Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons VS Oral Surgeons
The difference between an "oral surgeon" and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is NOT just a medical degree. "Oral surgeons" have a significantly reduced scope of practice and training regime.
The qualification FRACDS(OMS) is the culmination of both a medical and dental degree, two years of general medicine and surgery and a further four years of formal hospital-based specialist surgical training. Often this takes upto 15 years of training. All contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgeons undergo a standardized Australasian training program which includes comprehensive and exhaustive entry and exit examinations. Furthermore, medical education ensures competency in the management of severe trauma and critically ill patients.
The FRACDS(OMS) is the gold standard for this training and registration in Australia and New Zealand. "Oral surgeons" only undertake a three-year dentally based training program. A medical qualification is not mandatory and their qualifications are only recognised by the dental council. This does not allow registration with the medical boards of Australia or New Zealand and it is not compulsory for oral surgeons to undergo medical training necessary such as ATLS(Advance Trauma Life Support) and CCRISP(Care of the critically ill surgical patient) for the management of severely compromised patients in a trauma or intensive care setting. This group includes a small number of patients who develop complications after procedures such as wisdom tooth surgery.
There is no Australasian hospital-based program or final fellowship examination in "oral surgery". Oral surgery training only allows a clinican to undertake a small scope of practice by comparison. This may include wisdom teeth and dental implant surgery. Oral surgeons do not engage and are not trained in complex facial trauma, reconstructive, cancer or temporomandibular joint surgery.