Oral Surgery involves surgical procedures of the structures of the mouth, jaws and peri-oral region. A dental practitioner who has carried out specialist training in this field is called an Oral Surgeon. This is a journey that takes almost 10 years to achieve. The most common procedure carried out by an Oral Surgeon is removal of infected or impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth. Their skillset extends to patients who require investigation of soft and hard tissue pathologies of the mouth and jaws (e.g. lumps, bumps, cysts, tumours, growths) which may require biopsy or further management.
Oral Surgeons assist general dental practitioners (dentists/dental surgeons) and other dental specialists (e.g. prosthodontists, orthodontists, endodontists) for comprehensive treatment plans including pre-prosthetic surgery, surgical orthodontics and surgical endodontics. Being surgically trained, their scope of practice focuses on the placement of dental implants with the associated procedures of bone grafting.
Oral Surgeons are also trained to help diagnose and manage patients with chronic pain disorders of the oro-facial region such as temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction, headaches/migraines or neuropathic pain. Finally, Oral Surgeons manage dental trauma emergencies.
All dental practitioners enhance their skills with continued professional development courses and many may carry out oral surgery procedures themselves. However, a referral to a Specialist Oral Surgeon may be advised if the treatment required is outside the clinician's own scope of practice or experience level. Oral Surgeons have undergone extensive and rigorous accredited post-graduate training in this field and will be able to provide you with specialist care. Dr Atkinson will liaise with your referring practitioner to ensure you are looked after throughout the whole treatment process and into the future.