An oral surgeon is a dentist who specializes in the diagnoses, surgical treatment and management of injuries, disease and defects that involve the esthetic and functional aspects. This includes emergency, reconstructive and the preventive care of the facial structures, jaws, mouth and teeth.
In addition to the four years of dental school, oral surgeons must also complete at least four years of intensive, postdoctoral, hospital based surgical residency training. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons spend significant time learning related fields such as internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesiology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and emergency medicine. Some oral surgeons may also have a medical degree.
The oral surgeons area of expertise include; removal of impacted or diseased teeth, placement of implants, repair of facial trauma, diagnosis and treatment of malignant and benign conditions, reconstructive surgery just to name a few. A wide variety of these procedures can be performed in an office setting as well as in a hospital setting. Depending on the placement and treatment being provided local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, intravenous, sedation or general anesthesia may be an option.