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Schools for Aspiring Oral Surgeons: How to Choose

Oral surgery is a specialization of the dental profession offered in combination with maxillofacial surgery. Continue reading to see what you should consider when choosing an oral surgery program, and to view some U.S. schools that offer these programs.

Choosing an oral surgery school typically begins with reviewing schools for residency programs, which must be completed in order for students to become oral surgeons. Students who have completed an accredited dental school program and obtained a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree are qualified to apply for oral surgery residencies.

Schools with Oral Surgery Programs

These schools offer oral surgery residency programs:

University/College Location Institution Type Program Offered
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency
Tufts University Medford, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency, Doctoral
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4-year, Public Residency
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency, Doctoral
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency, Doctoral
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Residency
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency
Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Residency, Doctoral
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Residency, Doctoral

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when choosing an oral surgery school:

  • If you have not yet earned a postgraduate degree, find out if the school offers a combined MD/residency option.
  • Students who wish to focus on specialty areas within the discipline of oral surgery should enroll in programs that offer courses such as head and neck surgery, trauma surgery, prosthetic surgery, plastic surgery or neurosurgery.
  • If you are interested in service opportunities outside the United States, find out if the school provides clinical experience programs abroad.
  • Find out what the pay rate is for residents at the school. If you are in a combined doctoral program, explore financial aid opportunities.

Oral Surgery Residency Program

Oral surgery residencies are academic and clinical experiences to be undertaken by aspiring oral surgeons after the successful completion of a DDS or DDM degree program. Many aspects of oral surgery are covered in a typical oral surgery residency program, as well as general surgery residencies in programs resulting in an M.D.

Programs offering extensive financial aid opportunities may have low acceptance rates, allowing only two or three students into the program each year. Coursework typically covers surgical methods pertaining to the face, skull, jaw, head and neck.

After earning a clinical doctoral degree, aspiring oral surgeons can seek well-paying residencies that provide a wide variety of academic opportunities, such as concentrations and study abroad.


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