What is Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgical specialty which involves both dental and medical surgical treatments. It diagnoses and treats diseases, deformities, injuries and cosmetic defects of the facial and oral region. OMFS are considered the “orthopedic and plastic and reconstructive experts of the Maxillofacial region” (the upper jaw, cheek bones, the bones that support and surround the eyes, lower jaw, chin, jaw joints, associated facial structures, and the intra-oral structures including teeth and their supporting bone and gum tissues, salivary glands, and lining tissues of the mouth).
Oral and Maxillofacial education begins after completion of dental school and may include a hospital based internship as a prerequisite. Completion of an OMFS residency requires 4-6 years of hospital based training focusing solely on the maxillofacial region. The residency includes medical training and rotations such as neurosurgery, critical care medicine, emergency room, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatric surgery and plastic surgery. OMFS residents also receive training in the administration of out-patient anesthesia and are required to administer hundreds of anesthetics during their residency training.