Patients are often referred to an oral surgeon when their dental issue is beyond the scope of a general dentist's experience. Oral surgeons are trained to perform simple and complex tooth extractions, including the removal of wisdom teeth, as well as provide care for accident victims who need reconstructive dental surgery. All dentists must first earn a bachelor's degree and then attend dental school. After graduating from dental school, they must pass a licensing exam to become a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).
Both are types of general dentistry. Specialists play an important role in the world of dentistry, offering specialized care in a variety of fields. An oral medicine specialist is a dentist who has completed additional training that allows them to specialize. This advanced education allows them to adopt a variety of diagnostic and management approaches.
Thanks to their specialized training, an oral medicine specialist has considerable knowledge of many medical conditions affecting the orofacial region. They can use highly specialized techniques and often diagnose and treat oral pathologies, disorders and diseases that require specialized skills and knowledge. Dentists without formal residency or postdoctoral training are known as general dentists, while those who complete postdoctoral residencies become specialists in their respective fields. These areas include orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics and oral surgery.
Specialists have been trained to perform all of the same procedures as general dentists, but they generally limit their offices to working only on procedures within their specialty. In addition, a dentist can refer you to a surgeon for complicated procedures. In conclusion, all dentists have either a DDS or DMD degree. However, this does not mean that all dentists are oral surgeons.
General dentists can take care of most dental needs, but if you have an issue that requires specialized care, it is best to visit an oral medicine specialist.