What is the difference between an oral maxillofacial surgeon and my general dentist?
All dentists attend a four-year dental school prior to receiving their dental degree. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons then spend an additional four to six years intensively training in medicine, surgery, anesthesia and implant dentistry. Some receive medical degrees in the process but all get the same intensive core training in expert third-molar removal, complex- implant placement, jaw surgery, temporomandibular joint and trauma surgery. Following this training, most then submit for written and oral examinations to achieve board certification.
My dentist says she has a specialist that comes to her office monthly and can take out my son’s wisdom teeth under anesthesia. Is her office set up to provide this procedure safely?
Oral surgery offices are built from the ground up for outpatient surgery and anesthesia rather than general dental care. From anesthesia and safety equipment to patient flow and recovery, the facility is designed for outpatient surgery. All oral-surgery offices undergo onsite examination and certification to ensure office-based anesthesia standards are met. All general dental offices are different, but most necessitate that the traveling dentist bring anesthesia, surgery and safety equipment with each visit. Additionally, while complications are rare, often, patients want the reassurance of a quick unscheduled visit to check in or confirm healing is going well. With most surgeons’ offices staffed full time, there is always an expert available to provide that follow-up care and reassurance. Such accessibility is often not available with traveling providers.
I have a complicated medical history. Am I a candidate for anesthesia?
Almost all who can be seen in an office environment can have some form of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia and ideal treatment environment are best discussed with your surgeon at the time of a consultation visit, when your medical history can be discussed in detail.
What sets Austin Oral Surgery apart?
Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has cared for Austinites for more than 45 years. We have 13 board-certified surgeons in 12 locations, so we can provide service in a safe, convenient, caring environment for most of Austin and the surrounding areas. Additionally, we always have someone available to see you, as there’s flexibility in scheduling with so many doctors and locations. The most important thing that sets us apart, however, is our people. Our surgeons, clinical assistants and front-office teams are all focused on caring for patients in a safe, pleasant and compassionate environment.
What procedures does an oral surgeon perform other than those on wisdom teeth?
While we are indeed the wisdom-tooth experts, there are many other areas in which oral surgeons have expertise. Sophisticated implant placement and the various hard- and soft-tissue grafting procedures that are done to optimize implant results are routine for us. Orthognathic or jaw surgery for developmental bite problems and the treatment of traumatic facial injuries are in our areas of expertise as well. The primary surgical procedure that cures sleep apnea is one of our specially developed procedures. Some of our surgeons treat temporomandibular joint disorders and we offer minimally invasive joint surgery for the most common temporomandibular joint issues when surgery is necessary.
Dr. Thomas S. Weil is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a fellow in the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Weil began his professional education at Baylor College of Dentistry, where he graduated at the top of his class. He then attended the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he earned his medical degree, also graduating with honors. He remained in San Antonio to complete a general-surgery internship, his anesthesia training and the remainder of his specialty training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.