What is an Oral Surgeon?
An oral surgeon is one of the professionals who is dealing with various malfunctions and maladies of the gums, teeth, jaws and face. They are not to be associated with dentists since dentists are not the same as oral surgeons. Even though they’ve both completed the classes of dentistry school and their work might involve some similar basic procedures is not the same career.
A dentist’s basic procedures will involve pulling cavities, cleaning and others. Also, the working procedures of an oral surgeon involve more complex operations that are performed. These operations are such as jaw surgeries, performing biopsies, orthodontic surgeries, treating deformities in other parts of the head and neck, restructure bones and many others.
Job Description of an Oral Surgeon
The daily duties of an oral surgeon involve dental procedures such as teeth extractions especially the wisdom teeth. They also handle procedures on any upper and lower jaw injuries that make their patients not to be able to chew properly. Other than the above, oral surgeons carry out various oral surgeries such as dental implants, or facial reconstructive surgeries.
These professionals will treat patients who are dealing with jaw displacement, bringing them to complete correction, or they will deal with broken jaw bones, remove tumors that are found in the oral cavities through surgical interventions.
The job of an oral surgeon involves checking their patients’ conditions, as well as diagnosing the conditions and obtaining test reports, planning the right medical treatment and surgical one. These professionals will also be dealing with administrative parts, they will record the patient care, and they will oversee the office administration.
An oral surgeon work sometimes involves working as a team with other physicians, dentists or with other surgeons or orthodontists.
How to Become an Oral Surgeon?
If your dream is to become an oral surgeon then you must complete a few educational steps. Before going to a dental school, it would be advisable to graduate the courses of a pre-med and obtain an undergraduate degree. It is not a must on your list to possess such degree before going to a dental school, but many of the candidates who enroll in these types of dental school programs have one.
The coursework that is followed for someone who wants to become an oral surgeon usually involves typical subjects such as physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics and of course health. The next step is dental schooling that usually has a four years length.
In here the dental students will fulfill the coursework involving classroom instruction. They will also have a practical part in which they will learn how to treat their patients in a well assured and supervised environment but also how to work with dentists and how to use orthopedic equipment.
When applying for a dental school program you’ll have to be aware that the competition is higher, and many of the institutions will take into consideration undergraduate grades. They will also consider recommendations from their former professors, and the DAT performance also known as the Dental Admission Test. This test is usually taken in the college junior year.
The license requirements might vary according to each state, but many states will ask their candidates to pass a written exam. After the written exam, there is also a practical exam. The documents involving the license are usually issued by the medical licensing board that is to be found in each state.
This career is also based on providing the best care for every patient, this assuming that every oral surgeon will have to possess good skills. Oral surgeons will have to show that they possess good administrative and supervisory skills, and also be in a good physical shape and have the required dexterity such as good eyes and hands, good coordination. One more detail that makes the difference when working in this type of job is the need to have steady nerves and the need to be very meticulous in what you are doing.
Many of the oral surgeon will have their own practice this involving the fact that they will oversee their technicians, clerks and as well their assistants. The further study that you can earn after completing a dental school program is to enroll in a dental residency that usually last between 4 and up to 6 years. The surgical residency program is usually based in a hospital and at the end of it the graduates will earn an MD also known as a medical degree.
If your dream doesn’t end here and you want to specialize in a complex subset in this field of the oral surgery, then you can go for it. Simply choose to enroll in a fellowship that is focused on a certain type of operation.
Work Environment and Schedule
The work of an oral surgeon can be found within a private practice office where a great number of these professionals are working or inside of a hospital, or in large medical centers. As an oral surgeon, your leadership skills must be very developed since you’ll fully need them. This career will also involve skills such as detail oriented since many of the cases will involve surgeries in which the smallest detail must be accurate and well followed.
On the other hand as an oral surgeon your physical condition must be very good. You’ll spend a lot of time on your feet, but you’ll also need good stamina and steady hands for the surgeries.
As an oral surgeon, working in a private practice office you can find that you can partner with dentists. In such cases, many of the oral surgeries will be performed in the operating room of a dentist’s office. The surgeries are usually planned ahead of time.
If you are in a rural area as an oral surgeon, you may have the opportunity to operate a private practice and yet assist the hospital in that area in cases of emergencies. Such practices are allowed due to the lack of a full-time oral surgeon in the hospital staff.
Your working hours will vary greatly depending on your working site. Since many of the oral surgeons chose to work in a private practice office site, this will assume a usual 40-hour working schedule from nine to five. Or in other cases you could be an oral surgeon that is self-employed this assuming that you have your own working hours.
On the other hand if you are hired in a hospital then your working hours can also assume to be available for overnight shifts, or be on call for overnight emergency surgeries.
Pros and Cons of Being an Oral Surgeon
Like in any other career before getting a job in this field take some time to examine the pros and cons that might accompany the duties and responsibilities of this job. For instance in order to become an oral surgeon you’ll need a full-length education and training.
This will involve getting through four years of undergraduate education, four years of dental school, and, of course, four and up to six years in a residency. All this will make you think twice, and it is advisable that you evaluate the schooling costs as well. Depending on each individual, this side can be taken as a con or not.
Another con is related with your working schedule that often due to the job involves long working hours. Also, as an oral surgeon you might be required to be on call for emergencies, that involve in some cases immediate treatment.
The great news is that the working conditions are always very challenging and interesting meaning that you’ll never get the chance to become bored. You’ll get to see various cases of individuals suffering from different injuries and conditions. This work will definitely keep the variety running and will offer you a huge amount of experience in the field.
As an oral surgeon, you’ll always be evolving, and you’ll be learning a lot. This job right from the start will offer you the opportunity of multiple abilities to learn new procedures and skills. This work is very rewarding when you get the chance to help other patient’s lives. You can help a patient that has an abnormality through surgery and restore the ability to eat, or being able to talk and after all simply living a normal life.
Oral Surgeon job growth
The employment job growth of dentistry, a field that is wider and that also includes oral surgeons is predicted to be at a 16% rate of increase according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This faster than the average growth is predicted due to the nature itself of the job but also to the baby boom generations that further on will need complicated dental works.
There is also an increase in the dental care since many of the individuals from each generation are more prone to keep their teeth than any past generations. There is also an increased demand in the public area for dental services since many studies indicate an established link between the oral health and the overall health. The job growth is very favorable for these professionals with plenty of offers and job opportunities. This field is one that will always be searched for since the interest in having a correct dental hygiene and great teeth has increased more and more.
Oral surgeons will always provide their patients great aid even for the hard cases where there is needed more than ever these professionals intervention.
Oral Surgeon Salary
The annual salary for an oral surgeon in the United States is estimated to reach at about $210,713 per year while the median expected salary reaches at about $247,452 per year. The median hourly payment in this field usually reaches about $101.04 per hour. According to the highest payments for an Oral Surgeon the hourly wage is estimated at $163 per hour. This figure leads to an average income that is more than $300,005 per year.
On the other side, the lowest point in the economic flux of an hourly wage for an oral surgeon is estimated only at about $48.92 per hour. This will lead to an average income of about $101,732 per year. In this field, the years of experience will mark the salary you take home, the income in the US being estimated to range between $100,956 per year and up to $612,510 per year.
This career has great potential leading in the end to be one great choice with the highest income in the field. You will also find out that the best paying places ever for this job can be reached in Tennessee that offers an income estimated at $315,010 per year. Then we have great payments in New York with a salary of $297,478 per year, Texas with one of the highest incomes reaching about $333,084 per year and others.
Salary of an Oral Surgeon in 2015
An oral surgeon salary in The US is influenced mainly by several factors such as the type of industry in which one individual found work, location, and the experience that one of these professionals has gained over the years
The median salary in 2015 for an oral surgeon is estimated to reach about $215,253 per year, this leading to a very comfortable salary. The salary estimations in this field will reveal that these specialist’s incomes are mainly comprised between $100,523 per year and up to $507,567 per year.The bonuses that are granted can reach even up to $101,016 while the profit sharing is comprised between $10,063 and up to $148,997.
Oral Surgeon Salary in 2016
The average median income of an oral surgeon, in the US, for the year 2016 has a great six figure package, where the earnings usually reach at $212,304 per year, according to the salary data survey offered by PayScale. The starting point in the earnings of these professionals is situated at $100,052 per year and up to $403,576 per year.
The granted bonuses tend to reach at $75,010 per year varying from employer to employer while the profit sharing that is received has a total payment that can rise up at $30,522. Not all the oral surgeons can enjoy these benefits since not all of them receive them, but on the other hand, when they are usually added and received, the incomes are estimated to start at $34,491 and up to $401,019.
The main factors that impact an oral surgeon earnings are the geographical location factor, followed by the career duration. Other that have an impact are the specific type of employment as well as industry and years of experience in the field. The vast majority of individuals working as oral surgeons are actually men rather than women.
An entry-level oral surgeon with up to five years of experience in the field can earn around $173,010 per year while one professional with 5 and up to 10 years of practice can expect to take home around $160,010 per year. Those who are already considered as experienced Oral Surgeons with 10 and up to 20 years of working experience can expect to receive an income that reaches up to $223,010 per year. At the same time, the big earnings will be achieved by the veterans in this field, with more than 20 years of activity and experience that can enjoy an income of $252,010 per year.
Taking into consideration the industries in which these professionals are working, the top paying ones for oral surgeons are found in the physician’s offices where the average yearly income reaches at $230,352 per year, closely followed by the dentist’s offices where the established median yearly payment reaches at $226,282 per year. The outpatient care centers will bring oral surgeons incomes that are established at $189,721 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These professional salaries vary from state to state, and from a region to another. For instance, in California, an oral surgeon can expect at an annual salary that has an average comprised between $115,981 per year and up to $544,545 per year. Also, one individual located in New York can enjoy an annual income that is comprised between $98,265 per year and up to $254,342 per year.
Oral Surgeon Salary in Canada, Australia and the UK
In Canada, the average salary for an oral surgeon that is based in this country usually is estimated to range between C$ 98,817 per year and up to C$599,523 per year. The average hourly payment is also estimated to range between C$56.47 per hour and up to C$343 per hour. An oral surgeon median salary has an estimation that usually reaches at about C$171,293 per year while the median hourly wage reaches about C$97.06 per hour.
In Australia, one of the most important factors that influence a lot the salary are the years of experience that one individual has gathered in this field. For instance, an oral surgeon that has gathered between 1 and four years of experience can gain an annual income that reaches at about AU$60,327 per year. Those professionals who already gained more than ten years of experience and are also climbing to 19 years can expect to take home an income that can reach up to AU$182,510 per year.
In the UK, the median salaries for oral surgeons are estimated to have an average that reaches about £50,010 per year. In this country, the salary will also range according to the factor of age. For instance those who found jobs as oral surgeons and are in their 20s can expect to take home an income that reaches up to £37,510 per year. At the same time those who are in their 30s can expect to take home up to £49,010 per year. If you are in your 40s and 50s, then you can easily expect to take home an income that reaches about £58,010 per year. On the other hand, the average hourly wage for an oral surgeon in the United kingdom is estimated at £24 per hour.
Conclusion on Oral Surgeon Salary
As mentioned earlier the salary of an oral surgeon is influenced by several decisive factors such as geographic location, age, skills and performance, specialization as well as work experience.
- First Published Date: 16 September, 2015
- Last Updated Date: 29 November, 2016