August 2014 Commonwealth of Australia 2014



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Oral surgery

What is oral surgery?


Oral surgery is the branch of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and surgical management of conditions affecting the oral and dento-alveolar tissues. 23

How are oral surgeons trained?


There are no currently approved programmes to train oral surgeons in Australia. Specialists wishing to register as an oral surgeon have their application evaluated by the DBA on a case-by-case basis.

What is the assessment process for overseas-trained oral surgeons?


Most overseas-trained dental specialists need to have their specialist qualification assessed as substantially equivalent to an approved qualification for the specialty. However there is no approved qualification for oral surgery in Australia. Therefore, an overseas-trained oral surgeon would have their application referred to a committee of the DBA with the requisite expertise and experience to be able to assess the overseas specialist qualification.

In addition, the DBA’s Specialist Registration Standard requires specialist registration applicants to have completed a minimum of two years general dental practice in addition to meeting all other requirements for general registration as a dentist. The general practice requirement may be achieved by experience outside Australia, subject to assessment and approval by the DBA.24


What issues have stakeholders identified for the oral surgeon workforce?


No specific issues were highlighted by stakeholders for the oral surgeon workforce.

Workforce characteristics


Table shows the number and characteristics of employed registered specialists in oral surgery in 2011 and 2012. Oral surgery has the oldest age profile of the dental specialties, with an average age of 58.8 years and almost three-quarters of oral surgeons aged 55 years or over. As there are no accredited programmes to train oral surgeons in Australia, the oral surgery workforce can be expected to continue to age.

Table : Employed registered specialists: oral surgeons, workforce characteristics, 2011 and 2012



Workforce characteristic

2011

2012

Number

17

18

% clinician

91.2

100.0

% female

12.2

22.8

Average age

59.3

58.8

% over 55

75.3

71.5

Average working hours

41.2

39.6

Full-time equivalent

19

18

Source: NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 and 2012

Substantially more dentists (general dentists and specialists) reported their principal area of main job in oral surgery (Table 21) compared with the number of oral surgery specialists (Table 20).



Table : Employed dentists (including specialists): principal area of main job reported oral surgery, workforce characteristics, 2011 and 2012

Workforce characteristic

2011

2012

Number

69

101

% clinician

91.4

93.5

% female

3.3

11.5

Average age

47.2

44.9

% over 55

36.5

28.9

Average working hours

34.9

35.2

Full-time equivalent

63

93

Source: NHWDS: dental practitioners 2011 and 2012
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