Patient Safety Awareness Week: Why It’s Important to Choose a Board-Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Mar 10, 2024 | admin

As we observe Patient Safety Awareness Week, it’s essential to highlight the importance of choosing a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to address diseases, injuries, defects, and cosmetic concerns in the head, neck, face, jaw, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. Here, we discuss ABOMS Board Certification, why it matters, and how you can confirm you’re in the best of hands when choosing a qualified OMS surgeon.


What is Board Certification and why does it matter?

The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) assesses the qualifications of oral and maxillofacial surgeons through a rigorous certification process. This includes two comprehensive examinations—a Qualifying Examination and an Oral Certifying Examination, verification of surgical residency training, and evidence of outstanding care, and a commitment to ongoing education. 

Board-certified surgeons demonstrate their expertise and judgment in both the scientific basis of surgery and the practical aspects of patient care.

OMS Board Certification is more than just a credential. Here’s why choosing a board-certified surgeon is crucial for your safety and well-being:

Specialized knowledge and training

Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) is a highly specialized field that encompasses a wide range of procedures, from dental implants and jaw surgery to facial trauma and cosmetic surgery. Because of their intensive training and experience, only board-certified surgeons possess the specialized knowledge and surgical skills necessary to handle the complexities of each case to ensure patients remain safe and that the aesthetic and functional outcomes best align with the patient’s goals. 

The highest standards of care

To retain their certification, board-certified surgeons are required to complete routine Certification Maintenance, a peer-review process that verifies professional credentials, continued learning, and professional development. These periodic evaluations ensure they are up-to-date with the latest surgical techniques, technologies, and safety protocols to deliver the best possible care.

Non-certified surgeons might not be up-to-date with the latest techniques and safety protocols, further increasing the risk to patient safety.

Is there more than one type of Board Certification?

Yes, physicians can become certified in numerous specialties, so it is paramount that you choose a surgeon who is certified in the OMS specialty. Choosing a surgeon who is not board-certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery specifically carries significant risks and potential dangers. Without the in-depth training and competency to pass meticulous OMS-related examinations, a surgeon who is board-certified in a different specialty may severely lack the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively perform complex oral and facial procedures. 

This lack of relevant certification may increase the likelihood of complications, underwhelming outcomes, or even irreversible damage, especially for procedures that require precise expertise, such as facial reconstruction, jaw surgery, or fine-tuned cosmetic enhancements. 

How to verify your surgeon’s ABOMS certification

Finding an oral and maxillofacial surgeon board-certified by ABOMS is a critical first step in your healthcare journey. You can verify a surgeon’s certification by:

1. Asking directly: During your consultation, inquire about their specific board certifications. A reputable surgeon will be transparent about their credentials.

2. Checking the ABOMS website: You can search for board-certified surgeons by name or location in our online directory. Find a surgeon certified by ABOMS here »


The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the certifying board for the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery in the United States. If you are considering an oral and maxillofacial procedure, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Diplomates to learn more about your options. Let this Patient Safety Awareness Week remind us all to advocate for safer healthcare practices in every decision we make, including our choice of provider.