1. An interview done with
Dr. Manal Al-Sheddi
Associate Professor & Consultant Maxillofacial
Pathologist. KSU, College of Dentistry
2. What is the difference of being an oral
pathologist than being in other dental fields?
“Oral and maxillofacial pathology is a specialty of dentistry that
deals with diagnosis as well as management of oral and
maxillofacial diseases. A specialty that bridges the gap between
medicine and dentistry.”
3. What is the nature of an oral pathologist
“Oral and maxillofacial pathologists spend most of their time in the
laboratory. They receive the biopsy specimens taken from patients
and prepare them for processing and final reporting. They are also
involved in patient assessment and diagnosis clinics. They might be
involved in research too.”
4. Where can pathologist usually be found?
“You can find pathologist in pathology department in hospital as
well as academic institutions. However, most oral and maxillofacial
pathologist work in academic institutions.”
5. How can oral pathology affect dental
“Oral and maxillofacial pathology is corner stone specialty in
dentistry. Dental graduates should have good understanding of
pathogenesis of different diseases affecting the mouth and teeth.
They should be able to diagnose and make good differential
diagnosis and be able to interpret a final pathology report. These
skills are basic and essential for every practicing dentist. it is the oral
and maxillofacial pathology specialty that provides them with such
skills and knowledge.”
6. Is there a deference between being a general
pathologist or being a dental pathologist?
“Yes there are differences, general pathologist carries medical
degree and eligible to diagnose lesions from any part of the body
and there are many subspecialties in general pathology such as
ENT, bone and soft tissues, dermatopathology and
hematopathology. Oral and maxillofacial pathologist are
graduates of dental schools and their scope of work is limited to
lesions affecting oral and maxillofacial area.”
7. What would be expected in the future
revolution regarding oral pathology?
“Oral and maxillofacial pathology involves research, and I
expect major contribution of the specialty in research the
future. Researches that are based on stem cells and
translational researches will lead in the future for the
treatment of oral and dental diseases.”
8. Finally, if someone interested in pathology, How
can they become an oral Pathologist?
“To become an oral and maxillofacial pathologist you need to
complete at least three years of residency program in the specialty.
It is comprised of training in general pathology, clinical pathology,
and oral medicine in addition to oral pathology. I always
recommend that those who wants to be pathologist to spend some
time in the laboratory to understand the actual practice of the
specialty. There are different postgraduate programs offered by
different university in the world. You should be aware that not all of
them would provide you with the needed training to be competent
pathologist. Look for accrediate and good programs and ask
experts in the field.”