Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Job Description

Surgeons who work on the mouth, neck or face are called oral surgeons. They do diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many problems that can affect these areas.

doctor having operation

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are oral surgeons who specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a broad range of diseases, injuries, and conditions that affect the head, neck or face. This can include surgery to correct jaw deformities (such as problems with overbite or underbite), orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth (including braces), extractions of impacted wisdom teeth and other dental procedures. Oral surgeons are also responsible for providing anesthesia during surgical procedures.


The job of an oral surgeon is to work closely with other health care providers. They might treat problems related to overall health such as chronic sinusitis, facial trauma and inflammatory diseases which may affect the mouth. Oral surgeons often work in a hospital setting (such as a hospital operating room), but can also be found in dental offices, outpatient surgery centers and private practice offices.


Oral surgeons must complete a residency program in the specialty of Oral Surgery after graduating from dental school (this is one year longer than other dentists). Following the completion of their training, some undertake fellowships to further specialize in areas such as craniofacial surgery (surgery related to the skull, mouth and facial bones), pediatric oral surgery (surgery on the teeth and tissues of children) or in surgical/medical reconstruction (reconstructive surgery).


Oral surgeons give patients general anesthesia to ensure they are unconscious during dental procedures. Patients who undergo general anesthesia may also require sedation dentistry treatments. This is a less intense form of anesthesia in which the patient is sedated but conscious.


Additional job duties may include:

  • Managing multidisciplinary teams to provide comprehensive treatment plans for patients with complex medical and dental problems.
  • Working closely with other health care professionals to develop individualized treatment plans that address all aspects of a patient's health concerns, including dental, medical and psychiatric conditions.
  • Obtaining authorization from the patient's health care team prior to performing surgical procedures.


Employment outlook for oral surgeons is very good as there will be a need to replace those who either retire or choose to pursue other opportunities. The average length of practice of an oral surgeon is approximately 6-8 years and most oral surgeons will enter into general practice of dentistry after completing their training. This means there will not be a large number retiring annually, however the need for these specialists is expected to remain steady as more people are living longer despite dental health problems and disease.


The median salary for an oral surgeon was $233,710 in 2012. The majority of oral surgeons work full-time and additional job opportunities are available in private practice, whether they own the practice or work for a corporation. Other full-time positions are found in hospitals, dental practices that provide on-site surgical procedures, schools and other government organizations such as Veteran's Affairs.

Statistics on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

  • Approximately 50% of the training programs in the US and 66% of Canadian training programs are "dual-degree. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate 50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. (bls.gov)
  • The value is less than .005 percent of industry employment. (bls.gov)

Articles On Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons


Oral and maxillofacial surgery - Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)


acoms.org (acoms.org)


What is a Maxillofacial Surgeon?

 Maxillofacial surgeons are medical professionals who specialize in surgery for the face, head, neck, and jaw. Learn more about the conditions they treat and when you might need to see one. (webmd.com)


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon - Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews  

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgeries on the face, mouth and jaw. (money.usnews.com)


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (bls.gov)



The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supports its members' ability to practice their specialty through education, research, and advocacy. (aaoms.org)


Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Our surgeons provide Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with expertise including Corrective Jaw Surgery, Wisdom Teeth Removal, and Dental Implants. (maineoralsurgery.com)


What is Maxillofacial Surgery?

What is Maxillofactial Surgery? You can probably tell by the name that maxillofacial surgery has something to do with the face and front part of the head. But what exactly is it? And what... (summitfacial.com)


What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery, also referred to as oral surgery, ranges from simple extractions to invasive surgical procedures. Learn more here. (newmouth.com)


Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

University of Michigan oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat defects and injuries of the head, face and neck including the mouth, teeth, and jaws. (uofmhealth.org)

Mathematician Job Description

Mathematician Job DescriptionMathematicians tackle tough problems in mathematics and other fields like physics, engineering or finance. Mathematicians are responsible for tackling the toughest problems in mathematics and other disciplines like…

Optometrist Job Description

Optometrist Job DescriptionOne of the eye care professions is an optometrist, who manages vision problems and other issues related to the eyes. Optometrists are not just prescription eyeglasses dispensers. They…

Computer Systems Analyst Job Description

Computer Systems Analyst Job Description A computer systems analyst, also called a computer scientist or engineer, is someone who develops, designs and tests computers. A computer systems analyst develops, designs…