Can a Dentist Remove a Wisdom Tooth?
There’s a nagging sensation in the back of your mouth that doesn’t seem to want to go away. You try keeping food out of the area, but that doesn’t seem to do the trick. You do a little digging online and realize that the symptoms you’re experiencing seem pretty consistent with wisdom tooth problems; and since you’ve never had yours out, you can’t help but assume that a pesky, impacted wisdom tooth is, indeed causing your discomfort.
When some people suspect wisdom tooth problems, they tend to assume that they’ll need to consult with an oral surgeon in order to have the situation evaluated and dealt with accordingly. However, this line of thinking is not necessarily correct. The fact of the matter is that plenty of general dentists are equipped to remove wisdom teeth, and there’s no reason not to see a general dentist if you suspect that a wisdom tooth is giving you trouble.
As a seasoned dentist at Pizzarello and Silvestro Family Dentistry, a Stoneham, Massachusetts practice that has been helping patients achieve healthy smiles since 1995, Dr. Joseph Pizzarello has removed his fair share of wisdom teeth. According to him, patients who are too ill to have their wisdom teeth removed outside of a hospital or hospital-like setting will have no choice but to seek out oral surgeons. However, Dr. Pizzarello is happy to treat patients who are generally healthy, albeit for the presence of a pain-inducing wisdom tooth. In fact, he can treat patients with various levels of wisdom tooth impaction.
So how is this different from an actual surgeon? An oral surgeon will often use IV sedation because his facilities are equipped to allow it. A general dentist, on the other hand, will probably not use IV sedation, but rather, a combination of drugs and normal methods of dental anesthesia.
Why should you look to your dentist for wisdom tooth removal over an oral surgeon? For one thing, if you’ve been seeing your dentist for years, then there’s obviously an element of good faith already at play. By your general dentist remove your wisdom tooth, you’ll get the assurance of knowing that a person you trust (and who has never failed you before) will be working on the procedure at hand. Another benefit of using your general dentist for wisdom tooth removal is that by doing so, you could end up saving yourself a fair amount of money by avoiding the hefty cost of IV sedation. Some oral surgeons have a tendency to push IV sedation because they are so used to providing it and believe that it makes the process easier on the patient. However, IV sedation does not take the place of actual anesthesia, which is what a general dentist would use as well. Therefore, if you’re not overly nervous at the idea of having a wisdom tooth removed, then you might be better off having your general dentist tackle the job.
Whether you decide to see your general dentist or an oral surgeon for a bothersome wisdom tooth, one thing’s for sure – a painful wisdom tooth is not something to be taken lightly. If your tooth is really causing you pain, then an infection might be at play. So the sooner you get yourself treated, the better off you’ll be.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.