Oral and 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. Oral and 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 countries such as the UK, Australia, 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. In other countries including the United States, India, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden, it is a recognized specialty of dentistry. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are unique among dental specialists in a number of ways. After completing four years of dental school, they go on to spend another four years in a hospital-based residency program for surgery. There, they are trained alongside other medical residents in the techniques of emergency medicine, general surgery, and anesthesiology. In fact, they are the only health care specialists (aside from anesthesiologists) who can administer all levels of sedation, up to general anesthesia. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons focus on treating problems related to the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and jaws (the upper jaw is referred to as the maxilla). While they sometimes work in a hospital, their practices are more often located in comfortable office settings. You may be referred to one of these specialists by your general dentist for a complex tooth extraction. Or, your orthodontist may send you for an examination if he or she suspects a problem with the alignment of your jaws.
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