Oral and maxillofacial surgery is surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. In the US (and many other countries) it is one of the nine specialties of dentistry, however, it is also recognized as a medical specialty in certain parts of the world, such as the UK.
In the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Dentists of Canada, Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and the Brazilian Federal Council of Odontology (CFO).
In other parts of the world oral and maxillofacial surgery as a specialty exists but under different forms as the work is sometimes performed by a single or dual qualified specialist depending on each country's regulations and training opportunities available.
Facial trauma is a too frequent occurrence in sports activities from cycling to volleyball, and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) hopes to raise awareness of this issue by introducing on March 31, a congressional resolution (H. Res. 1062) to designate April 2008 as National Facial Protection Month.
An estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out each year during sports activities and athletes participating in contact sports have a 10% chance of sustaining a significant oral-facial injury each session and are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard. Approximately, one-third of all dental injuries and approximately 19% of all head and face injuries are sports-related.
Saving Faces, Changing Lives -- The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 8,500 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supports its fellows' and members' ability to practice their specialty through education, research and advocacy. AAOMS fellows and members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office examinations, ensuring the public that all office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.