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Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of congenital or acquired diseases, dysfunction, defects or injuries of the mouth, jaws, face, neck and associated regions. Maxilla refers to the jaws - lower maxilla or lower jaw is currently called the mandible and the term maxilla refers to the upper jaw.

Training

To specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery in the United States, a graduate of dental school must attend either a four-year or a six-year residency program. The four-year programs grant a certification of specialty training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. The six-year programs grant certification plus a doctorate degree in medicine (MD).

Scope

Oral and maxillofacial surgery deals with :

  • Dentoalveolar surgery: surgical removal of impacted teeth, difficult extractions, removal of teeth on medically compromised patients, exposure of teeth for orthodontic reasons.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of non-cancerous cysts, tumors and growth, cancerous conditions of the oral and facial region, of skin lesions (skin cancers) in the region, facial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ, or jaw joint) disorders
  • Facial bony trauma: fractures of the lower and upper jaw, cheek bones, noses, eye sockets, frontal bone, etc.
  • Facial soft tissue trauma: repair of facial and oral lacerations
  • Osseointegrated (bone anchored) implants: dental and craniofacial implants
  • Adjunctive measures in the treatment of sleep apnea (Mandibular advancement splints and jaw advancement surgery etc)
  • Orthognathic Surgery (jaw realignment surgery) to maximise facial function and aesthetics
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Facial aesthetic surgery
  • Salivary glands surgery