Patient Information

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?
“ Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.  The term “maxillofacial” refers to the anatomic area of the jaws and the face.”

– American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a unique specialty that bridges dentistry and medicine.  The specialty encompasses diseases and conditions in or around the mouth, jaw and facial region that require surgical treatment.  Like any other surgical specialty, an extensive training is required.

What is the education/training process required to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
After 4 years of college and additional 4 years of dental school, a graduate may choose to become a general dentist with or without additional residency.  Should a candidate decide to specialize in any of the 9 dental specialties, additional residency is required.  Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency usually consists of additional 4 to 6 years of training after dental school.  The rigorous residency is often in a hospital setting that includes rotations in anesthesia, general surgery, intensive care, internal medicine, plus other related disciplines such as ENT or plastic surgery rotations.  An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who completed the residency program is also trained and qualified to perform anesthesia in the office and treat patients in the office setting, as well as hospitals and surgical centers.

What does it take to become a board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
After completion of the residency, a candidate may apply to the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to be a candidate for the board certification exam.  The candidate must show proofs of evidence of surgical experience and be reviewed by credentialed committee before the exams can be granted.  The candidate must pass a thorough and rigorous written, then oral exam within a limited time frame before becoming board certified.  A board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon must re-certify every ten years throughout his/her career.

What does all this mean to me as a patient?
While the process of training for an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is highly intensive and selective, you as a patient can rest assured that you will be provided with most up-to-date knowledge and care.

All these training just to take some teeth out?
Tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgery procedure.  It is regarded as any other surgical procedures in the body.  A person’s medical history, drug history and past experiences can all impact on the outcomes of the procedure.  With training in anesthesia, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can help you as a patient to feel more comfortable.