Reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Foley, DDS

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer treatments for a wide range of conditions related to the mouth, jaw, and facial structures. While general dentists can perform some oral surgical procedures, they may refer patients to an oral surgeon for complex cases or if the patient requests it.

But the question remains, can you go straight to an oral surgeon without first visiting a general dentist or your primary physician?

This blog post will answer that question and give you a better understanding of the difference between a dentist and oral surgeon, as well as the services they provide.

Table of Contents

The Role of a General Dentist

A general dentist is the primary dental care provider for patients of all ages. They focus on maintaining good oral health through preventative treatments such as cleanings, fillings, and root canals.

They also diagnose and treat common dental conditions like gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. In some cases, general dentists may also perform simple oral surgeries such as tooth extractions or uncomplicated wisdom teeth removal.

However, if a patient requires more complex procedures or has a condition that extends beyond the scope of general dentistry, they will be referred to an oral surgeon.

The Role of an Oral Surgeon

Oral surgeons are dental specialists who have completed additional years of education and training focused on surgical procedures involving the mouth, jaw, and face. 

Some of the most common reasons patients may need to see an oral surgeon include:

Benefits of Seeing an Oral Surgeon

Oral surgeons can handle complex dental procedures that require a more intricate approach than standard dental care. By visiting an oral surgeon:

  • You receive specialized care tailored to your specific dental requirements.
  • You can benefit from the surgeons’ expertise, ensuring optimal outcomes and faster recovery times.
  • Complex dental procedures are performed with precision and accuracy.
  • You receive thorough preoperative and postoperative care, leading to a better overall patient experience.
  • Oral surgeons are equipped to offer a wider range of sedation options for their patients. These can range from local anesthesia to general anesthesia, depending on the procedure and patient’s comfort level.

Why Choose Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons?

The skilled oral surgeons at Foley & Le offer comprehensive care with advanced technology. Known for their exceptional expertise, they are proficient in performing various oral surgery procedures.

Meet Our Expert Surgeons

Dr. Benjamin Foley

Dr. Benjamin Foley, D.D.S., is an exceptionally skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In 2005, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. 

Following that, Dr. Foley pursued his dental education at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine in Denver, where he was honored to be selected into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society for graduating in the top 10% of his class. He completed his Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Thao Le

Dr. Thao Le is a highly skilled dental professional who completed her undergraduate education at the University of Georgia and dental school at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She then obtained her medical degree and completed her Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency at Emory University

She has been an active member of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery since 2016. She holds medical staff privileges at Boulder Community Health and is certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.

Dr. Daniel B. Foley

Dr. Daniel Foley earned his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota and graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. He completed his Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency at the University of Minnesota.

In 1982, Dr. D. Foley relocated to Boulder and established his oral surgery practice. Since 2005, he has been consistently recognized as one of Boulder’s top dentists by 5280 magazine.

Services offered by Foley & Le Oral Surgery

At Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, we strive to provide the highest quality care for our patients. Our services include:

Whether you require wisdom tooth removal or dental implant surgery, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are equipped with the knowledge, experience, and advanced technology to address your needs.

How Do I Get a Referral to Foley & Le Oral Surgeons?

If you would like your dentist or primary care provider to refer you to our office, they can fill out the patient referral form online. This referral form requires the following information:

  • Patient information (demographics).
  • Referring doctors information.
  • The procedure or consultation required.
  • If a tooth needs to be extracted, the doctor must indicate which tooth (teeth) need to be extracted.
  • Radiographs or clinical photos.
  • Any additional comments by the doctor or dentist.

Once we receive your referral, we will contact you to book an appointment. On occasion the referring dentist may not send us a copy of your referral. If you have not heard from us within one week, please call our office.

To help us serve you better, we ask that you fill out our patient registration form before your first visit. This form requires the following information:

  • Your address, phone number and email address.
  • Your driver’s license number.
  • Who you were referred by.
  • The name of your dentist, orthodontist and medical doctor.
  • Name, address and phone number of your preferred pharmacy.
  • Emergency contact name and phone number.
  • Information for primary and secondary dental insurance and medical insurance.
  • You will be required to complete a comprehensive health history questionnaire.
  • List of medications
  • Allergies
  • Family history
  • Accident history (if applicable)

Foley & Le: Your Trust Oral Surgeon in Boulder, CO

At Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, we are committed to providing exceptional care and results. Our team of experienced oral surgeons is dedicated to delivering personalized treatment plans for each patient’s unique needs. With state-of-the-art technology and a welcoming atmosphere, we strive to make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

If you would like to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call (303) 444-2255 or complete the online booking form. We look forward to meeting you!

Additional Resources

Skip to content