For any Texas resident in Frisco, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Little Elm, and The Colony – when you have a health concern that may require oral surgery, the best course of action is to work with a medical professional that understands the nuances of your issue. Patients with a foot issue would see a podiatrist, while those with eye problems make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Oral surgery is no different.
Unlike with oral surgery, with most other health concerns, the patient’s journey begins with the patient’s general practitioner doctor – a “GP” – who refers their patient out to see these experts. In oral surgery cases, your dentist acts as a “GP,” referring patients out to specialists like an oral surgeon. For those that may struggle with hesitation or fear with dental care like oral surgery, this change can be a surprise. If you’re told by your general dentist’s office that you need to see an “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon”, you may find yourself wondering things like:
- Why can’t my regular dentist perform oral surgery?
- Will my oral surgeon understand my dental records?
- What does maxillofacial mean?
- Does this mean that I have really bad dental problems?
These are all perfectly normal questions to ask: it’s important to be as informed as possible in every aspect of your health, including oral surgery. Thankfully, there’s no cause for concern if you’ve been referred to an oral surgeon, even if the switch is unexpected. Oral surgeons are simply well-trained specialists that work with your general dentist to help alleviate pain, fix underlying dental or jaw problems, and help you maintain a healthy life and smile.
With that in mind, doing a little research into these common questions can help alleviate anxiety ahead of your oral surgery appointment. Here’s some information that will ensure you have a great relationship with your new oral surgery specialist.
Why Can’t My Regular Dentist Perform Oral Surgery?
Both oral surgeons and dentists receive the same basic level of professional training initially – years in a dental school, passing certain board certification tests, practical experience, and so on. When a dental professional pursues a surgical route, however, he or she receives additional education and training on oral surgical techniques, best practices, and safety for procedures. This ensures they’re well-equipped to swiftly and correctly address any oral surgery problems that may arise before, during, or after oral surgery, even though oral surgery complications are usually very unlikely.
While they may be exceptional at regular dental care, your general dentist does not have the specialized equipment, in-office surgical team support, or extra training required to approach oral surgery the way a trained oral surgeon can. A specialized oral surgery office offers the diagnostic and procedural care you need to ensure the best chance at a fast oral surgery recovery and ongoing post-procedure health.
Will My Oral Surgeon Understand My Dental Records?
When a general practitioner – body health, dental, mental, and so on – refers out to a specialist in any capacity, it’s standard practice to send over all records for a seamless transition. Your Frisco, TX dentist will also likely call your oral surgeon ahead of time to discuss your case; the success of your dental care directly affects them, after all! Your entire dental team – including both your dentist’s office and your oral surgeon’s office – is committed to providing exceptional care, and that requires collaboration.
Your oral surgery team will definitely understand your dental records, as well as individual aspects of your care after speaking with your dentist. Always feel free to ask questions and get clarifications on your treatment plan – they’re there to help!
What Does ‘Maxillofacial’ Mean?
While seeing this term on a sign or paperwork can cause anxiety in some patients, it’s just a simple way to refer to disorders or treatment of the jaw (“Max”) and face (“Facial”), in addition to any work that needs to be done intra-oral (inside the mouth). Therefore, if you’re seeing a Frisco, TX Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, you’re heading to an oral surgery treatment center that can help with everything from surgically extracting an impacted tooth to removing tumors in the face, head, and neck.
If you see “maxillofacial” on your oral surgery center’s sign or paperwork, it’s a sign that you’re in skilled, capable hands.
Does This Mean That I Have Really Bad Dental Problems?
When some patients are scheduled to see an oral surgeon, they may feel that there’s a stigma to their level of care – that it’s gotten “serious enough” they need an oral surgery professional. In reality, patients of all levels of severity seek out oral surgery for a variety of reasons – for some, it’s correcting a potentially serious lifelong issue before it becomes worse. For others, it’s addressing a dental or maxillofacial problem that they’ve only recently become aware of.
Going to see an oral surgery provider is an important consideration for your overall well being – it doesn’t mean that your dental problems are any worse than the next patient’s. Remember, the goal with any oral surgery care is your happiness and health, and that doesn’t – and shouldn’t! – come with any sense of shame. Fixing an oral surgery issue that could cause you more discomfort, cost, and happiness in the future is a smart move, period.
If you live in Frisco, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Little Elm, or The Colony and your dentist has recommended that an oral surgeon help you with a health concern, NexGen Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are here to help. No matter what your surgical needs may be, our caring, patient-focused staff is ready to help you on your journey to wellness, one appointment at a time. We’ll work with your dentist to understand your case and address any and all concerns you have – our ultimate goal is your comfort, and we mean that in every sense of the word. Contact us today at our Frisco, Texas office to make your oral surgery consultation appointment – we’re looking forward to meeting you!
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