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An oral pathologist, also called an oral maxillofacial pathologist, is a dental professional who specializes in the diagnosis of serious dental and facial cavity diseases. Whenever a general dentist encounters evidence of a chronic condition during a routine exam, he or she may remove a portion of the affected tissue and send it to an oral pathologist for further study. It is the job of the oral pathologist to determine if the tissue sample is possibly cancerous or infectious.
Besides the risk of cancer, patients may face other incapacitating oral conditions such as canker sores, opportunistic infections and ulcerations of the tongue and gums. If these conditions cannot not be controlled by standard treatment methods, a general dentist may call in an oral pathologist for more advanced procedures.
Dr. John Perry earned his D.M.D. degree from the University of Manitoba in 1976. After four years in private dental practice, Dr. Perry undertook graduate studies in oral pathology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1982 he joined the faculty of the University of Manitoba in a part-time capacity while completing a MSc. in the Department of Immunology in the University's Faculty of Medicine. Since 1985, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Dental Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, Dr. Perry has instructed in the undergraduate and graduate dental and undergraduate dental hygiene programs in the disciplines of oral pathology and oral radiology. Dr. Perry is a Fellow of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.