Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

What they do

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specific type of dentistry that operates on the mouth, jaws, teeth, and the neck and head area. They perform more critical surgeries than dentist, but are a type dentist. Often they take out wisdom teeth, and other types of surgeries that the patients want done, but they do participate in critical surgeries such as broken jaws and bullets to the face.


To be an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, you have to be highly qualified and have a college degree (often in science like chemistry or life science) to be considered for dental school. After 4 years of dental school, you then have to apply to be accepted into a hospital based surgical residency program, which lasts 4 to 6 years depending on where you attend. Then, you must apply to have a licsense to practice. After that, you are qualified to practice oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Skills and Abilities

To be an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon you have to have certain skill sets. these include critical thinking, active learning, judgement and descision making, reading comprehension, and science. Abilities include finger dexterity, manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, problem sensitivity, and near vision, as well as high endurance to stand up all day. They often develop neck problems from bending over all day.


Doctors that practice Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are one of the highest paid group of doctors, with a salary of $217,380, but often go to school the longest. Once established, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery practice can become very successfull. Often, doctors in this field do not practice in a hospital, but are associated with one, where they take call duty. For their pay, they work about 2,080 hours a year. Once an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, you often are in the highest position possible.

Job outlook

The field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, which is in the field of dentistry, is projected to grow 16% from the year 2012 to the year 2022. Which means that the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery should be a good field to enter into because, with a growth of population of the recent years, the demand for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is rising.


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