Contemporary training in both medicine and dentistry enables oral & maxillofacial surgeons to treat conditions requiring expertise in both fields. These include a range of common oral surgical problems (eg. impacted teeth, dental implants), jaw and congenital facial disproportion, facial trauma, oral cancer, salivary gland disease, temporomandibular joint disorders, and various benign pathologies (eg. cysts and tumours of the jaws).
Following the acquisition of dental and medical degrees, prospective trainees must complete basic general surgical training as residents and then apply to be selected into one one of the six Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training Centres. Specialty training involves four years with an examination in the first year and the final examination in the fourth year. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training, together with a compulsory research component and the final Fellowship qualification, are recognized by both the Australian Medical Council and the Australian Dental Council. The training, accreditation and examination requirements are administered by the Board of Studies in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery within the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.
Patients are referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon by both general and specialist dental and medical practitioners. In many instances, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons work in collaboration with other specialists such as orthodontists, ear nose and throat surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and oncologists as part of multidisciplinary teams to optimise the treatment of major conditions and diseases of the mouth, faces and jaws.