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What is an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon? | Types Of Dentistry

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in the mouth, face, and jaw surgery. They are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program. The path to becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is quite rigorous, and the total length of education and training after high school is 12 to 14 years.

Typical training for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon includes:

  • Four years of undergraduate study.
  • Four years of dental school.
  • Four to six years of residency training (six-year training options include two additional years of study for acquiring a medical degree).

During training, some surgeons complete a supplemental medical school education to receive a medical degree (MD). They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesiology, plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ENT), emergency medicine, and trauma surgery.

Board Certification

After the completion of surgical training, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are encouraged to complete the board certification process. Like other Boards in medicine and dentistry, the objective of theAmerican Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) is to elevate the standards of oral and maxillofacial surgery through a certification process. The ABOMS certification process assures the public that certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons have successfully completed a rigorous peer evaluation process by requiring surgeons to present and maintain professional credentials, and demonstrate the requisite training, experience, and knowledge. Patients find tremendous comfort in knowing that their oral surgeon has completed this process and are held to the highest standards in their field.

About Dr. Suketu Patel

Dr. Suketu Patel attended the University of Michigan where he earned his B.S degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. Following his undergraduate studies, Dr. Patel continued at the University of Pennsylvania where he received both his dental (DMD) and medical (MD) degrees. He completed his residency training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Patel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a Fellow of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. He has extensive training in the full scope of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with particular areas of interest that include the extraction of wisdom teeth, dental implants, pediatric oral surgery, orthognathic surgery, facial trauma, oral and maxillofacial pathology, and TMJ disorders. In addition, Dr. Patel is a former Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral Surgery and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Patel is proud to be on staff at East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, Georgia and Emanuel Medical Center in Swainsboro, Georgia; and is an active member of the Ogeechee River Medical Society and the East Georgia Physicians Group.



Dental School Graduate

Last day of residency!

Medical School Graduate

Dr. Patel and wife, Dr. Anjali Patel, celebrating the end of residency!