Uh-oh – you have a tooth that for whatever reason needs to come out.
No one likes a tooth extraction. And often, people stress out because they’re not sure if they need to see a dentist or an oral surgeon when it comes to having their teeth pulled.
The good news is that both dentists and oral surgeons can extract teeth. Which one is best for you depends on a few different circumstances.
Go See a Dentist First
For starters, when a tooth is giving you a lot of trouble – namely pain – you should always go see your dentist first.
A dentist can use X-rays and a physical examination of the tooth to find out what’s going on. It may not even require an extraction. It may be able to be fixed through other means. If that’s the case, great – you don’t have to have your tooth extracted!
If that’s not the case and your tooth has to come out, your dentist may be able to do it in their office that day. Usually this is possible if your dentist thinks that they can remove it with local anesthesia or novocaine.
But, they may not always be able to get the tooth out, and may have to refer you to an oral surgeon.
When You Should Go to an Oral Surgeon
Your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon in a few different circumstances.
You may have fractured or cracked teeth, for example, which can make normal extraction a lot more difficult. This means more invasive surgery may be required, which an oral surgeon can do.
You can also see an oral surgeon if your teeth are impacted. This is when they are located below the gum line. A dentist won’t have the ability to remove them, but an oral surgeon will, because it’ll require invasive surgery.
Additionally, if there are complications with the extraction – i.e. something in your tooth cracks or breaks – an oral surgeon may be required to finish the job.
And, if your mouth structure makes it more difficult for a dentist to get the tooth out, an oral surgeon referral may be necessary.
What Should You Do?
As we talked about earlier, the best advice is to see your dentist first when you have any problems with your teeth.
Your dentist may be able to help. If they can’t, they can at least point you to the right people and give you a referral.
Hopefully, you won’t have to have your tooth removed. If you do, your dentist may be able to do it. The good news is if they can’t, they can find someone who can.