Can a Dental Office Do Oral Surgery?

You might find yourself wondering if it is safe to undergo oral surgery at a general dentist's office. While family dentists have a good idea of how to perform surgical procedures like tooth extractions and implant installations, such procedures are better left in the hand of experienced oral surgeons.

Many dental clinics have itinerant dental surgeons that are better suited to handle complicated oral surgeries. An itinerant oral surgeon is a dental professional who works with multiple dentists, helping with complicated surgical procedures.

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While your dentist can also refer you to a surgeon, that comes with hassles like having to fill out paperwork and dealing with a new location and staff you are not familiar with. There is no need for all that with an itinerant surgeon.

The use of itinerant surgeons has been steadily increasing in the past decade. Part of this increase in popularity may be due to the fact that it is more financially beneficial for a dentist to host an itinerant surgeon rather than to refer a patient to a specialist. A dentist gets to keep a portion of the fee charged for a procedure done in his/her clinic, while he/she generally will not get anything besides goodwill when a patient goes to another clinic.

Some states, like Texas, even have laws that prevent dentists from splitting fees or getting any sort of financial reward when patients go to specialists.

An oral surgeon has the necessary skills and proper tools

The only benefit a dentist gets by referring a patient to someone else is the knowledge that person will receive the proper care he/she needs.

The question then becomes: Is having an itinerant surgeon come to your dentist's office as safe as going to an oral surgeon's clinic? Here are a few important points that will make it easier for you to answer that question:

1. Itinerant surgeons are often general dentists that perform oral surgery

These dental professionals do not have the same level of training and education that a board-certified surgeon has.

2. Board-certified surgeons receive four to six years of additional training after dental school

These professionals also receive lots of training on safely administering IV anesthesia.

3. An oral surgeon's clinic is the best place to undergo surgery since each office has to undergo an Office Anesthesia Evaluation

This evaluation was created by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to assure patients that the facility, surgeon and staff are equipped and properly trained on how to administer anesthesia. This evaluation includes a full inspection of the surgeon's facility, emergency medicines available, and the emergency equipment on standby. A dentist's office is not required to go through Office Anesthesia Evaluation.

4. Surgeons work with highly-trained surgical assistants who are certified to assist during surgical procedures

Dental assistants, on the other hand, do not have the training or experience that is essential for safe surgeries.

5. You do not always have the opportunity to consult with itinerant surgeons or verify the person's expertise.

6. Getting a hold of an itinerant surgeon can be difficult if there are complications after the procedure.

Without a doubt, it is safer to consult a specialist if you need oral surgery. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with , request an appointment in our dental office here: . Or call us at (813) 430-0930.

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