Oral surgery can be as simple as a single tooth extraction or as complex as a full-mouth restoration. Regardless of the procedure, you always want to be in the care of the most qualified dental professional.
The most reliable indicator of an oral surgeon’s qualifications is board certification. When an oral surgeon is board-certified, it means that he/she has passed an extremely rigorous written and oral examination after earning a four-year undergraduate degree, a DDS or DMD, and then successfully completing a four- to six-year surgical residency.
How many times has the surgeon performed the prescribed treatment? How many years has the oral surgeon been practicing the full scope of the OMS specialty? Oral surgeons, unlike general dentists, focus solely on oral surgical procedures — including wisdom teeth extractions, the placement of dental implants, bone grafting, sinus lifts and more. Experience is important.
Safety of the Facility
A board-certified oral surgeon will have hospital privileges at a well-respected and reputable hospital. If the oral surgeon performs outpatient oral surgery, the surgical operatory will be equipped to handle an anesthesia emergency and the surgical staff will be trained to respond to emergency situations. Unlike general dental offices, OMS offices are required to undergo a regular Office Anesthesia Evaluation.
Ask your friends and family members about their experiences with an oral surgeon. Read online reviews from several different sources including Google+, Healthgrades, Facebook, Yelp and NextDoor.
Trust Your Instincts
Schedule a consultation with the oral surgeon. You should be comfortable asking questions and the surgeon should be forthcoming with answers. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers or just don’t feel comfortable, seek a second opinion.
Check Your Insurance
Last, but not least, contact your insurance provider to see if your oral surgeon is an in-network provider. If he/she is not an in-network provider, determine what benefits are available when using an out-of-network provider.