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What Does An Oral Surgeon Do?

02 Sep 2020

6 min read

By Dr. Marco Benigni
Specialist Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon takes care of possible surgical problems.

This includes oral pathology such as possible cysts, infections and tumours – benign or malignant. These procedures are mostly performed in a hospital environment.

Types of oral surgery

An oral surgeon can also take care of dental implants, difficult tooth extractions, bone reconstruction procedures and gum reconstructions. 

What is an oral surgeon?

The work of an oral surgeon includes surgically treating the mouth – not just the teeth.

What is the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon?

A dentist is usually a dental surgeon and an oral surgeon takes care of teeth surgically – but also the rest of the mouth.

Oral surgery procedures

My work includes bone reconstruction procedures.

For example, a patient may not have enough bone to place an implant because they had an accident or an infection and lost bone.

In some cases, such as a patient who has had full dentures for 20 years, there will be bone loss because of the pressure on the gum and the bone. 

So patients may have very little bone.

There are some procedures to rebuild the bone so that we can place new implants in the new regenerated bone.

Obviously, most of the time where there’s a lack of bone, there's also a lack of gum. 

If you have to rebuild the bone, you probably need to also rebuild the gum on top of the bone.

So that comes with the bone grafting or after the bone grafting.

And then the final step is the implant placement for the new tooth.

Aside from the surgery, I also restore the implants. In other words, I place the new tooth on the implant.

Dentist referral to oral surgeon

Some dentists refer to me just for the surgical procedures and then they restore the implant – so they put the tooth on the implant.

Other dentists refer to me for the whole treatment.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is wider than just oral surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgery does not just include the mouth but the whole face.

Oral surgery

I'm an oral surgeon so I take care of anything to do with the mouth – the lower third of the face.

A maxillofacial surgeon takes care of the first, second and third sections of the face. 

So if, for example, there's a fracture of the eye and nose area, that's not my field – it’s maxillofacial.