What is an Oral Surgeon?

An oral surgeon is a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery. This is one of the nine specialties approved by the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure.

At Union Oral Surgery, doctors address aesthetic and functional concerns in the mouth, jaws, and face through diagnosis and surgical procedures. Your oral surgeon may coordinate with other providers, such as a restorative dentist and your general dentist, to offer expertise at every step. Learn more below about our doctors’ experience, services, and approach.

What Type of Training Does an Oral Surgeon Receive?

To earn specialization as an oral surgeon, candidates must first have received a dental degree from an accredited program. In addition, advanced training prepares these doctors to perform complex surgical procedures.

Typically, an oral surgeon will study in four areas: trauma, pathology (the causes and effects of disease), orthognathic (jaw-related) surgery, and reconstructive surgery. The minimal requirements are four years of study, and some doctors also go on to complete residencies for additional expertise.

Union Oral Surgery’s founder, Dr. Stephen Patty, is certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He is also board-certified in anesthesiology; while this is not a requirement of training for an oral surgeon, this accomplishment demonstrates a higher commitment to patient care and professional expertise.

What Types of Procedures Does an Oral Surgeon Perform?

Union Oral Surgery provides patients with a variety of services, including:

Extracting wisdom teeth. Our doctors frequently conduct extractions as wisdom teeth begin to develop. If you never had your wisdom teeth removed in your teens, you may opt to have the procedure if you are experiencing discomfort or complications as you age.

Extracting other teeth. Our doctors conduct extractions for impacted canines, impacted second molars, and baby teeth that are stuck to the bone. Also, your oral surgeon may recommend removing teeth that have been seriously damaged or become diseased in preparation for full mouth rehabilitation.

Bone grafting. When your jaw has weakened due to disease or bone resorption, bone grafting can restore strength and stability.

Dental implants. If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants can recreate the missing tooth’s root and provide a solid base for a new dental restoration. An oral surgeon’s expertise can improve the durability and viability of your dental implant.

Cosmetic treatment. The training our doctors received includes aesthetic procedures for the face, head, and neck. Our practice’s oral surgeons can help patients reduce lines and wrinkles and restore a youthful contour to facial features.

Oral pathology. If you notice a growth in your mouth, an oral surgeon can remove or treat it and work with a pathologist to help determine if you require further care.

The Benefits of Choosing an Oral Surgeon

While there is some overlap in the work of different oral health professionals, you should consider seeing oral surgeons for the treatments described above because of the advantages they offer.

Expertise. Oral surgeons spend additional years studying and training in surgical procedures. Their extensive work in diagnosis, aesthetic and functional surgery, and other treatment methods mean that you will receive expert care.

Focus. Union Oral Surgery doctors coordinate with other specialists so that patients receive treatment from the professional with the best skills in each area.

Ongoing development. Our doctors stay informed about new technologies and techniques. We are always working to increase our skill as oral surgeons rather than relying on out-of-date procedures. This includes attending continuing education courses in aesthetics, dental implants, and anesthesiology.

Facility and resources. We have designed our practice around the needs of oral surgery patients. By specializing our care and treatment, we have been able to invest in tools and resources that increase comfort and reduce recovery time.