When a patient finds out that they need oral surgery, they may wonder where it will take place and what the best place would be. Should it be in a hospital? Should it be in an oral surgeon’s office or should it take place in the dentist’s office? Depending on the dentist, there may be a number of options, but it often comes down to which type of surgery is being performed.
There are some surgeries performed by an oral surgeon in which it’s appropriate to have done in the hospital. These include a number of types of jaw surgery and certain other surgeries that come with a lot of aftercare. There are also a number of different oral surgeries that can be done in an oral surgeon’s office.
The Itinerant Oral Surgeon
There is a type of oral surgeon called an itinerant oral surgeon. These surgeons go from dental office to dental office and do oral surgeries there. This is often done for the convenience of the patients, as the surgeon comes to them instead of them going to a separate surgery office. This allows the patient to go to the dental office that they already know instead of finding the new office and getting used to that. It can also mean less paperwork filled out, as the patient is not changing offices.
Not only can this be convenient for patients, but it can benefit dentists. When a dentist refers someone to an oral surgeon that operates in their own office, the dentist receives nothing in return. When surgery is done in the dentist’s office, the dentist can benefit from the surgery. The convenience alone encourages many people to seek out this kind of oral surgeon, and the number of itinerant oral surgeons has been growing. However, is it safe for many oral surgeries to be done in a dental office? The answer in many cases is no. It is often safer to visit an oral surgeon’s office.
Why You Should Go to an Oral Surgeon’s Office
There are many aspects of oral surgery that make it necessary to have them done in an oral surgery office. When an oral surgeon has become board-certified, they have spent four to six years in hospital training after their dental school graduation. They get intensive training in how to administer anesthesia safely. Oral surgeons also must be certified each year for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support for the ultimate safety.
A traveling oral surgeon, or itinerant oral surgeon, may just be a dentist who will perform some oral surgeries. In reality, this dentist does not have the training and education that every board-certified oral surgeon has. It’s best to have your oral surgery done in the oral surgeon’s office in most cases unless the hospital is needed. An oral surgeon’s office is well-equipped for every part of the surgery to keep it as safe as possible.
An oral surgeon’s office also has a staff that is well-trained in assisting with surgeries. They are experienced and have their certification for surgical assisting. In a dentist’s office, the dental assistants do not have the type of training or experience that is necessary for oral surgery to be done safely.
If you have surgery in a dentist’s office, you may not be able to see an itinerant oral surgeon before you have the surgery. That means you won’t be able to ask them questions in advance or to get a feel for the surgeon. It may also mean that you can’t look up that surgeon to ensure that they have a good reputation in the area.
Oral Surgeons and Anesthesia
One of the most important aspects of oral surgery is the safe administering of the anesthesia. It’s important to have an oral surgeon who is board-certified to administer IV anesthesia. A general anesthetic is usually given for the placement of dental implants and for the extraction of multiple teeth. Every oral surgery office has to have an inspection called the Office Anesthesia Evaluation that was designed by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. This evaluation includes an inspection of the office, the office’s emergency medications and emergency equipment.
The office has to demonstrate that it is ready for any emergencies and that the staff and the surgeon are well-trained and equipped to use anesthesia successfully. Dentist offices do not have to undergo this evaluation or demonstration. This indicates a much different level of safety in the office of an oral surgeon.
Visit the Oral Surgeon
For a safer environment and a well-trained staff, it’s usually best to have your surgery done by an oral surgeon who is board-certified and has a permanent office.
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If you need an oral surgeon and want the safety of an oral surgeon’s office, call us at DFW Oral Surgeons to make your appointment.