Home Medical Schools How To Become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

How To Become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

In this guide, we are going to see how one can become an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialty surgeon that treats the entire craniomaxillofacial complex, which includes the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, as well as other tissues in the head and neck. Oral and maxillofacial surgery may require a medical degree, a dental degree, or both, depending on the national jurisdiction.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery focuses on facial reconstruction, facial trauma surgery, oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, and jaws, as well as facial cosmetic surgery.

Where Can an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Work?

Hospitals, private dental clinics, and surgical centers are all possible places for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to work. Some oral and maxillofacial surgeons go on to teach at dental schools and train dental residents. Furthermore, many oral and maxillofacial surgeons establish their own practices, providing expert care and treatment to patients in their communities.

Read also: What Are Orthodontist Schooling Requirements?

How Can You Become an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon?

If you are planning to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, all you have to do is to follow the steps below:

Get a Bachelors Degree

A bachelor’s degree is required for all aspiring dental and medical students. Pre-med or biology, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, and mathematics-based bachelor’s programs can assist you prepare for dentistry school and surgical training.

Sit For and Pass The Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

You must take and pass the DAT before enrolling in dental school, which assesses your abilities in biological and physiological disciplines, as well as your logical reasoning, understanding, and math skills. After passing the exam, you’ll be able to apply to dental school.

Complete a Dental School

Your dental education program could last up to four years and will include general dentistry, treatment methods, and other facets of the field. Many schools require students to complete internships in which they work with dental patients and put their knowledge into practice.

You will get your Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree at the conclusion of your dental school. Both allow you to practice dentistry, but you must undergo additional training to acquire your medical degree in order to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Complete an Approved Surgical Residency

Completing an approved residency program will continue your studies in oral and maxillofacial surgery and get you your medical degree, which is required in addition to your DDS or DDM in order to practice.

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Surgical residencies in oral and maxillofacial surgery can take anywhere from four to six years, with at least two of those years dedicated to earning your medical degree. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also participate in clinical rotations, which allow them to put their training and knowledge into practice and prepare them for their future employment.

Apply For a State License

You can apply for a state license to practice dentistry and medicine once you have earned your degrees. Because licensure requirements differ by state, it’s critical to learn about the requirements in the state where you intend to work.

The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) certifies oral and maxillofacial surgeons by taking and passing the Oral Certifying Examination (OCE). You can begin your job after obtaining your practicing license.

Developing Your Career As an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you can grow in your profession by overcoming challenges, forming helpful relationships, and achieving success. If you wish to increase your skills as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, do the following:

Involve Yourself In Research and Innovations In Dentistry

Find and contribute to research opportunities, collaborate with dental and surgical teams, and attend courses that help you improve your expertise to advance your career and support your understanding of themes in your profession.

Involve Your Surgical Teams In Patient Evaluations

Observing patient exams and evaluations can benefit aspiring surgeons and surgical assistants, as it gives learning opportunities that can help your staff develop in their professions.

Develop Your Customer Service Skills

Customer service abilities are valuable in sectors other than sales, and your ability to interact with and create connections with your patients can help you maintain a strong reputation and public image for your office.

Top Schools Offering Oral & Maxillofacial Degree

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, also referred to as UPenn or Penn, is the country’s eighth-largest university. Penn is a private, non-profit Ivy League school that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. It is located in the cultural heart of Philadelphia. Penn is the country’s fourth-oldest university, the first to provide undergraduate and graduate programs, a founding member of the Association of American Universities, and one of the original colonial schools, having been founded in 1740.

The school’s early years as a charity school were marred by a lack of funding and divergent viewpoints. Years later, in 1749, Benjamin Franklin and the Trustees focused their efforts on establishing a new school. They discovered a wonderful location for the charity school that had been built in 1740. While Franklin wanted the school to focus on the arts and practical skills, he was overruled by fellow Trustees who wanted the clergy to receive a more traditional education.

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Penn went through multiple name changes over the next 30 years, eventually settling on the name “university” in 1779. The University of Pennsylvania was one of the country’s first medical schools, first collegiate school of business, first student union building, and first university hospital, among other notable “firsts.” At the school, which has the oldest psychology department, the American Medical Association was also created. Several US and foreign leaders, as well as eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and nine signers of the Constitution, have all graduated from Penn.

Elon Musk and Warren Buffet, as well as poet Ezra Pound, are successful businessmen who graduated from Penn. Nine Nobel Laureates have come from the university over the years. Through teaching and the coat of arms, Benjamin Franklin continues to exert influence on the institution.

Boston University

Boston University is a prestigious institution that accepts only the most qualified students. Each year, Boston University receives approximately 61,000 applicants. The acceptance rate is roughly 20%, which translates to about 12,500 students. Every year, 24 percent of the 12,500 applicants who got an admission letter from Boston University choose to attend. Males and females both have 40% and 59 percent of applicants that have filed their applications.

However, women made up 59 percent of the freshmen enrolled, while men made up 40 percent. When applying to Boston University, students should include their ACT or SAT results. In most cases, students with an ACT score of 30 to 34 or a SAT score of 1,310 to 1,500 have a better chance of being accepted. Advanced Placement (AP) credits may also be submitted to this institution. It costs $80 to apply to Boston University as an undergraduate.

You must provide the following documents to apply to Boston University: ACT/SAT results, completion of a college preparatory program, recommendations, secondary school GPA, secondary school rank, and a secondary school record.

Texas A&M University

The school has a high level of selection. Every year, the institution receives over 42,900 applicants. The admission rate is approximately 63 percent, which amounts to approximately 27,200 students being accepted to the school. When the semester begins, however, around 11,200 students will enroll at Texas A&M University-College Station.

Men account for 49 percent of all applicants to the university, while women account for 50 percent. When the semester began, approximately 49 percent of those accepted women and 50 percent of those accepted men elected to attend Texas A&M University-College Station. When applying to Texas A&M University-College Station, first-year students must submit their ACT or SAT scores. Typically, applicants with an ACT score of 26 to 32 or a SAT score of 1,160 to 1,380 have a better chance of being accepted. Advanced Placement (AP) credits and Dual Enrollment are also accepted at this school.

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The undergraduate application cost at Texas A&M University-College Station is $75. You must submit the following documents with your application to Texas A&M University-College Station: ACT/SAT scores, secondary school GPA, secondary school rank, and secondary school record. Students should have completed a college-preparatory program, according to the institution.

Harvard University

Harvard University, the country’s top university, is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 5 miles from Boston’s downtown area. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, as well as one of the most prestigious. Harvard was called as “New College” when it was founded in 1636. After John Harvard became the school’s first patron in 1639, it was christened Harvard University.

The school provides Bachelor’s, Graduate, and Doctoral degrees, and is known as a Doctoral/Research University. It is a private not-for-profit university with a semester-based academic calendar. With 18.9 million volumes, 400 million manuscript items, 10 million pictures, and more, Harvard boasts the world’s largest academic library.

The campus, which sits on 210 acres, offers a variety of things to see and do, such as visiting the Charles River, Harvard Yard, and the Natural History Museum. Harvard’s motto, Veritas (Latin for “Truth”), is in keeping with the university’s history, academics, and goal. There are approximately 28,791 students enrolled at the University at any given moment, including 10,338 undergraduates and 18,453 graduates. Eight presidents, sixty-two living billionaires, hundreds of scholars, and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners are among Harvard’s distinguished alumni.

Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are just a few of the noteworthy figures. Harvard University is rich in history, impact, and tradition, and it’s no surprise that it’s regarded as one of the top universities in the country.


You have now seen how to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. If you want to pursue a career in this field, all you have to do is contact any of the schools listed here and start your studies.

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