Health Service Categories and Careers


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgical specialty within both medicine and dentistry. It studies the anatomy and embryology of the head and neck, including the teeth, face, jaw, and oral cavity. It studies oral and maxillofacial pathology and medical conditions such as oral mucosal diseases, maxillary sinus disease, oral and maxillofacial cancers, facial pain, temporomandibular joint disorders and oral and maxillofacial injury and trauma. Practice involves specialist knowledge, skills and technology to undertake diagnostic investigation, including radiology and nuclear medicine, and perform a range of surgical procedures, such as dentoalveolar surgery, orthognathic surgery, pre-prosthetic surgery and implantology, and reconstructive OMS. These surgeries, along with oral and maxillofacial prosthetics and other adjunctive technologies, help patients improve oral and maxillofacial function and quality of life, and prevent further disease, pain or injury. Specialist care is provided in collaboration with other medical, surgical, and health practitioners, such as craniofacial surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, GPs, ED staff, and community and allied health care teams. Oral and maxillofacial surgical services are provided in hospitals and private outpatient clinics. These services include acute and emergency clinical care, outpatient consultation and follow-up, and OMS for injury, pain, congenital defect, disease, or cosmetic purposes.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Jobs

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons specialise in surgery involving the mouth, teeth, face, jaws, head and neck, and are considered both a medical and dental expert. They commonly treat disorders like cancers, impacted wisdom teeth, jaw misalignment and injuries of the oral and maxillofacial region which require reconstructive surgery. They undertake clinical assessments and design management plans which consider the individual needs of their patient and their context. They perform a number of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeries (OMS), apply prosthetics, prescribe medications and other therapies, and provide follow-up consultation, care and referral. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons perform emergency OMS procedures as well as cosmetic OMS procedures. They provide specialist care in both inpatient and outpatient settings, in public hospitals and private clinics. They work independently, and collaborate with medical, dental and health care teams to provide integrated patient care. They train junior doctors, undertake research activities, and provide professional, safe and quality care to patients and clinical oversight and leadership in this field. To pursue a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, registered doctors or dentists, who have completed a year of surgical (SIG) rotations, can apply to undertake the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) Training Program. This is a four-year RACDS (Royal Australian College Dental Surgeons) training program which leads to specialist registration with Aphra, and accreditation by the Medical Council of New Zealand, the Australian Dental Council, and the Dental Council of New Zealand.

Registrars (General and Specialty Surgery – Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree and pre-vocational training (internship and residency/PGY2-3). They have attained general registration with AHPRA and can now undertake specialist/or vocational training positions to broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. They work in a range of primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical, laboratory and acute care settings, in hospitals, private practices and community clinics. Surgical registrars are undertaking advanced training with RACS. They work under general surgeons/specialist surgeon consultants and develop procedural skills, surgical techniques, clinical expertise, and valuable work experience in providing specialist medical care, and surgical and non-surgical management of patients with conditions relating to their surgical specialty.