Title of the Practice
STOMA –Minor Surgery Training in Oral and Maxillofacial Advances
- To provide general dentists and other dental specialists with basic hands-on training in minor oral surgical procedures.
- To encourage interns of the institution to take up minor surgical procedures and inspire them to acquire better clinical skills in handling these cases and postoperative complications.
- To impart working knowledge regarding case selection, proper history taking, treatment planning, and surgical procedure for routine cases in dental OPD
- To identify candidates with interest and clinical skills to train them in minor surgical procedures further
The majority of the population depends on general dentists for their routine dental needs, the treatment of which frequently involves minor surgical procedures. Exodontia used to be the most common dental procedure performed in many practices. Considering the above, it is more than essential that general practitioners and specialists other than oral surgeons acquire sufficient competency in handling routine minor surgical procedures that can be performed on the dental chair.
The program was started in 2008 under the leadership of Dr. Varghese Mani, renowned oral surgeon and the then Principal of the college. Since then, it has been one of the annual flagship programs of Mar Baselios Dental College, organised by the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
STOMA comprises extensive lecturing on basic exodontia, surgical removal of impacted third molars, apicoectomy, cysts and tumours, sterilisation and infection control, medical emergencies, and management of medically compromised patients and basic implantology. The unique facility for hands-on training on patients offered for the participants in third molar impaction and implant placement makes STOMA distinct from other programs. The hands-on sessions are carried out under the guidance and supervision of the experienced faculty members of Mar Baselios Dental College. Along with the faculty of the college, renowned international and national speakers have shared their expertise at STOMA over the years. Unlike many short-term certificate courses, STOMA is a non-profit capacity-building program.
Evidence of Success
The most significant success of STOMA has been the widespread participation of dental surgeons, including general practitioners and specialists, including oral surgeons, who view it as a precious opportunity to hone their surgical skills. Many participants regularly attend the program yearly, pointing to its positive outcomes. The local branch of the Indian Dental Association periodically associates with the program, showcasing its acceptability among the larger dental community.
Problems encountered and resources required
Although the program is intended to be conducted annually, the COVID restrictions in 2020 and 2021 precluded the event for external participants. Since the program aims to familiarise the participants with different minor surgical case scenarios, the availability of sufficient clinical material poses challenges on rare occasions.
STOMA has inspired other institutions to initiate similar programmes in recent years, with our faculty members being invited as resource persons.