Emergency Dentist Vs. Oral Surgeon in California: Which Do You Need?

If you find yourself with a dental emergency that needs immediate attention, where should you turn? While an emergency dentist may take care of some of your dental needs, there are times when an oral surgeon is the best person for the job. Read on to decide when you should visit an emergency dentist vs. oral surgeon in California.

​What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Recognizing what is and isn’t a dental emergency can help you save your teeth should something happen. If you’re experiencing signs of a toothache that’s gone bad, scheduling an emergency dental appointment can help keep your teeth healthy and in place.

In most cases, your dentist should be the first person you call if you’re having a dental emergency. If you’ve experienced a serious injury to your mouth, swelling of your jaw, or an advanced infection, you should be seen by your dentist immediately.

Your dentist can perform an oral exam to determine what might be causing your symptoms. From there, they can assess their ability to treat you or refer you to an oral surgeon who can. 

The Difference Between Your Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon in California

Patients often tend to think that a dentist vs. oral surgeon in California is one and the same. The difference comes down to the type of training your professional dentist or oral surgeon has gone through, resulting in the types of services they’re able to provide. 

General dentists have studied dentistry along with hands-on training, and some can perform minor oral surgical needs. However, the scope of their work usually includes dental care in California such as professional teeth cleanings, oral exams, fillings, crowns, root canals, sealants, and overall gum care.

Your general dentist will consider the state of your emergency dental needs to determine if they are able to treat your condition. This also applies to non-emergency dental needs such as gum surgery or surgical tooth extraction. 

An oral surgeon is required when your dental emergency requires the tooth to be extracted, or a restructuring of your bone and gum tissue. These professionals have extensive training in a particular field, and patients are typically referred to as an oral surgeon by a dentist.

An oral surgeon can handle issues ranging from wisdom teeth and impacted teeth to jaw misalignment and bone loss. Oral surgeons are also able to treat chronic diseases or conditions that derive from issues of the mouth.

It helps when your dentist can quickly assess your diagnosis based on your symptoms and either treat your needs themselves or refer you to an oral surgeon in the same office that can see you that same day.

If you are in need of dental care and don’t know whether you need a dentist vs. oral surgeon in California, give us a call today to schedule a consultation so we can help you decide which option is best for you.