“You need to have your wisdom teeth out,” your dentist informs you during your six-month checkup, handing you a referral slip to an oral surgeon. Wait a minute . . . an oral surgeon? If you’ve built a great deal of trust and confidence in your general dentist over the years, you may feel reluctant to go elsewhere to have your wisdom teeth removed.
So why go to a specialist to remove your wisdom teeth? Here are five reasons:
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in wisdom teeth extractions, a procedure they do routinely, thus giving them a greater level of expertise than a general dentist who may only remove wisdom teeth occasionally. Some general dentists don’t handle wisdom teeth extractions at all.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete formal training that prepares them for even the most complicated wisdom teeth extractions. After dental school, they complete a minimum of four years in hospital-based surgical residency programs. Here, they train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology, while also spending time in emergency medicine, plastic surgery and otolaryngology. Their training focuses on the bone, skin and muscle of the face, mouth and jaws.
- With any surgery, there is a certain risk of complications. And an oral surgeon is best equipped to handle them. As part of their formal training, they learn how to manage complications that may arise from extracting wisdom teeth, including infection, maxillary sinus issues, bleeding and nerve injury.
- If you have complicating health issues, such as diabetes, or if your wisdom teeth are abscessed or impacted, you will clearly benefit from the expertise of an oral surgeon.
- If you have a high level of anxiety about having your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll feel reassured to know that oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. Our patients’ comfort and relaxation is our priority, and we provide a variety of sedative options at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona.