Wisdom Tooth Dentists Know Their Limits (video)

Wisdom teeth referralsHalf of dentists refer out 80% or more of wisdom teeth extractions, our survey found.

“That’s what oral surgeons are for!” said a dentist who refers out all removals.

“Better them than me!” agreed a dentist who refers 60-80%. “I actually have an oral surgeon come into the office and do impacted wisdom teeth with oral/nitrous sedation dentistry.”

Read more: Dentists and Wisdom Tooth Extractions

About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

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  • http://dentalER.com Wm.Jarmolych,DDS

    Wisdom teeth should be removed by a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon who usually has at least twice the academic and clinical training and many times the experience of the typical general dentist. Wisdom teeth, in particular, can present the most potential for complications and difficulty for the patient when they are removed even by the most experienced general dentist.

    Everyday we see post operative complications with exacerbated pain, swelling, infection and much more serious issues that could have been avoided if dental extractions were handled appropriately in the hands of an oral surgeon. We are often uncomfortably thrust into an ethical dilemma when asked if the wisdom teeth should have been removed by an oral surgeon to begin with-do we have to lie??. There was a time (I’ve been in practice over 35 years) when a “general” dentist was truly a generalist and he or she did “everything from crowns and bridges to oral surgery; in today’s environment, you certainly would not consider going to your family physician to have him perform an appendectomy nor repair a hernia unless you were in the wilderness in an emergency situation…nor would you consider going to an oral surgeon for cosmetic veneers or crown and bridge.

    Botched procedures and unhappy patients are a “black eye” for the entire profession…GP’s should refer extractions, especially wisdom teeth, to oral surgeons if they are truly concerned with what is in the best interest of their patients. Financially troubled times are no excuse to do anything but the right thing from the very start or perhaps oral surgeons will, unfortunately, start doing prosthetic impressions-they were, after all, general dentists to begin with.

    Games of this sort are grossly detrimental to the public at large and to our profession in particular and have no place in the ethically practiced healing arts.

    Qualified specialists in dentistry have sacrificed and invested years in additional training and lost income to procure the necessary knowledge, training and skills in their respective fields- it’s not a 2 week quickie that makes you a specialist.

    Specialists are not here to clean up botched procedures and bail out GP’s or to save them from embarrassment or to handle just the “difficult or complicated” cases. Dental specialists deserve the respect and support of the profession.

    Let’s stop this nonsense-either respect the specialties and use them appropriately with the best interest of the patient in mind or do away with them. If the Dental Profession chooses to make the experience of dental school, or perhaps even a one year GPR, the “standard of care” for oral surgery, well, so be it. But at present “oral and maxillofacial surgeons” have a minimum of 3 to 5 calendar years of education and training beyond the 4 academic years of dental school, many with both dental and MD degrees. Use them appropriately or loose them!

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