How to Choose an Oral Surgeon

What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?

For some very serious dental reconstruction, you may need to choose an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon performs oral surgery on patients and may also be involved in difficult tooth extractions. The oral surgeon may perform surgery on the mouth, jaws, or other related areas of your head and neck. You might see an oral surgeon for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, repair of broken bones in the face or jaws, birth defects of the face or mouth, or surgery to repair damage caused by oral cancer. An oral surgeon may work in an office environment or may sometimes work in a hospital environment in conjunction with other medical professionals. An oral surgeon will:

  • Examine, diagnose and treat you for multiple tooth and jaw problems.

  • Perform difficult or multiple tooth extractions that cannot be performed by your family dentist.

  • Determine the need for, and administer, different types of anesthesia during your dental surgery.

  • Diagnose, remove and examine any lumps, tumors or unusual growths.

  • Perform any necessary surgery to prepare your mouth for the installation of any type of dental prosthesis such as dentures or bridges.

  • Correct any abnormal jaw structures.

  • Treat and repair jaw fractures.

How to Choose an Oral Surgeon

  • Ask your family dentist for referrals to a qualified oral surgeon.

  • Use the information at to help narrow down your choices.

  • Find out if the oral surgeon is familiar with the latest technology and procedures to minimize pain and maximize results.

  • Check out their dental qualifications. The basic dental degree is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

  • The dental professional should also have completed an additional three years of advanced education and residency in oral surgery. Ask about any continuing education courses.

  • Ask about privacy standards.

  • Ask for patient referrals.

  • Find out if they have any additional patient education information such as a newsletter or website page.

  • Ask about pricing, payment plans and determine what may be covered by your insurance plan. Are there more cost-effective options to the proposed procedure? Can complex procedures be broken down into steps and spread out over a period of time? is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. Use our dental profiles to help find an oral surgeon for your family because is "where patients and dentists connect."