Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are highly qualified specialists with the expertise to diagnose and treat surgical conditions of the teeth, mouth, jaw, neck and face. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery bridges the gap between medicine and dentistry.
What is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMS) perform Oral Surgery and Maxillofacial Surgery. OMS’s have completed both medical and dental degrees, surgery in general resident year and an advanced surgical training program of at least 4 years duration. They must pass a rigorous specialist examination required for specialist registration. This enables them to treat simple and more complex conditions.
Unsure whether you should visit a dentist or an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Most problems that an OMS will treat will require referral from a medical or a dental practitioner. Your dental or medical practitioner can help to identify if your condition requires specialist care and can make an OMS surgical referral.
Some common problems that an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can assess and treat include;
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Dental implants and all related grafting procedures
- Jaw discrepancies or ‘bite problems’
- Facial trauma
- Facial aesthetic procedures
- Jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)
- Oral and head & neck pathology including cancer and reconstructive surgery
- Congenital and acquired jaw deformities requiring corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery
- Craniofacial deformities including cleft lip and palate
- Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
If in doubt about your referral options, contact an OMS (you can find a list of OMS surgeons near you on our Find a Surgeon page) and the OMS practice will be able to guide you if a referral is necessary for consultation.
An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has years of additional specialist surgical training.
Current requirements for entry to the OMS training program are both dental and medical degrees. The specialist training requires an additional 4-6 years. This means that OMS is the surgical specialty that bridges the gap between medicine and dentistry.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Training Pathway
OMS is a complex specialty combining dental, medical and surgical expertise. The qualification recognised in Australia and New Zealand is the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, FRACDS (OMS).
The achievement of the FRACDS (OMS) takes a minimum of four years to complete and encompasses a comprehensive training program which requires all of the following as pre-requisites for applying to commence the OMS Program:
- A Dental degree and full registration as a dentist in Australia or New Zealand; and
- A Medical degree and full registration as a medical practitioner in Australia or New Zealand; and
- A full year of surgery in general (SIG), with rotations through other surgical disciplines.
The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS) oversees the development and implementation of the OMS Training program for the Fellowship – FRACDS (OMS). Information regarding the OMS training program including eligibility and the application process can be found at the RACDS website RACDS | OMS Training Program
What can an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon do?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can treat a wide variety of medical and dental conditions ranging from removal of a tooth or replacement of missing teeth through to extensive facial reconstruction after trauma and cancer. OMS surgeons perform jaw surgery to reposition jaws to fix a malocclusion, some conditions involving the jaw joint, and a whole lot more.
Locate an OMS in your area
Ready for the next step? Find an ANZAOMS member in your area within Australia and New Zealand today.
Is oral and maxillofacial surgery right for you?
We’ve put together a handy list of questions for you to discuss with your surgeon.