When To Visit An Oral Surgeon

When to visit an oral surgeon

It seems to happen to most people at one time or another, they get a toothache that sticks around for weeks. Eventually, you give up hoping that it’ll go away, and decide that the pain is bad enough that you need to do something about it. 


Maybe your jaw itself has just been sore for a while, and you’re wondering if there’s something wrong that may be a sign of something more serious. Maybe you just lost a tooth recently. 


Should you call your dentist? What about an oral surgeon? How do you know who to call, and when?

Dentist First

If you have any issues with teeth, gums, and even your jaws, you will need to go see a dentist, even if the pain is only in the general mouth area of the face. Even in an emergency, shoot for a dentist even if it’s not necessarily your dentist.


If you go to an urgent care center or even the ER, the best you are going to get is maybe some pain medication and being told to see a dentist. On top of this, a general medical environment like the ER will probably cost you 3 or 4 times what the procedure would cost with a dentist.


The point is, your dentist can handle most issues that you are going to be at risk of having. They will be able to diagnose and handle most oral problems. However, if they feel that you will be best served by an oral surgeon, they will be able to recommend one or get you a referral in some situations.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Sometimes, your dentist will recommend you speak with a maxillofacial surgeon. They specialize in dentistry that affects the face and jaws, often to treat diseases or injuries of the areas around the mouth.


Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have training and schooling beyond what is required to successfully practice dentistry. Many of the best oral and maxillofacial surgeons also obtain an MD along with the diploma needed to become oral surgeons. This includes putting in a minimum of 4 years of training in a surgical residency program, side by side with other medical students of varying specialties.

Common Areas Of Oral & Maxillofacial Sugery

Impacted Teeth

Very common with wisdom teeth, but known to happen elsewhere as well. This is where the teeth become crowded and painful.

Dental Implants

If you need to have dental implants created and installed, you will have a titanium implant put into your jaw bone, then a crown is attached. These are quite common.

Cancer Treatment

Not just cancers of the mouth, either. Oral surgeons can assist in the treatment of cancers of the head, neck, sinuses, throat, larynx, and even salivary glands.

Oral Surgeons In St. George, Utah

If you are looking for an oral surgeon in the St. George area, reach out to one of the leaders in facial surgery, the Oral & Facial Surgery Institute, or call at (435) 383-5392. 


The 4 Most Common Oral Surgeries

The 4 Most Common Oral Surgeries

Dental issues are a common concern among different demographics. In fact, they are capable of interrupting your normal daily life to the extent that they restrict most of your day-to-day activities. Why is that? For starters, most oral concerns occur because they cause a great deal of pain. They can affect different parts of the mouth, such as a small part of the gum or the entire face (i.e., jaw) hurting.

Besides, did you know that almost two-thirds of the adult population in the United States made dental visits in early 2019? To dissect these numbers and find out the different procedures that were conducted, here are some of the most common oral surgeries that take place.

Common Oral Surgeries


  • Dental Implants

Dental implants involve the replacement of natural teeth (or tooth) with artificial and specifically crafted teeth (or tooth). It is a prolonged oral surgery that requires many breaks. Thus, you end up making frequent visits until completion. 

Your general dentist or orthodontist inserts a singular post (sometimes a full post) into the jawbone to act as plates for the replacement teeth (or tooth). Commonly, dental implants occur when visible teeth in the mouth are lost. Additionally, jaw bone structure and alignment benefit from dental implants. Consequently, after the dental implants (artificial teeth or tooth) affix onto the posts, you regain adequate chewing function.

  • Wisdom Teeth

You must be familiar with the wisdom teeth (or tooth) removal process, right? Stats suggest that this is a common nuisance for adults, especially those in the age group 17-20. Wisdom teeth are the third molars or the additional molars at the back of your mouth.

They provide extensive chewing power upon growth. In rare cases, they may not emerge at all. For a fact, after their emergence and growth, it is possible for them to wear down your back teeth. Simply, wisdom teeth removal becomes important when additional molars start misaligning the jawbone and crowd against other teeth.

Conversely, this oral surgery is a relatively common procedure, and patients recover within the span of a few days.  

  • Tooth Extraction

Normally, tooth extraction is among highly performed dental and oral surgeries. It generally involves the removal/ extraction of a certain tooth or teeth from your mouth. Essentially, your general dentist or orthodontist may use local anesthetics to sedate you during oral surgery.

Common causes for tooth extraction include deep decay, impacted tooth, chipped tooth, infections, gum diseases, jawbone deformity, etc. This oral surgery requires expertise and follow-ups with a cavity cleanse and sutures after tooth extraction.

  • Oral Bone Grafting

When the bone in your jaw isn’t sufficient, you may require an oral bone graft. What is a bone graft? To put in simple words, it is the addition of bone material from one part of the body (where there is ample bone tissue) to another (where there is a lack of ample bone tissue or support, e.g., jaw).

Occasionally, synthetic bone comes in handy, while a majority of orthodontists stick to simple bone extraction and insertion from one part of the body to another. For one, if a dental implant requires a steady and robust jawbone structure to hold the post, this oral surgery is ideal. 


Are you wondering if your oral conditions will require such surgeries? Well, you shouldn’t wait to experience agonizing pain. Book your appointment today with the Oral & Facial Surgery Institute. Dr. Shawn B. Davis, DMD, is a compassionate, helpful, experienced, and highly skilled dental surgeon. Give us a call at (435) 220-2095 to set a schedule.

Reference Links:

  1. https://www.bls.gov/oes/2018/may/oes291022.htm
  2. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/oral-surgery
  3. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/oral-health/7-common-types-of-oral-surgery
  4. https://www.dentalassociates.com/our-services/oral-surgery/oral-surgery-procedures
  5. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/gum-disease/gum-surgery-what-do-i-need-to-know