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  • Writer's pictureRobert Weinstock

What's the difference between oral surgery, a dental surgeon, an implant specialist, and an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon?


Oral Surgery - refers to the section of dentistry that covers surgical procedures such as tooth extractions, dental implants, bone grafts, and more. Any dentist can perform oral surgery procedures. There are no special additional qualifications that a dentist needs to do these procedures.

Dental Surgeon - every dentist is a dental surgeon. A "dental surgeon" is not a recognized specialty nor does this title indicate increased training or experience in oral surgery. It is a title typically used by general dentists to indicate that they focus their practice a bit more on surgical procedures.

Implant Specialist -  A recently established 2 year residency program for dentsits to acquire additional experience in dental implant related procedures.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery - A 4 - 6 year residency focusing on surgery of the head, neck, mouth, and face. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons undergo the most vigorous training in all procedures that are considered Oral Surgery but are also trained in the administration of general anesthesia, internal medicine, critical care medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, head and neck oncology and reconstruction, TMJ surgery, and cleft lip & palate surgery. An Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon is the most highly trained at performing oral surgery procedures.

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