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Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

Dentists and oral surgeons are both dental professionals who provide specialized care to patients, but there are differences between the two in terms of the types of procedures they perform and the level of training they receive.


Dentists typically provide preventive care and routine dental treatments, such as cleanings, fillings, and crowns. They also may provide more advanced procedures such as root canal therapy or gum disease treatment. Dentists may refer patients to an oral surgeon for procedures that are beyond their scope of practice or require specialized expertise, such as wisdom teeth removal, jaw surgery, or dental implant placement.

Oral surgeons are dental specialists who have completed additional training beyond dental school in the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the mouth, teeth, and jaws. Oral surgeons typically perform more complex procedures, such as:

  • Removing impacted wisdom teeth

  • Correcting jaw deformities

  • Placing dental implants

  • Reconstructive surgery after injury or cancer treatment

  • Treating facial pain or TMJ disorders

If you are experiencing dental pain or have a dental issue, your first step should be to see a general dentist for an evaluation. Your dentist may be able to provide the necessary treatment, or they may refer you to an oral surgeon for more specialized care. Ultimately, the decision to see a dentist or an oral surgeon will depend on the nature and severity of your condition.

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