To the Dentist or the Oral Surgeon?
Patients are often referred to oral surgeons by their dentist when necessary, but some problems almost always request the touch of an oral surgeon. If you have one of these issues, you can save a little time by going right to the surgeon and skipping the dentist.
If you are aware of impacted teeth or others that will be difficult to remove for some reason, consider heading straight to the oral surgeon. Oral surgeons specialize in these difficult cases and can perform them much more easily than most dentists. Unlike your dentist, an oral surgeon can also put you to sleep during the procedure to make you more comfortable.
While there are some dentists and periodontists who are capable of inserting dental implants, they typically only work with jawbone implants. Patients with severe jawbone reabsorption who need an alternative procedure, such as zygomatic implants, will need an oral surgeon for the procedure.
Irregularities and Injuries
Jawbone deformities, such as cleft palate and uneven jawbone growth, often require the intervention of an oral surgeon, as do disorders like TMJ. Although crooked teeth and other minor issues can be fixed by an orthodontist, more advanced problems require a surgical approach. Broken jaws and other traumatic injuries also frequently require surgical intervention.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your dentist can create a mouthpiece for you that may help your sleep apnea, but oral surgeons have several other options for treating the problem. They look at exactly what tissue is causing your obstructive apnea and then remove it to permanently eliminate the problem.