Does a Dentist Require Special Training to be an Oral Surgeon?

In the United States, an oral surgeon must complete residency training after graduating dental school. It is in this controlled academic environment where oral surgeons receive training to remove wisdom teeth, place dental implants, perform complex bone and soft tissue grafting, administer sedation anesthesia, treat facial fractures, manage tempormandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and take care of patients of all ages.

Dental students submit an application to an accredited oral surgery residency training program. Acceptance is highly competitive and is based on grades, class rank, board scores, faculty recommendations, and interviews. There are only 100 training programs in the country and they are affiliated with major teaching hospitals with dedicated faculty. Residency training is anywhere from 4 to 6 years after dental school and is a full-time commitment to the program. During their training, oral surgery residents work an average of 80 hours per week participating in numerous surgical and medical rotations and have emergency on-call responsibilities with their hospital. They receive extensive supervision during this time to ensure that they are well-qualified once they have completed their training requirements.

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