Dental Tips Blog


General Dentist or Oral Surgeon: Who Is Qualified to Extract Your Teeth?

Whether it’s pesky impacted wisdom teeth or an abscessed tooth, you need to have the affected ones extracted. Tooth extractions can end your pain and save your smile!

The question is: who should you see to get your tooth extracted?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon—The Difference

Your family dentist is qualified to perform routine teeth extractions. However, he or she is likely very busy with performing a variety of other procedures. General dentists place fillings, perform root canals, design crowns, repair dentures, besides many other services. They don’t necessarily specialize in removing teeth that are impacted or difficult to extract.

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, have a few extra years of education to prepare them specifically for operating on structures of the face. They’ve removed hundreds to thousands of teeth before they even graduated from dental school!

How Complex Is Your Case?

One important factor to consider when deciding who should perform the extraction is the complexity of your situation.

General dentists can perform basic tooth extractions. But they may not have the needed equipment or experience to handle the situation if things take an unexpected turn or are hard to reach.

An oral surgeon is prepared with the resources necessary to avoid complications and may have better anesthesia options than those available in typical dental offices.

How to Find an Oral Surgeon for a Tooth Extraction

You can simply ask your regular dentist for recommendations on choosing a good oral surgeon. Schedule a checkup with your family dentist to find out what your tooth needs. Ask about treatment options, your dentist’s experience, and the pros and cons of referring out to an oral surgeon.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752


Can You Keep a Tooth After It’s Extracted?

You’re curious: would your dentist let you keep your extracted tooth?

Federal Law on Extracted Teeth

You might be surprised to find out that there are no regulations or federal laws on who gets to keep extracted teeth.

Even OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not restrict returning extracted teeth to patients.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) itself states this:

“Once an extracted tooth is returned to a patient, it is no longer considered a potential risk to dental health care personnel and is no longer subject to the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.”

State Law on Extracted Teeth

Most states don’t have any clear regulations on returning teeth to patients. A few, like Florida, allow patients to keep extracted teeth after they’ve been disinfected. Check with your dentist to find out whether there are any local restrictions on getting your tooth back.

Why Don’t Dentists Return Extracted Teeth?

There is no law compelling dentists to give patients their extracted teeth. Dentists, however, are under law to ensure that a pulled tooth is properly disposed of as infectious waste. Most dentists are simply more comfortable with getting rid of a tooth in the regulated way.

If you really want to keep your tooth after a tooth extraction, whether because it has a gold filling, sentimental value, or would come in handy for showing off, talk about it with your dentist. It’s best to work out a plan long before you need to have a tooth extraction.

Best of all, try to keep your teeth securely in your mouth where they belong! Regular dental checkups will help you do just that.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565


What Can I Eat After Having Oral Surgery?

Whether you have sutures in your gums or your wisdom teeth extracted, you may be experiencing a bit of mild discomfort. This can affect your ability to chew as well as your appetite. What can you eat for the next few days after oral surgery?

Use the following suggestions to plan your meals for the week after your next oral surgical procedure:

Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat

Want to start off your day with something substantial? Warm cereal is a good way to go.


Warm soup is a comforting way to get your body the nutrients it needs. Just don’t eat it while it’s too hot. That definitely won’t feel good if you accidentally burn yourself.

Macaroni and Cheese

You don’t want your pasta al dente for this dish! Make sure the noodles are cooked until very soft and that there’s enough cheese sauce to make them easy to swallow. This is another great option for getting protein and a full belly with minimal chewing.

Mashed Potatoes

Whether you go for sweet or regular potatoes, mashing them is a good way to get fiber. Use an electric mixer to ensure that the potatoes don’t have any chunks that need chewing.


Yes, your dentist approves sweets in this case! Cool, soft, and easy-to-swallow desserts are a good way to soothe sore gums and give your jaw a break. They can even boost your morale. Choose from soft-serve ice cream, pudding, and Jell-O.

The key is to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing. Anything you can gently sip from a glass or spoon is fair game! Talk with your dentist for more ideas on safe foods during recovery from oral surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103


Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?

Most people are given the option of extracting their wisdom teeth while they’re young adults. You might be facing that decision right now. Naturally, few people are happy to have even one tooth pulled, let alone up to four at once!

But there are pluses to getting your third molars out sooner rather than later.

Are You In Pain?

Wisdom teeth that are erupting through the gums can be quite irritating. You can head off the pain before it starts by opting to have your wisdom teeth taken out.

Anticipated Trajectory

Your wisdom teeth may not be bothering you right now. But your dentist may recommend extraction anyway if they appear to be on a collision course with other teeth.

Do You Really Need Them?

Because wisdom teeth are located so far back in the mouth, it’s easy to neglect them with brushing and flossing. This puts them at risk for developing cavities and gum disease in the tissues around them.

Should problems arise, you’re not going to be in a hurry to treat those teeth with a filling or crown. So, this brings you to a dilemma: would you prefer to have those molars pulled as the need arises? Or would it be simpler to just have them taken out all at once at a convenient time you can plan for?

True, some people manage to hold onto their wisdom teeth their entire lives without much trouble. To see if that’s going to work in your case, you’ll need to work closely with your dentist. Keep an eye on how your wisdom teeth develop and keep them as clean as you can.

Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
(469) 672-4245


Recovering From Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

It might have sounded like a scary experience when you first learned you would need to have your wisdom teeth extracted! But now it’s all over. It wasn’t as bad as you thought. Now, however, you’re concerned with making your recovery as comfortable and brief as you can.

Immediately After the Procedure

Your mouth will still be numb, so be very careful when talking that you don’t accidentally bite your cheek or tongue. Those spots will hurt once the numbing drugs wear off! Keep biting down on gauze pads with gentle pressure and change them out as they become saturated. The bleeding should taper off throughout the rest of the day. Avoid lying down. Sitting upright or reclining slightly will keep your head above your chest and should help reduce bleeding. Keep applying ice to your cheeks to help bring down inflammation and reduce bleeding.

Over the Next Few Days

Get lots of rest! Too much physical activity can raise blood pressure and disrupt the clotting process so vital to your mouth’s healing. Rinse as often as needed with warm salt water to bring down pain and swelling. At this point, it is ok to use moist heat on your cheeks to relieve discomfort. Avoid smoking or using a straw because the suction of those activities can also disturb the clots. Stick to soft foods that don’t require any chewing. Maintain a routine of brushing and flossing your other teeth, but take care to not bother the surgical sites with your finger, tongue, or toothbrush.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


4 Signs that Your Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

How can you know whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out? Most people wait until their teeth start to hurt before they ask their dentist about it. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth taken out, but removing them before they cause problems can prevent discomfort and lengthy recovery times.

Here are 4 signs to look for:

Crowding of Your Anterior Teeth

As the 3rd molars start to form, they may begin to push into the back of the other teeth. This slight pressure pushes the teeth forward, which creates a chain reaction throughout the entire mouth. As teeth begin to shift forward, the very front teeth become crowded. 

Swelling Along the Back of the Jaw

If infection develops around the erupting wisdom tooth, this can create swelling in the back of the jaw. Cysts are fairly common, as well as infection due to food packing under the gums around the tooth. 

Off-and-On Pain

Wisdom tooth pain tends to come and go off and on as the teeth develop. It’s fairly common for the pain to be present one day but not the next. Eventually the pain may be closer together until it does not go away at all. 

Food Packing Behind the Back Teeth

When there isn’t enough room for the tooth to erupt completely, it will only erupt partially through the gums. Areas like this are difficult if not impossible to keep clean. As a result, food starts to pack under the gumlines, creating bad breath, infection and decay around the adjacent teeth.

A quick x-ray and exam is all that you need to find out if your wisdom teeth can stay or need to go. Call your dentist today!

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979


3 Signs You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, but a lot of people do. Wisdom teeth may cause severe pain or be completely asymptomatic. Here are a few signs your dentist will look for when it comes to whether or not your wisdom teeth need to go or stay:

Partial Eruption

Sometimes a wisdom tooth will only erupt partially through the gum tissue. This creates an opening in the gums that allows food and bacteria to pack into. Since areas like this are nearly impossible to clean, they often become a source of chronic infection. Pain, swelling and tenderness may be your first sign that something is wrong. 

Decay on Erupted Wisdom Teeth

Because wisdom teeth are the 3rd set of molars to erupt, they are typically very difficult to keep clean. Even if they erupt completely straight into the mouth, some people find that wisdom teeth easily decay. Treating cavities on these teeth may not be a good investment, as tooth decay may simply reoccur a year or two later. 

Impaction Against Neighboring Teeth

If the wisdom tooth is wedged into the next tooth, this pressure could create irreversible damage to the otherwise healthy tooth. Sometimes the tooth will experience nerve damage, movement, or decay due to difficulty maintaining oral hygiene in that area. Shifting of teeth throughout the rest of the mouth is usually evident.

Your dentist will take a panoramic x-ray to evaluate the development of the wisdom teeth and how they relate to the other structures surrounding them. Don’t wait before it’s too late – if your dentist recommends having your wisdom teeth extracted, early care can prevent problems from affecting other teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384


Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Most people will have a 3rd set of molars, which are also know as “wisdom teeth” begin to emerge anytime between the ages of 15-20 years.  While in some cases they will emerge from the gum line easily, in many cases they will fail to emerge and become impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth are very painful and should be removed as soon as possible.

In many cases they fail to emerge or only partially emerge because of insufficient room in the patient’s mouth to accommodate the extra teeth.  Many patients with impacted wisdom teeth will experience a dull ache in the back of their jaw, as well as pain around the ear.  In some cases they will begin to notice other teeth shifting or getting out of alignment, as the wisdom teeth begin to emerge and the new teeth compete with other teeth over limited space.

Even if the teeth emerge completely without any issues, most dentists will recommend their removal, due to the difficultly of keeping the new teeth cleaned properly, which can result in additional dental issues over time.

A dentist or an oral surgeon will do the wisdom teeth extraction, with most straightforward wisdom teeth extractions being done by a dentist.   Typically an oral surgeon will perform partial or full impactions, due to the specialized techniques required.   In many cases, the dentist will recommend that the patient undergo the procedure under sedation.  This allows the patient to sleep through the procedure, but not requiring any breathing assistance.  The recovery time for the procedure varies from patient to patient, but most people are back to normal activities within a couple of days of he procedure.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



Having a Tooth Extracted

Your dental care provider will always work with you to safe and restore your teeth to a healthy functioning condition, but sometimes teeth are decayed beyond repair, have severe gum disease or are impacted. In these cases, only one solution is available that can eliminate your pain and the area of infection, and that is having the tooth extracted.

Whether you are having one tooth removed or multiple teeth extracted, most procedures are fairly quick. More time is spent making sure you are comfortable through the use of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or sedation services than are actually used to remove the infected tooth. Patients can rest assured that their dentist will take close care to make the visit as pleasant as possible.

Most extractions are very straightforward and easy to perform. In some cases where wisdom teeth are impacted, the removal of the tooth is a little more involved. For surgical removals such as these, most patients prefer to have a sleep dentistry appointment that uses sedation medication to help them “sleep” through the procedure.

After your tooth is extracted, your Marietta dentist will provide you with home care instructions that aid in the proper healing and recovery of your extraction site. Things like smoking or drinking through a straw should be avoided completely, as these habits will interfere with the healing or your extraction site and may lead to a condition known as dry socket. Dry sockets can be very uncomfortable. Let your dentist know if you experience any pain or swelling that does not subside within 1 or 2 days so that a medication can be placed in the extraction site. With proper care and maintenance, most patients feel back to normal within a few days.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



4 Reasons Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed

Wisdom teeth are a natural part of life. Many people experience absolutely no problems with their wisdom teeth, and they erupt into place perfectly as they ought to. Others may unfortunately have limited space in their mouth, causing crowded or impacted teeth due to the amount of room for the wisdom tooth to erupt into. In addition to pain and discomfort, here are 4 reasons why wisdom teeth removal may be necessary:

Partial eruption

When only a small portion of the tooth has erupted through the gums, it allows food and bacteria to enter into the area around the tooth. Normal oral hygiene cannot remove this debris and it will work its way further under the gums, causing other complications.

Damage to adjacent teeth

If a wisdom tooth comes in at an angle toward the adjacent tooth, that tooth can easily experience irreversible damage. The most common problem is tooth decay on the wisdom tooth jumping across to the healthy tooth nearby. As a result, a virgin tooth that has never had problems may risk being lost.

Infection under the gums

Cysts and abscesses are a common side effect following partial eruption due to lack of access for oral hygiene. Wisdom teeth become decayed and then develop large areas of infection around the tooth, which may cause destruction of jawbone.

Crowding of other teeth

As wisdom teeth come in, they typically cause the other teeth to be pushed forward in the mouth. Front teeth then appear to become crowded and bunched together. For patients that have properly aligned teeth, or have undergone orthodontic therapy, this can create a large concern. Misaligned teeth are also known to develop decay and gum disease more frequently than properly aligned teeth.

Posted on behalf of Rowe Family Dental Care


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