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Surgeon performing oral surgery

When you think of Valparaiso dentistry, you probably think of procedures like routine cleanings, fillings, and crowns. However, sometimes oral health services are more intensive and require surgery. For example, dental implant placement and some extractions are invasive procedures that need the touch of someone who has undergone specialized training. But how can you know if your situation merits a visit to an oral surgeon?


Although your dentist will always do their best to save a tooth in distress, extractions are sometimes necessary to relieve your pain and protect your oral health. In many cases, an extraction is a fairly simple procedure; your dental professional numbs the area, and then uses forceps and other tools to remove the tooth as gently as possible.

Whereas practically any dentist can perform a simple extraction, some extractions are more complex and require a surgeon’s touch. For example, because wisdom teeth are often impacted (not fully emerged), it’s necessary to cut into the gums to access them. Sometimes, the surgeon even has to break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it.

Dental Implants

Many general dentists are able to successfully place implants within the jawbone. However, if a patient’s circumstances make their case more complex than others, they may need to see an oral surgeon. If any of the following are true of you, it might be wise to see a specialist for your implant placement surgery:

  • You have a weak or narrow jaw and require a bone graft.
  • You have certain medical conditions that put you at a higher risk of surgical complications.
  • You have suffered extensive tooth loss and need multiple implants.

An experienced oral surgeon will assess your oral health and discuss your options for implant placement. There are a variety of types of implants and implant placement techniques that they may consider before they design a treatment plan that is tailored to you.

Facial Trauma

If you were in an accident that caused damage to your teeth, a dentist may be able to fix those problems and get your smile back on track. An oral surgeon can do even more. They can address soft tissue injuries, broken facial bones, and more. They’ll always do their best to minimize scarring and restore as much functionality as possible.

Still Not Sure?

If you’re still unsure if you should visit an oral surgeon, you might begin by visiting your general dentist for a consultation. After they evaluate the situation, they may discuss your treatment options with you or refer you to an oral surgeon.

It’s even better if you can visit a dental practice that has multiple dentists, including an oral surgeon, on-staff. Then, if you do need surgery, you can have your procedure done by someone you already know and trust.