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Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery originated as a specialty of dentistry, but has more recently been accredited as a principal medical specialty requiring four years of advanced surgical training, following completion of both dental and medical undergraduate degrees.
An Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon is trained to deal with conditions affecting the head, face and neck region, both inside and outside the mouth. This may include removal of difficult teeth, placement of implants and diagnosis of oral diseases and infections as well as the management of jaw fractures, cleft lip and palate and major facial reconstruction.
Oral & Maxillofacial surgeons also treat facial pain, salivary gland problems, facial skin lesions and even conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea where special knowledge of tooth relationships (occlusion) is required.