The specialty of Oral Surgery deals with the diagnosis and management of pathology of the mouth and jaws that requires surgical intervention. Oral Surgery involves the treatment of children, adolescents and adults, and the management of dentally anxious and medically complex patients.
Currently, under the NHS primary care-based General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) are expected to undertake routine Oral Surgery care, such as dental extractions, as part of their general dental services contracts.
More complex Oral Surgery care is provided by Oral Surgery and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery consultants and by specialists in Oral Surgery who may work in primary care or secondary care settings. Secondary care-based Oral Surgery consultants would not normally be found in stand-alone units; rather, they would be integrated with OMFS units with the opportunity for skill mix and multi-disciplinary team working.
The recent Medical Education England Dental Programme Board Review of Oral Surgery Services and Training recommended that much of the minor Oral Surgery care could be delivered by specialists; some specialists have established primary care-based Oral Surgery services which are commissioned locally by the NHS.
Some dentists, who are not on the GDC specialist list for Oral Surgery, have enhanced skills and experience in Oral Surgery (and have previously been called, ‘Dentists with a Special Interest’, DwSI). These individuals may perform some “Level 2” procedures within an NHS managed clinical network.