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What is Oral and

Maxillofacial Surgery?

 

Here's the scoop on oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
by Dr. Robert J. White

I first came on connect with these surgeons almost 40 years ago, when the specialty was just beginning to represent advanced training with-in the framework of post-graduate dental education, with its operative responsibilities anatomically limited to the oral and throat cavity, as well as the jaw.

When I arrived at Metropolitan General Hospital, now know as the MetroHealth Medical Center, Dr. Anthony Tomaro was chairman of the oral surgical department and director of the training program in that specialty. I can remember many evenings when my neurosurgical resident and I would be operating on patients suffering from severe head injuries.

Often that resident would be called to see another patient in the emergency room, and I would find myself alone with the scrub nurse attempting to complete a major brain operation.

I would often notice a young man watching our operative efforts, and when I found out this was one of Dr. Tomaro's oral surgical residents, I would invite him to scrub in and help us. There was never a question of helping.

These young people would always enthusiastically assist me, and I was amazed at their manual dexterity and their surgical physiological knowledge. They would have made many a senior surgeon envious because of their talents.

Often, these patients had serious injuries that involved their oral cavities and facial structures, leading to severe hemorrhage and creating a true emergency. In these situations, these surgical specialists were experts.

Invariably, with the assistance of Tomaro or one of his residents, we could bring such serious, traumatic injuries under control and, in the process, stop the hemorrhage. Thus, I sort of "fell in love" with these surgical specialists who were always available, always helpful, and certainly highly skilled.

During those early "Tony Tomaro Days," the oral surgical postgraduate program was limited to two years in length. Presently, these young men and women undergo extensive education requiring a minimum of four years and in some cases, six years, emphasizing advanced experience in dental, medical and surgical activities, as well as anesthesia.

When they are finished, they are truly highly trained surgical specialists.

Over the years, I have had numerous opportunities to work with the oral and maxillofacial surgeons (this is now their appropriate title which describes the extent of their operative responsibilities). Fascinatingly, while I am working inside the skull, they are often working underneath the cranium.

Together, we have been able to constitute a very exciting cooperative surgical team. As I have seen them take care of our mutual patients, or in many cases their own patients postoperatively, I have been struck by their diligence and their commitment to that highest standards of patient care.

They sometimes make us and other surgical disciplines a bit jealous of their superb devotion to those under their care and the excellence of their surgical results.

At this time, the oral maxillofacial surgical training program is under the direction of Dr. Richard Hogue, While he has continued the outstanding tradition of the program initiated many years ago by Tomaro at the MetroHealth Medical Center, Hogue has developed the program into one of the very best in the entire country.

A position in this training program is literally sought by hundreds of qualified applicants each year. Certainly the young men and women who gain entrance into the oral maxillofacial surgical program are among the very best of the medical surgical residents at the MetroHealth Center. l
Hogue has created a level of educational excellence that serves as a model for all academic program directors and their residents in other medical and surgical specialties in the university.

The next time you are referred to an oral surgeon, remember that he or she is really an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has had the equal amount of training as most other surgeons.

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Dr. D. Yezerski
Compass Point
Oral Surgery
7379 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights
Ohio 44130
440-234-1810



Compass Point oral surgery practice has a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgery expertise, ranging from wisdom tooth removal to dental implant placement. We provide our patients the utmost surgical care and comfort in our new office environment.