Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a speciality which covers procedures affecting the mouth, jaw, neck and head, along with the hard and soft tissues of the oral and facial region. It is concerned with the prevention, study, diagnosis, and surgical or non-surgical treatment of diseases which affect said zones. Specialists who carry out these procedures are referred to as oral and maxillofacial surgeons or maxillofacial surgeons. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat patients of any age, from newborns to elderly people.
What conditions does oral and maxillofacial surgeon treat?
Typically, oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat skull or facial deformities in children (e.g. cleft lip and/or palate), facial damage caused by injury in young adults and oral cancer or facial and neck tumours in the elderly.
Other conditions and treatments commonly performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons include:
Which subspecialties are included under oral and maxillofacial surgery?
Whilst oral and maxillofacial surgery does not have specific subspecialties, you must first be qualified in both medicine and dentistry, and once you have qualified as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you can choose to focus on specific areas. For example, craniofacial trauma, cosmetic surgery, oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, facial deformity surgery or the surgical treatment of head and neck cancers.
When should you see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?
You would be seen by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you had suffered facial trauma, had a congenital facial deformity, required reconstructive surgery, needed TMJ jaw repair, had a badly misaligned jaw, needed impacted teeth removed or required head and neck cancer treatment.