Why Choose an Oral Surgeon?

When it comes to oral surgery, a dentist will refer a patient to an oral surgeon when necessary dental work is outside of their general practice scope. But what makes an oral surgeon different or more qualified to perform the procedure than a dentist?


What’s the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon?


Both dentists and oral surgeons complete four years of undergrad before attending dental school, where they complete an additional four years of schooling. Future dentists take classes in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, and oral anatomy, pathology, and histology as well as complete several years of clinical work. Following dental school, oral surgeons complete an additional minimum of four years in a hospital-based surgical residency program specializing in becoming an oral surgeon.


Most oral surgeons complete an average total of 12 to 14 years of schooling at the college level and beyond before beginning their practice.


In our practice, Dr. Hairr received his undergrad at NC State University, graduated from the Dental School at the University of Tennessee, and completed his Oral Surgery Residency at the University of Florida, spending four years at each school.


Dentists will also generally focus on basic dental exams, fillings, crowns, sealants, root canals, and gum care. Oral surgeons, in comparison, specialize in things like wisdom teeth removal, bone grafting to jaws, sinus grafts, jaw fractures, removal of cysts of tumors, jaw surgery, biopsies, Deep IV Sedation, and complicated implant cases.


My dentist can perform the procedure in his or her office—why should I see an oral surgeon instead?


An oral surgeon is better suited to be able to manage any complications that may arise from a surgery that he or she performs. While a dentist may feel comfortable performing a dental surgery procedure on you, he or she may not be able to manage the possible complications. Oral surgeons have completed the additional schooling and training to make them experts in their field and, because they perform these types of surgeries on a daily basis, they are extremely familiar and proficient in the procedure.


In his Oral Residency, Dr. Hairr saw and dealt with the worst of the worst situations and saw a wide range of conditions. He is more aware of how medical problems and medications can affect treatment. He was taught to recognize and quickly deal with complications that may arise during any procedure performed in our office, ensuring positive outcomes for each of our patients.


In addition, our team is extensively trained in anesthesia and we can help even the most nervous and anxious patients feel calm and at ease in our office.


At the end of the day, your dentist will refer you to the oral surgeon that they trust for any dental procedure that they feel an oral surgeon would be better suited for. If your dentist refers you to our office, give us a call, and we’ll happily schedule a consultation with you to walk you through the process and help you feel at ease about your procedure.