Oral Pathology is the medical science concerned with the clinical and microscopic nature of diseases of the teeth, jaws, and tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of oral pathologic conditions.
Establishment of diagnosis involves patient interview and examination. Examination often includes a radiologic evaluation. Based on the interview, examination, and a general knowledge of oral pathology, a differential diagnosis is made. Confirmation of a definitive diagnosis may include laboratory testing, further radiological study, and/or biopsy with microscopic examination.
Once a definitive diagnosis is established, consideration is given to the specifics of treatment, if indicated. Based on his knowledge of oral pathology, his training, and his experience, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well suited to discuss treatment alternatives with patient. There are instances when surgical treatment is indicated as well as instances when a team surgical approach or referral as indicated. In cases where surgery is performed, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will follow the patient through recovery to optimum health.