Health Sciences at MassBay

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Maxillofacial Assistant

Surgical Technologies photo 10

What is a Maxillofacial Assistant (MA)?
The MA is a vital member of the otorhinolaryngologic surgical team, functioning under direct supervision of the oral dental surgeon in the office practice setting, or under supervision of the registered nurse in the hospital operating room. MA’s are specialized dental assistants who help with surgical procedures that treat the teeth and tissues of the mouth. Oral surgeons' procedures can include tooth extractions, facial reconstruction, reshaping of the gum or dental implants. During surgical procedures, Maxillofacial assistants provide surgical instruments to the oral surgeons and prepare the operating room for procedures. They also assist with retraction of the facial structures as necessary. MA’s monitors intravenous fluids and vital signs during a procedure. They participate in selecting and sterilizing instruments and equipment for surgical procedures, maintaining aseptic technique throughout the procedure, and provide a safe environment for successful patient outcomes. Maxillofacial assistants also must monitor patients following surgery and give them post-operative care instructions in the doctor’s office practice setting, and ensure that patient consent forms are signed. Employment opportunities include dental office practice, surgical centers and the operating room.

What is MassBay’s Maxillofacial Assistant Certificate Program?
It is a 2-semester course of study that includes 120 hours of theory, 120 hours of clinical practicum training at a participating hospital and dental office, and 32 hours of lab. This course is taught by a cross functional team of healthcare professionals and educators on Saturdays and one evening per week, and begins at beginning of each semester (Fall, Spring). The program consists of instruction in human anatomy and physiology relative to maxillofacial and oral surgery, microbiology and principles of asepsis, decontamination, sterilization, medical and surgical terminology, instrumentation, dental/surgical equipment and surgical site preparation. The clinical practice throughout the program will be coordinated by the instructor at the college and take place in various oral surgical settings throughout the greater Boston metropolitan area. New students are accepted into the program on a rolling admission basis.

What Makes Maxillofacial Assistant a good career choice?

  • Short-term Training: MassBay’s program is only 2-semester long, including both lecture and lab/clinical practice.
  • Solid Job Growth Prospects:Employment of dental assistants, which include oral surgery assistants, is projected to climb 36 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Good Pay: Typical entry-level wage is approximately $17-20/hr.
  • Room for Advancement: A Maxillofacial Assistant can move up to become a Surgical Technologist, a Registered Nurse or a manager of a dental/oral office practice.
  • Typical job benefits include medical and other insurance, 401(k) retirement savings plan, and some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Please note that this is the first national program of its kind. During the program’s initial class, the accreditation process will begin and certification will be implemented.

If you have any questions, please attend an upcoming health program information session. Check out our Info Session schedule and sign up today under "All Other Health Science Programs”. Or, contact Admissions at 508-279-4059 or