Your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you require removal of a tooth. Although some tooth extractions appear to be "routine" or "simple" they may require surgical removal by an oral surgeon depending on the circumstance.

Reasons for referral to an oral surgeon for tooth removal include:

  1. Proximity of tooth roots to vital structures such as the maxillary sinus or mandibular nerve.
  2. Unsuccessful attempt to remove tooth by dentist.
  3. Presence of pathology in area of tooth removal.
  4. Curved roots.
  5. Request by patient to undergo anesthesia for tooth removal.
  6. Severely infected tooth.
  7. Inability to get patient numb requiring patient sedation or general anesthesia.
  8. Requirement for concomitant procedures such as bone reshaping, bone grafting in the area of the tooth socket or immediate placement of dental implant(s).
  9. Removal of multiple teeth.
  10. Medically compromised patient.


Severely decayed tooth requiring surgical removal by an oral surgeon. Yellow dot indicates one of the three roots protruding into the maxillary sinus.