the wisdom truth

The Wisdom Truth

Whether considering wisdom tooth extraction or another oral surgical procedure, an oral surgeon is a specialist who has the training, experience and treatment options to make sure you get the best care with minimal risk associated with surgery. The best care starts with an office specifically designed and only utilized for oral surgery. There are many dental providers that tell the public they have an oral surgeon that comes to their office, but are they truly qualified? Be educated and aware before you or a loved one has treatment.

We All Have Dental Degrees,
So what's the Difference?

General Dentists typically start their career at the completion of dental school and are vital for overall oral health. They can perform fillings, root canals, non-complicated extractions, crowns, bridges and dentures, among other services. Oral Surgeons are dentists who have also completed an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited oral surgery program. They are the only dental specialists recognized by the ADA who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years. They have training in internal medicine, general surgery, advanced anesthesia, plastic surgery and specialty areas of the bone, skin and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw.

Oral Surgeon's Experience

Oral Surgeons have four to six years of additional training after dental school through an accredited Oral Surgery program.

Oral Surgeons receive extensive surgery training for wisdom teeth removal, dental implant placement, bone grafting to the jaw bones, correction of facial deformities and repair of facial fractures.

AAOMS “code of conduct” requires that Oral Surgeons not travel to multiple locations that are not recognized office locations for that Oral Surgeon.

Oral Surgeons have extensive hospital and office based anesthesia training throughout their four to six year residency.

AAOMS requires that each OMS office pass an office anesthesia evaluation.

Oral Surgery offices are designed for and maintained specifically for Oral Surgical procedures.

Other Specialists

The American Dental Association recognizes nine dental specialties that require additional education and training beyond what is associated with DDS and DMD degrees.

  • Dental Public Health


    Dental public health is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts.


  • Endodontics

    ENDODONTICS (Root canal specialists)

    Endodontics is concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues.


  • Oral Pathologist


    Oral pathology is concerned with diagnosis and study of the causes and effects of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region.


  • Radiologist


    Oral and maxillofacial radiology is concerned with performance and interpretation of diagnostic imaging used for examining the craniofacial, dental and adjacent structures.


  • Oral Surgeon


    Oral and maxillofacial surgery combines dental, medical and surgical knowledge and includes the diagnosis and surgical treatment of issues involving the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and facial region.


  • Orthodontics


    Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics includes the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malocclusion (improper bites), as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures.


  • Pediatric


    Pediatric dentistry provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence.


  • Periodontics


    Periodontics encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.



    Prosthodontics is concerned with the design, manufacture, and fitting of artificial replacements for teeth and other parts of the mouth.


You Have Choices

Make Informed Choices

For wisdom tooth removal and other oral surgical procedures, examine your choice of provider carefully. There are many dental providers that remove wisdom teeth, but some treatment plans should be a cause for concern. We recommend you seek a second opinion if you are being told that your dental provider has a surgeon that travels to their office. To help decide on the best plan for you and your family, consider asking your dental provider the following questions.

Will the procedure be performed by a board-certified Oral Surgeon?

Your surgeon should be accredited by the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. The surgeon may also be a candidate actively seeking certification after completing four to six years of a certified residency in oral & maxillofacial surgery.

What level of anesthesia training does the surgeon/ provider have?

Oral Surgeons are the only dental specialists who receive formalized general anesthesia training in residency. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is the only recognized dental specialty allowed to have a LEVEL 4 Anesthesia Permit in the state of Texas.

Is the facility designed for surgical procedures?

The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery office is specifically designed for outpatient surgical and anesthetic procedures. The equipment is specific to oral surgery and is not regularly found within general dental facilities.

Has the facility/ office undergone an Office Anesthesia Evaluation?

All Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery offices are required to have regular onsite anesthesia evaluations. This periodic evaluation is mandatory to obtain membership with the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. The review is a critical component to maintaining the highest standard of care and monitoring. Oral Surgeons are required to have the most comprehensive anesthesia monitoring of all dentists offering sedative options.

Will I meet the surgeon prior to the day of the surgery?

It is preferred to have a preoperative consultation. This allows the surgeon to review your past medical history, perform an exam, take radiographs, and discuss in detail your surgical plan. You should have the opportunity to meet with staff to verify insurance.

What if there are problems during or after surgery?

Any untoward events should be managed by an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon in a fixed routine setting. You may not have the opportunity to see a traveling dental surgeon for post operative complications and therefore, forcing your post op management upon your general dentist.

Would the cost be the same if I used a specialist like an Oral Surgeon?

Any in-network provider will have contracted rates that are universally comparable. This factors in specialists versus non-specialists. In short, the cost is very similar, and even possibly less expensive, with a higher level of specialized care.

Will your dentist receive any financial compensation for referral to a specialist?

It is against State Board rules to receive any compensation for a referral. However, often times when a “surgeon” travels to your dentist’s office the dentist receives a portion of your fee.

a printable questionnaire for reference.

download questionnaire

Locate an Oral Surgeon

The map and list below can be useful to help find an oral surgeon near you.