From the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
May 27, 2004
For Immediate Release Contact:
Marquita Hynes or Janice K. Teplitz
Ph: 847/678-6200 Fax: 847/678-6286
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Educated, Trained and Competent to Perform Reconstructive and Elective Cosmetic Surgery
[Rosemont, Ill] A recent campaign by some plastic surgeons that questions the ability of oral and maxillofacial surgeons to perform reconstructive and elective cosmetic surgery has lead to some serious misunderstandings regarding the education, training and competence of those who practice oral and maxillofacial surgery, the surgical specialty of dentistry. Here are the facts:
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who treat conditions, defects, injuries, and the aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face, including the chin, nose, cheeks and bones around the eyes.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are NOT general dentists and ethically cannot perform traditional dental procedures such as filling cavities and cleaning teeth. Many states, in fact, recognize a separate specialty license for OMS.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete 4 years of college, followed by 4 years of dental school, followed by 4 to 7 years in a hospital-based surgical residency alongside medical residents in general surgery, anesthesia, plastic surgery and otolaryngology.
- Unlike plastic surgeons, whose training must cover all areas of the body, oral and maxillofacial surgeons spend their entire residency concentrating on the head and neck region.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons pioneered cleft palate and other facial reconstruction surgery, and were among the founders of the current specialty of plastic surgery in the 1920s.
OMSs Educated, Trained, Competent to Perform
Reconstructive and Elective Cosmetic Surgery
- American College of Surgeons?guidelines for optimal care require Level I and II hospital trauma centers, those that treat the most serious and complex facial trauma patients, to have oral and maxillofacial surgeons on call to perform complex reconstruction of the maxillofacial and craniofacial complex, including the mouth, face and jaws.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are often the first to treat severe facial injuries resulting from auto accidents and gunshot wounds in hospital emergency rooms around the country.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons serve as medically necessary staff on every U.S. aircraft carrier and remain in the forefront of military surgical expertise. They are performing life and face-saving surgery today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- California Senate Bill 1336 does not break new ground - it is reestablishing the OMS scope of practice that is recognized throughout the U.S. The bill would require oral and maxillofacial surgeons who perform elective cosmetic procedures (as opposed to cosmetic and reconstructive procedures they currently perform every day on patients with traumatic injuries and congenital or acquired craniofacial defects) to meet certain criteria. California oral and maxillofacial surgeons who obtain a permit to perform elective cosmetic surgery would have to show evidence they had completed an accredited OMS residency training program, perform the procedures only in an accredited hospital, surgi-center or accredited facility and agree to continue maintaining active staff status at a licensed general acute care hospital and providing the full scope of OMS trauma, reconstructive and cosmetic care.
- The California legislative committee report on SB 1336 recognizes expressly that elective cosmetic procedures are surgical procedures 뱖ell within?OMS education, training and competence.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 7,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supports its members?ability to practice their specialty through education, research, and advocacy. AAOMS members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office examinations, ensuring the public that all office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.