeon?
A referral is necessary for patients with any oral disease, trauma, or deformity that requires surgical intervention, either intracapsular (within the mouth) or extraoral (outside of the mouth). It is often necessary for an oral surgeon to be consulted when there are broken or fractured teeth, jaw injuries, gum disease, TMJ disorders (typically diagnosed by your dentist), oral cancer (benign or malignant), oral cysts and tumors, eye socket fractures from trauma or tumors in the face. A referral is necessary for patients with any oral disease, trauma, or deformity that requires surgical intervention either intracapsular (within the mouth) or extraoral (outside of the mouth).
How do I find an oral surgeon near me?
One way to find a maxillofacial surgeon is by doing an internet search for oral surgeons in Hagerstown or oral surgeons in Chambersburg.
The surgeon you are looking for may also be listed on the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. You can use their “Find an Oral Surgeon Near Me” tool and filter by state.
If you’re uncomfortable using the oral surgeons near me feature at AAOMS, try searching for dentists in your area using Google Maps. Select the tab that says “Health” and type in words like “oral surgery,” “dentist,” or “maxillofacial.” In some cases, this will take you to websites.
This article is offered as informational only and not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.