Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Surgically solve problems involving the jaw and mouth.
picture of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Quick Stats

Salary Range
~ $195,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons do?

Dentists who want to take their skills to the next level should consider a job as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, or OMS for short. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons operate on the jaw and mouth (the “oral” part of the job title), and the upper jaw and the face (described by the term “maxillofacial”).

As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, you start as a Dentist and work your way up. This area is one of the nine specialties in the field of dentistry. On an average day in the office, you examine patients’ medical charts and x-rays to identify problems. Common complications include improperly grown wisdom teeth, facial tumors, and fractured jaws.

After discussing the treatment options with a patient, you schedule their surgery. Surgeries range from milder forms, such as removing wisdom teeth, to complex procedures, like reshaping the jaw. It takes a steady hand and a thorough medical knowledge to pull off a successful surgery. Those with a queasy stomach need not apply.

Nurses and even other Surgeons accompany you in the operating room. They hand you your tools, monitor the patient’s condition, and help out when a procedure needs more than one person to complete.

Once the patient wakes up, you explain their at-home treatment plan, and schedule a follow-up visit to check for infection and unexpected side effects. Surgeries usually go off without a hitch, but you’re still on call day and night to offer patients immediate assistance.

Should I be an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Dental Surgeon, OMS, Oral Surgeon

    How to Become an
    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    Most Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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