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Career Profile: The Bridge Between Medicine and Dentistry- Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

1. What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS)

2. Career Path

3. Costs and Salary

1. What is Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral: Mouth

Maxillo: Jaw

Facial: Face

Often referred to as the bridge between medicine and dentistry, OMFS is one of the 10 surgical specialities in the UK that focuses on the face, oral cavity, neck, mouth and jaws. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs a range of surgical procedures such as reconstructive surgery, trauma surgery and cosmetic surgery. Complex examples of procedures include the removal of tumours, facial reconstructions/ transplants and free flap transplants. OMF surgeons usually work with the latest and most up-to-date equipment and techniques such as microsurgery- a procedure that involves using a microscope and precision tools, primarily used for dealing with very small blood vessels.

2. Rough Career Path

OMFS is unique amongst the other 10 surgery specialities with it requiring both a dental and medical degree. Naturally, it therefore takes a while to become and OMFS; the length of time depends whether you specialise in medicine or dentistry first.

Specialising in dentistry first

  1. Undergraduate dentistry- 5 years

  2. Dental foundation training- at least 1 year

  3. Dental core training based based in an OMFS unit- 1-2 years

  4. Graduate medicine- 4 years

  5. Medical foundation training- 2 years

  6. ST1 (speciality training 1) post- 1-2 years

Specialising in medicine first

  1. Undergraduate medicine- 6 years

  2. F1 and F2- 2 years

  3. Core surgical training- 2 years

  4. Dental School- 4 years


  1. Undergraduate medicine- 6 years

  2. F1 and F2- 2 years

  3. Dental School- 4 years

  4. Core surgical training- 1 year

3. Costs and Salary

According to the British Medical Journal there is around £72,000-90,000 in tuition fees, in addition to around £5000 for a membership for the Faculty of Dental Surgery and Royal College of Surgeons, excluding annual fees. The cost of a dual registration to the point of certificate of the completion of training would cost around £15,000 if dentistry was the first degree and £11,000 if it was medicine.

The average salary for a consultant OMFS is comparable to the other specialities of surgeons, varing from around £80,000-100,000 per annum.

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