Oral surgeons are responsible for diagnosing and treating various conditions related to the mouth. These surgeons generally work in indoor healthcare environments (including both hospitals and private practice) during traditional weekly business hours, though there are some exceptions, as well.
Oral surgeons often work with a team of assistants and perhaps other surgeons. Their responsibilities are wide-ranging and include: diagnosing and treating various injuries; monitoring defects in regions of the face; removing impacted/wisdom teeth; performing reconstructive surgery; inserting dental implants; reconstructive dental surgery; removal of cancerous tumors and cysts in the jaw; and providing ultimate patient comfort and ensuring the highest-quality care.
This is a position which requires excellent bedside manner and the ability to explain medical terms to those who may not have medical knowledge. Oral surgeons must also participate in ongoing education within their field, as the technology and processes they use are evolving constantly.
Requirements for the position include: completion of a pre-medical bachelor’s program; about eight subsequent years of education/training; completion of a four-year dental program; a surgery internship; oral surgery residency to gain experience under a surgeon's direct supervision; and any state licenses or board certification examinations which may be required.
Oral Surgeon Tasks
- Administer anesthesia and provide treatment and post-treatment plans for patients.
- Examine and diagnose patients, treating oral cancers, tumors, cysts, deformities, diseased teeth, and other problems.
- Perform corrective and reconstructive mouth, jaw, neck, and dental surgery.
- Surgically reconstruct and cosmetically improve head, jaw, neck, and face appearance.