Role of Oral Medicine Specialists in Private Practice

“Mouth mirrors the internal system. Complete patient-centered care is achieved only by integrating the oral cavity with the body.”

Who is an Oral Medicine Specialist (OMR)?

An oral medicine specialist not only diagnoses and treats oral diseases but also helps diagnose systemic diseases of the body with oral manifestations. Their expertise includes oral diseases, autoimmune diseases, special care dentistry, oral cancer, oral presentations of oral diseases, sleep dentistry, and geriatric dentistry. Their outreach is not limited to the oral cavity alone but extends to the maxillofacial region.

Oral Medicine: A Bridge Between Medicine and Dentistry?

Oral medicine experts are the interlink between dentistry and medicine. In India, oral medicine specialists not only deal with diagnosis and treatment planning but also help formulate radiological diagnoses of pathologies and help in applied pathology. It is the only branch in dentistry that encompasses both clinical and non-clinical branches in itself. Often, they are the first to diagnose a systemic condition based on the oral manifestation of the disease.

What Does an Oral Medicine Specialist Do?

OMR specialists’ practice mainly focuses on:

Management of oral mucosal lesions, potentially malignant disorders, oral cancer, orofacial pain, salivary gland disorders, infectious diseases, temporomandibular diseases, psychosomatic dentistry, sleep apnea disorders, and oral manifestations of systemic diseases.

As radiologists, they are also involved in:

Diagnosing pathological conditions using imaging modalities like CT scan, CBCT, etc., 3D printing and surgical guides.

Can Oral Medicine Specialists Sync with Other Specialties?

They work closely with other specialists within dentistry and the medical fraternity, including dermatologists, general medicine, general surgery, rheumatology, cardiology, nephrology, and radiologists. They also play a pivotal role in oral cancer and precancerous lesions diagnosis and management.

What Procedures Can an Oral Medicine and Radiologist Perform?

OMR specialists can perform widespread procedures, including excisional and incisional biopsies of lesions, medical management of systemic diseases, chairside investigations for diagnosis of oral lesions, exfoliative cytology, fine needle aspiration of cystic lesions, intralesional injections, LASER ablations, photostimulation, and pain relief using LASERS, relieving pain using USG and TENS therapy, radiologic diagnosis of complex pathologies, using advanced imaging modalities like CBCT, CT scan, and MRI, 3D implant simulation, virtual smile designing, augmented and virtual reality, PRP treatment for numerous oral diseases, and non-surgical management of complex diseases.

Life After Completion of Oral Medicine and Radiologist?

OMR specialists can work in dental schools and colleges as professors and researchers, in hospitals as medical consultants, in orofacial pain centers, in research and development wings as scientists for producing new products in government institutions and pharmaceutical companies, government institutions as dental officers, editors, and reviewers in journals, faculty or consultants in cancer centers, consultants in oral and maxillofacial imaging centers, teleconsultants for diagnosing and providing tele-consultancy, work in collaboration with the palliative care unit in palliative care centers, and in facility centers or special care, centers to provide dental treatment for patients with special care needs.

Why Should One Opt for OMR Speciality?

Oral medicine and radiology is a dental specialty that is a crossover between dentistry and medicine. An OMR specialist not only treats dental diseases but is also involved in managing oral features of systemic diseases, oral cancer, and special and geriatric dentistry. Being an oral radiologist gives them the added benefit of diagnosing diseases and performing virtual treatment planning of other specialties.

Written By:
Dr. Pankaj Ritwal
SGT Dental College
SGT University Gurgaon

Tag:Oral cancerOral manifestation of systemic diseasesOral MedicineOral Radiology

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