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Oral Surgeon versus General Dentist

Maintaining a healthy mouth is easy to do when you visit your dentist regularly, generally every six months unless otherwise specified by your dental care team. When faced with a problem or irritation in your mouth, your first step is to pay a visit to your family dentist. Once your dentist has a chance to speak with you and examine your teeth, they may decide the best care for you to receive would be from an Oral Surgeon cleveland texas.

What do general dentists do?

Your general dentist is almost always your first point of contact when it comes to issues involving your teeth, gums, or jaw. At your dentist’s office, you will receive regular care and maintenance by means of:

  • Preventative cleanings
  • Dental exams
  • X-rays, taken annually
  • Restorative procedures, including fillings, crowns, bridges and dentures
  • Restoration of dental implants (the crown on the implant)

If your dentist finds that you have a problem which requires a specialist, such as a root canal or an implant, they will refer you to the doctor they believe will best suit you.

Do you need a dentist or an oral surgeon?

An Oral Surgeon is a dental professional who has completed dental school and continued their education with an additional four to eight years. While you may believe you need to see an oral surgeon, you still need to speak with your dentist to decide which route of care will be best for you. Some procedures for which you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon include:

  • Extractions, especially wisdom teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Jaw pain and joint disorders
  • Bone grafting
  • Biopsy
  • Removal of jaw tumor
  • Treatment of oral cancer

When deciding which dental professional is going to best serve your needs, consider what type of treatment you are likely to need. Be sure to discuss with your dentist what your goals are for your teeth.

What to expect from oral surgery

Oral surgery is often able to be completed in one day using local anesthetic. At times, depending on the sensitivity of the patient and the treatment plan presented, an intravenous anesthetic may be administered. Before your planned surgery date, begin drinking plenty of water so you are well hydrated as this will help aid in your recovery process. If you are a smoker, it is ideal to cease smoking at least five days before surgery.

Once your treatment is complete, your doctor will give you post operative care instructions which are important to follow for a proper and speedy recovery. Your recovery instructions will include a list of soft foods such as soups, puddings, and baked or mashed potatoes that you will need to eat for a week or so before making the transition back to your regular eating habits. You may also receive prescriptions for pain medication and/or antibiotics. Be sure to follow the directions given to you and finish all antibiotic medication, taking any pain medication only as needed.

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