Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: Provider of choice for wisdom teeth removal, dental implants

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMSs) continue to be the provider of choice for wisdom teeth removal and dental implants, according to national consumer surveys conducted since 2017.

Across three different consumer segments – including mothers of teens, young adults and baby boomers – OMSs were identified as the preferred professional for these dental procedures for the fifth year. The findings come from 2022 to 2017 annual national consumer surveys (with no survey in 2020 due to the pandemic) commissioned by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), which represents more than 9,000 OMSs across the country.

In the 2022 survey, 76 percent of mothers of teens and 77 percent of young adults said they would be most likely to choose an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for removing wisdom teeth. For dental implants, 59 percent of baby boomers said an OMS is their preferred provider for the surgical procedure that offers a long-term solution to missing teeth.

Since 2017, oral and maxillofacial surgeons have been named the preferred provider over general dentists and other dental specialists by at least 6 of 10 survey respondents regarding wisdom teeth and more than half of baby boomers for dental implants.

“The national survey data make it clear that patients continue to trust oral and maxillofacial surgeons who have the specialized education and training for these procedures,” said AAOMS President Paul J. Schwartz, DMD.

The survey also uncovered the most important of a dozen or more factors that influence the respondents’ choice of their dental professionals:

  • For mothers of teens, a referral from their child’s general/pediatric dentist or orthodontist is important as well as a pre-existing relationship with the provider and in-network insurance coverage.
  • Young adults identified the same factors but also ranked as important “the professional has the education and training to perform the procedure” and total out-of-pocket costs.
  • Baby boomers regarding dental implants also listed “the professional has the education and training to perform the procedure” as one of the top factors in addition to referrals, pre-existing relationship, insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs.

“Patients seeking to have their wisdom teeth removed or replacing missing teeth with dental implants can search for an AAOMS member using the Find a Surgeon tool on MyOMS.org,” said Schwartz. “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely qualified to treat the conditions, defects, injuries and esthetics aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face because of their extensive education and training, surgical expertise and their unparalleled understanding of esthetics and function.”

In addition to tooth extractions and dental implants, oral and maxillofacial surgeons may perform surgical procedures to treat obstructive sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, jaw misalignments, cleft lip/palate and craniofacial deformities, cosmetic concerns, facial injuries and oral, head and neck cancer.

About the survey

Data were collected through a blind online consumer panel from April 29 to May 9. The survey has a 95 percent industry-standard confidence level.