What's the Difference Between a Dentist and a Dental Surgeon?

Learn about the differences between dentists and dental surgeons and how to choose the right professional for your needs.

What's the Difference Between a Dentist and a Dental Surgeon?

When it comes to dental care, there are two main types of professionals: dentists and dental surgeons. While both are responsible for maintaining a patient's oral health, there are some key differences between the two. Dentists are primary care physicians who provide general treatments, while dental surgeons specialize in more complex procedures and surgeries. The amount of training required to become a dental surgeon is much more intensive than that of a dentist.

After completing general dentistry training, oral surgeons spend an additional four to eight years specializing in oral surgery. This additional specialty includes intensive training that prepares them to become experts in the practice of oral surgery and a wide range of dental procedures. Dental surgeons are equipped to handle more complex surgeries and extractions, such as wisdom teeth, as well as dental implants, jaw joint problems, facial pain, and more. On the other hand, dentists are responsible for providing general dental care for patients, such as talking to them about their oral health, fixing cavities, ordering dentures, taking x-rays, and prescribing medications.

When it comes to choosing between a dentist and a dental surgeon, it's important to consider your individual needs. If you have a simple tooth extraction or implant placement, you may have the option of seeing either a dentist or an oral surgeon. However, if you have a more complex condition that requires surgery or extraction, it's best to see an oral surgeon. If you're not sure whether you need to see a dentist or an oral surgeon, it's best to visit your dentist first.

They can assess your situation and recommend the best course of action for your individual needs.