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Who Do I See For My Wisdom Teeth?

dentist peering thoughtfully over xrays of wisdom teeth

If you are in your late teens or early twenties and you are beginning to feel an aching pain in the back of your mouth from your wisdom teeth erupting, you may be wondering where to go to get the problem fixed. A good place to start would be Fox Valley Dental. Your dentist can give you an oral exam to make sure the problem is actually your wisdom teeth and not something else. If, in fact, it is determined to be your wisdom teeth, then your dentist will most likely refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Before visiting the dentist, you may be experiencing some symptoms that could signal the arrival of your wisdom teeth. If you feel intense pain radiating around your head, have jaw pain, feel pressure or throbbing in the back of your mouth, have swollen gums, or have persistent ear aches or headaches, these could all indicate the problem lies within your wisdom teeth.

However you will need to see your dentist to confirm this information since these symptoms, while most likely indicating an issue with your wisdom teeth, could also indicate other dental issues. Only your dentist is qualified to make an accurate diagnosis. Most likely, your dentist will perform an oral exam, and they will most likely take xrays to get a better look if they suspect the cause to be your wisdom teeth.

Once your dentist determines the cause is your wisdom teeth, they will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a specialized dentist that focuses on treating injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaw and face) region. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive knowledge in this area of study and are well trained in removing wisdom teeth quickly, safely, and effectively.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only type of dental specialist that has to undergo actual medical training in addition to their existing dental training. As a result, many oral and maxillofacial surgeons are qualified to work in an operating room alongside medical doctors. This also allows them to perform minor dental surgeries in their office, such as the procedure commonly associated with wisdom teeth removal.

To become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, candidates must complete a rigorous education and training program. It begins with two years of pre-medical/pre-dental education that is usually heavy in science coursework. Most candidates satisfy this with a four year bachelor’s degree. Next, they must attend dental school for an additional four years to earn their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Up to this point, the education has been the same for all dental professionals. However, to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, there are additional training and residency requirements.

Once dental school has been completed, oral and maxillofacial surgeons must complete a four years surgical residency program in a hospital. During this time, some candidates also choose to earn an medical degree or complete a fellowship in a subspecialty area, although this depends on the program. With approximately twelve to fourteen years of specialized training, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the ones you want taking out your wisdom teeth.