Although the specialty has existed for many years, recent changes and recommendations by MEE will significantly affect Oral surgery. The Board of Faculty of Dental Surgery has a role in advising how Oral Surgery will develop.
In the past Oral surgery was used to describe the Dental Surgical Specialty concerned with surgery of the mouth face and jaws as practised in both Dental Teaching Hospitals and District General Hospitals. The care is provided by both, the medical specialty of Maxillofacial Surgery which since 2009 has been regulated by the GMC, and Oral Surgery is a dental specialty regulated by the GDC.
The GDC ratified the Oral Surgery training pathway and curriculum in 2010 (Specialty Training Curriculum in Oral Surgery) and the Joint Committee for Post Graduate Training in Dentistry ratified the Career Development Framework document for Consultant Appointments in Oral Surgery 2010).
In 1994 Brian Mouatt, the Chief Dental Officer, recommended expansion of surgical dentistry and orthodontic specialties in response to increased public demand. These recommendations were not implemented for Oral Surgery and more recently the Oral Surgery Review (Medical Education England 2011) recommended a significant increase in the oral surgery work forced in the primary and secondary care settings to address the deficiencies in the current quality and provision of Oral Surgery services in England.
Completion of a 3 year programme as approved by the GDC will lead to the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and registration as an Oral Surgeon, i.e. as a Specialist in Oral Surgery allowing the candidate to work in primary care and or within an integrated care management network.
A Tri collegiate membership examination has been established involving common regulations with Royal Colleges of Surgeons Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons England and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. It is hoped that the first diet of this exam will take place March 2012 in London. The Career Development Framework lays out the additional training required for consultant appointments in Oral Surgery. The Intercollegiate Fellowship in Oral Surgery (IFSE) is established and recognised as the exit fellowship for additional post CCST training in Oral Surgery. The Oral Surgery SAC (Specialist Advisory Committee) reports to the Joint Committee Post graduate Training in Dentistry (JCPTD) with regard training and advises the General Dental Council.
An exciting development is that Oral Surgery will be a dental pilot for ISCP (the online training log book programme for ARCP-STRs). Work based placed assessments have been developed by an implementation group and we aim to be ‘live’ by August 2012.
There are now over 33 Oral Surgery Training posts in the UK illustrating the rapid development of the specialty. There are Specialty advisors for Oral Surgery in most Deaneries and a National advisor is appointed. Oral Surgery Consultant posts are also increasing in numbers rapidly and expansion will depend on public need, quality assurance and resultant work force requirements. Some of these posts will be within Dental Teaching Hospitals and others out with. As with many existing consultant appointments in other specialties, some may be based in primary and or secondary care. The posts may vary with specialist surgical service skills (providing sub specialist services where required), management leadership, training leadership, research leadership and most likely a combination of several of these skills.
The Faculty Specialist advisory panel (FSAP) in Oral Surgery at RCS Eng have placed all the relevant documents pertaining to Oral Surgery training can be found on the RCS England Website.
Professor Tara Renton.