Oral Surgery (Oral and Maxilloafacial Surgery) is a recognized international specialty in dentistry. It includes the diagnosis, surgical and related treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws and neck.
It involves, but is not limited to: dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, apicoectomy, TMJ disorder, facial trauma, corrective jaw surgery, oral pathology, osseous tissue surgery, anesthesia and bone grafts.
Unlike in the United States, in some areas of the world it is separate from Oral and Maxillofacial surgery (OMS, OMFS, or "Maxfacs"), which is a unique specialty usually requiring both medical and dental qualifications of 8-10 years of education after college.
Oral surgery as a specialty is defined in Europe as a dental specialty. It requires 3 years of further university training after a formal qualification in dentistry.
When you hear the words oral surgery, you may think of a hospital setting, general anaesthesia, and one or more days in recovery from this type of dental procedure; but you might be surprised to know what is actually considered oral surgery in dentistry. Many procedures with dental instruments done in a general dental office are considered oral surgery and patients that require such procedures are booked for the procedure without the inconvenience of being put on a waiting list for treatment.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery, known as jaw surgery to most, is preformed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Common reasons for jaw surgery include:
TMJ or temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction caused by trauma or deformation
Major or minor trauma
Malocclusion or incorrect bite
Clenching, or grinding of the teeth causing excessive tooth wear
Difficulty chewing, eating, opening and closing the mouth, or talking
Incorrect jaw position and un-proportioned facial appearance
Your dentist will refer you to see the surgeon if he/she feels your situation will benefit from a surgical treatment option, and at that time you should not be afraid of any dental equipment.
Dental implants are becoming a common procedure to replace missing teeth, or provide stability to a new or existing denture. Preformed by a dentist or oral surgeon, the procedure for placing a dental implant may vary depending on the technique used by the dentist or surgeon, and type of implant used. Most people that have had a dental implant report the recovery was similar to that of a tooth extraction and they were able to return to normal eating within a week of the procedure.