MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON: Definition, Salary, How to Become One & Difference


If a person has abnormal facial structures or characteristics or has an illness that affects their face, they may need maxillofacial surgery. Some of the procedures in this group include rhinoplasty and microvascular reconstruction. Highly skilled dental surgeons perform maxillofacial surgery. This article defines a maxillofacial surgeon, an oral maxillofacial surgeon, their salary, and how to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Maxillofacial Surgeon

Maxillofacial surgeons, sometimes known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are educated to treat a wide variety of disorders and injuries that affect the head, neck, mouth, jaw, and face. They are frequently referred to as “oral and maxillofacial surgeons.” An oral and maxillofacial surgeon may have numerous tasks in addition to doing oral surgery. They collaborate with dental experts and office workers to ensure their patients receive quality treatment.

What Does a Maxillofacial Surgeon Do?

Maxillofacial surgeons can handle a range of head and neck disorders, such as:

  • Misaligned jaws
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Oral reconstructive surgery
  • Cancers of the head and neck
  • Dental implants

These surgeons are also trained in anesthesia and pain management, with a focus on anesthesia that permits you to leave the office after your procedure. Maxillofacial surgeons generally undertake procedures to address issues or make cosmetic alterations. Most of the time, these surgeries are outpatient processes. They will also present you with a recovery plan and may schedule follow-up sessions.

How to Become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Follow the steps below to discover how to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon:

#1. Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree.

All people who want to study dentistry or medicine must have a bachelor’s degree. You can get ready for dental school and surgical training by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in pre-med studies or by choosing one that has a strong emphasis on biology, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, and mathematics.

#2. Take and Pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).

You must take and pass the DAT before applying to dental school since it assesses your knowledge of biological and physiological concepts as well as your capacity for logical thought, comprehension, and math. After passing the test, you can enroll in dental school.

#3. Complete Dental School

Your dental education school can take up to four years to finish and will teach you about general dental practice, treatment methods, and other aspects of the field. Students in many programs

are required to complete internships, during which they get real-world experience by working with real patients and honing their skills. After successfully completing your dental education, you will be awarded either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree. There is no difference between the two in terms of the ability to practice dentistry; however, in order to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you will need to complete additional studies and earn a medical degree.

#4. Complete an Approved Surgical Residency.

To perform oral and maxillofacial surgery, you need a medical degree in addition to your DDS or DDM, which you can earn by completing an accredited residency program. Oral and maxillofacial surgery training can take anywhere from four to six years, and at least two of those years are spent getting a medical degree. Furthermore, oral and maxillofacial surgeons conduct clinical rotations that allow them to put their training and skills to use and prepare them for their professions.

#5. Apply for State Licensure.

To become a dentist or doctor in any state, you must first earn the appropriate degrees. The exact requirements for a license differ by state, therefore, it’s important to research the regulations for the jurisdiction in which you intend to work. By completing and passing the Oral Certifying Examination (OCE), oral and maxillofacial surgeons can obtain certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS). You can begin your career once you have obtained your license to practice.

Maxillofacial Surgeon Salary

In the United States, a yearly salary of between $273,568 and $421,419 is typical for the position of a maxillofacial surgeon. The lower end of the salary range is often $273,568.

Top 50 Highest Paying States for Maxillofacial Surgeon Jobs in the U.S.

We have determined that the average salary for a maxillofacial surgeon in seven different states is higher than the average salary across the country. The state of Massachusetts is at the top of the list, followed closely by the states of Washington and Maryland in that order. The state of Maryland is 4.4% higher than the national average, and the state of Massachusetts is another $57,405 (17.1%) higher than the national average of $335,093.

Because there are just a few states that pay over the national average for the position of a maxillofacial surgeon, the choice to relocate to a new place in search of better career chances should be approached with some degree of circumspection. It is important to take into account the cost of living, among other things.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMS) are medical professionals who focus on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions involving the mouth, face, and jaw. This covers a wide range of procedures, such as the removal of wisdom teeth and cleft lip and palate repair.

Following graduation from dentistry school, OMSs often complete a residency program lasting four to six years. In some cases, they decide to further their education by enrolling in specialty fellowships, medical schools, or board certification programs.

Your OMS gains a great deal of knowledge and expertise in administering anesthesia throughout this period. Taking care of the airway, inserting an endotracheal tube, starting an IV, keeping it going, dealing with difficulties, and handling crises are all part of this. This knowledge of anesthesia is very important for the many surgeries that an OMS does.

What Are Common Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeries?

For a number of reasons, your dentist might tell you to see an OMS. The following are a few of the most popular oral and maxillofacial surgeries.

#1. Wisdom Teeth Management and Extraction

Many individuals experience improper wisdom tooth eruption. Overcrowding, erupting in the wrong location, or becoming impacted can all result from the third molar. An OMS is frequently used to remove wisdom teeth that represent a risk to your oral health.

#2. Dental Implant Surgery

A dental implant can fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. An OMS replaces the tooth’s root with a metal screw-like post during dental implant surgery. This offers a solid foundation for the prosthetic tooth, known as a crown, which will appear, feel, and function like a genuine tooth.

#3. Facial Injury and Trauma Surgery

An OMS also treats and restores facial injuries and trauma due to their deep knowledge of how the jaw connects. This could include jaw fractures as well as orbital fractures around the eyes.

#4. Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Treatment

An OMS can also diagnose and treat head, neck, and mouth cancers. Surgical treatment for oral cancer frequently entails removing malignant tissue and then repairing the surgical site to improve appearance and function.

#5. Corrective Jaw Surgery

The misalignment of the teeth and jaw can be corrected through corrective jaw surgery, which is often referred to as orthognathic surgery. This type of surgery can help solve a variety of functional issues. Problems chewing, speaking, or breathing are examples of symptoms that may prompt a person to seek corrective jaw surgery. In addition to treating sleep apnea, jaw surgery can also be used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to improve the aesthetics and function of the bite.

#6. Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is also able to perform surgery on babies and young toddlers to correct cleft lip and palate conditions. Through this procedure, both the jaw and the face components are brought back to their original appearance and function. A group of medical experts treats patients with cleft lip and/or palate, and the OMS is an essential member of that group.

#7. TMJ Disorder and Facial Pain Treatment

It may be necessary for you to have surgery to treat your TMJ pain if more conservative treatments fail to alleviate your symptoms or if there is obvious joint damage. An arthroscopy or a direct surgical approach to repairing injured tissue are two of the procedures that an OMS may perform.

#8. Facial Cosmetic Surgery

A significant number of OMSs give aesthetic therapy on a routine basis to enhance the look of patients’ faces, mouths, teeth, and jaws. Among these treatments are nose reconstruction, cosmetic surgery on the chin and ears, botox injections, lip enhancement, injectable fillers, and facelifts, among others.

Talk to your family dentist first if you think you might require the services of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for any of the reasons listed above. They will evaluate the problem, walk you through the treatment process, and if further care is required, they will send you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon Salary

In the United States, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon makes a typical yearly salary of $428,623, according to one survey. The annual salary of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon normally falls somewhere in the range of $213,000 and $860,000. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons make an average hourly rate of $206.07, according to recent statistics.

The amount of money an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can anticipate making depends on factors such as their location, level of education, and amount of experience. The states of Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Connecticut have the highest average salaries for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.


  • In the United States, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon makes an average of $428,623 a year in salary.
  • The compensation range for oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States is anywhere from $213,000 to $860,000 on average.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States commonly charge anything from $102 to $413 an hour for their services.
  • The salary of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Vermont is $233,424, whereas in 
  • In Massachusetts, it is $230,483, and in Minnesota, it is $230,392 on average. These are the three states in the United States that offer the best salaries to oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Sanford Health earn the highest average salary of any employer in the country.
  • In the United States, oral and maxillofacial surgeons can earn the most money working in the manufacturing industry.

What Is the Highest Salary for a Maxillofacial Surgeon?

In the United States, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can make anywhere from $273 568 to $421 419 more annually depending on their level of experience and education. When you click on the filter, you’ll be able to view the salary for the job of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in hourly, weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, monthly, and yearly increments.

Is a Dentist an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon?

An oral surgeon, also known as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is essentially a dentist who has received a significant amount of additional training in difficult dental issues. Another name for this type of surgeon is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Are Maxillofacial Surgeons MD?

Maxillofacial surgeons are doctors who have specialized training in the field of maxillofacial surgery. Since maxillofacial surgeons focus on the mouth and face, they usually go to dental school for four years after getting their bachelor’s degree.

What Do Periodontists Do?

Periodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry. The medical specialty known as “periodontics” derives its name from two Greek words: “peri,” which translates to “around,” and “odont,” which means “tooth.” Therefore, the specialty of periodontics focuses on the treatment of problems that affect the tissues “around your teeth,” including bone loss, receding gums, and periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

What Is the Difference Between Periodontist and Maxillofacial?

The difference between a periodontist, who specializes in implants and gum health, and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who may conduct a wide variety of surgical treatments on the mouth, jaw, and face, boils down to the fact that a periodontist focuses on gum health and implants.


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