Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgeon
Maxillo-facial and oral surgeons are plastic surgeons concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck.

They specialize in the reconstruction and surgery of the face, nose, mouth, jaw and related head and neck structure in order to execute difficult and multiple extractions of teeth, to remove tumours and other abnormal growths, to correct abnormal jaw relations by mandibular or maxillary revision, to prepare the mouth for the insertion of dental prostheses, or to treat fractured jaws.

The scope of this specialty is extensive and includes the diagnosis and management of facial injuries, head and neck cancers, salivary gland diseases, facial disproportion, facial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, impacted teeth, cysts and tumours of the jaws, as well as numerous problems affecting the oral mucosa such as mouth ulcers and infections.

Maxillo-facial and oral surgeons frequently work alongside other specialists including orthodontists, oncologists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and ENT surgeons.

The work environment is mainly indoors, in hospitals, clinics, or in well-equipped and well-lighted consulting rooms.

Satisfying Aspects
- ability to give a patient a new lease on life by reconstructing their face
- correcting abnormalities thereby giving a patient new confidence
- financially rewarding
- generally working regular hours

Demanding aspects
- sometimes working very long hours
- keeping up to date with the latest advances and developments in the field
- having to concentrate and be on your feet for long periods of time

- patient and kind
- tactful and diplomatic
- able to remain calm, with a steady hand
- able to put nervous patients at ease
- accurate and meticulous
- able to make quick decisions in a crisis

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Note: Competition to enter medical studies is stiff and there are usually many applicants with excellent grades who would naturally be given preference.

MBChB degree at UP, UCT, UFS, Wits, US, UL, UKZN:
- Theoretical training: 6 years
- Student internship: 1 year
- Practical work at a hospital: 1 year (also known as the house doctor year).

Post-graduate study, 2 years - e.g. Wits, UP, UWC, UL for specialization.

Additional Requirements: before commencing post-graduate study for specialization as a maxillo-facial and oral surgeon the candidate must:

- be in possession of a MBChB degree for 2 years
- be registered as a medical doctor with the Interim Medical and Dental Council (IMDC) of South Africa for 1 year.


On successful completion of the examination to qualify as a specialist, the candidate must register with the IMDC as a maxillo-facial and oral surgeon.

- hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities
- private practice
- education and government departments
- state departments

South African Society of Maxillo-Facial & Oral Surgeons
Fax: 086 657 9893