Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists who have been specially trained to deal with a wide range of issues concerning the oral cavity and maxillofacial region. These specialists are often called in to handle more complex issues that may be beyond the scope of general dentists. This may range from a simple wisdom tooth removal to major reconstructive surgery. Without a doubt, these doctors are well-learned and more than qualified for the job at hand.
How to Become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
In the United States, these doctors undergo rigorous training for over a decade before they begin their practice.
- Undergraduate Degree:
In the United States, it is required that you possess an undergraduate degree in the field of science prior to applying to dental colleges.
- Dental Admission Test (DAT):
This test must be taken in the final year of your undergraduate degree. The score can be used for applying to various dental colleges. The admissions are very competitive.
- Attend dental college for four years:
After you get into a dental college, your course duration is four years. You will then be awarded with a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree depending on your college.
- Four to six-year residency program:
In order to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, after completing the general dentistry course, you need to complete a speciality residency program of four to six years’ duration.
- Dental Accreditation and Licensing Exam:
The next step is to acquire an accredited dental degree and to pass the National Board Dental Exam to practice in the United States.
- Board Certification Exam:
The final step in an oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s journey is to clear the board certification exam.
As you can see, it takes a very dedicated, passionate, talented and clear-headed individual to jump all these hurdles to become an oral surgeon. At the end of this long road, these specialists have the right skill-set required to tackle any challenging dental or medical issues that may come their way.
Common Procedures Performed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are all-rounders when it comes to surgical procedures. Their level of expertise allows them to attend to a wide variety of cases that require special care and attention.
- Wisdom Tooth Removal
One of the most common dental procedures performed in the United States, nearly 5 million Americans undergo third molar extraction every year. Wisdom teeth can be quite tricky to extract due to their position, angulation, level of eruption and proximity to nearby nerves. Oral surgeons are adept at identifying the right way to go about the extraction procedure.
- Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants have become quite popular in recent years due to their ability to seamlessly fuse with the jaw bone and replace missing teeth in the best possible way. Oral surgeons are your best bet when it comes to dental implants as they have the required theoretical and practical knowledge to ensure a successful procedure. They are also more than capable of handling any complications that may arise during the implant placement.
- Cosmetic Surgery
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are artists when it comes to enhancing the function and aesthetics of the face, mouth, jaws and teeth. Some of the cosmetic procedures that an oral surgeon can take care of include cheek implants, nose reconstruction, facelifts, botox injections, chin reconstruction, skin and laser treatments.
- Surgical Treatment of Cysts and Tumors:
Whether it is benign or cancerous, oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the expertise to surgically remove cysts and tumours of the face and oral cavity. After a detailed evaluation of patient’s medical history, signs and symptoms, oral surgeons usually conduct a biopsy of the lesion. Further treatment or surgery is decided as per the report after careful assessment by a team of doctors.
The range of treatment procedures performed by oral surgeons is not limited to those mentioned above. They go above and beyond to handle even the most complicated cases skilfully due to the confidence they gain from the depth of their theoretical and practical knowledge.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery as a branch of dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. Maxillofacial surgeons wear many hats and have the innate ability to think on their feet and act fast. Oral surgeons are a perfect craftsman when it comes to the face, jaws and skull. Whether it is wisdom tooth removal, sleep apnea correction or cosmetic surgery, oral surgeons take every procedure seriously and are well aware of the complications that may arise and know how to handle them well.
If you are looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgery in Orange County, Dr Farshidi is a great choice. He knows exactly how to put his patients at ease and ensure a smooth surgical procedure.