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What is an OMS?

Have you ever wondered what the rest of the name you sometimes see for your oral surgeon means?  What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?  Many people are confused by the word “maxillofacial” which simply means of, or relating to, the jaws and face.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

According to the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years.”  This training focuses on the bone, skin, and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw and follows years of undergraduate and dental school education. Following the four - six year residency program, the surgeon must prepare for, and pass, extremely rigorous written and oral examinations in order to become a board-certified specialist.

While you may typically associate an OMS with wisdom teeth extractions, oral surgeons are trained to perform intricate and complex surgeries such as the correction of cleft palates, and the rebuilding of jaws, cheeks, eye sockets and foreheads.  In addition, oral surgeons are experts in the preservation of jawbones with the use of bone grafting and dental implants.

For a quick summary (and a lesson on how to pronounce “maxillofacial,”) take one minute to watch the What is an OMS? video on

For more information about the surgeons at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, visit

So, whatever name you chose to call us, we are honored that you have chosen a real, board-certified surgeon for your surgical care needs.



What is an OMS? from on Vimeo.


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