What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and a Dental Surgeon?

Nobody likes having to make an appointment with a dentist. It’s a fact of life that everyone has to do it at some point in their life. The appointment might be to take care of a cracked, damaged or chipped tooth, or it might be for a procedure like a root canal or tooth extraction. Your reason for dental care will help determine the best type of dentist to see.

What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and a Dental Surgeon?

When it comes to booking your appointment, it’s important to make sure that you call the right type of dental specialist for what you need. What’s the difference between a dentist and a dental surgeon – and which one do you have to see first?

Here’s what you should know.

What a Dentist Does

A dentist is a type of medical doctor that works with issues relating to the teeth and jaw. In addition, dentists are allowed to perform many types of procedures including extractions and root canals – and they are the doctor that most people will see when they are experiencing general trouble with their teeth or need a check-up.

Dentists are allowed to perform most general dentistry procedures from cleaning to extraction. They are also allowed to prescribe certain types of medications related to the procedure. People can also see a dentist when they need x-rays done.

But one of the most important things that distinguishes a dentist from a dental surgeon is the fact that the first one might refer you to the second.

What a Dental Surgeon Does

Dental surgeons are dentists, but they have additional qualifications – and access to operating rooms – to perform dental surgery.

Most dental procedures can be done in a consultation room chair without too much fussing and local anesthetic. In contrast, dental surgeries require access to more specialized equipment than you will find in the dentist’s office. In addition, procedures can include several specialists (including an anesthetist working together).

Any procedure that involves surgery (or the potential of surgery or complications occurring during the procedure) will likely be referred to a dental surgeon after you have seen a dentist.

Should you book with a dentist or a dental surgeon first?

Ideally, you should book with a dentist before you see a dental surgeon. The dentist has the ability to either do the procedure or examination and refer you to the right competent dental surgeon – usually one that they have worked with before.

See a dentist first where possible and allow them to refer you to the right expert for your needs. Regency Dental, your affordable family dentist in Omaha. Contact us today!

Regency Family Dentistry Omaha | Best Omaha Dentist near Westroads Mall in Regency

Whether your teeth needs are a:

  • complete exam and cleaning,
  • full-mouth restoration
  • or anything in between

We promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile.  Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results.  Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.

Preventative Dentistry

  • Dental Exams
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Oral Cancer Exam
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Sealants
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Home Care
  • Nightguards & Mouthguards

Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Composite Fillings
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • FixedPorcelain Bridges
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Tooth Whitening

Periodontal Disease

  • What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Maintenance

Restorative Dentistry

  • Dental Implants
  • Inlay Restorations
  • Onlay Restorations
  • Composite Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Dentures & Partial Dentures
  • Fixed Bridges
  • Root Canal Therapy

Oral Surgery

  • Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Have Any Questions?

Contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Dear Valued Patient

Happy 2024! All of us at Regency Dental hope your year is off to a great start. As many of you have already witnessed, there are changes occurring within our practice for the past several months. Dr. Spanel is in a time of transition within the practice, and he has found a colleague who shares his core values, philosophy, and sense of personalized quality care. He was fortunate to find Dr. Dan Ellingson who is a wonderful, gentle dentist. Dr. Ellingson is a local graduate of Gross High School, UNO, and UNMC College of Dentistry. He has a strong commitment to our local community. Having this opportunity to own a private practice, Dr. Ellingson is eager to meet each of you. He and all staff members will continue working diligently to provide you with the same caring, calm and meticulous dental care you would expect to receive from Dr. Spanel.

As we continue to move forward in 2024 with this transition, we thank you for your trust, partnership, and patience as we welcome Dr. Ellingson to the practice. We have additional team members, and have updated our software programs to comply with HIPAA regulations of paperless charting. We are also updating our equipment to provide state-of-the-art care.

We all know that changes bring challenges. Please know that Dr. Spanel, Dr. Ellingson and the team at Regency Dental intend to provide you, our loyal patients, the very best dental care in a warm and compassionate atmosphere. If you haven’t scheduled your 2024 dental check-ups, please call us!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


The Doctors and Staff at Regency Dental.