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March 14, 2019

Thomas Ocheltree Explains The Differences Between Dentists and Oral Surgeons

When patients are looking for high-quality dental care, they often consider which type of specialist is right for them. Oral surgeons are capable professionals who help patients with difficult issues such as wisdom tooth extraction, treatment of disease and infections, and dental implants. Patients have the right to expect professional and compassionate care from their oral surgeons. Dr. Thomas Ocheltree, an oral surgeon from Bloomington, Illinois, explains the differences between dentists and oral surgeons and offers reasons why patients may want to consider seeing an oral surgeon for their surgical needs.

Preventative Care

General dentists provide preventative care like dental cleanings and exams. They see all members of the family and help them achieve optimal dental health. Regular cleanings and checkups are important for a healthy smile. Children should begin seeing a general or pediatric dentist when they are very young to avoid future problems with their teeth.

Maintenance and Repair

General dentists are also involved with restoring and maintaining a patient’s smile. Providing services like fillings, root canals, crowns, and other dental procedures, general dentists help patients look and feel their best. General dentists are able to restore teeth when there is some structure of the original tooth left.


While many general dentists are equipped for extractions, it is also an option to visit an oral surgeon for these procedures. Oral surgeons can easily and safely extract teeth, including impacted wisdom teeth. Extracting a tooth is the last resort when other repairs are not possible. Patients may be nervous about having a tooth extracted, but oral surgeons provide peace of mind that the procedure will be done efficiently with as little pain afterward as possible. And if general anesthesia or sedation is required, you can be sure your oral surgeon has the training and skills to provide that for you. This makes the prospect of having teeth extracted much less intimidating and provides more comfort for the patient.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a procedure that most adults have undergone or will undergo in their lifetime. Often done in the adolescent years, wisdom tooth extraction relieves crowding in the mouth and avoids the problems that may come with impacted teeth, such as infections that can be life-threatening in medically compromised patients.

Dr. Thomas Ocheltree Discusses Infections

General dentists do handle treatment of abscesses and infections, but frequently, these problems can progress rapidly and may need to be treated by an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons such as Dr. Thomas Ocheltree can make sure that the complications that can arise are properly cared for in this case. In serious cases, infections can cause general illness in the patient. These problems need to be taken care of quickly and skillfully before any other issues can arise.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also treat infections which have spread into the spaces of the face and neck.

Dental Implants

When teeth need to be extracted, patients have a few options regarding the restoration of their smile. Some patients prefer to have full or partial dentures made to fill in for the lost teeth. Dental implants are a better option for many patients, especially younger patients who have lost teeth. A dental implant is made to function just like a natural tooth. They are implanted in the patient’s jaw. Dental implants can help patients regain confidence in the way they look and enhance their quality of life.

Oral Surgeons and General Dentists

Dr. Thomas Ocheltree is an oral surgeon in Bloomington, Illinois who works together with many general dentists to help provide their patients with the highest quality care. Both of these dental professionals work together to ensure a patient’s continuing good oral and general health. Frequently, general dentists will refer patients with complex problems to an oral surgeon.

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