oral surgeon

We’ve all been there. Sitting in the dentist’s chair, listening to the hum of the equipment, and wondering: “Do I really need an oral surgeon for this?” or “Is a general dentist enough?” Like picking between a chocolate fudge cake and a vanilla sponge, it’s all about understanding what’s beneath the surface, right?

The Basics of Dentistry

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry, much like your morning cuppa, covers the basic and routine dental care we all need. Cleanings, fillings, and regular check-ups fall into this category. General dentists ensure our oral health is top-notch and act as the gatekeepers, often being the first to spot potential issues.

What is Oral Surgery?

Ever heard of wisdom tooth extractions or corrective jaw surgeries? That’s the realm of oral surgery. It’s a bit like the special brew you save for guests – not needed every day, but essential when the time calls for it.

Education and Training

Educational Path for a General Dentist

Becoming a general dentist in the UK is akin to making the perfect brew. It starts with a 5-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course. Once they’ve got their degree, dentists need to complete a one-year foundation training. Only then are they truly equipped to tackle our dental woes.

Specialised Training for Oral Surgeons

Oral surgeons are a bit like master tea blenders. They start their journey like general dentists, but then they steep a little longer, undergoing an additional 3 to 4 years of specialised training. This prepares them for more complex procedures, from facial trauma surgeries to intricate bone grafting.

Range of Services Offered

Services by a General Dentist

Imagine you’re at your local cafe. General dentists offer the standard fare: cleanings, fillings, root canals, and crowns. It’s what you’d expect from your regular visits.

Procedures Conducted by Oral Surgeons

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, are like that fancy coffee shop down the lane. They provide specialised services like wisdom teeth extractions, dental implants, tumour removals, and sleep apnea treatments.

When to Visit Which Specialist?

Common Scenarios for Visiting a General Dentist

Got a cavity? Maybe some plaque build-up? Or just your bi-annual check-up? Like checking if you’ve got enough tea bags at home, a general dentist should be your first stop.

Indications to Consult an Oral Surgeon

Think of it this way: If general dentists are like your everyday Earl Grey, oral surgeons are the special chamomile blend for when things get a bit tricky. Intense tooth pain, impacted teeth, or even facial infections might mean you need the expertise of an oral surgeon.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Specialist

In the grand scheme of things, choosing between an oral surgeon and a general dentist isn’t about who’s better. It’s about who’s best for your specific needs. It’s a lot like tea. You wouldn’t use chamomile to wake you up in the morning, right? Similarly, while general dentists are superb for regular care, certain situations demand the skills of an oral surgeon.


  1. Is it more expensive to visit an oral surgeon?
    • It can be, depending on the procedure. Specialised surgeries often come with a higher price tag.
  2. Can a general dentist perform surgeries?
    • Some can, especially minor procedures. However, more complex surgeries are best left to oral surgeons.
  3. How often should I see a general dentist?
    • It’s recommended to see them at least twice a year for regular check-ups.
  4. Do oral surgeons only perform surgeries?
    • While surgery is a significant part of their job, they also diagnose and treat various oral conditions.
  5. Is it essential to get a referral for an oral surgeon?
    • Not always, but some insurance plans might require a referral from a general dentist.