What Is the Difference Between A Dentist and An Oral Surgeon?

oral surgeon vs dentist what's the differenceGeneral dentists and oral surgeons are both medical professionals who treat affections of the teeth, the gums and the mouth, but the treatments they perform are quite different and so is the training they need to pursue. Here are some of the most important differences between the two types of specialists:

  • Education – both types of specialists attend dental school, but the dentists who want to become oral surgeons need to attend further specialization after dental school, in the form of a 4-6 years of clinical residency and other training courses. To be allowed to practice, oral surgeons need to take a board certification exam;
  • The scope of practice – while general dentists are primary care providers, the most common treatments they perform being simple extractions, gum care, professional cleaning, root canal treatments and the application of fillings, oral surgeons perform treatments that exceed the competence of general dentists. Oral surgeons usually perform complicated extractions, such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth and other surgical interventions to remove benign or malignant growths in the mouth, jaw correction and facial reconstruction surgeries and the installation of dental implants. The patients treated by North Suburban oral surgeon are usually referred to them by general dentists.