Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Should I See a Dentist or an Oral Surgeon?

Why an Oral Surgeon is better suited to extract your Wisdom teeth

When you need to have a wisdom tooth extraction, you will likely be faced with making the decision to go to a regular dentist for it or to go to an oral surgeon. Although both professionals may be able to remove a wisdom tooth, you may want to rethink who will do the job.


Why Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, will usually come in last. Other teeth are already in, and the wisdom teeth will usually erupt (appear) between the ages of 17 and 21. The lower jaw bone, which usually has more problems with wisdom teeth, is often too small to allow the wisdom teeth to come in. Because the space is too small, the wisdom teeth can cause problems. 

Even if a wisdom tooth does not cause pain right away, they still can develop cavities and may suffer from periodontal disease or become abscessed. If periodontitis develops, it could cause bone or gum loss. The neighboring teeth may also become affected by it and could be moved out of alignment. 


Problems with Wisdom Teeth Removal

When a dentist or oral surgeon is going to extract a wisdom tooth, or more than one, he or she can run into problems. These will vary with each person, and some people will not have any. Others will have very complicated problems. 

In some cases, the tooth can become impacted. This means that it does not actually appear above the gums. The tooth could come in sideways or at an angle that may damage neighboring teeth. They may also be completely encased in bone, making removal much more difficult. 


Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

A dentist can usually pull a wisdom tooth. They will numb the jaw and perform the extraction. An oral surgeon, on the other hand, has a lot more experience in pulling wisdom teeth and handling the more difficult situations. After they have received their dentist degree, they will often train for another five or six years, dealing mostly with extracting wisdom teeth – making them the real experts in this field.


The Sedation Advantage

A regular dentist is not able to put you to sleep. This is because they do not have the training or license for it. An oral surgeon can put you completely to sleep so that you do not feel anything or are even aware that the surgery took place. For those who may be fearful of the dentist chair or dentists, this could be the ideal way to go. You could even have all four wisdom teeth pulled at the same time if you desire it. 


The Best Time to Remove Wisdom Teeth

The best time to have impacted wisdom teeth removal is before you reach 25 years of age. After that, the roots of the teeth will grow very close to the lingual nerve. This makes it very difficult for the dentist to remove the tooth without damaging the nerve, or increasing the risk of severing it. A severed nerve could cause a wide range of problems, including a change in taste, eating, and speech. While problems caused by an injured nerve are usually temporary, in some cases it could be permanent. 


Getting Checked for Wisdom Teeth Problems

In order to determine if you have – or will have – a problem with wisdom teeth, it is necessary to have an x-ray. The dentist or oral surgeon will be able to look at the x-ray and know whether there is currently a problem or will be one. From what they see in the x-ray, they will be able to say if you need one or more extracted, or if you could simply leave them alone. 

If a dentist suspects that there may be difficulties in getting wisdom teeth out, or that the roots are too close to the nerve, you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon. Because of their greater experience and training, oral surgeons are better prepared to handle possible difficulties. It may also mean faster healing because of a more precise technique. 


Symptoms That Wisdom Teeth Surgery Is Needed

One of the most common indications that a wisdom tooth needs removal is jaw pain. Along with it, there is apt to be red or swollen gums, and possibly a swollen jaw. You will also likely have bad breath and a nasty taste in your mouth. You may also have difficulty opening your mouth. 

When considering who you want to perform your wisdom tooth extraction, you need to know that it is not necessary to have a recommendation to see an oral surgeon for the task. You can simply walk into their office or call to make an appointment. 


If you need to have a wisdom tooth extraction and are looking for an oral surgeon to do it, ToothHQ Board Certified Periodontists can help you. Our offices are located in the Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mockingbird/SMU, and Grapevine, TX areas. For a FREE consultation about your wisdom teeth, you can contact our office today at 214-731-0123. We accept all major Dental insurances