The speciality of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery deals with the diagnosis and management of the diseases of stomatognathic system, jaw bones, cranio-maxillofacial region, salivary glands and temporomandibular joints etc. Within this framework it also supports many vital organs like eye, oropharynx, nasopharynx and major blood vessels and nerves. The traumatic injuries of maxillofacial skeleton are independently managed by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.
It is a multi-disciplinary speciality and needs close working in co-ordination with Neurosurgeons, Oncosurgeons, Ophthalmologists, ENT Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons and complement each other by performing Surgical procedures with their respective expertise and knowledge thereby benefiting the patients and students of the respective specialities. If there are associated injuries of the orbital skeleton, the Maxillofacial Surgeon is involved in its reconstruction. Nasal bone fractures are associated with fractures of the maxilla, mandible and zygomatic bones which are being managed by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. The maxillofacial facial injuries at times are associated with head injuries also.
The Oral & maxillofacial Surgeon is also involved in the management of cleft lip & cleft palate, orthognathic surgery, micro vascular surgery, reconstructive and oncological surgical procedures of maxillofacial region. Oral Surgeons should have adequate knowledge and understanding of the basic sciences relevant to etiology, pathophysiology and diagnosis, treatment planning of various common oral surgical problems both minor and major in nature, to understand the general surgical principles like pre and post-surgical management and care.
Oral Surgeons must be able to identify social, cultural, economic, genetic and environmental factors and their relevance to disease process management in the oral and Maxillofacial region. They must adopt ethical principles in all aspect of surgical practice and care is to be delivered irrespective of the social status, caste, creed or religion of the patient proper understanding and practicing the basic principles of asepsis and sterilisation, to have essential knowledge of personal hygiene and infection control, prevention of cross infection and safe disposal of hospital waste keeping in view the high prevalence of hepatitis and HIV. Oral Surgeons takes proper clinical history, methodical examination of the patient, perform essential diagnostic procedures and order relevant laboratory tests and interpret them and to arrive at a reasonable diagnosis about the surgical condition. Oral Surgeons are skilled to prevent and manage medical emergencies that arise during and after oral surgical procedures in the dental office. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons also have adequate knowledge on oral implantology and placement of implants. They must acquire research skills and have clear knowledge on recent trends in the treatment protocols. Surgeons be competent in performing various surgical procedures under both local and general anaesthesia. Surgeons should be willing to share the knowledge and clinical experience with professional colleagues and to adopt current techniques of surgical management developed on scientific research which are in the best interest of the patient.
Oral surgeons must develop ability to teach, adequately communicate particularly with the patients giving them the various options available to manage a particular surgical problem and obtain a true informed consent from them for the most appropriate treatment available at that point of time. They must develop an attitude to seek opinion from an allied medical and dental specialist as and when required.