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Unfortunately, lots of dental conditions require surgery. And that may sound terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be! The right oral surgeon can provide optimal surgical care AND make you feel comfortable. Let’s explore.

Looking for an oral surgeon?

Find a top dentist near you who can get you a referral and the answers you need.

What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery simply means having an operation on your mouth, with some procedures involving more time and effort than others. For instance, maxillofacial surgery is a field of dentistry that deals with jaw surgery or facial surgery. The kind of surgery you need may depend upon your diagnosis and treatment. 

Over the years, advancements in dental health have increased the availability of oral surgery options. You need to find a dentist that’s qualified and trained to perform different kinds of oral surgeries.

Should I see a dentist or an oral surgeon?

All dentists need to go to dental school to receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.

Not all situations are straightforward. You may need to refer to a specialist for complex tooth and jaw procedures that go beyond the expertise of your regular dentist. To practice competently, an oral surgeon needs adequate training in several areas, including oral pathology and anesthesia. If you require oral surgery, your dentist should refer you to an oral surgeon.

Do I need a referral for oral surgery?

In most cases, your insurance won’t cover a procedure unless you can prove it’s medically necessary. A referral from a dentist is usually necessary if you want it covered by your plan. However, every policy is different. Whether you need to use medical or dental insurance will also dictate the need for a referral. We suggest you call your company directly to find out more about what’s required for full coverage.

Looking for an oral surgeon?

Find a top dentist near you who can get you a referral and the answers you need.

What conditions require oral surgery?

Oral surgery can help treat numerous conditions. There are various reasons why a person could need surgical jaw and teeth treatments. Common ones include: 

Good dental health practices ensure your natural teeth stay healthy. But a dentist can help restore, save, and repair any teeth with issues, possibly through a root canal. However, sometimes a dentist will decide to remove a tooth with severe decay, infection, or injury. The procedure is often carried out on-site using a local anesthetic.

Sometimes a person’s jaw is not large enough for the wisdom teeth to grow in properly. Other times, the wisdom teeth fail to emerge in proper alignment or become trapped (or impacted) between the jawbone and the gum tissue. In either case, the wisdom teeth will have to be surgically removed. 

Can delaying wisdom teeth extractions cause problems? Well, in many cases, impacted wisdom teeth can irreversibly damage nearby teeth, gums, and bone. They may even cause cysts or tumors to form, damaging sections of the jaw. 

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However, this can happen to other teeth as well. OPG x-rays can guide dentists on the best possible course of action. 

Your dentist will replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. Not only does it improve oral function and your smile, but it also protects the remaining teeth from damage. A dentist may recommend dentures and bridges if you have several missing teeth. However, if you are looking for a long-term treatment option for a single tooth, dental implants are great alternatives. 

The surgeon will surgically implant a metal post into the jawbone. It will help stabilize the artificial teeth and provide a base for the crown.

  • Maxillofacial surgery

Anyone could need maxillofacial surgery for many reasons. For instance, facial reconstructive surgery can repair a fractured jaw after an injury or accident. Other treatments include unequal jaw growth, cleft lip or cleft palate repair, and sinus issues. Maxillofacial surgeries are often major procedures, requiring hospitalization and IV sedation. 

  • Oral cancer diagnosis

You know how important it is to maintain good oral health. However, if you smoke or use tobacco, you should get annually screened for oral cancer. If your dentist discovers a lesion in your mouth during a checkup, he may write a referral for an oral surgeon and order a biopsy. A lab will analyze it to check for cancer.

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  • Gum and bone grafting

Receding gums is common in people over the age of 50. It’s caused by various reasons, such as tartar buildup, improper brushing, and gum disease. Thankfully, dentists can repair gum recession with gum grafting.

Bone loss in your jaw can negatively affect the health of nearby gums and teeth. A dental bone graft can increase the amount of bone in places where bone loss is evident. A dentist may also perform this procedure when the site of implant placement requires additional support.

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

TMJ is the small joint where the skull meets the lower jaw. TMJ disorders can cause headaches and facial pain. If a patient does not respond to oral medication and physical therapy, treatment may require joint surgery.

Find an oral surgeon near me

Okay, so you know that you will require dental surgery. But how do you go about finding the right dental surgeon? 

Choose an experienced practitioner with sufficient training and clinical expertise. After all, oral surgery has a long-term effect on your health, dental function, and appearance. And you only want an ADA board-certified oral surgeon that has state-of-the-art technology. Moreover, they must offer exceptional care during and after the procedure.

Here are some guidelines that can make this task easier for you: 

Location matters

Often oral surgeries require repeat visits. Try to find an oral surgeon close to home. The last thing you need is a long drive to and from the dentist’s office, especially after an uncomfortable procedure. 

Google dentist surgery near me to help you find surgeons and experts for services you’re looking for. However, remember to search for clinics that accept your insurance coverage. 

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Do your homework

Lots of sites on the internet can rate surgeons and their offices. Take advantage of review sites and check up on what previous patients have to say. You should be looking at bedside manner, aftercare, the professionalism of the entire staff, and much more.

Also, look at the doctor’s education, years of experience, and professional affiliation.

Get recommendations

A good surgeon with extensive experience has built up a reputation for himself over the years. Your regular dentist should recommend an oral surgeon. However, don’t forget to ask your family and friends as well.

Ask your insurance provider

If you’re searching for a cheap oral surgeon near me, make sure to find a surgeon that your insurer covers. Out-of-network doctors tend to cost more. 

Visit your insurance provider’s website or speak to a company representative. They will provide a list of doctors by specialty and give you the address of their offices. Cross-check these names with recommendations and go from there. For instance, if you’re looking for wisdom teeth surgeons, verify your coverage with both the dentist and your insurance provider.

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However, don’t let this limit your choices. 

At the end of the day, select a doctor you trust and one that makes you feel comfortable. A friendly face that communicates with you throughout the entire process can make a world of difference.

How to find emergency oral surgery services

When you’re faced with a dental emergency that needs immediate attention, you’ll need to find a dentist near you fast. A quick internet search will provide you with several options. However, consider reaching out to your regular dentist first. 

How long does oral surgery recovery take?

The recovery period will vary depending upon which oral surgery you have. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication that will help ease your pain and speed up the recovery process.

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Nowadays, many oral surgeries take a couple of hours, and the patient goes home on the same day. A detailed list of post-operative instructions will help you get well in the shortest time possible. However, you should expect at least 2-7 days.

How much does oral surgery cost?

The cost of oral surgery can vary greatly. It depends on your location, the amount of dental insurance you have, the type of anesthesia, and other factors. Here are some average figures:

  • Simple tooth removal: $75–$450
  • Surgical tooth removal: $150–$650
  • Impacted wisdom teeth removal: $225–$600 per tooth
  • Dental implants: $2,400–$3,000

Final thoughts

If you need oral surgery, ask whether the surgeon can treat complex conditions that your ordinary dentist cannot treat. Do your research before making a dentist appointment. If you need comprehensive treatments, call the office phone number. Inquire about the full range of oral surgeries that the facility has to offer. 

More importantly, you need to find one that meets your dental health needs and budget. Always remember to inquire beforehand whether they accept your dental insurance. This can help you manage your long-term oral health needs.