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Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and a discipline of pathology which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions (areas of the mouth, jaw, face, head, neck and associated structures). An oral pathologist is a dentist that specializes in the research and diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. An oral pathologist typically uses clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical and other examinations. Oral pathology is a recognized American Dental Association specialty of dentistry. Oral pathologists complete two to three years of additional specialized training, after the required four years of dental school. Physicians in this specialty treat patients suffering from numerous diseases and illnesses, but some of the most common are mucosal lesions, oral precancer, Oral cancer, tongue lesions, lip lesions, salivary diseases, bone diseases, tooth defects, anomalies, odontogenic cyst, leukoplakia (whitish patches in the mouth), erythroplakia (reddish patches in the mouth), candidiasis, geographic tongue, lichen planus, recurrent canker sores, aphthous ulcerations, and tobacco keratosis. Once properly diagnosed, practitioners can perform numerous procedures on patients including bone grafting, biopsies, radiographs, X-rays, dental imaging, and oral cancer screening.
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