Imagine having a job that you enjoyed so much that you simply could not wait to wake up and go to it each day. For many, they never find this kind of professional fulfillment are often left wondering what could have been had they taken another route in life. While that is sadly true for many, it is certainly not true for all. Some people find so much fulfillment in their careers that they take every opportunity to discuss it with others.
Dr. Carlos Moretta, DDS, is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who says he loves his job. It was not an easy path to get there, however. It was a path that took nearly a decade of schooling and a lot of time and energy.
“Time is the biggest check to pay,” he says of his years training for his dream career. “You have to like school and you have to like to be trained, but for many, that’s a sacrifice.”
This sacrifice, however, was worth it to Dr. Moretta, who spends his days doing facial reconstruction on trauma patients or patients who need tumor removal and total facial reconstruction. He also does jaw surgery, helps to re-position jaws for dentures, dental implants and more.
Dr. Moretta has also been lucky to take his specialty to the mission field, where he has been able to perform procedures in other countries for people without the means to pay for that kind of treatment. Tumor removal on other parts of the body like the head or back are procedures Dr. Moretta has personally done.
“It is hands down one of the greatest perks of my field,” he says of doing this mission work.
So what does it take to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon? According to Dr. Moretta, you have to be the “whole package.” This includes being “good with your hands”, “creative” and able to “think on your toes”. Dr. Moretta also says the most successful oral surgeons have a good demeanor and like talking with patients, but that they must also be skilled at “putting out fires”.
Dr. Moretta also says, however, that this is “delicate work”, and it is. For many, maxillofacial surgery is a term they have never heard of, but for those who undergo maxillofacial surgery, it can be life changing. Some of the most common forms of maxillofacial surgeries are: tumor removal and reconstruction, cosmetic facial surgery, treatment of head and neck cancer, stem cell treatments, cheek or chin augmentation, corrective jaw surgery or even cosmetic injectable treatments. Maxillofacial surgeons are also responsible for fixing cleft palates, bites and facial trauma.
Dr. Moretta feels lucky to wake up each day and realize that he gets to go to work. “There’s variety every day,” he says. “And variety keeps your fresh.”
This honest account of an oral surgeon gives great insight into the hard work and dedication it takes to be an oral surgeon, but also gives great insight into what a rewarding career it can be.