• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Oral surgeon or general dentist?



Well-known member
Sep 8, 2012
Which is better for having an extraction and bone graft? I'm guessing dentist is probably cheaper but surgeon more experienced and more thorough. Someone told me that the surgeon will check to make sure the tooth is removed in its entirety, no little pieces left in but a general denstist may not be so thorough. I'm also hoping to get someone who can give me just a little iv valium. Can/will either do that?
Not a dr here but I'm pretty sure all general dentists can do your basic non-surgical extraction - meaning the tooth isn't impacted, however I've been told numerous times just to go to an oral surgeon for any extractions for a couple of reasons. A. They do extractions and bone grafts all day, every day and B. Have more specialized training in the use of anesthesia and access to different drugs should you opt to be more deeply sedated than a pill or "conscious sedation". I think most dentists can prescribe Valium in pill form but not all can do IV. Maybe a dentist can clarify this but I think the degree of difficulty of the tooth could help make your decision for you. Good luck!
unless your dentist specializes in bone grafting i'd pick a surgeon. my dentist pulled my tooth years ago. Her practice partner does implants and root canals in the office now...i prob would let that guy do it solely because i am comfortable with their office and his work plus my dentist would be there...any other office and i would find a surgeon.
I would always let my dentist do non surgical extractions, he's a brilliant clinician and knows when to refer me to a specialist, he's also a qualified and experienced Implant surgeon so bone grafting is no problem for him either, the one exception would be for block harvested grafts where a general anaesthetic is needed and then it's a no brainer for him to refer.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.
I've had both upper first molars removed. The first was with a general dentist. The second was a few days ago with an oral surgeon. I felt more confident with the oral surgeon in case of any complications as the tooth was so close to my sinus. I also felt he would be more experienced in difficult extractions. I had i.v. sedation but it was just with midazolam (versed), not diazepam. I had oral diazepam with the first dentist as he didn't offer anything else, but it wasn't enough. I've noticed that my extraction site this time is much neater. The 'hole' doesn't seem as big and scary as the first time. Maybe it's because I have stitches this time, which the general dentist didn't do.

I think the most important thing is to choose someone you feel comfortable with.
Thank you all for your helpful responses. I have 3 appointments with 3 new/different dentists this week and next for consultation only. I'm leaving my old dentist and have to find a new one asap. He told me I need an extraction and bone graft and he plans to refer me to an oral surgeon for that and he will do the temporary and bridge. But I'm very uncomfortable with him and need to find someone that is a better fit. I'll talk to these new potential dentists and see what they say.

The extraction I think will be fairly simple but I think I would be more comfortable with an oral surgeon as they have more experience in this field, especially bone grafting. And the idea of a little more sedation is inviting (though being put out also scares me, seems I can't win). Hoping one of them will work out.