Board Certification ABOMS

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What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery encompasses the art and science of diagnosis, surgical and related treatment of disease, injuries, defects and esthetic aspect of the oral and maxillofacial area. The word "maxillofacial" refers to the jaws and face.

What does it mean to be Board Certified in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

A Board Certified Surgeon has graduated from an accredited dental school and is licensed in the state in which he/she practices. In addition, this individual has completed an approved oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program approved by the American Dental Association's commission on Dental Accreditation.  

During his/her oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon received graduate training in other disciplines such as general surgery, plastic surgery, medicine, anesthesia and pathology. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to treat patients in the hospital, outpatient facilities, surgery centers and in private offices.

The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is recognized by the American Dental Association as the specialty board for oral and maxillofacial surgery. The Board is responsible for reviewing all applicants for board certification as well as administering the examinations involved in the certification process.  

In order to become board certified, an individual must complete an intensive application and examination process. Applicants for board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery must provide verified written evidence of their educational and training qualifications. In addition, these individuals must provide evidence of their experience in all aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Letters of recommendation from board certified maxillofacial surgeons attesting to an applicant's acceptable ethical and moral standing in the profession and community are also required as part of the certification procedure. The applications of all candidates for board certification are reviewed by the Board's Credentials Committee.

Finally, board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to pass both a thorough written qualifying examination and a rigorous oral certifying examination to become board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Diplomates are encouraged to maintain current competence by ongoing continued education.

Continuing education is an important tool keeping oral and maxillofacial surgeons updated on new developments in the field. This is accomplished through national meetings, seminars, lectures, special courses, panels and symposia. The Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has a demonstrated commitment to continual professional development. The American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery encourages its Diplomates to continue their professional development through various continuing education experiences.

-American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery