An oral surgeon (often referred to as maxillofacial surgeon) is trained in a highly specialized area of dentistry and medicine intended to treat major oral health problems, such as addressing and reconstructing defects and injuries of the jaw, neck, and face. Some of the most common procedures conducted by an oral surgeon include the extraction of wisdom teeth and the replacement of missing teeth using dental implants.
While any mention of the word “surgery” may make you think of hospitals and overnight stays, the majority of oral surgeries can actually be done on an outpatient basis in the oral surgeon’s professional office.
As dental specialists, oral surgeons complete not only four years of dental school, they also spend four years in a hospital-based surgery residency program. This intensive training teaches oral surgeons alongside other medical residents, helping them master techniques in general surgery, anesthesiology, and emergency medicine.
An oral surgeon focuses on problems involving the soft and hard tissues of the mouth, jaws, and face and usually operate in a private office environment. If your dentist suspects that you have a jaw alignment problem, intense sleep apnea, or need a practiced hand to deal with your wisdom teeth extraction, you will be referred to an oral surgeon.
While many dentists are capable of performing common types of oral surgery, such as simple extractions, patients are referred to oral surgeons for the treatment of serious and severe oral health conditions. Any complex procedure that requires deep levels of sedation or more invasive treatment will often find a patient visiting an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for the expertise and experience of the oral surgeon, their specialized level of care, and the option to undergo sedation dentistry.
Oral surgeons are uniquely positioned to treat patients in a variety of situations and are the only health care specialists, apart from anesthesiologists, who are able to administer all levels of sedation, up to general anesthesia.
Conditions Treated by an Oral Surgeon
Patients are referred to an oral surgeon for the treatment of the following conditions, among others:
Dr. William Thompson is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon as well as a medical doctor. As a doctor of dental surgery, Dr. Thompson is a board-certified member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS). By focusing on oral surgery, the staff of iCare in Commerce, Michigan, is able to offer a distinct and high level of care for its unique patients.
When your dentist refers you to an oral surgeon, you may have questions about what exactly an oral surgeon is and does. Your visit with Dr. Thompson will be informative, clear, and put your mind at ease about the oral surgery in your future. If you live in the Commerce Township, MI, area, you may find yourself at the practice of Dr. Thompson