What is the Difference Between Dental Surgery and Oral Surgery?

What is the Difference Between Dental Surgery and Oral Surgery?

Feb 01, 2023

Dental surgery and oral surgery are all medical procedures performed on the teeth and mouth by medical professionals. Even though both can handle tooth extractions and general surgeries in the mouth, an oral surgeon can handle more complex surgeries and risky tooth extractions, such as wisdom teeth.

Oral surgery is a dental specialty. To qualify as an oral surgeon, you must complete a 4-year degree in dentistry and an additional 4-years residency program for hospital oral and maxillofacial surgery. An oral surgeon can diagnose, treat and perform surgery on issues affecting the face, jaws, head, neck, and hard and soft oral tissues.

If you require a basic tooth extraction or implant placement, you will likely require a dentist to perform the procedure, usually classified as dental surgery. Suppose you have complex problems in the mouth, such as congenital disabilities, wisdom teeth complications, facial injuries, misaligned teeth, bone loss in the jaw, and retained teeth. In that case, you will require an oral surgeon to perform the associated complex dental procedures. If you have any of these problems, you would be better off visiting an oral surgeon near you.

Dentists are readily available in most areas, unlike oral surgeons. However, it’s good to note that most services offered by an oral surgeon are readily available at a general dentist. The dentist undergoes specialized training to treat many conditions affecting the face, mouth, and jaws. If you require oral surgery, you must get a well-experienced practitioner. Neeshat S. Khan specializes in oral surgery and is also a dental surgeon in San Jose, CA.

Oral Surgical Procedures

  • Dental bone grafts – it’s performed when significant bone loss has occurred in your jaw. It usually happens when there are missing teeth in the jaw. It restores the density and volume of your jaw for implants to sit on.
  • Dental implants – implants are placed when natural teeth are lost. They are the most reliable teeth replacement option available at the moment.
  • Periodontal grafts – in cases of severe gum disease, gum recession sets in. Grafts are performed by reinforcing the section of tissue loss using donor tissues.
  • Corrective jaw surgery – is performed to address abnormalities of your jaw bones. It improves the performance of the teeth, such as chewing and speech control.
  • Teeth extractions – are the most common oral surgical procedure.

Why Would You Need Oral Surgery?

You might need an oral surgeon when you require complex dental procedures such as implants or tumor treatment in the jaws. Furthermore, you might need oral surgery to address cosmetic and reconstructive needs in the teeth and mouth. Conditions that may necessitate the services of an oral surgeon include;

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Issues with your wisdom teeth
  • Temporal mandibular Jaw disorder (TMJ/TMD)
  • Palate and cleft lip surgery
  • Missing teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Badly broken/damaged tooth
  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Cancer in the jaw, neck area, or face

What is the Most Common Oral Surgery?

Tooth extraction is the most common type of oral surgery. A tooth extraction is usually necessary when removing milk teeth in children and when there is severe tooth decay, dental trauma, wisdom teeth complications, and gum disease in adults. In adults, most tooth extractions are performed to pave the way for dentures and other prosthetic devices.

Most dental practitioners prioritize saving natural teeth if there is the slightest chance of saving them. However, in particular cases, extractions are necessary to preserve other teeth and maintain your oral health. In most cases, wisdom teeth extraction is usually a preventative measure to minimize the risk of cavities, gum infection, bone loss, and other problems.

What is Dental Surgery Called?

Dental surgery is called endodontics. It only deals with injuries and diseases affecting the pulp of the tooth. An endodontist is a dental specialist who only deals with root canal treatments and all other endodontic therapies.


When you have problems with your mouth and teeth, visiting a dentist is always advisable. Once the dentist diagnoses the problem, they may treat it or refer you to an oral surgeon if it’s beyond their scope of treatment. Visiting a dental clinic immediately after you notice the first signs is always beneficial since it reduces the risk of losing your tooth.



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