When you need to undergo a surgical procedure in your mouth, your general dentist often refers you to an oral surgeon. Other specialists also refer their patients to oral and maxillofacial surgeons because they specialize in treating specific conditions of the face, neck, and mouth. Oral surgeons spend upwards of 7 or 8 years in college and dental school. They earn either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree and sometimes go on to complete additional schooling and earn other degrees.
What’s the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon?
Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health. Their responsibilities include diagnosing oral diseases, creating treatment plans, interpreting X-rays and diagnostic tests, monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws, and more. Typically when an oral surgery procedure needs to be done, this falls outside of a dentist’s typical realm of work and they refer patients to an oral surgeon. A dentist can begin his or her career after dental school, but an oral surgeon spends an additional four to six years of training after earning a dental degree. This is known as a residency and is a hospital-based surgical environment that lasts several years to give oral surgeons hands-on training in a professional medical environment.
Oral surgeons undergo specialized training in the safe administration of IV sedation, so they are experts with anesthesia and how to use it safely and effectively during procedures. Oral surgeons are also exposed to a wide range of complications that may arise from performing various dental procedures. Some dentists may feel comfortable performing these procedures and assuming the risks that may be involved, but many put their trust in oral surgeons because they have the surgical training and background necessary to manage complications that arise during a procedure.
Expert Oral Surgery Care with Dr. Bobst
Dr. Scott Bobst earned a DDS degree from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and spent the following five years at MetroHealth Medical Center. Here, he gained extensive hands-on experience in oral and maxillofacial procedures and developed a special interest in full-mouth reconstruction using dental implants. His years and extensive knowledge of oral surgery make Dr. Bobst a highly capable and qualified oral surgeon.
To learn about how Dr. Bobst can benefit you and your family’s smile, contact our office in Boise, ID, to schedule a consultation. We look forward to providing you with exemplary care.