Wisdom teeth are a common cause of gum infection (pericoronitis), dental decay (caries), and gum disease (periodontitis). These conditions can be painful and compromise the health of other teeth adjacent to the wisdom teeth. Your doctor may refer you for wisdom teeth extraction to treat these conditions or to prevent them from occurring in the future.
Dental implants are excellent replacements for missing teeth. They look and feel most like natural teeth and are easy to care for. Dental implants are placed into the jaw bone – hence there must be sufficient bone to accommodate and hold the implant. If there is not enough bone present to hold the implant, the bone can be regenerated and increased using surgical techniques. Your doctor may refer you for dental implant placement and bone regeneration if this is needed.
The upper and lower jaws form the structure of the face. Normally the upper and lower jaws are proportionate in size and are symmetrical, resulting in a pleasing facial appearance and normal oral function. However, occasionally the upper and lower jaws may be abnormal (too big, too small, or asymmetrical) and this can result in facial disharmony and functional problems (eg abnormal bite, difficulty with chewing, obstructive sleep apnoea). Jaw correction surgery can correct these abnormalities and restore aesthetic facial harmony and oral function.
The facial bones may fracture following trauma. This may result in pain, disfigurement, and loss of normal function. Facial fracture repair surgery restores normal form and function. Your doctor may refer you if you have a facial fracture.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a common condition which is becoming increasingly detected in the population. Patients of all ages, shapes, and sizes may be affected. During sleep, a narrow airway becomes obstructed which impairs breathing and oxygen delivery to the body. This not only results in poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue, but can also cause many other problems in the long term (eg high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke). OSA may be corrected with splints or Maxillo-Mandibular Advancement (MMA) surgery. MMA is the single most effective surgery for permanent correction of OSA. Your doctor may refer you for MMA surgery if you have OSA and you cannot wear a CPAP machine.
Abnormal lesions and growths may arise in the Head and Neck region. These may require biopsy for identification and surgical removal to prevent growth and further problems in the future. Your doctor may refer you if you have a pathology which requires specialist assessment and management.
Pain in the oral cavity and face may be due to many different reasons. The most common causes include jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ) problems, toothache, and nerve pain. Your doctor may refer you if you have orofacial pain which requires specialist assessment and management.
The lingual frenulum is a membrane that attaches the undersurface of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Normally this membrane is small and thin and allows free movement of the tongue. Occasionally in some infants this membrane can be excessively large and thick. This can restrict the movement of the tongue and literally “tie” the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This may result in problems with feeding during infancy and speech development problems in childhood. A “tongue tie” may be surgically released to improve feeding during infancy and to prevent the development of speech impediments in the future. Your doctor may refer your child if he or she has a tongue tie.
During orthodontic treatment, children may require surgical procedures to help accomplish the desired orthodontic results. This may include dental extractions (to create space and allow straightening of crooked teeth) and exposure of impacted teeth (guiding the eruption of teeth which have failed to erupt into the mouth by themselves). Your doctor may refer your child if these procedures are necessary.