Removing one or more teeth due to decay, infections, or other complications is a common procedure that many people will face during their lifetime. While it is common, tooth extractions can be a bit more involved in some instances. Dentists are usually capable of removing one or more teeth, but certain factors may require the extraction to be completed by an oral surgeon. If you need an extraction, this guide will help you determine if a dentist or oral surgeon is required to remove your tooth.
First and foremost, visit your dentist if you believe a tooth needs to come out. Your dentist will conduct a full examination, which may involve x-rays, to determine the cause of your dental problem and the best course of action for treatment.
If an extraction is necessary, your dentist will decide the type of numbing medication that you will need. If a local anesthetic will be sufficient, the extraction can be completed in the dentist's office.
If your dentist feels the extraction is more involved and time-consuming, you will be referred to an oral surgeon.
Reasons for Referral
Your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for many reasons.
The removal of wisdom teeth is one of the most common types of tooth extraction and it is also a common reason why dentists refer patients to an oral surgeon. In many cases, extraction of the wisdom teeth is recommended even before they have fully erupted.
Because they have not fully erupted and they are usually harder to reach since they are in the back of the mouth, an oral surgeon is best for completing the extraction in an efficient manner.
If you have a phobia or dental anxiety, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for your extraction, as well. The surgeon will put you to sleep for the procedure, ensuring you do not experience any pain, pressure, or anxiety during the actual extraction.
The position of the tooth or teeth that need to come out is also a factor to consider when determining if you need an oral surgeon. If the teeth are located in the back of the mouth, surgery is the best option.
It is also important to note that if have you have larger sinuses or TMJ disorder, opening your mouth wide for long periods of time can be difficult. Therefore, an oral surgeon will be ideal, since you can be put to sleep during the extraction.