What is an oral-maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?
An oral-maxillofacial surgeon diagnoses and treats defects, injuries and diseases affecting the soft and hard tissues found in the oral-maxillofacial area. This area includes the jaw, neck, face and mouth. Treatment usually comes in the form of surgical procedures, and other related measures.
If you have any problem, which involves the facial region, you need to consult with an OMS to find out what specific dental or medical interventions will work for you. The surgeon takes care of both the aesthetic and functional aspects of treatment.
An oral dentist handles a wide variety of problems. Their services can range from removing an impacted tooth to doing face reconstruction for patients with problems caused by accidents or trauma.
What are some possible reasons for you to see this specialist?
– You have an impacted tooth which needs to be pulled out through surgery.
– You have decayed teeth that you want replaced with dental implants.
– You need a specialist to remove an oral, jaw, or facial tumor or cyst.
– You need a specialist to take out sample tissue from your mouth, face, neck, or jaw and have it biopsied to determine the presence of cancer cells.
– You need orthognathic surgery to align your upper and lower jaws for functional and aesthetic reasons.
– You have a problem with your jaw joint, which requires a TMJ surgical operation.
– You have had cancer surgery, and you need jaw and facial restoration.
– You have suffered from facial trauma, and need to go through realignment surgery for your facial bones.
– You want aesthetic surgery done on your mouth, jaw, neck or face.
These problems require intensive knowledge and skills in both dentistry and medicine. They require procedures that include dentoalveolar surgery for the extraction of non-restorable and impacted teeth, dental implants for the replacement of lost teeth, orthognathic surgery for remedial jaw surgical treatment, oncologic surgery for the removal of complex cysts and tumors, reconstructive surgery for the reconstruction of faces damaged by severe infections or injury, TMJ surgery for the relief of intense pain and cosmetic surgery for the jaw, face, or neck.
An OMS needs to go through rigorous training to perform all these procedures.
An OMS has a degree in general dentistry, a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or doctor of dental medicine (DDM) degree. They have also gone through four years of a rigid hospital-based residency program, working with other residents in the fields of general surgery, anesthesiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, and emergency medicine. Some oral surgeons go on to put in another couple of years to get a medical degree through a program, which integrates both OMS and MD disciplines. Others join fellowship programs for further training in higher and more complex surgical techniques.