What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?
Oral and Maxillofacial surgery (OMS) is a dental specialty involving the diagnosis, surgical and treatment of defects, injuries and diseases of both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat the entire craniomaxillofacial complex or the anatomical part of the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, and other associated structures. Common procedures include treating:
- Impacted teeth. An impacted tooth usually involves the wisdom teeth or the third molars and last set of teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth can lead to swelling, pain, and infection of the gum tissue around the tooth. If left untreated, this can also result in permanent damage to the nearby teeth, and affect the gums and bones.
- Tooth loss. Oral surgeons are also involved in solving your problem with a missing tooth. Through dental implants, they can resolve tooth loss. Dental implants are substitutes of the tooth root and are surgically anchored in place in the jawbone. They stabilize the artificial tooth attached.
- Jaw-related problems. These problems may be an unequal jaw growth, irregularities of the jaws to improve dental fit, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
- Other conditions. Through oral surgery, fractured jaws and broken facial bones can be repaired. Lesion removal and biopsy are also possible, as well as, cleft lip and cleft palate repair. Oral surgery can also treat facial infections and snore or sleep apnea.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are Highly Trained
In addition to dental school, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons undergo a minimum of four years in a hospital-based surgical residency program. The average number of years it takes to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is 12 to 14 years.
The average years of schooling towards becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon are at 12 to 14 years.