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South Valley Oral and Facial Surgery

Can a General Dentist Do Jaw Surgery

Posted on 3/1/2024 by Weo Admin
A person holding their jaw in painGeneral dentists can do less complex jaw surgeries, including teeth extractions, root canal therapies, and implants. Complex jaw surgeries, on the other hand, are reserved for advanced dental specialists.

What Is Jaw Surgery

To understand the instances when a general dentist can perform jaw surgery, it is first important to know what jaw surgery entails. Jaw surgery refers to any surgical procedure aimed at readjusting or realigning the jaw. While orthognathic surgeons, in close cooperation with orthodontists, often perform jaw surgeries, general dentists can also carry out certain procedures, particularly those involving the removal or alignment of teeth.

What Jaw Surgeries Can General Dentists Perform?

The mouth is a complex organ structure, leading to the evolution of several different but closely related specialty areas within dentistry. These include general dentistry, orthodontics, and maxillofacial surgery, among the most closely related specialties. These specialists deal with jaws, teeth, and jaw muscles during their treatments.

A general dentist focuses more on teeth disorders, an orthodontist on the aesthetic alignment of teeth, and an orthognathic surgeon on complex jawbone procedures to address upper and lower jaw-related issues. However, the operational boundary between these areas of specialty is very thin. With exposure and practice, it is not uncommon for any of these specialists to venture out of their designated scope into the realms of what the others do. But what jaw surgeries are general dentists allowed to perform?

Teeth Extractions?

General dentists are trained to perform both simple and complex tooth extractions. They can extract a tooth whether it is visible above the gum or impacted under the gum.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment aims to remove infected or inflamed parts of the tooth pulp, the sensitive inner part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. Root canal treatments clean this section and then seal the tooth. Some root canal therapies involve the jawbone and thus require specialized equipment.

Tooth Implants

General dentists also offer tooth implants, a common tooth replacement option. Implants need to be surgically inserted into the jawbone.


A general dentist will be comfortable with several jaw surgeries. However, for complex jawbone surgeries, an advanced oral surgeon is ideal. Consult with our dentist for expert advice on the best way forward.

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