Current surgery has developed to such an extent that the body of knowledge and technical skills mandatory have led to surgeons specializing in particular areas, generally an anatomical area of the body or occasionally in a particular technique or type of patient.
There are nine surgical specialties and this briefing covers Oral & Maxillofacial surgery
The specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery is unique in needful a dual qualification in medicine and dentistry, followed by a comprehensive overall and specialist surgical training, and is a recognized international specialty, which within Europe is defined under the medical directives. Most surgeons acquire a degree in dentistry before training in medicine, but it is becoming increasingly mutual for those acquiring a medical degree to subsequently undertake a dental qualification.
What do Oral and maxillofacial surgeons do?
Often seen as the bridge between medicine and dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery is the surgical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck?
The scope of the specialty is extensive and contains the diagnosis and management of facial injuries, head and neck cancers, salivary gland diseases, facial disproportion, facial pain, impacted teeth, cysts and tumours of the jaws as well as numerous problems affecting the oral mucosa such as mouth ulcers and infections
The principle sub specialties of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery
Surgeons may choose to train and specialize in one or more of these specific fields of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery:
Surgical treatment of head and neck cancer – the removal of the tumors and subsequent reconstruction, including micro vascular free tissue transfer.
Surgery for Craniofacial Facial Deformity – the modification of congenital or acquired facial deformity primarily to recover oro-facial function, but also often to overcome facial disfigurement and restore quality of life.
Oral & Maxillofacial – surgery of the teeth (including implants), jaws, temporomandibular joints, salivary glands and facial skin lesions.
Oral Medicine – diagnosis and management of medical conditions presenting in and around the cervico-facial structures.
Craniofacial Trauma – treatment of facial soft and hard tissue injuries of the craniofacial structures.
Cosmetic surgery – surgery to enhance facial aesthetics, and recover quality of life.