Oral Surgery Specialists

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Oral surgery is a specialist type of dentistry which is focused on diagnosing and surgically treating diseases or abnormalities in the teeth, jaws and nearby areas. Most hospitals will usually have a specialist oral surgeon employed as a consultant. They take care of the patients who need specialist surgical treatments involving the mouth, jaws and teeth. Some specialist practices or community dental services may also have oral surgery specialists working on site.

Oral Surgery Procedures

The most common procedure carried out by specialist in oral surgery are dental extractions. These procedures involve extracting teeth using a number of surgical tools such as elevators and forceps. Such procedures are usually carried out under a local anaesthetic, but in the cases of very nervous or anxious patients, it is possible to carry out the procedure under a general anaesthetic. Dental extractions are needed when a tooth has become badly decayed or injured through trauma and can not be saved using dental restorations. In other cases, extractions are used in conjunction to orthodontic treatment, making room for other teeth to grow or move into place.

In some cases, the target teeth may be problematic to remove due to their location or angle. They may also be partially erupted or severely decayed, making conventional extraction extremely difficult. In cases such as this, a surgical extraction involving an incision into the gum may be required. Cutting into the gum allows the oral surgeon to create a flap, giving him access to the bone underneath the tooth, making the extraction much easier. Oral surgeons can also carry out a variety of minor surgical treatments including; removing tissue samples and extracting cysts. Many oral surgeons are also able to place dental implants, but additional qualifications are often required to perform such treatments.

Qualifications of Oral Surgeons

A trainee in oral surgery requires two years of postgraduate general professional training (GPT) at a minimum. At least one year of this training must be spent in a residential oral surgery post. It is not necessary for an oral surgeon to obtain a diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, but it is particularly helpful when trying to gain entry into a specialist postgraduate training programme in oral surgery. It takes three years of full-time postgraduate study to complete speciality training, prepare for the Masters degree in Oral Surgery and the Diploma of Membership in Oral Surgery before a trainee is awarded a CCST.

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