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Maxillofacial Surgery Basics for the Dental Assistant: Part 2 (AGD 310)

Presenter: Natalie Kaweckyj, LDA, RF, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, MADAA, BA


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) is one of the oldest dental specialties. It is the branch of dentistry that encompasses the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects of the oral and maxillofacial region. Oral and maxillofacial specialists work with general dentists, physicians, and other dental specialists in the total treatment of a dental patient. Although many individuals commonly associate an oral surgeon with the practice of extracting teeth for dentures or with the removal of third molars, such procedures are only a small part of the total responsibility of this specialty. For instance, an oral maxillofacial surgeon may treat a patient who has been severely injured in an accident, resetting the mandibular jaw and working closely with an orthodontist and perhaps even a plastic surgeon to restore the patient’s normal oral function. Other aspects of oral surgery involve implantology and facial cosmetic surgery. The oral and maxillofacial surgery assistant is a valuable and integral part of a successful surgical team.

Oral and maxillofacial procedures may be practiced in the general dentistry practice, but not to the same extent of a specialty practice. Some general practitioners have completed advanced training in surgical techniques such as conscious sedation and utilize this training in a general practice setting.

This course outlines the basic principles involved in the extraction of teeth, armamentarium needed, indications for extractions, classifications and management of third molars extractions, preoperative and postoperative management of the surgical patient, and possible complications following treatment.


Natalie Kaweckyj currently resides in Minneapolis, MN, where she is the Clinic Coordinator and Compliance Analyst for a nonprofit pediatric dental clinic. She is a Licensed Dental Assistant in Restorative Functions (LDA, RF), Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator (CDPMA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant (COMSA), and a Master of the American Dental Assistants Association (MADAA). She holds several expanded function certificates, including the administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia. Ms. Kaweckyj graduated from the American Dental Association-accredited dental assisting program at ConCorde Career Institute and has received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Metropolitan State University. She is currently writing her dissertation for her master’s in Public Health. She has worked clinically, administratively and academically. Ms. Kaweckyj served as ADAA President in 2011-2012 and 2017-2018. She is current legislative chairman for the Minnesota Dental Assistants Association (MDAA) and three time past president of MDAA. She also just concluded her term as President of the Minnesota Educators of Dental Assistants. In addition to her association duties, Natalie is very involved with the Minnesota state board of dentistry as well as with state legislature in the expansion of the dental assisting profession. She is a freelance writer and lecturer and is always working on some project. She has authored many other courses for the ADAA.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Discuss the reasons for tooth removal.
• Identify the appropriate forceps required for specific teeth.
• Discuss and identify surgical instruments and their functions.
• Understand basic surgical techniques.
• Discuss the management of third molars and their classifications.
• Demonstrate the proper method of disposing of regulated medical waste.
• Discuss the postoperative management instructions for surgical patients.
• Recognize postoperative complications.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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