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Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery (MFOS)

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialty that combines surgical training with dental expertise to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries, tumors, defects and deformities in the mouth, head, neck, face, jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. This specialty combines the practices of medicine and dentistry: it is a hybrid between Medicine and Dentistry. The Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery plays an important role in various interdepartmental collaborations, including: 

  • Management of polytrauma patients with the Trauma Unit of the Department of General Surgery and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Head and neck oncology reconstruction in conjunction with the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Radiation and Oncology, and the Department of Oral Rehabilitation
  • Orthognathic surgery and Cleft palate reconstruction in conjunction with the Departments of Orthodontics Paediatric Dentistry and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Rehabilitation of patients with dental implants with the Department of Oral Rehabilitation
  • Oral Pathology and oral medicine services with the Department of Oral Pathology 

A Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon is a healthcare provider that has completed a five-year dentistry degree followed by a four-year postgraduate hospital-based registrar or residency training program. This postgraduate training program includes rotations in General Surgery, Intensive Care Unit, Trauma, Plastic Surgery, and Oral Pathology with dedicated clinics in Orthognathic surgery, Implantology, Craniofacial Surgery and Facial Clefts including cleft lip and palate. 

The Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery (MFOS) prides itself on its eclectic scope; teaching and training, research, and a broad scope of practice ranging from dentoalveolar surgery to all aspects of craniomaxillofacial and tumor surgery.

We are a department that aims to be on par with the latest advancements in maxillofacial and oral surgery. We believe that detailed surgical repetition leads to surgical excellence. We strive for excellence in patient care.

Research Focus Areas
  • Aetiology and mechanism of injury of midfacial fractures, a prospective study of the Johannesburg region
  • Changing trends of maxillofacial and oral surgery at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital: a comparison between two time periods in 1987 and 2007
  • A review of paediatric oral and maxillofacial pathology in Johannesburg from 1987 to 2007
  • A morphological study of the lingula in South Africans in relation to sagittal split osteotomy
  • The significance of the anterior loop of the mental nerve: an anatomical study
  • Comparison of epidemiologic characteristics of maxillofacial fractures between two maxillofacial units: CMJAH and Polokwane-Mankweng Hospital complex
  • Impacted mandibular third molars: the efficacy of systemic antibiotics and chlorhexidine mouthwash in preventing post-operative infections
  • Quantification of the volume of autogenous bone required for grafting mandibular continuity
  • Incidence of alveolar osteitis in two Johannesburg Hospitals, South Africa
  • The prevalence of infection in mandibular fractures treated at the Wits School of Oral Health Sciences
  • A comparative study of three treatment modalities for mandibular angle fractures
  • Alloplastic temporomandibular joint reconstruction: The Wits’ 5-year experience with the Biomet Microfixation system.