What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a unique dental and medical specialty that requires four to six additional years of training in a nationally accredited surgical residency after graduation from dental school. This residency includes rigorous hospital-based surgical and anesthesia training that gives oral and maxillofacial surgeons a unique set of knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems relating to the teeth, mouth, jaws, and face.

Dr. Mynsberge pointing to a screen showing a 3D model of a patient's skull

As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Drs. Mynsberge and Ruggles practices a wide scope of surgery with expertise in:  

  • Dental implants and bone grafting procedures
  • Removal of wisdom teeth
  • Removal of erupted and impacted teeth
  • Surgical treatment for orthodontic purposes
  • Evaluation and treatment of pathology of the oral cavity and jaws
  • Corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery
  • Repair of dental injuries, facial fractures, and oral/facial lacerations
  • Evaluation and treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also extensively trained in state of the art anesthetic techniques, allowing any procedure to be performed very safely under IV sedation to maximize patient comfort. To learn more about the background of this unique dental specialty, please watch the following video provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS):