Oral Surgeon Salaries: MD Vs. MD DDS vs. OMFS (2023)

There is much debate in the oral surgery industry regarding the value of the additional education that some choose to pursue. They call it "the million dollar decision.”

According to this idea, the extra two years of school that a dental surgeon needs to get a medical degree will end up costing him. Worth a million dollars over your lifetime instead of making more money.

When hiring an oral surgeon, you may be faced with the dilemma of deciding the essential factors your candidates must meet. For most doctors, they relish the idea of ​​having another doctor on board.

Should a medical degree be a prerequisite for oral and maxillofacial surgeons in your practice? Is it worth paying a higher salary for an oral surgeon with a medical degree?

When it comes to oral surgeons, there are other factors to consider when hiring. This article will look at the difference between an OMFS with a medical degree and one without, looking at the value each brings to your practice.

The average salary of an oral surgeon

According to the ADA, in 2012, the median salary for oral surgeons in the United States was $330,000. Of course, that number has increased significantly over the past decade.

2022 data fromsalario.comstates that oral and maxillofacial surgeons can earn up to $420,356.

Other sources range from $200,000 to $400,000 on average.

Could this large variation in salaries for the same position be due to the fact that some dentists are doctors and others are not, or is it more complicated?

This article will examine the various factors that can affect the salaries an oral surgeon should expect.

We'll also delve into the value of an oral surgeon who earned his medical degree in a practice and one who didn't.

One thing that has been consistent across all data is that oral and maxillofacial surgery is the most lucrative job in the dental industry compared to related jobs.

Undoubtedly, oral surgeons command more than endodontists, orthodontists and periodontists.

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Factors Affecting the Average Salary of an OMFS

Oral Surgeon Salaries: MD Vs. MD DDS vs. OMFS (2)
Considering that sources claim a salary range of over $200,000 for oral surgeons, it is important to note the factors that can change the amount paid to an oral surgeon.

These four areas below are the main players, along with the surgeon's own business knowledge and negotiation skills.


There are two paths an oral and maxillofacial surgery student can take. Depending on their preference, they can major in medicine or dentistry.

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medicine diploma

When a surgeon is in a medical training program, he spends six years in residency instead of four, which emphasizes his medical training.

Depending on the school they attend, this medical training can cover the full additional two years or even longer.

Bachelor of Dentistry

When a surgeon is earning a non-medical degree, he spends only four years in residency with no additional medical training. His entire residency focuses on improving oral and maxillofacial surgery skills.

practice area

The area of ​​the country where you are practicing an OMFS will significantly affect your compensation potential.

ZipRecruiter compiled amesaof the average salary of dental surgeons in each state.

This table lists Massachusetts as the highest paying state for OMFS jobs. This is likely due to the fact that Massachusetts has several large dental companies in the state.

Washington, Maryland and New York are second. Much of the wage increase in these states is likely due to the high cost of living.

Most southern states do not pay well and make up most of the lowest-paying states, along with Iowa and Utah.


An oral surgeon in residence can expect to earn between $50,000 and $58,000 per year.

For most surgeons, the annual salary increases by 3% each year. According topayscale.com, budding oral surgeons can earn a little over two hundred thousand. Four years from now, that same surgeon could earn $220,000 a year.

After accumulating ten years of experience, a dental surgeon could increase that annual salary. After a surgeon has been practicing full-time for over 20 years, their annual salary can significantly increase to over $300,000.


Many different industries employ someone to perform dental surgeries. Depending on the industry an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is in, they can expect a different hourly wage.

(Video) How To Become An Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon | DDS/MD

Zippia.comdoes an excellent job of breaking down the different industries that can affect how much an oral surgeon makes.

The four industries they include in their data are compared below:


Oral surgeons in this industry are among the top earners. This is due to the delicate and exhaustive surgeries on the bones and tissues of the face.

While some oral surgeons primarily perform tooth extractions and dental implants, these oral surgeons often deal with birth defects or disease or broken bones due to trauma.

Health care

Behind the reconstruction industry, oral surgeons working in a health center or hospital are the second highest earners.

Again, many of these patients arrive with serious injuries that require a firm hand and experience.


The third highest salary and widest salary range are oral surgeon jobs in the not-for-profit sector.

Many OMFS end up working in this sector because it has more potential and can make a big difference in their patients' lives.


The lowest initial payment is at a private practice or professional clinic. However, there is still an opportunity to earn as much as you would at a healthcare facility if you are experienced and qualified.

When you check theSBVwebsite, also provides the average annual salary for each industry. Based on your data, these numbers are similar. Oral surgeons have the highest compensation potential working in a dental office.

Are you interested in salaries for common medical specialties?

Ver:radiotherapist|Dermatologist|Neurologist|Cardiologist|Plastic surgeon|vascular surgeon

Scholarships for Specialist Jobs in Oral Surgery

Oral Surgeon Salaries: MD Vs. MD DDS vs. OMFS (3)
After completing their residency, oral surgeons have the opportunity to further specialize in the OMFS industry.

Depending on the path they choose, they can expect to have a potential salary range.

microvascular reconstruction

This subspecialty consists of the treatment of head and neck cancer. To become a specialist, an oncology fellowship is also required.

(Video) Oral Surgeon Salary (2020) - Oral Surgeon Jobs

Microvascular reconstruction is increasingly sought after due to the increase in cancer cases. Considering the fact that you would need to complete two fellowships to specialize in this field, you can expect to earn a higher salary.

Facial Aesthetic Surgery

Becoming an oral surgeon who specializes in facial cosmetic surgery can earn a surgeon the highest salary possible.

According toMedscape Compensation Report 2022, these oral surgeons can earn an income similar to that of a plastic surgeon, who earns a national average of $576,000.

Pediatric oral and maxillofacial/craniofacial surgery

Although specializing in this area may earn you the lowest salary, most dentists admit that this is the job that provides the most satisfaction. A surgeon can have a big impact on many patients' lives.

These surgeons would repair a cleft palate and perform craniosynostosis surgery that would significantly improve the lives of every child who received their care.

One or two degree oral surgeons

The biggest question many clinics face when hiring an oral surgeon is whether to hire an MD or DDS, doctor or dentist.

This is a big decision for clinics and oral surgeons.Access OMFS(a website dedicated to helping provide OMFS residents with industry information) has published two separate articles discussing and comparing the two paths.

The first post,Part 1, analyzes the differences in the educational programs themselves. The second post,Part 2, compares the earning potential of both programs and whether the difference in earnings justifies the additional education.

wage gap

As per Part 1, the starting salary for a single-degree oral surgeon majoring in dentistry averages $225,000.

Likewise, the starting salary for dual-degree oral surgeons who earn a Ph.D. averages $240,000.
This article series also cites reported ADA login numbers, which you cannot access without an ADA number.

According to their finding, the average annual income of oral and maxillofacial surgeons is about $400,000. However, this number does not distinguish between a surgeon's single or double title.

educational difference

When a surgeon is deciding which path to take to become an OMFS, the most significant difference in his choice involves how much education he would need to acquire.

Earning a single degree consists of four years of residency in oral surgery upon completion of dental school.

To obtain a dual degree, dental and medical, the surgeon must complete six years of residency with ample time spent in medical training. These surgeons must also pass the USMLE test.

According to this AccessOMFS article series, each dual degree program differs in how much time is spent on medical training versus oral surgery.

It would be good to check the medical school OMSF training schedule to see how many months were spent in medicine versus OMSF.

(Video) So You Want to Be an ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON (OMFS) [Ep. 30]

This would affect the amount of training a surgeon would have in general medical knowledge compared to the experience they would have in specific oral surgery.

how to decide

When choosing a candidate for your practice, considering the title may or may not be the best tactic.

It is important to consider what is most critical to your practice.

Would medical status help alleviate any concerns your patients might have about undergoing serious surgery?

Perhaps most important is ensuring that the candidate can perform the necessary procedures your practice typically requires.

Suppose your clinic is overcrowded with cleft palates, surgical corrections of skeletal deformities, and maxillofacial trauma. In that case, you need to make sure that the candidate you choose has been well trained or has experience in these procedures.

If your practice is primarily responsible for tooth extractions and dental implants, surely a dental degree would suffice for your chosen oral surgeon.

When you consider the value of an oral surgeon, it really comes down to the type and intensity of your OMSF training, not the degree you hold.

Some programs that provide a Ph.D. to an oral surgeon do not provide sufficient training in actual oral operating room procedures.

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It can be challenging to fill a position with the right candidate when all available candidates have similar educational backgrounds.

With this additional factor to consider for your position as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, it can certainly be difficult to choose the best surgeon for your practice.

With all the data collected, it appears that the cost of hiring a doctor instead of a dentist as an oral surgeon is a small margin.

The best method for choosing which dentist to hire is to assess not the title, but the competence and experience of the individual. Consider how their previous roles prepared them to meet the needs of your practice.

For further guidance, contact one of theassessores em Physicians Thrive.

(Video) Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program – University of Maryland Medical Center

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What is the highest paid oral maxillofacial surgeon? ›

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons made a median salary of $208,000 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $198,490.

Are OMFS in demand? ›

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 4.6% employment growth for oral and maxillofacial surgeons between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 300 jobs should open up. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgeries on the face, mouth and jaw.

Who makes more money doctors or dentists? ›

Dentists in some places are so well compensated that they earn more than the average doctor. According to a 2012 report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the average hourly wage of a dentist in America is $69.60 vs. $67.30 for a physician.

Which branch of dentistry makes the most money? ›

Common high-paying specialties in dentistry include:
  • Periodontist. Periodontists specialize in gum health and care. ...
  • Prosthodontist. A prosthodontist specializes in treating and replacing missing teeth. ...
  • Endodontist. ...
  • Orthodontist. ...
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
May 25, 2021

Which dental Speciality makes the most money? ›

This dental specialty earns the highest out of the 12. Endodontists (Median Annual Net Income $300,000): Endodontists study and treat the dental pulp, a soft tissue inside the tooth.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: ...
  • Endodontists: ...
  • Periodontists: ...
  • Orthodontists and Dentofacial Orthopedists: ...
  • Prosthodontists: ...
  • Pedodontics:
Mar 3, 2021

What state has the best oral surgeons? ›

In order to help you decide which state is the best for oral surgeons, we ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia from best to worst for oral surgeon jobs. 72.0% of people in the field are White, while 14.2% are Asian.
1. North Dakota.
Total Oral Surgeon Jobs:17
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$298,000
3 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

How much does an oral and maxillofacial surgeon get paid a month? ›

What is the salary of a Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon in India? Average salary for a Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon in India is 5.2 Lakhs per year (₹43.3k per month).

How competitive is oral and maxillofacial surgery? ›

That means rather than going out to practice as a general dentist and making a solid income, you'll instead be committing an additional 4 to 6 years for OMFS residency. OMFS residency is also highly competitive, with only 48% of applicants getting accepted each cycle.

Can OMFS become plastic surgery? ›

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a surgical specialty focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, and jaws, as well as facial cosmetic surgery/facial plastic surgery including cleft lip and cleft palate surgery.

Is OMFS stressful? ›

If you're looking for a career that will take you far beyond the daily grind of filling cavities, OMFS may be for you. You should be aware, though, that oral and maxillofacial surgery is rated as one of the most stressful of any dental specialty.

Are OMFS respected? ›

As MDS doctors with oral and Maxillofacial surgery and fellowship in head and neck oncology can serve in Cancer hospitals they are getting equal respect just like MD doctors.

Are most dentists millionaires? ›

In a recent survey, The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists if they consider themselves wealthy—and two out of three dentists said no, they are not in fact wealthy. Many dentists pointed out how expensive the profession can be.

Who makes more anesthesiologist or dentist? ›

Dentists, orthodontists, and prosthodontists also have high salaries. Anesthesiologists are paid more than any other type of doctor. Here are the top 15 highest-paying jobs for medical doctors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and their average salaries in 2019.

What age do dentists retire? ›

In a national income and retirement study of dentists throughout the country, the American Dental Association found that the average retirement age for dentists is 69. When Gallup did a survey of the general population, it concluded the average American is retiring at age 62.

What is the least stressful dental specialty? ›

The lowest job stress was seen in Orthodontics professionals.

Which branch of MDS earns the most? ›

The highest branch of dentistry is Oral and Maxillofacial surgery. These professionals make an average of INR 21,000,000 per year.

How much does an oral and maxillofacial surgeon make? ›

The average oral & maxillofacial surgeon gross salary in South Africa is R1,936,116 or an equivalent hourly rate of R931. In addition, they earn an average bonus of R106,486. Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in South Africa.

What is the number 1 dental school in the world? ›

Universidade de Sao Paulo

What state pays dentists the most? ›

The three states with the highest-paid dentists are Rhode Island ($258,920), Vermont ($254,190) and Alaska ($242,850). West Virginia is last at $127,950 just ahead of Kentucky ($128,850).
Average Dentist Salary by State.
StateAverage Annual Salary
New Hampshire$222,430
46 more rows
Apr 25, 2022

What is the number 1 dental school in USA? ›

1 (5)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor *USA
2 (11)Harvard University *USA
3 (15)University of Washington *USA
4 (20)New York University *USA
5 (21)University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill *USA
73 more rows

Which college is best for oral and maxillofacial surgery? ›

Top Colleges for Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery

The best ranked schools for Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery majors include Boston University, Texas A&M University-College Station and Harvard University with 4 students receiving degrees in Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston University.

Who are the largest oral surgery groups in the US? ›

Utilizing a physician-partnership model, USOSM is the largest network of oral surgery practices in the country. The initial USOSM platform was formed in November 2017 by RiverGlade and the Thurston Group through the combination of two oral surgery groups in Austin and Dallas.

What is the average oral surgeon salary in Texas? ›

How much does a Surgeon - Oral make in Texas? The average Surgeon - Oral salary in Texas is $298,559 as of November 23, 2022, but the range typically falls between $279,022 and $326,156.

What is the salary of an oral surgeon in Texas? ›

How much does an Oral Surgeon make in Texas? The average Oral Surgeon salary in Texas is $299,400 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $279,800 and $327,100.

What is the salary of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Texas? ›

The average salary for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Texas is around $169,420 per year.

What is the most difficult dental specialty? ›

orthodontics. This is probably the hardest one to be accepted into. There is also a good future and remuneration for this specialty. Parents will always put their children first and tooth malocclusion will be more and more prevalent as different homogeneous gene pools intermix.

What are the subspecialties in oral and maxillofacial surgery? ›

The scope of the specialty includes maxillofacial trauma, oncology, esthetic surgery, cleft of the lip and palate, temporomandibular disorders, salivary gland diseases, orofacial pain, orofacial infections among others.

What comes after OMFS? ›

You may work independently or as part of a team providing oral surgery cover to dental practitioners, private hospitals, and nursing homes. You can also start your own exclusive oral and dental surgery center.

Who is the father of maxillofacial surgery? ›

Waldemar Wilhelm: father of oral and maxillofacial surgery in Colombia.

Can OMFS do thyroid surgery? ›

Thyroid surgery is a key part of head and neck surgery and maxillofacial surgeons are well positioned to enter this field. We therefore suggest it should be included in the OMFS training curriculum.

Can you do OMFS with MD? ›

No. One of the requirements to become an oral maxillofacial surgeon is to have a firm, solid background in dental science, which requires a full dental curriculum. There are oral surgery resident programs that include an MD in addition to the DDS degree.

Do maxillofacial surgeons save lives? ›

In contrast to common myth that the work of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon does not end with tooth and its surroundings, it expands to include procedures that enhance the quality of life by providing better form, function and aesthetics, as well as life-saving procedures.

How many OMFS are there in the US? ›

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) represents more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supporting specialized education, research and advocacy.

How hard is it to match into oral surgery? ›

After a grueling four years of dental school and life, less than 250 of these determined men and women will go on to OMFS residency. Applying to oral surgery residency is a tough route, but with determination and hard work it can be achieved.

Is maxillofacial surgeon a good career? ›

Yes, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a good career choice. Candidates can work as a surgeon in these fields in multi-speciality hospitals, research institutes, private colleges, and private and government colleges.

What is the difference between OMFS 4 and 6? ›

The main difference between 4 Year and 6 Year OMFS residencies is of course the two years you will spend in medical school. As a dual degree program, 6 Year residencies will award you not only the certificate to practice as an oral & maxillofacial surgeon, but also the medical degree. Want an MD in 2 years?

What is the difference between maxillofacial and oral surgeon? ›

Maxillofacial surgeons are oral surgeons are the same thing. Training involves oral and maxillofacial surgery but some surgeons limit their practice to oral surgery and office-based procedures while others prefer more hospital-based procedures.

Do dentists have a lot of debt? ›

The average dental school graduate owes $293,900 in student loan debt. The average public school graduate debt was $261,230. The average private school graduate debt was $354,900.

Can a dentist use the title Dr? ›

Ans. Of course yes! Dentists have a doctorate or degree, like every medical physician has. Dentist also got to the medical school and study for five years to earn their title of Dr.

Is being a dentist worth it financially? ›

While the average 4-year dental program could run you around $400,000 with all expenses included, the career trajectory is promising. Average dentist salaries outrank various other industries, putting newly graduated dentists in a fairly sound financial position.

Who makes more money orthodontist or dentist? ›

Both of these medical professions can offer substantial salaries, however, an orthodontist may earn significantly more than a dentist. You might consider your desired salary as a means for helping you choose between these two career paths.

Who is richer dentist or doctor? ›

Winner: Dentistry (higher potential earnings)

Here's why: Dentists start earning as soon as they're qualified (happens before doctors) More scope for private sector work earlier (often more lucrative than public) NHS dentists make between £38 to £110K depending on where they work.

Who makes more money dentist or surgeon? ›

In the United States, the average salary for dentists is $236,728 per year . Salary expectations can differ based on geographic location, education and specialty. In comparison, doctors in the United States can expect to make $248,010 per year .

Can 60 year old get dental implants? ›

Whether 80 or 90 years old, older people can benefit from dental implants and recover with the same predictability as younger ones. Most patients, particularly the elderly, should get dental implants as they are the gold standard for teeth replacement. As a result, there is no such thing as old age for dental implants.

Do dentists get pensions? ›

Dentists can choose several retirement plans for themselves and their employees: a 401(k), an IRA, a Simplified Employee Pension plan, among others. However, the plan that works best for an early-career dentist might not be the same as the plan that works the best for a late-career dentist.

What is average net worth at retirement? ›

According to the Fed data, the median net worth for Americans in their late 60s and early 70s is $266,400. The average (or mean) net worth for this age bracket is $1,217,700, but since averages tend to skew higher due to high net-worth households, the median is a much more representational amount.

How much does an oral surgeon earn in Dallas TX? ›

How much does a Surgeon - Oral make in Dallas, TX? The average Surgeon - Oral salary in Dallas, TX is $302,883 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $283,060 and $330,879.

What is the salary of oral and maxillofacial surgeon in USA? ›

The national average salary for a Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is $3,49,625 in United States.

Who is lowest paid doctor? ›

It should be noted that pediatricians have the lowest annual salary out of any specialty on our list; however, they also work fewer hours than most specialties. The biggest draw for pediatrics is that you get to work with children and adolescents.

What is the difference between maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon? ›

Maxillofacial surgeons are oral surgeons are the same thing. Training involves oral and maxillofacial surgery but some surgeons limit their practice to oral surgery and office-based procedures while others prefer more hospital-based procedures.

How much do DDS make in Texas? ›

The average salary for a dentist in Texas is $125,000 per year. Dentist salaries in Texas can vary between $32,500 to $296,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

How much do oral surgeons make in Las Vegas? ›

How much does a Surgeon - Oral make in Las Vegas, NV? The average Surgeon - Oral salary in Las Vegas, NV is $309,895 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $289,613 and $338,539.

How much does a oral surgeon make in the Air Force? ›

The estimated total pay for a Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at US Air Force is $193,092 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $174,679 per year.

How much does a DDS dentist make in USA? ›

Dentists made a median salary of $160,370 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $208,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $101,570.

How much does an Oral Surgeon earn in Hawaii? ›

The average Oral Surgeon salary in Hawaii is $319,900 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $299,000 and $349,500.

How much does an Oral Surgeon earn in Los Angeles? ›

How much does a Surgeon - Oral make in Los Angeles, CA? The average Surgeon - Oral salary in Los Angeles, CA is $342,272 as of December 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $319,870 and $373,908.

Can OMFS do plastic surgery? ›

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a surgical specialty focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, and jaws, as well as facial cosmetic surgery/facial plastic surgery including cleft lip and cleft palate surgery.


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2. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program | University of Florida Jacksonville
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3. Interview with Todd Hanna, MD, DDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon [The DaVinci Hour Podcast Ep. 25]
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4. Differences Between an Oral Surgeon vs. a Dentist | Oral Surgery Arizona
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5. Q&A Episode 2 | Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency
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