maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

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 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

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.

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 OMFS 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.

Surgical procedures

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

Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States

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,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,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)").
  • 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:


In the European Union, Craniomaxillofacial surgery (e.g. United Kingdom: Maxillofacial Surgery ("Maxfacs"/"Maxfax") ), is a specialty recognized and regulated by the General Medical Council as a medical specialty requiring both medical and dental degrees and culminating in the qualification FRCS(OMFS).

The typical training program for a Maxillofacial Surgeon:

  • 5 Years for the primary dental degree (BDS or BChD)
  • Foundation study
  • Completion of MFDS
  • 4 Years medical study (MBBS or MBChB)
  • Completion of MRCS exams
  • 4 - 5 Years of Maxillofacial specialist Registrar training
  • After completion of surgical training you must pass the exit examination culminating in the qualification: FRCS(OMFS).
  • Average total length after Secondary School: 14 - 18 Years

Notable oral and maxillofacial surgeons

  • Dr. Raymond Fonseca, one of the most widely published OMFS in the USA, possibly the world. his text books are major international references for OMFS. held the position of chairman of OMFS dept. in several reputable universities then as dean of The University of Pennsylvania for 14 years.
  • Dr. Robert E. Marx, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, first to characterize osteoradionecrosis of the jaw, and the first to introduce the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy for the management of osteoradionecrosis of the jaw.
  • Dr 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.
  • Dr. Edward Ellis III, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, notable for many contributions in the field of maxillofacial trauma and author of the definitive text "Surgical Approaches to the Facial Skeleton"
  • Dr. Daniel Pituch, University of Pittsburgh, a US oral and maxillofacial surgeon who reconstructed Pittsburgh Steelers' Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after the player was involved in a motorcycle accident
  • 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.


  • Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India
  • American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • 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)
  • European Association for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Internacional Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Clinica de Cirujia Maxilofacial - Clinimax
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften
  • Österreichische Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie
  • Sociedad Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial
  • Société Française de Stomatologie et Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale
  • Société Royale Belge de Stomatologie et de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale
  • Société Suisse de Chirurgie Maxillo-Faciale
  • Società Italiana di Chirurgia Maxillo-Facciale
  • OMS Foundation
  • Consejo Mexicano de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial
  • Towarzystwo Chirurgii Jamy Ustnej i Chirurgii Szczękowo-Twarzowej * Colégio Brasileiro de Cirurgia e Traumatologia Buco-maxilo-facial

See also


Additional References

External links

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