The American Dental Association defines oral and maxillofacial surgery as “..specialty of dentistry which includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.” In plain terms, this means that oral surgeons treat a vast array of problems of the head and neck.

Most people are familiar with oral surgery when they need their wisdom teeth removed, or have a dental implant placed. Oral surgeons, however, do much more: they remove cysts or tumors of the jaws, treat TMJ diseases, perform corrective jaw surgery, cosmetic surgery, botox, pre-prosthetic surgery, and trauma to name a few. This requires at least 4 to 6 years of post-doctoral training, in an ADA, CODA-accredited oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program.