If you are like most people, hearing the word "surgeon" causes a bit of fear. However, if your dentist is referring you to an oral surgeon, it is usually not anything to worry about. In most cases it will be for the extraction of a tooth that your dentist feels will be more difficult. Here are some reasons the extraction may be more than what your dentist wants to do and why he or she feels that way.
Sometimes a tooth has decayed and broken to the point that there is very little or none of it above the gums. In this case, it would be best for an oral surgeon to perform the extraction. The gums will be cut open to expose the rest of the tooth, making it easier for the surgeon to remove it entirely. While your regular dentist could attempt to pull the tooth out normally, without cutting the gum there is a good chance that a piece of it may remain inside the jaw. Since the tooth probably had bacteria in it that caused it to break apart, leaving the piece could easily cause an infection to spread not only to other teeth but also travel in the bloodstream to other organs or parts of your body.
Sometimes a tooth does not erupt all the way through the gumline. This could be because another tooth is partially in the way or is back too far in your mouth and there is no room for it. It is best for an oral surgeon to remove these teeth to keep them from continually pushing up and causing pain. Since there will be cutting into the gum, and quite possibly the jaw, your normal dentist will insist on having a specialist do the surgery. An oral surgeon has more experience and training in these procedures.
Some of the molars, and almost always the wisdom teeth, have roots that go deeper than the rest of your teeth. This means they are harder to remove even if they are not breaking apart. To ensure that the whole root is removed, and because this will often involve cutting into the jawbone, an oral surgeon needs to perform the work.
While there will be stitches where any incisions were made and the healing will take longer than a normal tooth extraction, having an oral surgeon do the work does not mean that the problem is any more dangerous than any tooth that has bacteria. They are just more difficult to remove. Your dentist is being responsible by referring you to someone better equipped to make the extraction as easy on you as possible. For more information, contact local professionals like Renovo Endodontic Studio.