Oral maxillofacial surgery is a specialist branch of dentistry. In Singapore, an oral maxillofacial surgeon undergoes 4 years of dental education plus 3 or more years of postgraduate in-hospital surgical training. An oral maxillofacial surgery trainee spends significant time rotating through related medical fields such as otolaryngology, anaesthesiology, general surgery and plastic surgery.
Oral maxillofacial surgeons specialise in disorders of the mouth, teeth, jaws and facial structures. The scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery encompasses diagnosis, surgical and related management of various conditions such as impacted/embedded teeth (particularly wisdom teeth), misaligned jaws, facial pain and trauma, snoring/obstructive sleep apnoea and oral cancer. Working in collaboration with the restorative dentist, the oral maxillofacial surgeon also offers patients suffering from permanent tooth loss an excellent alternative to natural teeth, in the form of dental implants.
Oral maxillofacial surgery procedures may be carried out in an office (clinic) setting or in a hospital environment. Local anaesthesia, intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia are various options for pain relief available in the oral and maxillofacial surgery clinic, depending on the patient’s needs and the procedure involved.