What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Oral Surgeon?

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Morrisville Dentist

While dentists and oral surgeons both deal with oral health, they don’t actually have the same job. Both are important for keeping your mouth healthy, but they have different roles. Let’s take a look at the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon.


One of the biggest differences between these two types of oral health professionals is the amount of training they receive. Dentists go to dental school for four years after completing college. Oral surgeons, on the other hand, spend four years in dental school and then complete an additional four to six years of training in an accredited surgical residency program. This is because oral surgeons and dentists often perform different types of procedures, requiring different levels of training.

Types of Procedures

The type of procedures each oral health professional is able to perform is also different. Dentists focus mainly on preventive care, such as teeth cleanings and sealants. They also fill cavities and provide other types of restorative dental care. Oral surgeons, however, are trained to perform more complicated procedures, such as tooth extractions, dental implants, and wisdom teeth removal. Some dentists can perform certain oral surgeries, such as standard teeth extractions, dental implants, and even wisdom tooth extractions in their offices. It’s best to check with your dentist before scheduling an appointment for any type of oral surgery, to see if they provide that service.


Another difference between these two types of oral health professionals is their location. Dentists typically have their own practices, or they may work in a group practice with other dentists. Oral surgeons, on the other hand, usually work in hospitals or surgical centers. This is because oral surgery is a type of surgery, and it’s usually performed in a hospital or surgical center setting.

Do I need a dentist or an oral surgeon?

Now that you know the difference between these two types of oral health professionals, you may be wondering if you need to see both a dentist and an oral surgeon. The answer to this question depends on your individual needs. If you are in need of a routine cleaning or a cavity filling, then you will likely only need to see a dentist. However, if you need a tooth extracted or a wisdom tooth removed, then you will need to see an oral surgeon.

Some oral surgeons also offer preventive and restorative care in addition to their surgical services. This means that you may be able to get all of your oral health needs met in one place. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to be sure that they cover the services you need before making an appointment.

Contact Our Morrisville Dentist Today

The bottom line is that both dentists and oral surgeons play an important role in keeping your mouth healthy. But they have different training and focus on different types of procedures. If you have a procedure that needs to be done, our team at Pearly Whites Dental Care will let you know if you need to see an oral surgeon or if we can perform the treatment for you in our office. Contact us today to learn more!