Know about Oral and Maxillo facial Reconstructive Surgery
In broad sense, reconstructive surgery is the performance of surgical procedures to correct and restore the functionality of a section of part of body impaired by traumatic injury, burns or caused by congenital abnormalities. It is however common for Plastic surgeons to perform cosmetic surgery on completion of reconstruction to improve the appearance of a section or part of the body restored.
What Is Maxillofacial Surgery?
From available statistic provided by different Plastic Surgeon societies from around the world, tumor removal tops the list of reconstructive surgeries performed. This is not surprising considering the fact that cancer cases are on the rise. In this regard, breast surgery (for women) cases far exceed the cases presented by men. Other top reconstructive surgeries include oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Unlike other types of reconstructive surgery, oral and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery is a specialized medical field that does not only limit itself to injuries and congenital defects in oral and maxillofacial areas of the body but extends to treatment of diseases that affect those areas. The areas include the skull, jaws, face, mouth and neck. Oral maxillofacial surgeons therefore also receive training in dentistry and general medicine.
Being a medical specialty field, one is required to undergo both intensive and extensive training. In most countries, one is obligated to attain a first degree in medicine before he/she can proceed to train as a general surgeon. This is usually after one or two years of practicing. It is after general surgeon training and practicing for some time that one can proceed with further training to specialize as an oral maxillofacial surgeon. Training areas include dental and cosmetic surgeries. In most countries, it can take one up to 14 years of training to qualify as an oral maxillofacial surgeon.
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Although most organizations and some individuals have criticized the long period that one is required to study before being certified as an oral maxillofacial surgeon, what the career entails must be appreciated. The number of treatment procedures one must train in is simply big. These include dentoalveolar, orthognathic and genioplasty amongst many other procedures. This is in addition to training in diagnosis and treatment of the various diseases and health conditions that affect oral maxillofacial parts of the body.
The number of oral maxillofacial surgeons all over the globe is very limited. Developing countries particularly lack the service of these specialists. There are developing countries that still do not have a single oral maxillofacial surgeon, relying instead on expatriates specialists normally called in. A big number of these specialists is to be found in developing countries where training is either subsidized or squarely borne by governments.
There are varied reasons why developing countries have not done well to train their own oral maxillofacial specialists. One, the qualifications required for one to be admitted into the training is rarely achieved by students training in medicine. Second, very few medicine students choose to further their training. Even those who choose to do so eventually end up working in developed countries. Third, the costs involved in training the specialists is simply beyond budgetary allocations in developing countries.