Oral Surgeon vs. Dentist

Oral Surgeon vs. Dentist

Many people think dentists and oral surgeons do the same job. Well, that’s not the case. A dentist will specifically deal with your oral health and treatment. This may include tooth extraction, cleaning, surgeries, grafting of bones, and cavity filling, etc. A dentist may refer a patient to an oral surgeon in case the diagnosis or treatment falls outside their practice.

For instance, a dentist may refer a patient to an oral surgeon for wisdom tooth removal, depending upon the medical condition. So, an oral surgeon will provide health services, diagnoses, and treatments that are beyond a dentist’s scope of work.

The Dentist

A dentist will complete four years of under-graduation school. Thereafter, they get enrolled in a dental school to complete their four or five years of education. Next, they will get a DDS, i.e., Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, or they may receive a DMD, i.e., Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.

Dentist’s Portfolio

Dentists mostly practice in a private clinic, or they may join a group office or hospital. They will deal with general teeth health. A dentist will take great care of your teeth, gums, and mouth.

A dentist will:

  • Do a routine dental check-up
  • Perform diagnosis on teeth, gums, and mouth-related issues
  • Suggest remedial medication
  • Perform teeth fillings and apply sealants
  • Execute roots canal, depending on patient’s health
  • Suggest or advise dental crowns, bridges, etc.
  • Perform tooth extractions
  • Use x-rays to determine oral health and proceed with treatment accordingly
  • Devise a patient’s treatment plan in a methodical manner
  • Also, educate patients to ensure a preventive dental care

An Oral Surgeon

An oral surgeon is a specialist who completes the four-year undergraduate program. They also get the same degrees, a DDS and DMD. After receiving the degree, a dentist has to complete a residency at the hospital to become a dental surgery specialist. This takes another four to eight years.

An oral surgeon is also referred to as a maxillofacial surgeon.

Oral Surgeon’s Responsibilities

A dentist will refer a patient to an oral surgeon for complex surgeries and treatment of teeth, mouth, jaw, and gums, etc.

They often treat accident patients and cancer patients. In some cases, they may also work with medical professionals as a team.

In addition to what a dentist can do, an oral surgeon will:

  • Execute a tooth extraction with a complex situation that may even involve bone
  • Align and place the dental implants
  • Remove cysts and soft tissues
  • Take out an oral tumor
  • Do reconstruction of damaged teeth
  • Repair jawbones, jawline, and jaw alignment
  • Will administer anesthesia


It may be difficult for you to decide to either go to a dentist or oral surgeon for your dental issues. Nonetheless, the best situation will be to visit a dentist, and if they suggest, you may proceed to an oral surgeon.




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