Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform intricate surgeries on jaws, teeth, lips, and the surrounding structures. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons may diagnose a patient’s misaligned jaws, obstructive sleep apnea, or cancers of the mouth. They perform surgery that removes tumors or impacted teeth… adjust the position of the jaw to be more functional and comfortable… or provide structure and symmetry to the appearance of the face and mouth. Some provide emergency treatment of facial injuries, or may reconstruct a patient’s jaws and face after an illness. They may also administer conscious sedation for patients who need it, when full anesthesia is not indicated. These surgeons may work in hospitals for more complicated operations, but usually spend most of their time in a dental office with an outpatient surgery suite. They collaborate with other professionals, like orthodontists and restorative dentists to plan treatment for diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth. They typically work full-time. Becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon requires a doctoral degree from dental school, dentistry licensure, and a four- to six-year surgical residency… after which they must obtain board certification. Many also obtain a medical doctor degree as well. The extensive training and experience these surgeons bring to their work enables them to solve complex problems and relieve patients’ pain… right when it’s needed the most.
What they do:
Perform surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects. May diagnose problems of the oral and maxillofacial regions. May perform surgery to improve function or appearance.
On the job, you would:
Administer general and local anesthetics.
Collaborate with other professionals, such as restorative dentists and orthodontists, to plan treatment.
Evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth to determine whether problems exist currently or might occur in the future.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.