What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS)?
The American Dental Association defines Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as follows:
"Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a medical and dental specialty of surgery which involves the diagnosis,
surgery, and adjunctive treatment of diseases and defects involving both the functional and aesthetic
aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region."
Well, what does this mean?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) is, in fact, a dental specialty but one which in many ways bridges
the gap between medicine and dentistry. We are the physicians of the mouth and jaws. Our scope of
practice includes the surgical and non-surgical treatment of most diseases and abnormalities of the
mouth, jaws, and face. This includes everything from removal of teeth to treatment of facial trauma and jaw reconstruction procedures.
What is the training of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons first attend a four year dental school after 3-4 years of undergraduate
college training. Upon completion of dental school a hospital-based residency of at least 4 years is
accomplished. This includes experience in medicine, general surgery, and other surgical specialties.
Because administration of general anesthesia and intravenous sedation is such an integral part of our
practice, we train for 4-6 months in hospital based general anesthesia, doing nothing but intubated
general anesthesia for non-dental cases. Some oral and maxillofacial surgeons also have a medical
What services does the OMS provide?
- Removal of wisdom teeth and other dentoalveolar surgery
- Orthodontic related surgery for children and adults
- Orthognathic (jaw) surgery
- Osseointegrated dental implants and preprosthetic (denture) surgery
- Repair of soft and hard tissue facial trauma
- Diagnosis and treatment of cysts and tumors (pathology) of the mouth and jaws
- The management and treatment of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders
- Endodontic microsurgery (apicoectomies)
- The treatment of serious head and neck infections
- The diagnosis and treatment of oral and maxillofacial diseases
- The diagnosis and treatment of facial pain
- General anesthesia and IV sedation
- Reconstruction following cancer surgery or trauma
- Repair of facial clefts and craniofacial defects