WHAT IS ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a unique surgical specialty, as Surgeons with this qualification are both Medical and Dental Specialists, holding dual registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (the peak Government body in Australia).
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMS) are specialists of the face, mouth and jaws and also operate on structures within the neck. The speciality is broad, in one day an OMS may remove a patient’s wisdom teeth, reconstruct an eye socket after a car accident, perform complex orthognathic (jaw) surgery or perform reconstruction of a facial defect after cancer surgery.
To be eligible for the qualification, surgeons must complete Medical and Dental degrees as well as additional time spent training in other Medical and Surgical Specialties. A further four years (minimum) of advanced training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is required. The average time spent training is in most cases is 15 or more years. To gain the Fellowship, a rigorous process of exit exams must also be passed at the completion of training.
The contrast between this comprehensive training program and that of some other practitioners who offer similar services can be significant.