Do You Need a Dentist and an Oral Surgeon?


Many of our patients have asked us about receiving oral surgery. While Dr. Bonaventure does conduct several oral surgery procedures, including emergency dental work, he does not consider himself an oral surgeon.

Both dentists and oral surgeons (also known as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon) have the title DDS (Doctorate of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). However, dentists and oral surgeons are trained differently. This may seem a little confusing, right?

You’re not alone! People often wonder what dentists and oral surgeons do differently from each other. If dentists can do minor dental procedures, then how are they any different from oral surgeons and what they can do?

While dentists and oral surgeons do have many similarities, it is the differences in the two practices that make them unique. That is why it is always best to have number for both ready to call.


We all know dentists are the ones who clean our teeth twice a year and give us free toothbrushes. Think of your dentist as a general doctor. Like general doctors, dentists are trained in all areas of dentistry.

Dentists make sure everything is in working order and make sure you don’t have any infections or problems. At a standard check-up, your dentist will provide you with tooth care to prevent infections and diseases and will perform services such as

  • Cleaning
  • Flossing
  • Preventive care
  • Tests
  • X-rays
  • Diagnostics
  • Recommendations for further care and/or treatment

What makes dentists similar to oral surgeons is that they may also offer minor cosmetic surgeries that oral surgeons also conduct. These include

  • Fillings
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Root canal
  • Crowns

Then What Does an Oral Surgeon Do Differently?

If a dentist is like a general doctor, then an oral surgeon would be like a specialty doctor.

Oral surgeons are often recommended to you by your dentist. When your dentist does not feel comfortable doing a detailed surgery or would prefer it to be done by an expert, they will recommend someone more qualified.

This does not mean that dentists are not capable of performing dental surgery. Oral surgeons just attend more training and schooling after they graduate from dental school than a general dentist.

More dental training is needed because surgical procedures may require patients to be under anesthesia, which requires its own training entirely. Since they only focus on surgical procedures, oral surgeons are also more experienced than dentists and can be more consistent in producing results. Think of oral surgeons as the ones who do the major fixes, such as

  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Jaw injury repairs
  • Dental implants
  • Facial injury repair
  • Major dental reconstruction

Which One Should I Get?

Normally, your dentist will recommend a dental surgeon to you if you need an oral procedure that requires a specialist’s attention. Your dentist will let you know if you should see an oral surgeon. Many dentists are qualified to fix common dental problems.

Dr. Bonaventure provides extensive dental care and procedures such as

  • Emergency care
  • Invisalign
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Implants
  • Crowns
  • And more!!

If you are in need of dental care or just want a routine check-up, give us a call at 225-283-8545. We offer a variety of services and care options that will make you more confident in your smile.