Oral Pathology

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Oral Pathology

Oral Pathology


Oral and maxillofacial Pathology is surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region (Ludlow & Ivanovic, 2008: 930). It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. In the US (and many other countries) it is one of the nine specialties of dentistry; however, it is also recognized as a medical specialty in certain parts of the world, such as the UK.


In the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Dentists of Canada, Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and the Brazilian Federal Council of Odontology (CFO). In other parts of the world oral and maxillofacial surgery as a specialty exists but under different forms as the work is sometimes performed by a single or dual qualified specialist depending on each country's regulations and training opportunities available (Lofthag-Hansen & Huumonen, 2007).


An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, skull, as well as associated structures. Maxillofacial surgeons are usually initially qualified in dentistry and have undergone further surgical training. Some OMS residencies integrate a medical education as well and an appropriate degree in medicine (MBBS or MD or equivalent) is earned, although in the United States there is legally no difference in what a dual degree OMS can do compared to someone who earned a four year certificate (Al-Hashimi & Schifter et al. 2007).

Generally, dual-degree programs have become more commonplace as the profession of OMS has recognized the value of holding a medical degree in terms of obtaining hospital and OR privileges. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry (Patton & Siegel, 2007). However also in the UK and many other countries OMFS is a medical specialty requiring both medical and dental degrees, culminating in the FRCS (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons). Regardless, all oral & maxillofacial surgeons must obtain a degree in dentistry (BDS, BDent, DDS, or DMD or equivalent) before being allowed to begin residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. They also may choose to undergo further training in a 1 or 2 year subspecialty Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship Training in the following areas:

Head and neck cancer - micro vascular reconstruction

Cosmetic facial surgery

Craniofacial surgery/Pediatric Maxillofacial surgery/Cleft Surgery

Cranio-maxillofacial trauma

Head and neck reconstruction (plastic surgery of the head and neck region)

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 few EU countries. However, the public fund spends for 14 years of training is a big concern of the state. Integrated programs are becoming more available to medical graduates allowing them to complete the dental degree requirement in about 3 years in order for them to advance to subsequently complete Oral and Maxillofacial surgical training ...
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