Oral and maxillofacial surgery emerged several centuries ago in Europe, evolved in the late 1800s in the US after the Civil War and then came to Canada. Treatment of severe infections of or injuries to the mouth, jaws and face, particularly during the Second World War greatly contributed to the development of maxillofacial, plastic and reconstructive surgery techniques now used in correcting a wide range of facial deformities.
Today’s oral and maxillofacial surgeons combine dental, medical and surgical procedures.
Following training in dentistry, a dental generalist (or dental surgeon) accepted for such studies will engage in 5 to 7 more years of coursework and hospital programs before taking national oral and maxillofacial surgical certification exams. This period of intensive and rigorous study is spent in the company of medical surgeons, anesthesiologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and other medical and surgical specialists.
Such surgeons conduct minor surgical procedures in the office under local anesthesia or with sedation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons routinely extract wisdom teeth and install implants. In the hospital and in conjunction with orthodontists, they correct under general anesthesia serious jaw deformations that impair chewing.
Dentists, along with physicians and specialized physicians, refer patients to oral and maxillofacial surgeons for treatment of dental abnormalities (wisdom teeth), cysts, jaw tumors and cancers, bone grafts and tooth implants, facial fractures, malformations (cleft lips and other asymmetries) and temporo-mandibular joint problems. Such specialists possess a sophisticated knowledge of these fields thanks to their vast dental, medical and surgical experience. In complex cases, they share their expertise with a multidisciplinary team consisting of physicians and other dentists.
The information provided on this site is published only to help the reader to better understand the area of expertise of FDSQ members. No diagnosis or treatment plan should be elaborated from this information.
The opinions and recommendations expressed on this website are those of the authors, and are not necessarily endorsed by the FDSQ