While you may be able to receive treatment for minor oral problems in your regular dentist’s office, more serious issues may require treatment from an oral surgeon.

Choosing which surgeon to see can be a daunting task, as there are over 9,000 such practitioners throughout the United States. You probably don’t want to see an oral surgeon across the country from where you live, however, so you can start by narrowing it down to your community or region. Here are some suggestions about how to proceed from there.

1. Know What To Look For

You want treatment from an oral surgeon who is qualified to perform the procedure and experienced in the type of treatment you need. It is a good sign if your surgeon has been practicing for a long time and/or belongs to a professional society. It is a very good sign if your surgeon has been published in a journal of dental implantology, as these publications are reviewed by established experts in the field to ensure accuracy. Perhaps the most important credential to look for is board certification

2. Get Referrals

Your dentist may be able to refer you to an oral surgeon with whose work he or she is familiar and in whose abilities he or she has confidence. A referral from a professional in the field, such as your dentist, is a high recommendation. However, you may also seek referrals from friends or family members who have had procedures done and were happy with the results.

3. Have a Conversation

It is entirely appropriate to ask for an introductory appointment with the oral surgeon so that you can ask questions regarding his or her experience, failure rate, and success stories. Speaking with an oral surgeon face to face is a good way to gauge whether you feel comfortable receiving treatment from him or her.