Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons: What They Do and Why You Should Choose a Board-Certified Doctor

Jan 16, 2024 | admin

Oral maxillofacial surgery (OMS) is a specialized medical field that diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, and jaws, including the hard and soft tissues of this region. The specialty is especially nuanced as it requires dental, medical, and surgical skills to offer comprehensive, effective care and thereby enhance functionality and aesthetics. 

Here, we highlight common procedures OMS surgeons perform and why you should choose a board-certified provider when seeking reconstructive or cosmetic facial care.

What procedures do OMS surgeons perform?

Oral maxillofacial surgeons offer a range of specialized procedures, all of which require a deep understanding of both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the face and jaw, including:

  • Dental implants and reconstructive surgery. OMS surgeons place dental implants to replace missing teeth, sometimes requiring bone grafting to reconstruct and stabilize the jawbone. These procedures both restore the functionality and appearance of the teeth; these efforts also help prevent future bone loss.

  • Facial trauma repair. OMS surgeons address complex facial injuries, including fractures of the jaw, cheekbones, nasal bones, and orbits around the eyes. They meticulously realign bones, repair soft tissue damage, and ensure that the patient’s facial structure functions optimally and they feel confident in their appearance. 

  • Cosmetic facial enhancements. These procedures range from minimally invasive treatments like Botox and fillers to more extensive surgeries such as facelifts, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). 

  • Corrective jaw surgery (Orthognathic surgery). This surgery corrects irregularities of the jaw bones to realign the jaws and teeth to improve their functions and create a more pleasing cosmetic appearance. It’s often used to treat conditions like sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and bite problems that can’t be resolved with orthodontics alone.

  • Cleft lip and palate surgery. This is a series of surgical procedures that correct congenital deformities of the upper lip and roof of the mouth, improving the patient’s ability to eat, speak, and breathe as well as significantly enhancing facial appearance and psychological well-being.

Why Choose a Board-Certified Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon?

Choosing a board-certified OMS surgeon ensures that your safety and results are in the hands of a professional who has extensive training and uses the latest techniques and technology to perform your desired procedure. Surgery of any kind, particularly in such a delicate and dynamic area as the face and mouth, makes the skill and qualifications of your surgeon paramount, whether your procedure is reconstructive or cosmetic. 

An OMS surgeon certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) must demonstrate their commitment to the highest standards of practice, continued learning, and excellence in patient care; these requirements ensure you will receive safe, skilled care when you select an ABOMS surgeon. 

What does board certification entail?

ABOMS certification is not just a title; it’s a rigorous process that includes:

  • Comprehensive examinations. The first step in earning ABOMS certification is taking the Qualifying Examination (QE) which covers 11 subject areas to test an applicant's competency in OMS. Once an applicant passes the QE, they are eligible to take the Oral Certifying Examination (OCE), a test of clinical application, knowledge, and judgment administered by experienced ABOMS surgeons, ensuring each candidate is personally assessed by knowledgeable leaders in the OMS specialty.  

  • Certification Maintenance. To maintain their board certification, ABOMS surgeons must successfully complete a peer review process that assesses their professional standing and credentials, continued learning, ongoing expertise, and clinical practice. 

Video: Dr. Cory Resnick has volunteered with the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery by serving on the Oral Certifying Exam (OCE) committee for three years. He says that this involvement has been the highlight of his entire career so far. In this video, he shares the benefits of volunteering on this committee and encourages other ABOMS diplomates to get involved, as well.

Find the right OMS surgeon for you

We encourage anyone considering oral maxillofacial surgery to schedule a consultation with an ABOMS-certified surgeon to learn more about your options and how you can personalize your desired procedure to best suit you and your needs.

Find an ABOMS surgeon near you »