Oral & maxillofacial surgery is a complex specialty that combines dentistry, medicine and surgery. The speciality deals with the surgical management of teeth, mouth, face and jaw conditions – including defects, injuries and aesthetic reconstruction.
You may be referred to see an oral & maxillofacial surgeon for a number of conditions, including the following:
- Removal of wisdom teeth
- Surgical or simple dental extractions
- Exposure and transplantation of teeth
- Placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Any grafting or other augmentation surgery needed for preparation of the area
- Orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery for bite problems, facial asymmetry and sleep apnoea
- Facial trauma, including fractures of the jaws, cheeks, eye sockets, nose and forehead
- Surgical correction of cleft and craniofacial deformities
- Cysts and tumours of the mouth, jaws, head and neck
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction requiring surgical management
- Osseointegrated (bone fused) craniofacial implants for facial prostheses (nose, eyes and ears).
The training pathway to become an oral & maxillofacial surgeon in Australia is extensive and rigorous. For most, the average training time is 16 years, with a combination of university, hospital and college-based training. These clinicians are required to complete both a medical and a dental degree before they can proceed with their surgical training. Currently there are just over 200 oral & maxillofacial surgeons registered in Australia.
When you see an oral & maxillofacial surgeon you can be confident that you are receiving treatment from someone who is highly trained, committed and an expert in their field. They are also supported by a team focused on delivering the highest quality of specialist care. This means your treatment will be carried out efficiently, reducing your time under local or general anaesthesia, minimising any associated surgical trauma and reducing your downtime.
Whether you are fit and well or you have complex medical problems, and whether you require simple dental extractions or major surgery, your surgeon will liaise with your general practitioner and/or other medical specialists to coordinate your specialist care, thus ensuring that your procedure is completed in a safe and reliable manner.
Oral & maxillofacial surgeons have admitting rights to many private hospitals and can therefore provide your treatment in an accredited hospital facility under general anaesthesia if required.
You will be able to receive a Medicare rebate for a portion of your consultation fee, and for any relevant medical investigations such as imaging and blood tests ordered. You will also be able to receive a Medicare rebate or health fund rebate for any aspect of your treatment that is classified as medical, including bone grafting surgery for implant placement, jaw reconstructive procedures, and facial trauma surgery.