• 10 Things to Consider When Searching for an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are medical specialists that perform surgeries on the mouth, jaw, face, head and neck.. If you are looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in your area to take care of a problem with your teeth or mouth, then this blog post is for you. We have put together ten things to consider when searching for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon near you to help make it easier than ever before!

    Choosing an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re looking for a new dentist or are considering surgery, you should evaluate many things before deciding. To help make this process easier, here are the top ten considerations to take into account when searching for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon:

    1. Convenient Office Hours & Location

    Location is vital when you’re considering a new surgeon. It’s an especially relevant concern for those living in rural areas, as there may only be one oral and maxillofacial surgeon within your neighborhood or even state. If this is the case, it’s advised to look into traveling further distances for appointments that will help maximize treatment time and minimize discomfort. 

    After surgery, the last thing anyone wants is to drive hours to get home just because they had no other options during their initial search process. To avoid any unnecessary stress, take some time before selecting a specific doctor to determine if they see patients from surrounding states or countries. Travel won’t become too much of an issue with recovery, appointments, etc.

    You will want to choose someone who has office hours that match your schedule and one that offers appointments when you need them. Oral surgery appointments often occur after regular office hours since most patients need general anesthesia during these procedures, so your potential surgeon must have some flexibility in their hours. Additionally, the office should be easily accessible by public transportation or have ample parking.

    2. Education

    You want to ensure that your surgeon is board-certified and trained in the latest techniques and procedures. Oral and maxillofacial surgery can be complex, so you want to ensure your surgeon has the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible care.

    Look for surgeons who are members of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). It’s an organization that requires its members to have a minimum of five years of postgraduate surgical training and to maintain their surgical skills through continuing education. 

    Some things to look for include: 

    -Board certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) or other accredited board

    -Fellowship training in oral and maxillofacial surgery

    -Membership of professional organizations such as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)

    3. Experience

    The dentist’s experience level should also be considered when deciding which oral surgery centre to visit. If it is their first time performing a particular procedure, there may be additional risks involved compared with visiting a more experienced professional. Look for surgeons who have completed at least 100 successful operations in the past year, preferably with minimal complications.

    When looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, be sure to ask about their experience with the specific procedure your situation demands. You can also research surgeons online by reading patient reviews or checking out their websites. The more information you have, the better you decide what is suitable for you.

    As with education, the experience will also be indicated by membership in professional organizations such as AAOMS or other accrediting bodies. You can find out how long your surgeon has been practicing through their website and social media pages (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter).

    Some questions to ask for include: 

    -How many years has the surgeon been practicing?

    -What type of procedures does the surgeon specialize in?

    -Has the surgeon completed at least 100 successful procedures in the past year?

    -Is the surgeon a member of any professional organizations such as AAOMS or other accrediting bodies?

    4. A History of Excellence

    Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a highly specialized field of medicine. To choose the best oral surgeon, make sure they have an excellent track record in performing complicated surgeries on patients from all walks of life. While choosing a dentist for your child might be different than deciding on one for yourself, it’s still important to look into their history before committing to a specific doctor.

    Some great questions to ask include: How often do they perform the surgery I need? What is their success rate? Do they have any patient testimonials or reviews that I can read? What are some common themes among them? Are there any reviews online? What is their success rate with the procedure your situation demands? Who do they typically perform this surgery on (children, adults, etc.), and how old are those patients? By doing your research, you can be sure that you’re entrusting your care to a qualified professional who has a proven track record of excellence.

    You can also find past reviews online on the surgeon’s website or other review sites. You can also reach out to your local dental association for recommendations of oral surgeons in your area.

    The American Dental Association (ADA) offers an online tool called “Dentist-Finder” that allows patients to search for dentists and oral surgeons in their area. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for someone new. You can also ask friends and family members for recommendations. If they’ve had a good experience with an oral surgeon, they’ll likely recommend them to you.

    5. Types of Procedures Performed (or Specialization)

    Before choosing an oral surgeon, you’ll want to know what types of procedures they commonly perform in their practice location. Do they specialize in specific areas such as wisdom teeth removal? Some surgeons can also treat sleep apnea and snoring, remove impacted teeth, or perform orthognathic surgery. If you’re interested in a particular type of procedure but your surgeon is not certified to perform it, look for someone to refer you to the right specialist. It will help ensure that no matter what issue arises during treatment, your oral surgeon has the proper expertise required to address them with ease and efficiency adequately.

    Questions to ask:

    -What type of procedures does the surgeon specialize in?

    -Do they have experience with the specific procedure I need?

    -Can they refer me to a specialist if needed?

    6. Price Range and Insurance Plans 

    Oral surgeons can be expensive, and it’s essential to know your financial options before making an appointment. Many oral surgeons will work with their patients to create a treatment plan that fits their budget. Some offices require a down payment for surgery packages, while others allow patients to make payments over time. It’s also crucial to determine if the surgeon accepts insurance and any copays or deductibles associated with the procedure.

    The cost is the most critical factor for many people when considering a medical professional. While this isn’t always fair to highly experienced and skilled surgeons at what they do, it’s still preferable for patients to be aware of their options before committing fully. Some practices may charge on an “a la carte” basis, whereas others might offer packages that you can sign up for in advance (for example, one comprehensive wisdom tooth extraction package). Check with your insurance company beforehand, so there are no surprises later on down the line.

    Some questions to ask include:

    -What is the price range for treatment plans offered by this office?

    -What is the down payment for a surgery package?

    -Do you accept credit cards?

    -Do they require a down payment?

    -Can I make payments over time?

    -Does the surgeon accept insurance?

    -Are there any copays or deductibles associated with the procedure?

    -Does the surgeon operate using an “a la carte” or pre-paid model?

    -Do I need to schedule my procedure separately from my consultation?

    -What does the cost cover (e.g., anesthesia, medication)?

    -Does my insurance plan provide coverage for oral surgery?

    -Can I get a quote beforehand?

    7. Is their equipment up-to-date with current technology?

    Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a field that’s constantly evolving with new advancements made every year. It can be challenging to keep up, but surgeons need to invest in the latest surgical equipment so they’re able to provide high-quality care at all times. After you’ve done your research on finding an oral surgeon near you, make sure to visit them before committing fully! This way, you’ll know if their facility will best suit your needs or not. You should also tour their surgical suite and see the equipment they use if it looks outdated or requires repair. That could be a sign that this surgeon might not be as up-to-date with current technology as you were hoping.

    Some questions to ask include:

    -What type of surgical equipment do they use?

    -What kind of technology do they use (diagnostics, imaging, etc.)?

    -Do their facilities meet standards set by organizations like AAOMS?

    -Is their surgical suite up-to-date?

    -Can I tour their surgery center?

    -How frequently are surgeries performed there each week?

    8. How well qualified are their staff members – from nurses to secretaries?

    Before committing fully, it’s vital to consider the staff members working at an oral surgeon’s office. The people who work there are your first line of defense in ensuring you have a positive experience every step of the way. Therefore, it makes sense that they should be highly qualified and experienced professionals! Ask about their backgrounds when contacting them for more information, or better yet – ask to speak directly with some of their employees if possible.

    Some questions to ask include:

    -Who will I meet during my consultation?

    -What is each person on staff responsible for (e.g., nurses administer anesthesia)?

    -How long has each employee worked there?

    -Are any procedures performed by non-licensed personnel like assistants under direct supervision from the surgeon?

    -Can I speak to previous patients of the oral and maxillofacial surgery team?

    -How many years of experience do they have with this particular procedure or area of expertise (e.g., wisdom teeth extraction, facial trauma, etc.)?

    -What is their educational background like (i.e., degrees received)?

    -Does the staff work hard at improving their skills yearly through continuing education courses provided by reputable organizations like AAOMS?

    -Do you employ any advanced practice nurses who can provide additional care after my consultation if necessary. Take, for example, anesthetizing me before I left the office to go home afterward instead of staying overnight in the hospital, which would save money on both ends.

    9. How long will the procedure take?

    Here’s another question you’ll want to be answered before moving forward with any oral and maxillofacial surgery. Knowing how long the surgery will take can help you better prepare for what’s to come – both mentally and physically! Ask your surgeon to provide a timeframe estimate so you have an idea of what to expect. 

    Some questions to ask include:

    -What time do I need to arrive at the office?

    -How long will the surgery take?

    -When can I go home after the procedure?

    -Do I need someone to drive me home?

    -What type of post-operative care is required?

    -Are there any restrictions on my diet or activities following the surgery?

    -Can I call if I have any questions or problems after leaving the office?

    10. Any post-operative instructions or restrictions you may need to follow? 

    There are pre-operative instructions and restrictions to follow and post-operative ones! Please make sure you’re aware of what they are so you can adequately prepare. For example, your surgeon may tell you not to drink through a straw for a certain amount of time after the surgery or to avoid crunching on food with your teeth. 

    Some questions to ask include:

    -What type of post-operative care is required?

    -Are there any restrictions on my diet or activities following the surgery?

    -Can I call if I have any questions or problems after leaving the office?

    -When can I resume my normal activities?

    -What type of pain medication will be prescribed, and for how long should it be taken?

    -How often should I follow up with the surgeon’s office following surgery?

    Final Words

    When searching for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, it’s important to ask many questions! Not only will this help you make an informed decision, but it will also help you feel more comfortable and confident with your choice. By asking the right questions, you can be sure that you’re teaming up with a qualified and experienced professional who will provide the best care possible.

    When searching for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, the main thing to look for is experience. It’s crucial that you find a highly qualified professional with lots of it, as this will ensure the best possible outcome! You’ll also want to make sure they have qualifications from reputable institutions like AAOMS, which ensures their skills are current and up-to-date on the latest techniques in oral surgery.

    If you can think of any other questions to ask your oral and maxillofacial surgeon, don’t hesitate to bring them up! Good luck with your search! You must be comfortable with both the surgeon and their team before moving forward with any procedures.