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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 a recognized international surgical specialty.



In the U.S.A., UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the 9 specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, training programs lead to the trainee obtaining qualifications in both Medicine and Dentistry.

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.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMS)

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.

In the the US, the name oral and maxillofacial surgery should be abbreviated most appropriately as OMS, rather the OMFS as some sources may suggests. The abbreviation OMFS may be appropriate only in the European system where Maxillo-Facial is hyphenated. However, in the US, maxillofacial is the official entry in the American language dictionary defining the anatomical region, and is also the official term used by all related surgical organizations, including the AAOMS, ABOMS, and ACOMS.

Maxillofacial surgeons are usually initially qualified in dentistry and have undergone further surgical training. Some OMS residencies integrate a medical education as well & an appropriate degree in medicine (MBBS or MD or equivalent) is earned, although in the United States there is legally no difference in what a dual degree OMS can do compared to someone who earned a four year certificate. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry. However also in the UK and many other countries OMFS is a medical specialty as well culminating in the FRCS (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons). Regardless, all oral & maxillofacial surgeons must obtain a degree in dentistry (BDS, BDent, DDS, or DMD or equivalent) before being allowed to begin residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

They also may choose to undergo further training in a 1 or 2 year subspecialty fellowship training in the following areas:

The popularity of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a career for persons whose first degree was medicine, not dentistry, seems to be increasing. Integrated programs are becoming more available to medical graduates allowing them to complete the dental degree requirement in about 3 years in order for them to advance to subsequently complete Oral and Maxillofacial surgical training.[1] [1]

Surgical procedures

Treatments may be performed on the craniomaxillofacial complex: mouth, jaws, neck, face, skull, and include:

In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States and Bangladesh

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is one of the 9 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery requires 4–6 years of further formal University training after dental school (DDS, BDent, DMD or BDS). Four-year residency programs grant a certificate of specialty training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Six-year residency programs grant the specialty certificate in addition to a medical degree (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB etc.). Specialists in this field are designated registrable U.S. “Board Eligible” and warrant exclusive titles. Approximately 50% of the training programs in the U.S., 100% of the programs in Australia and New Zealand, and 20% of Canadian training programs, are dual-degree leading to dual certification in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Medicine (MD, DO, MBBS, MBChB etc).

The typical training program for an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is:

  • 4 Years Undergraduate Study (BA, BSc, or equivalent)
  • 4 Years Dental Study (DMD, BDent, DDS or BDS)
  • 4 - 6 Years Residency Training (additional time for acquiring medical degree)
  • After completion of surgical training most undertake final specialty examinations: (U.S. "Board Certified (ABOMS)"), (Australia/NZ: "FRACDS(OMS)"), or (Canada: "FRCD(C)(OMS)"),Bangladesh (MDS,MS,FCPS)
  • Many dually qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons are now also obtaining Fellowships with the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
  • Average total length after Secondary School: 12 - 14 Years

In addition, graduates of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training programs can pursue fellowships, typically 1 – 2 years in length, in the following areas:

Notable oral and maxillofacial surgeons

  • William H. Bell: Pioneer and father of modern orthognathic surgery.
  • Hugo Obwegeser: Pioneer in orthognathic (facial skeletal) surgery, instrumental in introducing orthognathic surgical technique to US surgeons in the 1960s.
  • Luc Chikhani reconstructed Trevor Rees-Jones's face, which was literally flattened by the impact of the car crash that killed Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Bernard Devauchelle a French oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Amiens University Hospital who in November 2005 successfully completed the first face transplant on Isabelle Dinoire.[2][3]
  • Thomas Dodson: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, instrumental in bringing Evidenced-Based Practice Methods to OMFS.
  • Edward Ellis: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at UTSouthwestern/Parkland Memorial Hospital and author of definitive atlas on "Surgical Approaches to the Facial Skeleton"
  • Raymond Fonseca: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, formerly at University of Pennsylvania and author of renowned texts on management of Oral and Maxillofacial Trauma and Maxillofacial Surgery.
  • Walter Guralnick: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, pioneer of dual degree (DMD, MD or DDS, MD) Oral and Maxillofacial/General Surgery residency programs in North America
  • Eric Dierks: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, instrumental in enhancing head and neck surgical oncology training within OMFS programs. One of the few OMFS worldwide who is double-board certified in OMFS and Otolaryngology.
  • Steven M. Roser, DMD,MD: Chairman, Emory University, Atlanta, GA First graduate in the US with dual degree DMD,MD from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University. Numerous significant contributions in teaching cleft lip and palate surgery to the specialty.
  • Leonard B. Kaban: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Chairman, Massachusetts General Hospital OMFS, pioneer in craniofacial surgery with significant contributions to the diagnosis and management of hemifacial microsomia and one of the first surgeons to successfully distract the human mandible. The first OMFS inducted into the American College of Surgeons.
  • Jeffrey Posnick: US Oral, Maxillofacial, Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon and pioneer for advances in management of children with craniofacial anomalies
  • Peter Quinn: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Former Chairman, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, pioneer in Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction.
  • Robert Ord: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon/Head and Neck Surgeon, Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Maryland Medical System
  • Stephen Schendel: US Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Former Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Stanford University Clinics, Pioneer in Craniofacial Surgery.
  • Rainier Schmelzeisen: German Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Medical Director, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Universitats Freiburg
  • T. William Evans,DDS,MD: First US surgeon to perform the mandibular sagittal split osteotomy in 1965, an operation initially described and performed by Hugo Obwegeser in Austria. Also the first OMS to practice full scope facial aesthetic surgery and lectured on these procedures at national and international specialty meetings.


  • Asosiacion Colombiana de Cirugia Oral y Maxilofacial- ACCOMF [2]
  • Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India [3]
  • American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons [4]
  • Turkish Association of Oral and Maxllofacial Surgeons [5]
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery [6]
  • American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons [7]
  • American College of Surgeons [8]
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons [9]
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Association canadienne des spécialistes en chirugie buccale et maxillo-faciale [10]
  • Faculty of Dental Surgery of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Directive 2001/19/EC (Official Journal of the European Communities L 206, 31.07.2001) [11]
  • Indonesia Association Of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon [12]
  • European Association for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery [13]
  • Internacional Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons [14]
  • British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons [15]
  • Clinica de Cirujia Maxilofacial - Clinimax [16]
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie [17]
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften [18]
  • Österreichische Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie [19]
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie [20]
  • Sociedad Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial [21]
  • Société Française de Stomatologie et Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale [22]
  • Société Royale Belge de Stomatologie et de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale [23]
  • Société Suisse de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale [24]
  • Società Italiana di Chirurgia Maxillo-Facciale [25]
  • OMS Foundation [26]
  • Consejo Mexicano de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial [27]
  • Towarzystwo Chirurgii Jamy Ustnej i Chirurgii Szczękowo-Twarzowej [28]
  • Colégio Brasileiro de Cirurgia e Traumatologia Buco-maxilo-facial [29]

See also


Additional References

External links

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