The division of oral pathology and oral medicine combines two specialties of Dentistry; the specialty of oral pathology and the specialty of oral medicine. Oral pathology sometimes referred to as oral and maxillofacial pathology is concerned with laboratory diagnosis and study of the causes and effects of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions (i.e. the mouth, the jaws and the face). Oral pathologists study tissue specimens to render an original diagnosis or offer second opinion. Oral medicine, on the other hand, is concerned with clinical diagnosis and non-surgical management of non-dental pathologies affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. Oral medicine specialists provide consultative and treatment services for diseases of the oral mucosal, salivary gland, and bony conditions. Conditions managed by oral medicine specialists include ulcerative and/or vesiculobullous lesions, red and white lesions, suspected cancerous or precancerous lesions, unusual pigmented lesions, suspected oral manifestation of systemic or dermatologic disease, unusual osseous or dental lesions, oral complications of drug therapy, oral complications of cancer therapies, xerostomia and salivary gland diseases including Sjogren's syndrome.
The strength of the division of oral pathology and oral medicine is the ability to provide both laboratory and clinical diagnosis of oral and maxillofacial conditions.
Currently there are less than 5 oral pathologists/and or oral medicine specialists in the country. Therefore, there are great opportunities for one wishing to specialize in Oral Pathology/and or Oral Medicine. Employment opportunities exist within the major hospitals, dental schools, and in the armed forces medical services. Alternatively specialists can open their own private consultancies