About the Expert
Dr. Mark Craig has been board certified as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon since 1999, and his approach to patient care blends clinical excellence with a personalized doctor-patient relationship. He completed his undergrad at the University of Texas and earned his dental degree from the Baylor College of Dentistry. He obtained a medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
How can I tell if I’m working with an oral surgeon or a dentist who does oral surgery?
If your dentist has someone who comes into their office to treat you, research their credentials because many of the specialists you’re seeing aren’t specialists. They hide behind what I like to call a veil of false credentials. An oral surgeon is an experienced specialist with six years of additional hospital-based surgical training after dental school. Most are also licensed physicians who completed additional internships in general surgery and anesthesia. You can check the Texas Medical Board or Texas State Board of Dental Examiners websites to determine qualifications. To learn more about our practice, credentials, and commitment to a more pleasant patient experience, visit CraigOralSurgery.com.
Do patients with insurance occasionally get inferior service?
Our office is a provider under most PPO dental insurance plans because we don’t want someone to pay more than they should. We also don’t have a two-tiered approach to patient care. In other words, you don’t get less if you’re on a dental plan and more if you’re a self-pay or cash-pay patient. Everyone gets top-shelf materials, the best supplies, and the peace of mind that they’re being treated equally. Not every practice operates like this, so it’s important to ask questions.
When should I bring my child in for wisdom-teeth evaluation?
Early screening is key. Whether your child has had braces or not, we screen them around age 14-15 because we can decide, “yes, it’s time to do it early because the risks are low and the recovery is predictable,” or we can wait because the surgery will be easier in the future. Many general dentists think the prime age is 17 or 18. The youngest person I did wisdom teeth for was 10. I did this when I was 14. Early removal is suggested to decrease complications and make recovery predictable.
What does wisdom-teeth surgery recovery look like?
For impacted wisdom teeth removal, the recovery time is about one week. For at least 4-5 days, a patient should maintain a soft but nutritious diet and avoid strenuous activities. We encourage patients to return for a post-op visit after a week to monitor healing and provide more wound-care instructions. Follow our instructions, and you should do well.
What’s included in an oral surgeon consultation?
The consultation allows me and the patient to discuss whether oral surgery is necessary. It is an opportunity to inform, answer questions, and clear up misconceptions. I also review the patient’s medical history, complete a problem-focused examination, and review any available X-rays or studies. This allows me to create a more individualized care plan based on patients’ needs, desires, and financial concerns. Our staff then customizes a treatment plan, verifies insurance coverage, and schedules your procedure.