Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeons (OMS) constitute a globally recognized Specialty Unit, in almost all the advanced Healthcare facilities throughout the world. In some parts of the world, mostly in Europe, it is considered to be a specialty in medicine as well as of dentistry.
Whereas, in some countries like India, Israel, Sweden, etc, it is considered to be a specialty of dentistry alone and a dual degree is not mandatory. With the recent advancement of technology in South Africa, healthcare facilities have changed drastically towards the better. The cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg being the most prominent ones in this field. A gargantuan number of world-class practitioners can be easily accessed in the city of Cape Town. Doctors from all specialty departments are found in most of the progressive hospitals, both private and government-run, and also in numerous private clinics such as The Dentist on The Main, Dr. Kalyan’s Clinic, Univ. of Stellenbosch-Dept. of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, Dr. John Fisher’s clinic, etc.
One should know the basic difference between a dentist, and a OMS at first and only then can one conclude, whom he/she actually needs to see. Dentists or Dental Surgeons are mostly concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the facial and the oral cavity.
Common procedures such as a simple tooth extraction are not the jobs that the OMS are concerned with. They come into play for more complex procedures such as Orthognathic or corrective jaw surgeries, Cleft lip or palate surgery, surgeries due to complications caused by wisdom teeth. Dental Implants, bone grafting, obstructive sleep apnea and even oral cancers are other things with which Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeons deal. The city of Cape Town has specialists in OMS that are proven experts in most of the mentioned ailments. The imported tools from around the world, used by experienced medical operatives, under the guidance of these specialists are used for the treatment of such diseases with the help of various procedures.
In general, the OMS consists of two departments in most of the advanced institutions of Cape Town, namely, “The Maxillo-facial and Dental Surgical Department” and “The Anesthesiology and Sedation Department”. The various surgical procedures performed include Alveolar surgery which includes the placement of dental prosthetic such as implants and dentures, Cosmetic surgeries such as Cheek and Chin Augmentation, genioplasty and so on. Apart from these, the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant pathology,
intro-oral lacerations, temporal-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ), etc, also fall into this category. The Anesthesiology and Sedation department mainly performs the anesthetic procedures involved during the treatment of any such condition. The surgeries in the maxillo-facial and oral regions are very complex and convoluted and thereby the expertise of the doctor should be of high quality. The carbon dioxide laser treatment used in OMS procedures to deal with the soft tissues of the maxillo-facial region, during certain procedures, is one of the most advanced technologies used throughout the world.
The top Hospitals and Clinics in Cape Town also use this technology. The South African Society of Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeons (SASMFOS), which is a non-profit organization, comprising of the specialists in OMS throughout the country has propelled the healthcare facilities in the entire region to a much better shape, the best example of which is the highly advanced facilities of the same, available in Cape Town.