Oral Microbiology Specialists

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Oral Microbiology is a specialist field of dentistry which focuses on the study of infections caused by microorganisms in the face and oral cavity using laboratory equipment and testing. In most cases, these infections will usually be of a fungal or bacterial nature. A specialist in Oral Microbiology is an expert in the field and will have spent a number of years undergoing extensive post-graduate training. This enables them to gain extra qualifications and makes them eligible to be registered on the Specialist Register after being approved by the General Dental Council.

Roles of an Oral Microbiology Specialist

Oral microbiology specialists tend to work in academic institutions, as well as working in a laboratory to test and diagnose oral infections. They may also play a role in training or education. Oral microbiologists are also interested in the role that micro-organisms play in the development of several major dental diseases in particular, dental caries and periodontal disease. Oral Microbiology is mostly concerned with:

  • Viruses – Viral particles are made up of nucleic acid which has a protective protein surrounding it. Once a virus has entered a host cell, it synthesises the components needed for their replication.
  • Fungi – Multicellular organisms which are covered by a thick cell wall. Fungi which are responsible for diseases in humans tend to grow as branched filaments or yeasts.
  • Bacteria – Unicellular microorganisms usually a couple of micrometers in length with a wide range of shapes including rods, spirals and spheres.

Qualifications of an Oral Microbiology Specialist

  • Five years specialist training overseen by the Royal College of Pathologists
  • Membership of the Royal College of Pathologists
  • CCST in Oral Microbiology or Medical Microbiology

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