Why Your Dentist Is Sending You To An Oral Surgeon

Hearing that a dentist isn't in a position to deal with a problem can come as a shock to many patients. When surgery is required for many types of conditions in and around the mouth, it's not uncommon for a dentist to refer a patient to an oral surgeon. A dental surgeon is a specialist who handles work that calls for incisions, working near the bone and other tasks that demand specialized equipment and training. Let's take a look at 5 situations that might have your dentist ready to give you a referral to a surgeon.

Major Wisdom Tooth Problems

Generally, pulling a tooth is mostly a case of working it back and forth until it comes out of the socket. Especially when wisdom teeth come in at funny angles, the roots can develop hook shapes that make it very difficult to dislodge them. Some can even end up fused to the facial and jaw bones.

Dental Implant Procedures

More dentists are starting to perform implant work at their practices, but there are still situations where an oral surgeon may be the best choice for the job. When there are questions about how well the bone might integrate with the implant post, for example, it's often a good idea to let a specialist do the work. Very complex procedures, such as bridge implants that rest on both implanted posts and healthy teeth, may call for the skills of a surgeon, too.

Almost Any Jaw Problem

TMJ and TMD cases often end up being handled by surgeons. Generally speaking, if there's something wrong with the jaw that requires correction, it's not work your dentist does. The same goes for problems like dealing with a worn-down jaw bone or unusual growths.


Virtually all oral cancers are considered surgical situations. Not only do cancers need to be correctly identified by a qualified practitioner, but they also need to be skillfully removed. Depending upon the amount of damage caused by cancer, corrective work may also have to be performed.

Facial Injuries

The region of the head where the skull and the soft palate interact is surprisingly delicate. Damage in this region often goes undiagnosed for years because people dismiss it as simple dental pain, and injuries frequently heal poorly during this period. A dental surgeon has to be the one who handles such work, and a dentist who even suspects there are maxillofacial issues will quickly refer a patient.

For more information, contact a company like Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC today.