Oral & Maxillofacial surgery (OMS or OMFS) specializes in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the Oral (mouth) and Maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. In some countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel, it is a recognized specialty of dentistry; in others, such as the UK and most of Europe, it is recognized as both a specialty of medicine and dentistry and a dual degree in medicine and dentistry is compulsory.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, skull, as well as associated structures.
Depending upon the jurisdiction, maxillofacial surgeons may require training in dentistry, surgery, and general medicine; training and qualification in medicine may be undertaken optionally even if not required.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is widely recognized as one of the specialties of dentistry. In many countries however, maxillofacial surgery is a medical specialty requiring both medical and dental degrees, culminating in an appropriate qualification (e.g. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, FRCS, in the UK). All oral and maxillofacial surgeons however must obtain a university degree in dentistry before beginning residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
They also may choose to undergo further training in a 1 or 2 year subspecialty Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship Training in the following areas:
Head and neck cancer – microvascular reconstruction
Cosmetic facial surgery
Craniofacial surgery/Pediatric Maxillofacial surgery/Cleft Surgery
Head and neck reconstruction (plastic surgery of the head and neck region)
Maxillofacial regeneration (reformation of the facial region by advanced stem cell technique)