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Bill would permit dental surgeons to perform elective surgery

Sacramento, Calif. — Two California lawmakers have introduced legislation that would permit oral and maxillofacial surgeons to perform elective facial cosmetic surgery.

Currently, those surgeons may only treat injuries and diseases of the jaw and oral cavity. They may perform additional work in emergency rooms under specific conditions, according to news reports.

The bill would permit them to perform such work under non-emergency conditions, and to perform elective procedures such as full facelifts, otoplasty and liposuction. The California dental board would grant surgeons permits based on their education, training and experience.

Some plastic surgeons challenge the proposal, saying that reconstructive surgery and plastic surgery require different skills, and that oral and maxillofacial surgeons lack the needed medical training to perform aesthetic procedures.

Oral surgeons can only perform such elective procedures now if they also hold medical degrees.

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