If you have been referred to one, rest assured that you are in good hands. To become a specialist in this area takes time, dedication and passion for treating dental abnormalities, facial injuries and a whole host of other conditions.
What is involved in pursuing this rewarding career, and what conditions do these surgeons treat after they have completed their education?
Education and Training
After earning their undergraduate degree in one of the sciences, prospective surgeons must pass the Dental Admissions Test in order to apply to dental school, which is another four-year program. After graduation from dental school, they can begin a four to six-year surgical residency, after which they must pass the board certifications to officially call themselves oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
Some students also enter a residency program that offers them the chance to earn a medical degree concurrently. This way they can acquire both a dental degree and a medical degree.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Dental Problems
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually receives patients who have been referred by their primary doctor or dentist. While these doctors have a dental degree, they also have surgical training which allows them to offer advanced treatment for certain dental-related problems.
For example, a surgeon can remove impacted teeth or cysts, perform bone grafts and place dental implants. They are also able to assist in diagnosing sleep apnea and making professional recommendations on the correct surgical course for permanent correction. They can solve temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and they can repair any jaw or tooth damage suffered in an accident.
Facial Region Reconstruction
With their surgical training, they are qualified to conduct full facial reconstructions after trauma or as a result of congenital defects, solve cleft palate and lip problems, remove tumors and more. They are the medical professionals consulted when forming a treatment plan for an oral tumor as well, because they can suggest removal procedures and restore facial structure following oral cancer treatment.
One fact is certain: Your surgeon has spent over a decade on education and training in order to help diagnose, treat and repair dental and facial diseases and abnormalities. For more information, contact the caring, knowledgeable medical professionals you can trust at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.