Many of you may have visited an oral surgeon as a teenager for the removal of your impacted wisdom teeth or for extractions in relation to orthodontic treatment (I know I did both). They also perform other surgeries of the teeth and jaw including uncovering impacted teeth so the orthodontist can bring them down into the bite, removing teeth and preparing jaws for dentures, the placement of dental implants, and biopsies of suspicious lesions of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. They are also the primary provider for patients with dangerous tooth related infections.
Oral surgeons are also qualified to perform orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery. There are many patients who despite orthodontic treatment cannot achieve an acceptable bite due to skeletal discrepancies in growth (for example, their lower jaw grows more than their upper jaw, giving them an underbite). These not only aid in the ability to chew but can have a dramatic cosmetic change. Check out this website for a few dramatic before and after pics.
Corrective Jaw Surgery AAOMS.org
Some OMS perform head and neck cancer surgeries. Others repair cleft lips and palates in young children. Plastic surgery of the head and neck (botox, anyone?), repair of facial trauma, treatment of TMJ disorders, treatment of craniofacial disorders, etc are all within the scope of practice.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons can do much more than just wisdom teeth!