Oral Surgery

Oral surgery refers to any medical procedure performed on the mouth with specific regard to the teeth, jaw, and/or gums.  Depending on the type of procedure being performed, it may be done by your general dentist in their office (a tooth extraction, for example), or by an oral surgeon in a hospital or clinic setting (such as the removal of wisdom teeth or dental implants, depending on the type of implant and the technique being used).

General Dentist vs Oral Surgeon

General dentist

A general dentist has one of two degrees:  Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).  While it might seem confusing, both degrees mean the same thing. A person who holds either degree has received the same education.

The university that the dentist graduated from determines which degree is awarded.  However, they carry the same weight.  While a dentist does not specialize in oral surgery, they are trained in specific procedures.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

This type of surgeon specializes in surgical procedures of the face, mouth and jaw area.  Some other common procedures performed by these surgeons include dental implants, tooth extractions and complex extractions.  They also provide soft tissue biopsies, removal of tumors, implant positioning, complex jaw realignment and jaw bone fractures.

Many oral surgeons will complete a surgical residency to gain more experience with complex surgeries.  They also usually have additional training to carry out intravenous (IV) sedation and anesthesia.

Can general dentists perform oral surgery?

While oral surgeons perform surgical and extensive procedures on patients to improve their overall oral health, general dentists can also perform limited oral surgery procedures for their patients.  This is convenient for patients who would rather have their primary dentist perform any necessary oral surgeries.

oral surgery procedures that general dentists can perform

Here are two common types of oral surgery that general dentists can perform.  All dental patients will be given local anesthesia, so they do not feel discomfort for any of the following surgical procedures.

Tooth extractions

General dentists can perform both simple tooth extractions and complex tooth extractions.  While the tooth that needs to be extracted can be any tooth, wisdom teeth are most commonly extracted.  The standard type of extraction that a general dentist will perform is a simple tooth extraction, which means that the tooth can be seen above the gum line and is thus easier to extract.

Dental implants

Many general dentists are offering dental implants as a tooth replacement option to their patients, making dental implant surgery one of the most common types of surgical procedures that they can perform.  When a patient chooses an implant to replace a missing tooth, the implant needs to be surgically inserted into their jawbone.  Once the implant has fully healed, the dentist will place a crown over the implant, which allows for a new and natural-looking tooth.

Are you in need of oral surgery?

Want to make an appointment with our general dentist so you can know for sure whether you are in need of an oral surgical procedure?  When you make your first consultation appointment, you will undergo a thorough evaluation.  This allows us to understand what procedures you need, if any, in order to be in good oral health.  If you happen to require oral surgery in order to experience good oral health, the entire procedure will be explained to you. Feel free to call us if you have any questions reguarding oral surgery!


At the end of the day, almost every dentist can perform basic oral surgical procedures.  They have the training to handle patients’ daily needs. When determining which dental care proceure is best for you, it is best to consult your trusted dental professional.  From there, they can come up with a personalized treatment plan to assess your needs, or refer you to a specialist to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.

Schedule An Appointment

Allowing us to make our patients life easier, we offer appointments starting at 9:00am and also have some after school hours to meet your scheduling needs.  To request an appointment contact us at (973) 729-0233 .