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What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a branch of specialization after graduation in dentistry and is a branch of science that treats diseases, traumas and deformities affecting the head, face, mouth, teeth, gums and neck in an aesthetic and functional way.

It was called oral surgery in the early 20th century, when dentists pioneered its development. Over the 100-year development period, the increasing skills of surgeons working in the field of oral surgery and the progress provided by technological developments have begun to include the areas of interest of oral surgeons in neighboring anatomical fields. In the early 1980s, the branch's name was changed to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Thus, the new branch name established in the early 80s was a reflection of the inadequacy of oral surgery and the surgical procedures performed and the scope of the branch. It has been accepted as a specialty in many countries of the world. OMC was incorporated in the UK as the 9th surgical specialty in 1994. European Union Laws separate oral and maxillo-facial surgery from other surgical branches because it is dentistry-based.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery, which is the specialty of dentistry, aims to maximize the quality of life of patients by ensuring the aesthetic and functional integrity of soft and hard tissue repairs of diseases, injuries and defects related to the oral and maxillofacial region.


The scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery is generally as follows:


  • Correction of damage to the head, neck and face as a result of accidents

  • Repair of cleft lip and palate in babies and children

  • Repair of skull and facial defects by working with neurosurgeons

  • Resection of head and neck cancers

  • Repair of defects with living tissues taken from another part of the body

  • Diagnosis and treatment of all types of facial pain

  • Diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of diseases of the jaw joint

  • Surgical correction of malgrown jaws

  • Lengthening of the jaws with distraction osteogenesis

  • Replacement of teeth with implants

  • Cosmetic surgery procedures to improve facial aesthetics

  • Skin tumors of the head and neck

  • (1997 American Dental Association – House of Delegates)


Who is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMC) is a dentist who specializes in oral, facial and jaw diseases and surgery. After five years of dental training, the OMC resident spends 4 or 6 years in a hospital/faculty setting learning a wide range of procedures for the soft and hard tissues of the face, mouth, and jaws.

During the specialization period, rotations are made in medical faculties in the branches of anesthesia, ENT, plastic surgery, general anesthesia, general surgery and emergency medicine for a period of 2 years. Although the expertise of oral and maxillofacial surgery is unique, it collaborates with other branches of medicine and dentistry specialties in patient treatments.

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