Edited by Luke Cascarini, Clare Schilling Ben Gurney and Peter Brennan
Published August 2018 by Oxford University Press
For many medics, this is a topic area (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) that lies out at the edge of our education and expertise and this should not always necessarily be the case. As a GP, sometimes our only involvement is simply referring onto the specialty or dealing with a painful acute toothache but I am sure many non specialists and those at the beginning of their career would want to learn more about this topic from a book that is pitched at the right level. Equally this could apply to people at the midpoint of their career.
So step forwards this excellent, slim volume that extends to just over 300 pages. It is constructed as a standard Oxford Medical Handbook, a series that many of us have come to know well and respect-myself included. The first words in Chapter 1 clearly lay out who this book is intended for, “junior trainees working in oral and maxillofacial surgery” and on reviewing this book, I am sure it satisfies its aim. However for non specialists, particular GPs this book also has a significant amount to offer. There are some sections that are of lesser interest but on Page 244, there is an excellent discussion of common dental problems and further on, there is also a good section on oral ulceration and oral cancer.
Chapter 4 “In the emergency department” is very helpful to both Accident and Emergency Doctors as well as the main target audience of this book and the page on the fractured nose was particularly interesting (Page 92).
The core target reader, I am sure will find this slim volume very helpful in their day to day work. This is of course applies to other members of this excellent series (the Oxford Medical Handbooks) but this book’s slimness makes it very portable and very useful for front line work in the ward, clinic or emergency department. As a GP I found some sections very interesting and useful (page 66 for example, there is a really helpful and interesting account about cone beam computed tomography) and as we have come to expect from every Oxford Medical Handbook, it is well written, easy to understand and very relevant to the topic.
The book represents good value for money and I am sure many members of its target audience will find it a good investment. However for medics who find this specialty on the periphery of their knowledge base and I suspect there could be quite a number, then this is a great and understandable introduction to the specialty.
Dr Harry Brown