An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, skull, as well as associated structures.
In the US, the name oral and maxillofacial surgery should be abbreviated most appropriately as OMS, rather than OMFS as some sources suggest. The abbreviation OMFS may be appropriate only in the European system where Maxillo-Facial is hyphenated. In the US, maxillofacial is the official entry in the American language dictionary defining the anatomical region, and is also the official term used by all related surgical organizations, including the AAOMS, ABOMS, and ACOMS.
Maxillofacial surgeons are usually initially qualified in dentistry and have undergone further surgical training. Some OMS residencies integrate a medical education as well and an appropriate degree in medicine (MBBS or MD or equivalent) is earned, although in the United States there is legally no difference in what a dual degree OMS can do compared to someone who earned a four year certificate. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry. However also in the UK and many other countries OMFS is a medical specialty as well culminating in the FRCS (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons). Regardless, all oral & maxillofacial surgeons must obtain a degree in dentistry (BDS, BDent, DDS, or DMD or equivalent) before being allowed to begin residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.