Worrisome Dental Trends

Why to choose a Specialist for your Oral Surgery needs?

In the last 5 days I received two frantic phone calls from concerned patients. Both had their teeth recently removed in a general dental office and both ended up with bad complications. The first patient had a part of the tooth accidentally pushed into the sinus cavity underneath his eyeball. The second patient ended up with a numb lip after a wisdom tooth removal.

Neither of the two dentists who did the wisdom tooth extraction procedure were able to help the patients after the surgical turned complications. The patients were forced to look for an Oral Surgeon who can help treating the wound in their mouth before the complication spreads too far. As if that wasn’t unfortunate enough, having paid for the procedures out of pocket at the general dentist’s office they were now looking at spending more money so that the Oral Surgeon can fix the problem.

In the old days, when a patient needed a complex dental surgical procedure done, they were sent to a specialist to do it. They would see an Endodontist for a root canal, a Periodontist for gum surgery, or an Oral Surgeon for tooth extractions and implants. These days, general dentists are trying to do everything on their own to keep revenue rolling in to their practice. I am not saying general dentists shouldn’t do root canals or extractions or place dental implants. If they are properly trained in the procedure and most importantly, are able to handle the complications of their work, then by all means, go for it. But if you do a procedure and cannot treat a complication of your work, if you end up leaving the patient hanging and can’t do anything to help them….well, that’s just not fair to the patient and it’s not good professional dentistry.

As a patient, be empowered and be educated! Be involved in your own care and try to make good medical decisions concerning your health. If you feel more comfortable undergoing the procedure in a specialist’s office there is a good reason why you feel that way!

Happy Ending

Both patients were seen in my office, their wisdom tooth extraction turned complications were treated right away and they are well on their way to recovery.

Written by Oral Surgeon, Dmitry Y. Tsvetov, DDS, MD