How is an Oral Surgeon Different Than a General Dentist?

tooth implants Salt Lake City

In this post from The Sugar House Dentist in Salt Lake City, we discuss the similarities and differences between a general dentist and an oral surgeon.


When dentists graduate from dental school, they either receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of (Medicine in Dentistry). They have the option of pursuing a specialty degree.

  • Oral surgeon
  • Pediatric dentist
  • Endodontist
  • Orthodontist
  • Oral radiologist
  • Oral pathologist
  • Prosthodontist
  • Public health dentist

What is an Oral Surgery Residency?

Dental specialty programs run from two years to six years. This type of training is called a “residency”. While a DDS or DMD is completing specialty training he/she can practice general dentistry.

Some six-year oral surgery residency programs provide a medical degree as well as an oral and maxillofacial certification.

Oral surgery residencies are offered through teaching hospitals. The training transpires in a hospital setting. This is a key difference between dental school and a specialty residency. Dental school instruction does not occur in a dental practice.

Some General Dentists Provide Surgical Procedures

Many general dentists provide surgical procedures such as tooth extractions. However, many will refer a patient to an oral surgeon if the extraction involves an impacted wisdom tooth or another complication.

Some general dentists, cosmetic dentists, and periodontists offer implant treatments.

However, an oral surgeon has the most training and experience in dental implants and all other types of oral surgery.

At The Sugar House Dentist in Salt Lake City, dental implants are among our specialties. If you’re missing one or more teeth, call us to find out whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Sugar House Dentist:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1955 S 1300 E Ste L2
Salt Lake City, Utah


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