Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Oral Surgeon


Description

Anyone who has ever been in an accident that knocked their teeth out or who has had their wisdom teeth removed has likely been a patient of an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons, also called maxillofacial surgeons, are experts in the surgical treatment of the jaw, face, teeth and associated structures. Maxillofacial surgery is the medical side of this profession and deals with the jaw, facial bones and with surgery needed to remove cancer.

Oral surgery is that branch and specialty of dentistry that is concerned with and includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disorders, diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions and related structures.

Oral surgeons care for patients who experience such conditions as problems with wisdom teeth, facial pain, and misaligned jaws. They treat accident victims suffering facial injuries, offer reconstructive and dental implant surgery, and care for patients with tumors and cysts of the jaws and functional and aesthetic conditions of the maxillofacial areas. With specialized knowledge in pain control and advanced training in anesthesia, the oral surgeon is able to provide quality care with maximum patient comfort and safety in the office setting.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also correct facial deformities such as cleft palates. They also do surgery on the face and neck of cancer patients to remove tumors. Working with people that have facial deformities and tumors, their goal is to help them rid of an illness, feel better and even look better. Therefore, there are large medical and cosmetic components involved in this profession.

Treatment of these conditions includes management of congenital facial anomalies such as jaw deformities related to cleft lip and palates and abnormal growth of facial bones. It also encompasses tooth extractions, treatment for traumatic injuries to the face and jaws, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, pathology, and reconstruction of portions of the facial bones missing as a result of trauma or surgery to remove abnormal conditions. Pre-prosthetic surgery and implant surgery at the advanced level are also within the scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Oral surgeons work in close cooperation with general dentists, physicians, and other specialities. Many find the opportunity for collaboration with peers a stimulating plus. Oral surgeons recognize that educating patients about the procedures they perform is a critical element in providing the highest quality patient care.
 
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Pima Medical Institute

Explore a new career with Pima Medical Institute.

Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assistant

 

 



  Interests and Skills  
Oral surgeons must have good health, eyesight, and good finger and manual dexterity. They must have a gentle, delicate touch and a good degree of mechanical aptitude and ability. They require great interpersonal skills, and can communicate with all of their patients, trying to make them feel more comfortable. They also have the ability to understand and handle many different types and ages of people. Successful oral surgeons enjoy doing precise work with tools and equipment, and helping people treat diseases of the mouth.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Consult with patients about their teeth, gums, necks, facial features and surrounding tissue to plan appropriate surgical treatment
  • Educate patients to help to prevent dental diseases
  • Restore, extract and replace diseased and decayed teeth
  • Perform oral surgery and other maxillofacial treatments
  • Perform corrective work such as straightening teeth
  • Supervise dental technicians, dental assistants and other staff
  • Most oral surgeons work eight-hour days during the week, but in order to meet patient time constraints, some may also work weekends and evenings. An on-call schedule is a necessary aspect of this specialty. Trauma and other emergency situations necessitate prompt emergency care by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Oral surgery is a high stress occupation due to working with people who are in pain and are often afraid of them.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Most oral surgeons work in clinical settings, such as hospitals, dental clinics, outpatient surgical centers, public health facilities, universities or own their own private practices. Directly upon graduation, they may engage in private practice, however, these days, partnerships with established dental practitioners and group practices are becoming increasingly popular. Better opportunities exist in smaller towns and city centers where the market has yet to be saturated. Some oral surgeons work for government health services.

  Long Term Career Potential  
A broad range of career options is available including private practice, hospital practice, teaching, and research. Otherwise, since it takes so many years of school to become an oral surgeon, once established, they usually stay within the industry and move into more supervisory positions. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are usually affiliated with local and regional hospitals.
 

  Educational Paths  
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have a long educational road ahead of them from the high school level (anywhere from 10 to 14 years of school). They are required have a bachelor of science degree, or at least two years of undergraduate education along with passing an entrance exam to dental school. The next step is to obtain a degree from a recognized dental program. Then oral surgeons must take a four-year program in oral surgery to receive a certificate and/or master's degree in oral surgery upon completion of the program. An additional two to four years may be spent obtaining a joint MD or a PhD degree depending on individual career goals.

Oral surgeons must be licensed to practice dentistry and oral surgery. Each region has a licensing body that establishes regulations and requirements for the licensure of general practitioners and specialists within the jurisdiction. Contact the regulatory authority in your jurisdiction to obtain detailed information about licensure, registration, and fees.
 

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Pima Medical Institute  Online

Explore a new career with Pima Medical Institute.

Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Chula Vista, CA

 
Carrington College California  Online
Ready for a rewarding career? Start with a certificate or degree from Carrington College California.
Programs Offered:
  • AS in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate in Medical Assisting
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • Sacramento, CA

 
UEI College  Online

Get career training for the job you’ve always wanted at UEI College.

Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Gardena, CA

 
Concorde  Online

At Concorde, you’ll find that a “learn by doing” approach to healthcare training will get you the skills you need to succeed-- and get you into the workforce quickly.

Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Hygiene - (AS)
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • San Bernardino, CA

 
Milan Institute  Online
Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.
Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assistant
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
Campus Locations:
  • Las Vegas, NV

 
Charter College  Online

You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate - Dental Assisting
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Lancaster, CA

 
Kaplan College - KHE  Online
Get a professional education designed with your future in mind at Kaplan College.
Programs Offered:
  • Diploma: Dental Assistant
  • Diploma: Medical Office Specialist
  • Diploma: Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Salida, CA

 
American Career College  Online

American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.

Programs Offered:
  • Dental Assisting
  • Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Long Beach, CA

 
Allied Health Institute  Online
Allied Health Institute is a post-secondary vocational school offering a variety of Diploma and Associate Degree programs in the field of Allied Health. By utilizing online learning, students have the flexibility to continue their education from the convenience of their own home. Our virtual classrooms will enable students to attend classes and communicate with instructors and classmates. Students can complete some programs without leaving their current employment or sacrificing family time.
Programs Offered:
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Assistant
Campus Locations:
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

 
Carrington College  Online

Ready for a rewarding career in healthcare? Carrington College™ can help.

Programs Offered:
  • Medical Assisting
Campus Locations:
  • Reno, NV

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2014 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.