The specialty oral and maxillofacial pathology is concerned with the clinical evaluation, diagnosis, and study of the causes and effects of diseases affecting the mouth, head and neck, i.e., the oral and maxillofacial region.
When there is an abnormality in the mouth, head or neck, a referral is often made to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, because they have completed extensive training in oral pathology and have the ability to recognize, diagnose and treat various conditions involving the mouth and related areas.
Pathology is the branch of health care that studies the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences. It can enable the surgeon to narrow the diagnosis to two or three of the most likely possibilities. A biopsy may also be needed to be certain of a final diagnosis. This enables the surgeon to develop a treatment plan that specifically addresses the type of lesion identified in the diagnosis.