Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology, and spend time in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), plastic surgery, emergency medicine and other specialty areas. This training focuses almost completely on the bone, skin and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw. Oral and facial surgeons have knowledge and expertise that uniquely qualifies them to diagnose and treat a number of functional and esthetic conditions in this anatomical area.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supporting specialized education, research and advocacy. AAOMS fellows and members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office anesthesia evaluations to ensure that office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.


What does it mean to be Board Certified in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

A Board Certified Surgeon has graduated from an accredited dental school and is licensed in the state in which he/she practices.  In addition, this individual has completed an approved oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program approved by the American Dental Association’s commission on Dental Accreditation.

During his/her oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon received graduate training in other disciplines such as general surgery, plastic surgery, medicine, anesthesia and pathology.  Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to treat patients in the hospital, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and in private offices.

The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is responsible for reviewing all applicants for board certification as well as administering the examinations involved in the certification process. The applications of all the candidates for board certification are reviewed by the Board’s Credentials Committee.

Finally, board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to pass both a thorough written qualifying examination and a rigorous oral certifying examination to become board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Diplomates are encouraged to maintain current competence by ongoing continued education.

Continuing education is an important tool keeping oral and maxillofacial surgeons updated on new developments in the field.  This is accomplished through national meetings, seminars, lectures, special courses, panels and symposia.  The Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has a demonstrated commitment to continual professional development.  The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery encourages its Diplomates to continue their professional development through various continuing education experiences.

American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

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