Why did my dentist refer me to an OMF surgeon

Posted on 4/25/2022 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
Why did my dentist refer me to an OMF surgeonWhile both general dentists and oral maxillofacial surgeons completed dental school in four years and received a bachelor's degree in dentistry, taking anatomy, pharmacology physiology, and pathology courses, OMF surgeons have to undergo four to six years of additional training and experience in medical residency training centers. They must also be certified to practice after passing certification examinations. They receive extensive training in oral pathology, oral surgeries, and anesthesia administration to practice competently.

General dentists will refer patients to OMF surgeons because

The condition in question is beyond the scope of a dentist's professionalism. General dentists provide simple dental procedures like gum care and management, root canals, veneers, crowns, fillings, bridges, and simple tooth extractions. More complex operations involving complex procedures of the mouth, jaw, face, head, and neck require specialized care of an OMF surgeon. Operations like biopsies, tumor removal, jaw reconstruction and realignment, dental implants, among others, are way beyond a dentist's expertise.

An OMS has authorized access to innovative technology and apparatus to diagnose and treat complex oral conditions that a dentist may not have access to. Some procedures require custom treatment approaches and protocols developed to fit each patient's anatomy and conditions, and an OMF surgeon is well trained in this spectrum. A dentist will also refer you to an OMF surgeon for procedures that require anesthesia or sedation. Anesthesia and sedation help numb pain during complex oral procedures and reduce anxiety in patients. OMF surgeons have undergone extensive training in anesthesia administration, including local and general anesthesia IV sedation, among other types of anesthesia.

An OMS is also widely trained in managing complications that arise from dental surgical procedures. Apart from managing risks and complications, the surgeon also prescribes the necessary medication, for example, for pain relief and antibiotics following a surgical procedure.

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