Not surprisingly, general dentists and dental specialists have very different profiles when it comes to referring patients.
Specialists were sharply divided; 17% refer less than 20%, while 73% refer all extractions. General dentists were less polarized. Half refer out 80% or more.
On the other hand, one in four (24%) treat most extractions, referring less than 20% of cases.
Not all general dentists are eager to remove wisdom teeth. “That’s what oral surgeons are for,” exclaimed a California dentist who refers out all removals. “Let those who do these procedures routinely, do them as they will do it better than I who used to do them occasionally. People do not rush to my office because I take out teeth really well,” said a general dentist. “Oral surgeons do this day in and day out, they have the expertise to extract third molars faster and with less trauma to the patient,” agreed a Texas orthodontist.
In the end, it all comes down to anesthesia for many dental practitioners – oral conscious sedation or IV sedation. “I believe it is a surgical procedure and it should be done under general anesthesia by the person best qualified,” said a Texas dentist who refers out all removals. “I treat my patient, not my wallet. Dentists who take out the upper and then send out for lower are the biggest frauds in the world. It makes no sense. If a patient is going to sleep why not let the oral surgeon do all four?”
Watch the following video to hear the results of the survey and what other dentists had to say about referring out wisdom teeth removals –
What are your thoughts? Do you refer out wisdom teeth removals to oral surgeons?