Why Should I See An Oral Surgeon?

Were you advised to seek an oral surgeon but need clarification on what an oral surgeon is? Don’t worry! Northwest Arkansas Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help by explaining to you what we are and what we do.

What Is An Oral Surgeon?

Oral surgeons like our very own Dr. McDonough and Dr. Phillips, also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are dental specialists trained to diagnose and treat complex conditions of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face. After completing dental school, they undergo an additional four to six years of surgical residency, working alongside medical residents in areas like general surgery, anesthesiology, and plastic surgery. This extensive training equips them to handle a wide range of procedures, from wisdom teeth removal and dental implants to corrective jaw surgery and facial trauma repair. Their expertise also extends to treating oral cancers, cysts, tumors, and some facial cosmetic procedures. With their unique blend of dental and surgical skills, oral surgeons play a pivotal role in ensuring comprehensive care for patients’ oral and facial health needs.

How Do Oral Surgeons Differ From Dentists?

Oral surgeons embark on a rigorous educational journey that sets them apart in the dental field. Their foundation begins with a standard dental degree but doesn’t stop there. Following dental school, they commit to an additional four to six years of surgical residency in an accredited oral and maxillofacial surgery program. During this intensive period, they train alongside medical residents in various disciplines, including general surgery, anesthesiology, and even plastic surgery. This multidisciplinary approach equips them with a comprehensive understanding of both the dental and medical aspects of the oral and facial regions.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons gain hands-on experience treating complex dental conditions, performing intricate surgical procedures, and managing facial traumas. Their training also delves deep into the safe administration of anesthesia, ensuring patient comfort during surgical procedures. By the end of their residency, oral surgeons are not just dental specialists but expertly trained surgeons adept at handling the complexities of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Have you been advised to see an oral surgeon but have no clue what they are or do? We're covering why you should see an oral surgeon.

What Do Oral Surgeons Do?

We operate at the intersection of dentistry and medicine, addressing various conditions spanning both domains. Our work often involves collaboration with other specialists, such as orthodontists or ENT specialists. In essence, the scope of an oral surgeon’s work is vast, ensuring comprehensive care for a myriad of oral and facial challenges, but let’s get a little more detailed.

Complex Health Issues 

Oral surgeons address intricate and challenging dental problems. Their specialized training and vast experience position them to tackle issues beyond general dentistry’s scope. One of the most common complexities they handle is impacted teeth, especially wisdom teeth. These teeth can become trapped beneath the gum line, leading to pain, infection, and potential damage to adjacent teeth. Oral surgeons can safely and effectively remove these problematic teeth through surgical intervention.

Beyond impactions, oral surgeons are adept at diagnosing and treating oral cancers. Their expertise is crucial in the early detection of malignant lesions, ensuring timely intervention and better predictive outcomes. Though not cancerous, benign cysts and tumors of the jaw and mouth can also pose significant challenges, potentially leading to bone destruction or displacement of teeth. Oral surgeons skillfully remove these growths, preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

Jaw misalignment, either congenital or due to trauma, is another complex issue addressed by these specialists. They can realign the jaws through orthognathic surgery, improving aesthetics and essential functions like chewing and speaking. When faced with intricate dental dilemmas, oral surgeons are the trusted experts, providing solutions that restore health, functionality, and confidence.

Restorative & Cosmetic Treatment

One of the primary restorative procedures they undertake is dental implant placement. Dental implants offer a durable and natural-looking replacement option for patients with missing teeth. The surgical precision of oral surgeons ensures that these implants are securely anchored into the jawbone, providing a stable foundation for crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Beyond implants, oral surgeons are also skilled in bone grafting procedures, which are essential for patients with bone loss in the jaw. This procedure not only prepares the jaw for future implant placement but also helps in maintaining the facial structure.

On the cosmetic front, oral surgeons can address congenital or acquired facial asymmetries through corrective jaw surgeries. These procedures can dramatically improve facial balance and aesthetics. Additionally, reconstructive surgeries can restore both form and function for patients who’ve suffered facial trauma or injuries, helping them regain their confidence.

Have you been advised to see an oral surgeon but have no clue what they are or do? We're covering why you should see an oral surgeon.

Discover The Difference Oral Surgery Can Make In Your Life!

From addressing severe dental issues to enhancing facial aesthetics, Dr. McDonough and Dr. Phillips ensure that patients receive the highest standard of care. Our commitment to patient well-being and state-of-the-art, modern techniques allow us to make a difference in many people’s lives in Jonesboro. If you’re facing oral or facial challenges, consider Northeast Arkansas Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we’re not just about procedures; we’re about transforming lives, one smile at a time.
Feel free to look around our website to learn more about us, and please contact us if you have any questions! We’re happy to help, and whenever you’re ready, you can click here to schedule an appointment.