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Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS or OMFS) specializes in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. In countries such as the UK, Australia and most of Europe, it is recognized as both a specialty of medicine and dentistry, and a dual degree in medicine and dentistry is compulsory. In other countries including the United States, India, Canada, Brazil, Sweden and Israel, it is a recognized specialty of dentistry.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, as well as associated structures.
Depending upon the jurisdiction, maxillofacial surgeons may require training in dentistry, surgery, and general medicine; training and qualification in medicine may be undertaken optionally even if not required.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is widely recognized as one of the specialties of dentistry. In many countries, however, maxillofacial surgery is a medical specialty requiring both medical and dental degrees, culminating in an appropriate qualification (e.g. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, FRCS, in the UK). All oral and maxillofacial surgeons however must obtain a university degree in dentistry before beginning residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In the United States oral and maxillofacial residency programs are either four or six years in duration. Programs that grant the MD degree are six years in duration.
They also may choose to undergo further training in a one or two year subspecialty Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship Training in the following areas:
·Head and neck cancer – microvascular reconstruction
·Cosmetic facial surgery
·Craniofacial surgery/pediatric maxillofacial surgery/cleft surgery
·Maxillofacial regeneration (reformation of the facial region by advanced stem cell technique)
The popularity of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a career for persons whose first degree was medicine, not dentistry, seems to be increasing in a few EU countries. However, the public funds spent for 14 years of training are of a major concern for governments. Integrated programs are becoming more available to medical graduates allowing them to complete the dental degree requirement in about three years in order for them to advance to subsequently complete oral and maxillofacial surgical training.
Treatments may be performed on the craniomaxillofacial complex: mouth, jaws, face, neck, and skull, and include:
·Dentoalveolar surgery (surgery to remove impacted teeth, difficult tooth extractions, extractions on medically compromised patients, bone grafting or preprosthetic surgery to provide better anatomy for the placement of implants, dentures, or other dental prostheses)
·Surgery to insert osseointegrated (bone fused) dental implants and maxillofacial implants for attaching craniofacial prostheses and bone anchored hearing aids.
·Cosmetic surgery of the head and neck: (rhytidectomy/facelift, browlift, blepharoplasty/Asian blepharoplasty, otoplasty, rhinoplasty, septoplasty, cheek augmentation, chin augmentation, genioplasty, oculoplastics, neck liposuction, lip enhancement, injectable cosmetic treatments, botox, chemical peel etc.)
·Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery), surgical treatment and/or splinting of sleep apnea, maxillomandibular advancement, genioplasty
Diagnosis and treatment of:
·Benign pathology (cysts, tumors etc.)
·Malignant pathology (oral & head and neck cancer) with (ablative and Reconstructive surgery, microsurgery)
·Cutaneous malignancy (skin cancer), lip reconstruction
·Congenital craniofacial malformations such as cleft lip and palate and Cranial vault malformations such as craniosynostosis, (craniofacial surgery)
·Chronic facial pain disorders
·Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
·Dysgnathia (incorrect bite), and orthognathic (literally “straight bite”) reconstructive surgery, orthognathic surgery, maxillomandibular advancement, surgical correction of facial asymmetry.
·Soft and hard tissue trauma of the oral and maxillofacial region (jaw fractures, cheek bone fractures, nasal fractures, LeFort fracture, skull fractures and eye socket fractures).