Oral surgery refers to any medical procedure performed on the mouth with specific regard to the teeth, jaw, and/or gums. Depending on the type of procedure being performed, it may be done by your general dentist in their office (a tooth extraction, for example), or by an oral surgeon in a hospital or clinic setting (such as the removal of wisdom teeth or dental implants, depending on the type of implant and the technique being used.
Oral surgery may be delivered in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Units. These units deal with issues involving the jaw and facial area. Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialists in oral issues, which involve the mouth, and maxillofacial issues, those which involve the jaw and face. The qualification requirements for such a specialist include a dual qualification in dentistry and medicine, as an Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeon must be able to treat conditions which require knowledge and expertise in each field. These conditions include but are not limited to diseases of the salivary glands, cancers of the head and neck, issues affecting the oral mucosa including infections and ulcers. Some Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeons choose to concentrate on one of these areas in order to become a sub-specialist in the broader field. You may be seen by an Oral Surgeon or an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon depending on the nature of your referral, and what hospital you are attending. Oral surgery performed in a dental practice is quite common and requires only a local anaesthetic. Many people don’t realise that simply having a tooth extracted is a form of oral surgery. There is no need to let the term frighten you or make you feel apprehensive.