The difference between a general dentist and an oral surgeon is that the latter is trained to remove wisdom teeth using intravenous sedation. Wisdom teeth, those distant molars, can be removed using traditional extraction if they are completely erupted and many dentists, including those at Southview Dentistry, can do this in the office. However, if the teeth are impacted, meaning they only partially come out or are still completely below the gum line when they hit the adjacent tooth, creating a tooth jam, then they must be surgically removed. Always visit your dentist first for an evaluation, but be prepared to be referred to an oral surgeon if a wisdom tooth is impacted.
If it doesn't have room to grow (impacted wisdom tooth), causing pain, infection, or other dental problems, you may need to remove it. Wisdom tooth extraction can be done by a dentist or oral surgeon. Most general dentists are qualified to extract teeth and many perform simple extractions. However, when it comes to removing wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, most dentists refer their patients to an oral surgeon. Your dentist will give you an anesthetic and remove the tooth if it is fully erupted.
For more complicated extractions that require sedation, your dentist may refer you to a specialist surgeon working in a hospital. Some dentists recommend leaving them alone, but that is an option that should only be considered by people without signs of any oral health problems. Southview Dentistry can refer you to a surgeon for extractions that are complicated and require sedation, but in-office dentists can perform easier extractions. Occasionally, a person's general dentist will not be able to remove wisdom teeth because of their office space or their own comfort.
Usually, these situations require complete anesthesia (making you fall asleep completely) and a more advanced surgical procedure than your family dentist can do. Dental specialists disagree on the value of removing impacted wisdom teeth that do not cause problems (asymptomatic). Southview Dentistry is experienced, modern and offers the most current dental procedures. If you have any questions about wisdom teeth removal or any other dental procedure, contact Southview Dentistry today.