The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the surgical specialists of the dental profession. Their extensive education and training, surgical expertise and unparalleled understanding of esthetics and function uniquely qualify them to treat the conditions, defects, injuries and esthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face. Patients who complain of pain or problems in this area are routinely referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for help.
Training and Scope of Practice
Following dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete a minimum of four years in a hospital-based surgical residency program. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. Their training focuses almost exclusively on the hard (ie, bone) and soft (ie, skin, muscle) tissue of the face, mouth, and jaws. Depending on the residency program, some surgeons may also choose to earn a medical or masters degree.