How To Become an Oral Surgeon Assistant

Also known as oral and maxillofacial surgery assistants, oral surgery assistants offer pre, peri, and postoperative support to oral surgeons. Their duties include taking X-rays, sterilizing instruments, monitoring vital signs during surgery, and educating patients about oral health.

Follow these steps to become an oral surgeon assistant:
  1. Earn your high school diploma or GED. Earning your high school diploma or GED is the first step toward becoming an oral surgeon assistant. …
  2. Earn a degree. …
  3. Become licensed. …
  4. Gain work experience. …
  5. Apply for jobs.

Dental Assisting – Assist with Minor Oral Surgery

What does an oral surgeon assistant do?

Oral surgeon assistants handle a variety of tasks that can change each day depending on what procedures have been scheduled for their patients. Common oral surgeon assistant tasks include:

What is an oral surgeon assistant?

An oral surgeon assistant is a professional who helps oral surgeons, dentists and periodontists with surgery and oral procedures, including X-rays and examinations. Oral surgeon assistants work closely with patients to make sure theyre comfortable throughout their procedures and have all the information they need to care for themselves post-operation.

Work environment for oral surgeon assistants

Oral surgeon assistants typically work in a clinical environment such as a dentists office or hospital. They usually work a full-time schedule during regular business hours, but they may need to be on call so that they can provide their services during potential emergencies.

Salary for oral surgeon assistants

Follow these steps to become an oral surgeon assistant:

1. Earn your high school diploma or GED

Earning your high school diploma or GED is the first step toward becoming an oral surgeon assistant. Focus on performing well in your math and science classes to set yourself up for success. Being skilled in these areas can help you when it comes time to enroll in dental programs or pursue higher education after high school.

2. Earn a degree

Many oral surgeon assistants choose to pursue an associate degree, bachelors degree or vocational training after graduating from high school. Consider starting your career by enrolling in an accredited dental assistant program recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Vocational schools, community colleges, dental schools and universities can all offer dental assistant programs that include classroom instruction and clinical training. As a full-time student, you may be able to complete an accredited dental assistant program in less than one year. Coursework for oral surgeon assistants includes:

3. Become licensed

To work as an oral surgeon assistant, you may need to pass a state-certified exam, such as the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination. Some states also require additional certifications before you can qualify to work as an oral surgeon assistant. You can check with the Dental Assisting National Board to learn more about the specific requirements for your state. Additional certifications you might need include:

These certifications prepare oral surgeon assistants to take emergency life-saving measures if complications arise during surgery.

4. Gain work experience

Gaining related work experience can help you advance in your career as an oral surgeon. Many oral surgery jobs require you to have previous work experience, preferably in an oral surgery environment, so consider starting your career as a dental assistant. This role can help prepare you by offering hands-on experience with surgical equipment, a deeper understanding of surgical techniques and practice providing patient care.

5. Apply for jobs

When youre ready to apply for jobs, create a well-written resume that clearly highlights your skills and qualifications in order to impress potential employers. Make sure to list all formal education youve completed along with relevant work experience, state licenses and certifications.

After honing your resume, use search engines to find oral surgeon assistant jobs that match your preferred location, skill set and qualifications. You can also connect with any professional contacts you made during your training program or related job roles to ask if they know of any clinics that are currently hiring oral surgeon assistants. If one of your professional contacts refers you to an employer, it can set you apart from other candidates.

Important skills for oral surgeon assistants

Here are some of the most important oral surgeon assistant skills that can help you on your career journey:


Where do dental assistants get paid the most?

Best-Paying States for Dental Assistants

The states and districts that pay Dental Assistants the highest mean salary are Minnesota ($53,670), Massachusetts ($51,750), Alaska ($51,230), New Hampshire ($50,820), and Oregon ($48,320).

How long does it take to become an oral surgeon in USA?

In most cases, it takes at least six years for oral surgeons to complete both degrees and their surgical residency. As expected, the workload is intense, but afterwards, students graduate with both DDS and MD after their name.

How much do oral surgery assistants make in Texas?

$37,554 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $49,907 is the 75th percentile. Salaries above this are outliers.

How much do oral surgery assistants make in California?

How much does an Oral Surgery Assistant make in California? The average Oral Surgery Assistant salary in California is $41,541 as of June 28, 2022, but the range typically falls between $36,846 and $46,091.

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