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.

Following dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete a four to six years in a hospital-based surgical residency program. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology, and also spend time in otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and emergency medicine. Their training focuses almost exclusively on the hard (ie, bone) and soft (ie, skin, muscle) tissue of the face, mouth, and jaws.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are well-prepared to:

    • Manage diseases of the teeth and their supporting soft and hard tissues.
    • Surgically reconstruct inadequate bone structure in the jaw area.
    • Evaluate, plan a course of treatment and place dental implants to replace missing teeth.
    • Expertly treat head and neck trauma and injuries to the face, jaws, mouth and teeth.
    • Diagnose and treat facial pain.
    • Diagnose and treat oral cancer and other diseases in the maxillofacial region.
    • Perform corrective jaw surgery to improve the function and appearance of patients with such conditions as cleft lip and palate and other congenital defects.
    • Diagnose and surgically treat obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Perform facial cosmetic procedures to enhance facial appearance and function.