When it comes to dental health, it’s important to know when to seek the services of an oral surgeon. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about finding the best oral surgeon, including:
- The difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon
- Tips to find a good oral surgeon
- The average cost of oral surgery
- What to expect during and after oral surgery
Whether you’re experiencing dental pain or simply need a routine procedure, finding the right oral surgeon is key to a successful outcome. So let’s get started on your search for an oral surgeon near me.
What Is An Oral Surgeon?
An oral dental surgeon, also known as a maxillofacial surgeon, is a trained dental medical professional that performs any type of surgery associated with the face. Such professionals mainly diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and defects in the mouth, jaw, and face.
Just like there is a difference between the works of an orthodontist or dentist, an oral and maxillofacial dental specialist has completed additional years of dental training beyond the conventional requirements for dental school. This extra training equips them with the skills to perform complex surgical procedures.
What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?
When visiting your dentist and they notice a complex oral issue, they will most likely recommend you to an oral surgeon.
This is because while dentists can help to treat diseases and injuries associated with the normal functioning of the mouth, they may not be able to assist with more complex issues that affect other aspects of everyday living.
So, what exactly does an oral surgeon dentist do?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat many conditions affecting the mouth, jaw, and face. They can perform surgeries that:
Furthermore, oral surgeons are usually involved in treating complex conditions such as severe temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, oral cancer, and sleep apnea.
How To Obtain A Referral To An Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeon
If you experience a dental issue that requires the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, there are different ways to obtain a referral.
Most patients receive referrals to oral surgeons from their primary dental care professionals.
When you go to your dentist, and they feel like the issue you face can only be handled by an oral surgeon, they will write you a referral letter and guide you on the oral surgeons in their network.
This way, you can be assured that the oral surgeon knows all your dental history and issues from a dentist handling you.
Moreover, you don’t have to be concerned about the expertise of the oral surgeon because if your primary dentist recommends them, you can almost trust them completely.
In other cases, you may also have to search for an oral surgeon by yourself. There are various ways to do this, including getting referrals from your friends and family or simply conducting a quick online search for oral surgeons near you.
When Is Oral Surgery Necessary?
There are many dental problems that your primary dental care provider can easily address. Some issues, like root canals, orthodontics, fillings, and more, don’t require the extensive training and surgery that oral surgeons need to perform.
However, there are some instances where seeking the services of an oral surgeon may become necessary.
For instance, infections and abscesses are the most common reasons patients seek oral surgery. Different types of oral abscesses may necessitate oral surgery, including:
- Gingival abscesses: These are caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. The main signs and symptoms are mostly painful swellings and a lump.
In most cases, these issues can be cured using simple draining procedures or through the gingivectomy process. However, oral surgery may be necessary for more complex instances to remove the infected tissues and promote healing.
- Periapical abscesses: These are caused by a bacterial infection in the tooth’s pulp. This often results in painful swelling at the tip of the tooth’s root. In some other cases, patients may find a pus-filled sac, which usually has to be removed through surgery.
In some cases, a root canal procedure may help prevent the infection from spreading, but oral surgery is usually the last resort when other techniques don’t seem to work.
- Periodontal abscesses: Periodontal abscesses result from a bacterial infection affecting supporting structures of teeth, including the bone, gums, and the periodontal ligament. Such abscesses often cause significant pain and damage not only to teeth but also to surrounding tissues.
Early intervention is always recommended to help prevent the spread and damage of such infections. This is why if you experience such signs and symptoms, seek the services of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Besides the infections, there are some other instances where oral surgery becomes necessary. This includes:
- When you have impacted teeth: This occurs when a tooth fails to emerge from the gums fully or is growing in an abnormal position. Wisdom teeth are usually the most affected, which is why you can get a wisdom teeth removal procedure done by an oral surgeon.
- When you need dental implants: The process of getting dental implants involves a surgical procedure when the post is inserted into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth. This is where the services of an experienced oral surgeon come in handy.
- Jaw disorders: TMJ or jaw misalignment causes significant pain and discomfort. You can correct these issues through oral surgery by adjusting the bite to alleviate pressure on the joints or by repositioning the jaw, which an oral surgeon can do.
- Reconstructive surgery: People that have undergone extensive trauma to the face or mouth may incur significant damage to the bones and soft tissues. You can reconstruct these structures through oral surgery to restore your appearance and functionality.
Other conditions that can achieve proper treatment from oral surgery services are cleft lips and palate treatment and oral cancer.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Oral Surgeon in My Area?
Finding the right dental surgery specialists is crucial when you require oral surgery. Oral surgery is complex, so finding the right practitioner is essential. So, how do you find a qualified oral surgeon in your area?
- Ask for referrals from your dentist or doctor: Your primary healthcare or oral care provider will most likely have a network of other healthcare providers, including an oral surgeon near you. They may be able to provide you with information on some of the surgeons to try out in your area, with some even offering precise referrals on those they would recommend for you.
- Check with your dental insurance provider: Oral surgery can be expensive, and if you have dental insurance, seeking advice from your dental insurer would be a good starting point. Your dental insurance provider may have a list of nearby oral surgeons covered in your plan.
- Check online directories: There are many online directories that you can use to get referrals for local oral surgeons near you. Some platforms like ZocDoc or Yelp have a good oral surgeon directory that can help get top-rated oral surgeons based on reviews from other patients. You can simply search online for a dentist oral surgeon near me or input your local area name to get customized results.
How To Find Emergency Oral Surgeons Near Me
There are various instances that indicate when to see an emergency dentist. If you have a dental emergency that requires immediate surgery or attention, such as a jaw injury, you may need to find an emergency oral surgeon. This is an oral surgeon that accepts and has the capacity to handle emergency cases.
In most instances, emergency oral surgeons can operate at any time of the day or night, which is why they don’t live far away from their practice. When you find yourself in this situation, you can always call your local hospital or dental clinic for referrals.
However, you can also search online for ‘emergency oral surgeon near me’ and browse through the results you get.
The same applies when you are not necessarily in an emergency. Simply search online for ‘oral and maxillofacial surgeon near me’ or ‘oral surgeons in my area’ and go through reviews and websites of each of the oral surgeons shown.
How To Find Pediatric Oral Surgeons Near Me
If your child requires oral surgery, finding an oral surgeon with extensive experience working with children is important.
Pediatric oral surgeons are trained dental oral surgeons specializing in providing safe and effective treatment for children.
A simple online search for ‘pediatric oral surgeon near me’ can get good results. Alternatively, asking your child’s dentist or pediatrician for a referral would suffice.
How Much Does Oral Surgery Cost Near Me?
The total cost of oral surgery significantly varies depending on various factors, including the procedure involved, the surgeon’s experience, and location.
Before scheduling an appointment with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, it would be prudent to know approximately how much you may be expected to part with.
To help you be better prepared, here are some considerations that can affect the total chargeable cost and rough estimates of the cost of common treatments you can find from an oral surgeon.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Oral Surgery
Some of the key factors that can significantly impact the total cost of an oral surgery procedure include:
- Type of Procedure: The type of procedure that you need greatly impacts the total cost of oral surgery. Some procedures, such as jaw reconstruction, may require more time and specialized skills. This makes them typically more costly than less complex procedures like teeth removal.
- Surgeon’s Experience: Just how much does an oral surgeon make? The more experienced an oral surgeon is and the longer they have served, the higher the chances of them charging a lot more for their services.
- Location: It is a no-brainer that oral surgery in urban areas will be more expensive than in rural areas. This is mostly attributed to the overall cost of living in that area and factoring in higher overhead costs and a greater demand for the services.
- Insurance Coverage: Having your insurance pay for your oral surgery can greatly impact how much you pay out-of-pocket for the treatment. However, it would be prudent to discuss with your insurer and determine the extent to which your treatment is covered.
- Additional procedures: Depending on the treatment or surgery being received, you may require additional services or procedures, such as anesthesia, which can add to the overall cost of the surgery.
Cost Estimates For Common Oral Surgery Procedures
The factors above can significantly impact the total cost payable for your oral surgery services. However, here are some cost estimates for common oral surgery procedures that you may need:
|Procedure||Average cost (USD)|
|Dental implants (Single tooth)||$1,500 to $6,000|
|Dental implants (Full mouth)||$40,000+|
|Wisdom teeth removal||$75 to $900 per tooth|
|Jaw reconstruction||$20,000 to $40,000+|
|Biopsies||$100 to $400|
|Root canal||$300 to $2,000+|
|Sinus lift||$1,000 - $5,000|
|Tooth extraction||$75 - $250|
|Gum graft||$600 - $1,200|
|Jawbone graft||$250 - $3,000+|
What To Expect When Visiting An Oral Surgeon
Visiting an oral surgeon for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. It is natural to feel anxious before a procedure. However, by knowing what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, you may be at ease and able to alleviate some of the stress.
Before the procedure, you will have a consultation with the oral surgeon. This is for them to review your issue, review your medical history and examine the mouth. Thanks to the benefits of teledentistry, you don’t necessarily have to be physically there during your consultation.
If it is not an emergency surgery, your oral surgeon will set up the procedure date and give you instructions to adhere to before the surgery. Such instructions may include the foods and drinks to avoid, including medication.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be placed under anesthesia, which can be general or local. You will not feel any pain during the procedure. Once done, your surgeon will provide further instructions on aftercare, including prescribing some antibiotics or painkillers.
Depending on the extent of the procedure, you may be required to rest at the surgeon’s clinic for a few hours before being discharged. You will receive detailed instructions on how to take care of your mouth after the surgery, including medication management, foods to eat and avoid, how to maintain oral hygiene and more. Follow-up appointments may be necessary, depending on the treatment received.
Finding a good oral surgeon should be your priority if you have a dental issue requiring surgery or reconstruction.
In most cases, your primary dental care provider or healthcare provider may refer you to an oral surgeon, but performing a simple online search for ‘oral maxillofacial surgeon near me’ can help you get good local oral surgeons that can meet your needs.
Ensure that you have a clearer understanding of your condition and know the approximate cost to be on the safe side financially.
The period taken to heal from oral surgery depends on the type and complexity of the procedure performed. However, healing after oral surgery generally takes 2-3 weeks.
Although anesthesia is used in most procedures like implant dentistry, the level of pain experienced mostly depends on the type of anesthesia and the individual’s pain tolerance. Some patients experience pain and discomfort after the procedure, often managed through prescribed pain medication.
Oral surgery is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified and experienced oral surgeon.
Many countries have highly skilled and experienced oral surgeons who can perform a wide range of procedures. The best country for oral surgery may depend on individual preferences, such as cost, language barriers, or proximity to home.