An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, as well as associated structures.
Depending upon the jurisdiction, maxillofacial surgeons may require training in dentistry, surgery, and general medicine; training and qualification in medicine may be undertaken optionally even if not required.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is widely recognized as one of the specialties of dentistry. In many countries, however, maxillofacial surgery is a medical specialty requiring both medical and dental degrees, culminating in an appropriate qualification (e.g. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, FRCS, in the UK). All oral and maxillofacial surgeons, however, must obtain a university degree in dentistry before beginning residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In the United States oral and maxillofacial residency programs are either four or six years in duration. Programs that grant the MD degree are six years in duration.
They also may choose to undergo further training in a one or two year subspecialty Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship Training in the following areas:
The popularity of oral and maxillofacial surgery as a career for persons whose first degree was medicine, not dentistry, seems to be increasing in a few EU countries[clarification needed]. However, the public funds spent for 14 years of training are of a major concern for governments. Integrated programs are becoming more available to medical graduates allowing them to complete the dental degree requirement in about three years in order for them to advance to subsequently complete oral and maxillofacial surgical training.