Oral Medicine is the specialty of dentistry concerned with the oral health care of patients with chronic, recurrent and medically related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region, and with their diagnosis and non-surgical management.
What is Oral Medicine?
Oral medicine is a dental specialty drawing primarily on diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of mouth diseases, diagnoses and treatment of patients suffering from chronic facial pain and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs). A specialist in oral medicine may also advise a dental generalist on precautions to take in treating patients with complex medical conditions, patients who have undergone special therapies and those being treated for cancer. Oral medicine specialists in Quebec see patients in their offices, hospitals and university clinics.
Oral Medicine sits at the interface between dentistry and medicine. Many Oral Medicine specialists have dental and medical qualifications, although a medical degree is not a requirement for entry to specialty training.
Oral and maxillofacial pathology
is the dental specialty concerned with nature, clinical and microscopic diagnosis, management and primarily non-surgical treatment of oral disorders. Oral pathologists conduct microscopic examinations of tissues taken from the mouth. These exams can identify the source of a lesion or disease, determine its prognosis and treat it accordingly.
Oral and maxillofacial radiology
is a dental specialty concerned with proper interpretation of ordinary dental X-rays. Generalist dentists can usually read such imaging well. However, interpretation of some lesions (cysts and tumors) is more complicated and requires consultation with an oral and maxillofacial specialist.