Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are able to accurately diagnose and treat medical conditions of the oral cavity and face.

Diseases of the oral cavity are sub-classified as to whether they are:

  • congenital; or
  • acquired.

Within disease categories it is not uncommon to diagnose inflammatory, immunological, infective, neoplastic (cancer), or drug related conditions of the mouth or face.

Forms of diagnosis may involve blood tests, biopsies, swabs, examination of salivary secretions and further tests as may be necessary.

The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is both medically and dentally trained and is able to diagnose then treat the type of condition with the appropriate medication.

Oral Pathology

If abnormal tissue occurs in the mouth, a small piece may need to be removed by an oral maxillofacial surgeon for analysis.

This is called a biopsy. Tissue samples are taken by using a variety of cutting instruments.

The surgeon will send the tissue to a pathologist, a specialist in the diagnosis of abnormal tissue, who can also assess whether the tissue is non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). The pathologist will then send a report to the surgeon, who will discuss the findings and options for further treatment with the patient. In some cases, a second biopsy may be needed to further refine diagnosis