When you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, you know you must see a dentist. But what kind of dentist? Many people think their general dentist should be able to take care of it. But they could not be more wrong! It would be like going to your family doctor and asking them to do a heart bypass! Not exactly a good idea. In my book, ‘The Wise Guide to Wisdom Teeth Extraction’, I give a detailed description of the procedure and why it demands proper knowledge and skills to perform well. So here are 5 reasons why you should specifically see an oral surgeon (also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeon) for extraction of your wisdom teeth:
- Expert advice: With extensive experience and expertise, an oral surgeon can better inform you about the condition of your wisdom teeth, what problems they may be causing, and what is the best course of treatment for long-term health. You want someone with in-depth knowledge about wisdom teeth to help you make informed decisions.
- Faster and smoother recovery: Qualified oral surgeons use conservative surgical techniques and perform the procedure in much less time than a general dentist. In fact, in most patients, the extraction of all four wisdom teeth can be done in 20-30 minutes by an oral surgeon. This translates into a faster and a smoother recovery. Most patients can get back to work or school within a couple of days. In addition, if the oral surgeon uses a micro-incision approach, you might also experience no swelling or puffiness–none at all! That brings smiles to many happy patients.
- Sleep anesthesia (IV sedation): Oral surgeons are the only type of dentist who are trained and qualified to provide IV sedation anesthesia. With this technique, you will take a short nap during the procedure and wake up immediately when it is done. It makes the entire experience comfortable and amazingly smooth. In a general dentist’s office, the best you can get is local anesthesia while you feel and hear the whole procedure.
- Done right the first time: Why go through the surgery with a general dentist and potentially get stuck in the middle of the procedure with prolonged pain and agony! Yes, this happens all the time. In a recent patient, the dentist got stuck trying to remove the wisdom teeth for 2 hours with no success. Finally, he had to call us to complete the procedure. Needless to say, the patient lost confidence in that dentist and never went back.
- Less complications: The inexperience and lack of skills of a general dentist in wisdom teeth surgery often results in complications, such as infection, dry socket, or nerve damage. Such complications are preventable. Oral surgeons, with their extensive experience and knowledge in principles of surgery, can remove wisdom teeth with minimal risks of such complications.
So, if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed and your general dentist says they can do it, let them know YOU can’t without an oral surgeon!