Meet Our Team

Oral Surgeons and Staff in San Diego

Our practice was established in 1927 and is the oldest and largest in San Diego County with two convenient locations; one in San Diego and the other in El Cajon. The Center for Oral & Facial Surgery team is made up of exceptional people who are committed to working in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. We are motivated to achieve the highest standards of quality care. “To serve our patients with integrity and deliver the highest quality of professional care in a soothing and comfortable environment” is more than our mission statement; it is the philosophy behind everything we do.

Our Trusted Oral Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgery requires additional years of hospital–based surgical and anesthesia training after graduation from dental school. Our experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons (listed below) manage a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth and facial regions. We practice a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures with expertise ranging from dental implant surgery and wisdom tooth removal to corrective jaw surgery. This also includes techniques designed to rebuild bone structure with minimal surgical intervention and optimal patient comfort. We can also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and fractures.

  • Dr James R. Eckstein
  • Dr Brian K. Oleksy
  • Dr Derek J. Havas
  • Dr Justin Messina

Surgical Staff

The surgical staff at the Center for Oral & Facial Surgery are experienced, certified oral and maxillofacial surgical assistants, who have completed specialized training as OMS Assistants and are CPR certified. We also have trained registered nurses (RN’s) who assist in the administration of IV Sedation and General Anesthesia in our state–of–the–art office setting. Patients are continuously monitored during and after surgery. Our administrative personnel are well-versed in health and insurance policies. Contact us today at either one of our two locations, to learn more about the procedures we provide or to schedule your first appointment.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral Surgeon in San Diego James R. Eckstein, D.D.S., M.D

James R. Eckstein, D.D.S., M.D. is a San Diego native who grew up in the East County and attended Valhalla High School. He completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of California Irvine and then completed dental training at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry where he graduated Cum Laude. He received his medical degree at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. He then completed his residency in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He has been in private practice in San Diego since 1996. Dr. Eckstein practices the full scope of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with emphasis on dental implants and wisdom teeth removal. He is a member of many professional organizations including the International Team for Implantology (ITI).

  • Diplomate American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Diplomate National Dental Board of Anesthesiology
  • Fellow American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Member American Dental Association
  • Member American Medical Association


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

San Diego Oral Surgeon Brian K. Oleksy, D.D.S., M.D.

Brian K. Oleksy, D.D.S., M.D. is a native of Carlsbad, California. He completed his undergraduate and dental education at U.C.L.A. and then earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. After completing an internship in General Surgery, he trained in full scope oral and maxillofacial surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital and affiliated hospitals in Dallas. He has been in the private practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery in San Diego since 2007. Dr. Brian K. Oleksy is a member of many professional organizations, and is a fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

  • Diplomate American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dr. Derek J Havas

Derek J. Havas D.D.S., M.D. is originally from Long Island, New York. He attended Stony Brook University’s highly selective Honors College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Genetics. Dr. Havas continued his education at the USC School of Dentistry, excelling in his studies and graduating at the top of his class. He then completed a 6-year residency program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at LA County USC Medical Center.

During his residency, Dr. Havas received his Medical Degree from Keck School of Medicine of USC. He then completed a 1-year General Surgery Internship at USC, which included rotations with departments such as Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology, and Trauma Surgery, gaining invaluable surgical experience and comfort in treating medically complex patients.

Dr. Havas is a Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and has clinical expertise in complex bone grafting techniques, dental implants, and wisdom teeth removal. He is well-versed in General Anesthesia and IV Sedation techniques to assure a safe and comfortable Oral Surgery experience for his patients.

Dr. Havas and his wife, Hollie, are both animal lovers and enjoy taking their rescue dog Riley to the beach as much as possible. Hollie is a volunteer at Helen Woodward Animal Center and is heavily involved in their Annual Spring Fling Gala. Outside of his professional career, Dr. Havas is an avid surfer and enjoys snowboarding and many other outdoor activities.


Board Certified, Dual Degree, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Dr. Justin Messina, D.M.D., M.D. is a board-certified, dual-degree, oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, graduating number one in his class, serving as President of the prestigious Matthew Cryer Honor Society, and gaining membership into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society upon his graduation.

He then pursued six-years of training at the Harvard Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program, earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

He has received extensive subspecialty training during his clinical rotations in Anesthesiology, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery, and Head and Neck Surgery in the Harvard Medical Hospital System.

Dr. Messina practices with some of the most advanced training in Dentoalveolar Surgery and Wisdom Teeth Removal, Dental Implants, Bone Grafting, and Sinus Augmentation, and Reconstructive Jaw Surgery. He is a diplomate to the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology, utilizing his General Anesthesia and IV Sedation techniques to increase patient safety and promote office-based anesthesiology standards of care.

Dr. Messina has published in peer-reviewed national and international Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery journals and is recently distinguished in Incisal Edge and Delta Sky magazines as a “40 Under 40” honoree.

Dr. Messina and his wife, Marielle, are enjoying their relocation to San Diego from the New York City area. Outside of his professional career, Dr. Messina enjoys spending quality time with his family. He is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys skiing, hiking, and the great outdoors.